We deliberately booked Indy again just to see if our first experience of cruising was as good as we thought it was.
We weren't disappointed!!!
We arrived at the docks at 10.30am fully expecting to be in a big queue to check in. As we had cruised before and are Crown and Anchor Gold Members we were pleasantly surprised to have our own dedicated check in area that we were swept through. Within 20 mins we were sat in the Departure lounge, and within an hour we were boarding the ship.
Indy's interior has not changed a bit since we last sailed on on her in November 2009, so we were able to find our way around her with no problems. In the departure lounge, they announced the staterooms would be ready at 1 o'clock, but on boarding they put that back an hour blaming a British Coastguard Inspection. A little niggle but nothing too serious as we could go to Windjammer to get some lunch. Only problem there was that everyone else had the same idea and you couldn't get a table for love nor money,
The stateroom was fantastic, large, clean airy and with a balcony for good measure too. Which was a good job because given the opportunity my husband would have spent the entire voyage on it.
After unpacking we went down to Bolero's bar for a well deserved drink. As on our previous sailing we only needed to ask for our drinks once. After that Hassan and Kendra remembered us and what our favourites tipple was for the rest of the cruise.
There is always something to do on boar his ship. Cinema, enrichment lectures (this time it was Ancient Egypt), Quizzes,dance lessons and they even taught anyone who wanted to learn it, the Thriller Dance.
On our first evening dining we thought our joy at it being equal to the last cruise was going to blown out of the water. We were allocated a table in romeo and Juliets Dining Room next to the window on the 8.30 sitting. We've never had a problem on this sitting before. but out starters were brought to us at 9.20, 50 minutes after being sat. Our main course was brought and our desserts were finished at approx 10.45pm, 2 hours and 15 mins after we started. this really is not very good service and with me being diabetic, ~I cannot be eating at that hour because it sends my blood sugars far too high the next morning.
We went and had a word with the Food and Beverage Manager who was so helpful. He allocated us another table right below the Grand Staircase. The waiter and assistant waiter here (Sergio and Vijay) just couldn't do enough for you. They were so attentive and always had a smile and a joke for you. We were in and out of dinner within an hour and 15 mins every night.
The only negative thing I can say about dining is that if you really wanted to you could eat 24 hours a day. You'd end up looking like a bacon pig, but it's there if you want it and it's so so tempting.
There are 3 pools on deck you can use, with 3 small jacuzzi pools and 2 large whirlpools that hand over the side. It's tempting to spend all day in the whirlpools. There is also a solarium where you can sit and relax and read.
Towels are available, you can have 2 a time on your seapass, but remember to return them or you'll be charged for them at the end of the cruise at $20 each.
We did notice that a few little things that we had on the last cruise were missing. No chocolate on the pillows at turn down, no notepaper and pen in the desk drawer, no toiletries in the bathroom , just soap and there was no Hot Chocolate in the Cafe Promenade or Sorrento's this time, but you could get some from Room Service.
We did notice thought this time 6that5 you an get a news-paper from home now. They are sold in the Cafe Promenade, but they are costly $3 each (roughly Â£2 a paper, but that's what you'd pay in say Benidorm or Costa Del Sol for one).
The Schooner bar was also one of my favourite places. This is where they had most of the quizzes. Fernando the waiter here only had to see me o5r my husband coming and would indicate to us that he had seen us and would we like the usual? Cracking Service.
On our travels round the ship we did meet up with several of the crew that had been aboard on our first cruise, notably Elizabeth in the Dining Room and also Adrian one of the Head Waiters. I swear that man never slept. He was in the Dining room at Breakfast , Lunch and Dinner. He really knew his stuff. It would be remiss of me to miss out ou5 own Head Waiter. Llorena. She stopped by or table EVERY evening, asking our our day had been and if there was anything she could to make our stay better.
Ports of call could be better. Vigo is very hilly, so not good for people w3ho have difficulty in walking. Lisbon looked bet5ter but we were warned to be careful in the docks area as there were lots of thieves and ladies of the night in that area. Las Palmas in Gran Canaria , I found to be a bit grotty. The tour bus that does the city was 16 euros and the sound system did not work, so you were in the dark about what exactly you were seeing. Santa Cruz was much better, a beautiful clean city with lots of interesting things to see. Le Recovo, a big market was lovely.
Madeira is beautiful but you need more than 5 hours in port to see it and do it justice, La Coruna, we researched a litle before we set off, but couldn't find out much information about it. ~If every you go on this ship , gt off at L~a Coruna, it's a beautiful city with a gorgeous square (Plaza de Maria Pite) it has a lovely coffee shop/Tapas Bar just o the Right as you go into the Square
If you like ~Pizza and anti pasti give Sorrento's a try. The waitress there Ephelia is fantastic, she always has a bright smile a bit of conversation and a brilliant work ethic. If we could have taken her home we would have lol.
All in all ~Indy is the same floating city as she ever was. The crew are fantastic, so friendly and always there with a tip if you need it.
and finally a quick mention to our room attendant Georgia. She made our morning bright and our evenings comfortable. Thanks Georgia you're a star!!!