Hi- I, too, had read conflicting reports about the Galaxy with references to it being in poor shape etc. but we had no complaints whatsoever. Since this was my first cruise we had nothing to compare to but I only met one person who was dissatisfied. She had cruised with Princess and felt the Galaxy didnt' compare. Everyone else was very happy. I suppose there are some areas that could use up-dating but it was all well maintained in my opinion. The food was excellent esp. in the Orion dining room. On only one occasion there was someone at my table not happy with her dish and it was replaced immediately with another choice. The food was a highlight for most of us.
I found the cruise to be extremely well organized with no waits for anything. Room service was always delivered on time or early. The shore excursions were very good and we ended up doing them for most ports because of the logistics of trying to do them yourself is not easy. This was not our original plan but we are happy with how it worked out and felt we got good value for our money really. One thing I had not anticipated was that not many places on shore accepted credit cards which I had expected to use so plan to take lots of Euros or use the bank machine. My bank charged a $3 service charge for withdrawals so plan to take out larger amounts at a time to avoid unnecessary charges. The dress code is quite flexible and I had stressed out unnecessarily about having enough dressy clothes. There was quite a variety, even on formal nights. Another pleasant suprise was how friendly everyone on board was- staff and fellow cruisers alike. Feel free to ask any more specific questions and have a wonderful time. I have to say I enjoyed absolutely every aspect except maybee the 40C temps which hopefully you wont' have to endure. take care Kim