We were on IOS sailing on 6thMarch2012 to Spain&Canaries,we had done this same itinerary last March.We were informed by email followed up by a phonecall from Virgin travel (who we booked with)about the later embarkation due to thorough deep clean of ship.We travelled by train to Southampton and were surprised to find a very helpful man who was to take our luggage to the ship so we could then have a wander around shops&have some lunch.We then made our way to the ship courtesy of shuttle bus to start embarkation.
It didn't take too long to get people onboard and we made our way to our stateroom to find luggage already there.After unpacking we made our way to muster station for lifeboat drill.This was carried out professionally and as quickly as was possible.We went back inside to change for dinner,we ate in Macbethh dining room 6pm sitting.We had a table for 6 people which was great as it gave us chance to chat without having the feeling someone was being neglected.Our waiters were Hilal and Carlos who were most attentive,Hilal taking our christian names and using them for the rest of our cruise.The food was of very good quality,and if you chose something you didn't like Hilal would let you select another choice.The desserts were to die for,some night's our dining companion's had two!
We had breakfast in our stateroom everyday bar the last one,this arrived usually on the dot of our time slot and was always hot.
Our steward was Iawayan who was superb,nothing was too much trouble making sure we had a filled ice bucket everyday.He also brought us towelling robes as we had forgotten to pack our's.
We went ashore at every port but under our own steam,apart from using shuttle bus at Lisbon.Having done the trip last March we knew what to expect,only this time the weather was superb.The last port of call La Coruna,the weather was about 16c which was cooler than the other's at 23c-26c.We went in a small cafe and had a couple of beer's which was brought to us with a dish of mussel's in a vinagrette with some bread.This cost 3-70(less than Â£3-50)
The show's onboard that we went to were very good,the headliner show's were the one's we went to.We did the ice show last year so did'nt go again.
We enjoyed the casino,where we played blackjack&roullette and managed to keep enough back to pay off most of our onboard spend's at the end off the cruise.
We tend to take dollars onboard so we can keep a check on what we spend,rather than use our seapass card to take money for gambling.
All in all we had a great time,so much so we have just booked to go in May this year on a western Med 14 night cruise!
Hope this put's some positive vibe on the IOS and RCL in general.