We had never cruised before and booked the Island Escape on the basis that we didn't spend too much so couldn't lose too much!
Some of the critical reviews scared us a bit, but how wrong we were! We absolutely loved it. Sure, she's a little old and creaky (aren't we all), but there were so many positives!
The crew were fabulous, we had an outside balcony on deck 9 , cabin 9072. It was small but spotlessly clean with excellent service from Akash our steward. Nothing was too much trouble, including laundry and ironing.
Embarkation was a breeze, smooth and straightforward. We were taken to our cabin and luggage arrived moments later.
The food was great. We didn't like the large table seating in the Island so had most breakfasts and suppers in the Beachcomber ( the food was generally much the same). The Beachcomber Afternoon Tea was outstanding! We also had a few meals in the Oasis where for a modest supplement you could have outstanding food and service.
The entertainment was first class, superb vocalists including the super talented and charming Ben Gillham. Ross the entertainments manager was a whirlwind and excellent at his job. Good advice however, to get to the theatre well in advance of the shows.
As for it being rocky, well it's a ship! The gentle rocking actually helped me sleep, tho the comfy beds probably helped too.
Two tiny gripes, Internet access was expensive and poor, and the orange juice at breakfast was horrid. That's the only negatives I can think of!
We had the drinks package, believe the ship will be all inclusive next year which makes it even better value.
So, don't hesitate, go...but let us book our return trip for 2013 first!