After 2 weeks of traveling in Ireland, we stayed overnight in Southampton before leaving, there was a boat show in town and hotel rooms were at a premium...so we wound up a cab ride (12 pounds or about $20) from everything, although, Southampton is not a tourist location.
Embarkation was smooth enough, but @ 1 pm rooms were not ready, when we got to our room, it was very clean but missing the mattress pad on the bed, it was put on 2 nights later and then the bed was very comfortable. I can't say enough about our cabin attendant. Excellent.
The ship is older, but mostly in great condition and easy enough to get anywhere as it is not a huge ship.
Everyone was very helpful and knowledgeable...with one exception....I think they should tell every employee the location of the gangplank at each port, so they don't send you all over because they don't know(I do understand that they change depending upon the port)
I was quite disappointed with the food on this ship. The breakfast was fine, but lunch was more like dinner (even at buffet)....and the alternative was terrible (hamburgers, hot dogs frozen pizza)
I understand the head chef was from India, he added some ingredients to almost every dish, that just don't go and are not necessary, IE, rigatoni(which was hard, not al dente) with sausage (and then he added corn kernels)
I had asked for spinach and was told, they didn't have it....however one night a new lady came to our table and asked for spinach and voila...got it immediately...after that I got it even when I asked not to have it.
There were 4 empty seats at our table for 9 nights, so I asked if another couple could join us, they did, but were not made to feel very comfortable and were told they could not expect to sit there every night as the seats were reserved....however the next night 2 others were moved to our table...what was that all about???
The lamb chops I had were inedible, another ladies were fine, but I find out later that many had the same complaint...the chicken was always too thick, picatta and marsala are supposed to be very thin. The steak was tough. There were nights I only ate an appetizer...
I know they could have made this a shorter cruise...we were only going 15 knots for several days....A nice option would be a stop in Bermuda, in the future I will only pick an ocean crossing with this stop.
The stops in Spain, Gigon, Vigo, La Coruna and then the Azores, were a very pleasant surprize....one town was nicer than the other. The Azores was beautiful, I would definitely go there again...People say, Ireland is one of the prettiest countries, but, the Azores is gorgeous and has much better roads.
One other thing, I felt the cost of drinks on this ship was higher than I've ever seen...(last cruise was only 10 months prior)