The weather report wasn't fantastic, yet we've returned with sunburn.
We arrived in Southampton docks at 10am with fingers crossed to get on early, having our parents with us requiring special assistance. Unfortunately they had a computer glitch and had to disembark everyone manually so they were still getting off at 11am. We dropped the bags, parked the car and was through check in within 10 minutes - unfortunately we were told that we would have to wait a couple of hours for a wheelchair assistance and as we had number 1 priority cards, Mum and Dad set off walking - albeit very slowly but they got there in the end. A bit disappointed at this - especially as we got the the lift, there were all the wheelchairs piled up.
Cabins were slightly late, having being disembarked late but it gave more time for exploring the ship, it was cold at the sky bar and we were the only ones there so we got a chance to chat to the barman and he made us some fantastic margaritas later in the cruise (without island oasis)
Our parents got upgraded to a junior suite, they were thrilled and our D2 was great. We had a fantastic steward called Domitru from Romania.
The dining room service was great and they soon learnt our likes and dislikes to say it was a short trip. The food was as expected and our parents loved the choice of fish - a bit under seasoned for my husband.
We liked Sorrento's - especially the choice of antipasti as well as pizza and we did Johnny Rockets on formal night - which went down a storm, as did the oreo cookie sundaes!
The main show on the last evening was fantastic and worth seeing as was the ice show - but we also saw the comedian and he needs retiring - he was shocking - to the degree he never finished a joke, spent time covering his CV and name dropping and they didn't put him on the second show of the evening. The BMX guy showed real character and was funnier than the comedian - as well as having good skills.
We went to the Dog and Badger and the guy was good, singer and quite funny however when we returned the next evening he was telling the same lines so moved on. We also went into the pyramid lounge where a band was playing 'rock the boat' - it was good family entertainment and could really play although I felt like I was in a working mens club with nicer surroundings at times.
There were plenty of places to grab coffee and water as well as a snack
The officers were lacking in visibility and when we went to the Crown and Anchor meet and asked the Hotel Director why we hadn't seen anyone he avoided the question and showed us his pedometer to tell us how far he had walked that day - shame he didn't stop to talk to anyone in the process!
As the outside space wasn't really usable because of the cold weather for the first 3 days - the inside space felt packed, especially the promenade.
On the last day at sea, the captain found a nice patch of weather so slowed down to give people a few hours laid out in the sun - unexpected but very well received - thanks as we were starting to think we'd never see good weather this side of June
We did a short half day trip to Kinsale, the information on the coach was interesting and the port of Kinsale very pretty and the 1.5 hours was just enough to see most of it - well organised
There was over 750 Brazilians onboard from an oil company, their logo's were up in the promenade and they had 20 plus coaches each day taking them on trips - however you would never have known they were there most of the time - very polite, seemed to have their own programme and a credit to their company
The only real issues that we had were:
1) Shocked at the number of people using the toilets and not washing their hands - day after day
2) Sorrentos and Cafe Promenade - lots of people getting food etc and not using hand gel and the staff said nothing to them