Just returned from a New Years cruise from Southampton to the Canaries. The Highlights were Madeira for New Year, where there was a fantastic atmosphere during the day and then the firework display which was absolutely fantastic. If you get the chance to go there for New Year - go.
Sindhu speciality restaurant was extremely good. Lovely attentive service, spacious and the food was easily of Michelin starred quality. Undoubtedly the best Indian food I have ever eaten!
Now the downside- This ship despite being relatively modern is showing signs of wear.
The design of the ship also made it act rather unusually in rough weather, with a lot of sideways vibration and some huge occasional bangs where it 'slapped' the water after coming through a wave (but this was a force 11....)
In the main dining restaurant the food, whilst having the odd gem, was repetitive and predictable. Fish and chips and roast beef, no matter how described and presented are still exactly what they are. Having said this the food was of a fairly good standard and well presented.
The same with buffet lunches - Little variation, especially in the cold section.
The entertainment was the worst aspect. Why they have all these short shows, repeated in the same venue, in various bars around the ship is beyond me. You end up watching a 45 minute show then walking to the next bar for the next show. You therefore tend to spend a considerable amount of the evening walking to venues and trying to find a seat(a suggestion would be to move the entertainers around and not the passengers! - They may even sell more drinks that way...) The entertainment tended to be totally outdated (loads of quizzes, bingo and karaoke every day)and geared to 'middle of the road' pensioners. The headlining guest celebrity was Tom O'Conner (need I say more!)
The dance lessons were held in the Atrium (so overlooked by everyone) but as this is a relatively small area this soon became congested, with couples repeatedly treading on each other's feet and barging into each other (why not hold the dance classes in one of the bars with a reasonable size dance floor?).
Another gripe was that children were allowed in all the bars unsupervised even late at night (we had a couple of kids sitting in the Casino area of Brodie's well after midnight on a black tie night, they literally sitting at the bar, playing around. This bar was immediately adjacent to the Roulette table).
The staff tended to be cold and distant and too eager to take orders and clear plates as fast as they possibly could (I suspect that the bar staff were on a targeted bonus scheme given the way they acted). There were notable exceptions to this but these particular people stood out a mile and were few and far between.