I wasn't going to write a review as I just couldn't think of anything which I could advise people about. It was all just so perfect - we would have to try really hard to find fault. However, having read so many miserable people writing negative things (including the moaning Minnie who reviewed our cabin) I was really upset before we left and hugely reassured by the positive and helpful things which people said in reviews so I felt duty bound to return the favour.
Others will provide much more detail than me, however, here are the highlights...
Kids Club - second to none. I am a Headteacher and would have employed any of the staff. The organisation and security were terrific, they all obviously loved children, and far better than P&O they allow 'portplay' so we could explore Santorinin in the heat and doing the tricky climb without worrying about little people.
The mini suite was immaculate - again the same on Oceana was pokey, claustrophobic and we spent our wedding night holding hands across the void between top bunk beds because of their stupid drop down arrangements. It felt huge, was beautifully clean, well appointed, bathroom fantastic with separate toilet. Bliss. Biggest plus was the amazing amount of storage. Again on previous cruise were living out of suitcases under beds. Horrible. Here, everything was hung, and very easy to access. Climate control was fabulous; we were totally comfortable day and night.
Food - exceptional in the buffet; MDRs posh ambience but no better than Harvester cuisine in evening, but wonderful at lunchtime. We used room service a few times, had pizza delivered (yum) and ate twice at Moderno as it was the only thing which we couldn't easily get at home. Could have eaten there every night if our stomachs could have coped with the stretching!
Ports were ok - we didn't choose the itinerary for the places, only the weather. Everything was easy to explore independently, even with little ones.
embarkation - unbelievable! We were sipping cocktails on our balcony by 1pm having left our home on south coast at 5!
On the Oceana we were really browned off by the loud, rude and pushy behaviour of gangs of unsupervised teenagers marauding around the ship at all hours of the day and night. This time I was dreading it, and there were lots of them about. However, apart from annoyingly congregating in stairwells and walkways, they were pretty good and frankly a lot more polite than most of their parents (see below)....
OK if I really have to scratch around for something it would be:
Return flights through Venice absolute nightmare. Do not, for any reason, cut your check-in time fine. You will miss your flight for sure. We queued for 3 hours solid and still only got to the gate with a minute to spare. 3 separate mammoth (and disorganised so pushy, shovey) queues for check-in, then security, then passport control. That airport is a disgrace, and as for Easyjet... Never, ever again.
Also, without mentioning any particular nationality, the lack of queuing culture in some Europeans is astonishing. Pushing in everywhere, reserving not only sun loungers but also seats in the buffet, grabbing everything for fear someone else might... But we just learned to laugh about it or have daily competitions for the rudest person we could find, and that helped a lot.
If you have booked for Jade, take heart! If you want to have a great time, you will. We had said never again to cruising, now I can't wait til next time.