Let me firstly start I booked this cruise on Island Escape for our family, me,my husband and our two children 10 & 5 one lunch time without thought or research mainly on price and location of departure airport. This was our second cruise previous one was with RCCL on Liberty of the Seas June 2011. All excited about my booking I set about the following day looking up the reviews of the ship. Oh my God did I wish I had not booked. Six weeks to the cruise the more I read the worse it got with might I add a few Good reviews on the way which kept my spirits up. In all my holiday was ruined before it started.
The Travel Day arrived I boarded the plane with two excited kids and equally excited husband my heart was hanging as I didn't say anything about what I had read. My take was how bad could it be, would it be as bad as some of the dodgy apts. we stayed in Tenerife, Gran Canaria and so on.
Arriving at Palma airport I thought don't compare with our previous cruise but I did the Rep for Island Cruises was lovely last year RCCL rep was sharp and cold. Arriving at the port our luggage was taken off the bus and placed in a holding area, check in was a breeze with the kids signing up for kids club at the check in area. Moving on we collected our suitcases attaching our cabin tags to them leaving them to be taken to our cabin. Going up to go through security checks before boarding was as expected then on to the ship.
CABIN.... We boarded I took a deep breath and went to our cabin luggage was there before us, opening our door all the "reviews" screamed in my head but it was as I expected two single beds with two pull down bunks for the kids, bathroom dated in colour with old age stains but very clean the odd crack in the shower glass, loads of storage for 4 of us. I unpacked 3 suitcases slid the empty ones under the beds and hung and folded all our clothes. Two long hanging areas one short hanging with 4 drawers under it and a separate dressing table with another 4 drawers. There was a mini bar shelf no fridge and an old tubed TV with good choice of holiday TV (we never bother with tv anyway on holiday)In all very pleased with the cabin. Hairdryers are not provided in cabins but are available from the Reception desk advice is to get one on embarkation day not like me that got left drying my daughters 3ft long hair with a this excuse of a hairdryer (all the fun of holidays)
The Ship.....Its an experience!!!! fun loving, friendly crew and fellow passengers, choice of two buffets restaurants one better than the other but food quite edible and good choice of food, small charge for third restaurant waiter service really nice. Entertainment great really gets passengers involved.
The Kids club Palmy's my kids loved it so much to do. The Team are fantastic always had a smile.
I could write a book but in a nut shell yes this is an old ship don't expect glitz and glam but do expect a great holiday with a great team right from the cabin attendant all the way up to the captain. From what I saw the hygiene on the ship is as great as you would get in any other place the public uses basically if it dirty in places one has to wonder its not the crew who dirty the place or is it the people who use it.
Again short bus tour of the city's sporting history, Nou Camp & Montjuic /Olympic stadium. 4 hr Tour again enough with children in very hot climate. Again prices for tour to be expected could have gone on our own but the ease of being ferried around on air conditioned bus was great.
Easy access to town from port we walked with kids into town. It was market day loads of stalls. Small Bottles of drinking water in shop €2.50. Sales Assistants in shops ok but not very friendly esp if you dont have small change. Did a beach front walk then went back on ship.
Did 4 hr tour because of kids called Easy Pisa, did not get to go into Leaning Tower or time for Baptistery but we had time to walk around then went on tourist train which was all part of tour. It was explained in the tour brochure there would be limited time around the Tower but we knew that with two kids we were happy out with just seeing it.Price was reasonable as with previous cruise line tours.
Arrival airport Palma, At port great atmosphere for embarkation. we arrived late in the day so no ques for check in. All Island Crew staff at check in were very helpful
Port was actually Toulon we docked right beside Rugby stadium with a huge shopping centre beside it. Lovely cafes along the water front expect to pay tourist high prices.
Lovely village very steep hills we just walked around. An old army fort on the cliff is free to get in but some rooms have a cover charge great artifacts on show from the wars, fantastic views out over the bay. A small tourist train takes you around the village for a small fee.