We did a 2 night pre-cruise stay in Milan with included excursion to see the last supper, the excursion was excellent one of the best I have ever done and I have done quite a few, the guide was very entertaining. The hotel Rosa Grand was in a fab location right in the centre of the city within sight of the beautiful Cathedral. I recommend a visit to Flash Restaurant around the corner from the hotel, where they do fantastic pizzas and pasta. The hotel was adequate if a bit large and impersonal but served a purpose.
The ship was nice and so were the cabins just a little small. After reading all the previous reviews I think I was expecting a lot more with regards to the service, unfortunately for us the ship was full and so the service fell short, there was a couple of grumpy staff and not many of them had the 'nothing is too much trouble attitude' probably because they were overworked, but considering the cost of this cruise this should not happen. The temperature in the bar was at times freezing, we complained to the bar staff and didn't notice a difference we complained to the cruise manager who said I know I keep telling him to turn it down but you try and see if you have more luck than me, one evening we fetched blankets from the pizza restaurant to put over our knees in the bar.
With regards to the dress code I found a lot of people very casual even on the gala dinner night, some men in jackets but not all and with regards to jeans someone on a previous review said "you will stand out if you wear jeans on an evening" this was not the case, some people were in tracksuit bottoms on an evening.
The ship does a small amount of cruising on the river Po but not much, it mainly sits in different areas of the venice Lagoon. Also there are 2 occasions where the ship has to sail on the ocean to move location and on these occasions everyone must disembark for the day due to maritime law, so if you were tired or feeling ill no choice but to choose one of the included excursions.
Food - the food was good but very little selection, one meat dish, one fish dish, one veggie option and one healthy eating option, so if like my husband you don't like fish you had no choice, breakfasts were good with a nice choice and nice quality.
Drinks - Although they claim to offer fine wines you are only ever offered 1 red and 1 white, unless you ask for the wine list where there are other option free of charge, no one tells you about this though we were alerted to it by another passenger, also they only have 1 rose and this is not on the wine list, when you ask for rose they always have to go and look for it. During the cruise they ran out of peach for the bellinis and they ran out of baileys.
Excursions were good but the transfer to Bologna was too long, nearly 2 hours each way
So the above reasons are why I don't think its worth the high price tag. Think I may have been spoilt as have stayed in some very nice hotels where the customer service has far exceeded the service on the Countess.
Nice comfy bed, nice linen and towels. Lovely marble bathroom with nice toiletries, however never felt like having the balcony door open as was docked so close to side of road, so felt a little unsafe at night.