We travelled on the Island Escape on 24th July 2012 on the 'Escape to the med' itinerary before having a week in a hotel in Sa Coma. Having read some of the reviews on here we were a little apprehensive especially as this was our first cruise- we didn't need to be!
I travelled with my parents and sister. The check in process at the terminal was quick efficient and welcoming, and from the moment we stepped onboard the staff and crew went out of their way to make sure we had a brilliant cruise. The food is excellent and catered exactly to the British taste, we ate mainly in the buffet style island restaurant where the food easily matched that of the 4 star hotels we have stayed at in the past! We also had a few meals in the beachcomber which is the 24hr buffet restaurant which serves the same food as the island restaurant, here the chefs serve the hot food to you, which was a bit odd at first but ensures good hygiene! We had an inside cabin on deck 5 which with all four of us in was small but adequate, the two bunk beds were folded up during the day which made a bit more room and after all you don't go on holiday to spend all your time in the cabin!
The facilities onboard were also excellent and, with the exception of the day at sea when things were a little busier, getting a sunbed isn't really a problem. The ports of call on this itinerary were very good, Olbia, Propriano and Mahon allow you to see parts of the med that are less 'touristy', Propriano especially has a beach which is only a five minute walk from where the ship docks, perfect for a swim in the sea! We did two trips which we organised onboard, the first was Pompeii and Vesuvius, which at almost Â£60 per head were expensive but we felt worth it, Pompeii especially is worth a visit and was much better than we were expecting! We also did a bike tour of Rome, organised through Abraham at the Star bike tours desk (onboard) this was fantastic as you get to see all the sights of Rome and do something a little different! The entertainment team led by Ross Roberts work very hard and their shows are always very good.
This ship is perfect for people, who like us want to see a bit more of the world but who don't want the pressure of being told what to wear and when to eat every night. If you are looking for a cruise where there is silver service and formal dress up nights, whilst staying in 5 star luxurious cabins then the Island escape isn't for you! If you are looking for a holiday with a difference, where the crew are friendly and get to know you, and where you can just be yourself and relax, then the island escape won't disappoint!