This is our 3rd cruise on board this ship and have to say I have seen such a difference. The 'frills' that used to be on board have all been stripped back and not for the best. We had fabulous weather the whole time but this was dampened by the lack of activities, price increase in shops and on drinks throughout the ship.
The main dining room had a good variety each evening and we had fantastic waiters who could not do enough for us throughout the whole holiday.
Our rooms were clean on arrival but the room steward was not as good as we have had on previous cruises. The range of toiletries consisted of 2 bars of soap and a container of shower gel on the wall in the shower. No little bottles of shampoo or conditioner etc.
I still struggle with having no ironing facilities on board but we managed.
The cruise director (Joff) was fabulous and struggled on even though he was having problems with his throat. Unfortunately compared to other ships their range of activities - quizzes, games, crafts, napkin folding etc were very few and far between and after going along to the jewellery making class was disappointed, when after being told we would make a necklace, bracelet and earrings over the course of the cruise, there was never a class to make the earrings.
The price for the shuttle buses at some of the ports were a ridiculous price $12 per person...it was much less than this previously.
We did a few of the ship's tours and although good we were once again not giving important information when choosing the tours as there was a lot more walking or longer travel than they said.
The shows each evening were good but not up to the standard that we have become accustomed to on cruise liners. The ice-shows were great to watch but as the same as the company's own shows they are all the same titles as in 2008.
The other half really enjoyed the flow rider and climbing wall and made the most of the early days onboard when fewer people were having a go.
We felt the standards of dress code for the main dining room have slipped dramatically. More and more people wearing jeans, shorts etc in the evening when before this would not have been allowed. This may seem petty but it is one of the things we liked about cruising, getting dressed up in the evening to go to dinner.
On the whole we have been left disappointed by a ship that we have enjoyed previously and will probably not sail on her or with this company for a while.