This was my first Road Scholar adventure, and it was a 5-star experience from start to finish. From the food to the Holland-America ship to the knowledgable and friendly tour leader Dionysios, this cruise exceeded expectations. The bookend cities — Barcelona and Venice — and tour of Pompeii were highlights, but there were happy surprises all along the way as we learned about ancient cultures in seven countries, with a focus on art and architecture. Local guides were generally excellent, and a series of shipboard lectures added a historical perspective to our explorations. Be advised: You will walk way more than the advertised 2 miles a day on uneven ground. Most of us averaged 5 to 6 miles a day. The pace was good. If I could change anything about this program, it would be to provide a little more free time for shopping and interacting with locals. Overall, this trip was a fabulous introduction to the Mediterranean and Road Scholar. I’ll be back. PS: This was my first trip as a solo traveler, and I found this group of 16 to be congenial, fun and inclusive. I never felt left out. I had requested a roommate just in case, but RS wasn’t able to find me one so I enjoyed a single room at the lower cost of a double. Win-win.