My wife and I cruised the Eastern Caribbean on the Atlantica in January 02.
We chose the ship mainly because of the discounted price and after reading some of the reviews I became a little nervous.
Some of the comments were ridiculous such as the predominance of Italians or the number of different languages used in the announcements.
Yes there are many Italian passengers and crew on board but they are certainly not the majority and were just one of many groups that make this an interesting and eclectic ship.
If there is an emergency on board a ship I would prefer that all on board understand the instructions so the additional few minutes listening to Spanish, German,Italian and French doesn't bother me.
Food was also raised by many. The food is fine. As with most cruise lines there is more than you can eat anyway so you never go hungry.
If you need gourmet there is an alternate restaurant where you pay an extra cover charge. There is also a wide choice of food in the buffet restaurants. The midnite buffets were varied and delicious. They also prepared a delicious lunch on their private island.
The ship is gorgeous and there are lots of places to escape if you want seclusion. The gym is incredible. Our inside cabin was large and well looked after.
I found the evening entertainment to be of lower quality than on the HAL and Carnival cruises we had taken previously. The entertainment staff do work very hard to keep everyone happy.
I was not excited about Toga night. I chose not to wear the toga provided as did about half of the other cruisers. I don't think either groupo felt out of place. On the whole it is a fun night which ends in a hilarious audience participation show in the main showroom.
As I've read elsewhere on these sites every cruise has its ups and downs and if you go with a positive attitude you'll have a lot more highs.
Looking forward to the Grand Princess this January.
February 1998 - HAL Westerdam E. Caribbean
January 2000 - Carnival Ecstasy - Mexican Riviera
February 2002 - Costa Atlantica - W. Caribbean
February 2004 - Grand Princess - W. Caribbean
March 2007 - RCI Voyager of the Seas - E. Caribbean
May 2007 - RCI Voyager of the Seas - Western Mediterranean (Mrs. E. & daughter only - I had a medical emergency)
October 2007 - RCI Adventure of the Seas - Southern Caribbean