It took 2 hours to board due to the incompetence of the check in staff --utter chaos at Southampton .We heard later that the same thing happened to the passengers boarding at Rotterdam . Once aboard we found to our dismay that , as smokers ,that the smoking areas were not as described when we enquired when we booked .Even worse the policy on this is still false on the web page terms and conditions (page 16) listing several areas inside and on all open decks-in fact smokers are actually restricted to half of an open deck at the rear of the ship
After a few days we found that the food was never hot in The Lido buffet dining and the same in the main restaurant. The Tv channels in the cabin and other lounges gradually disappeared off the screens. First was ESPN as we passed Suez,the day of the Australian tennis open semi finals which many had gone to Mix bar to watch. The annoying thing was that staff lied to guests with excuses like --satellite fault --mountains blocking the signal (no mountains within 40 miles in the Suez area)--a different excuse to different guests (they didnt seem to realize guests talked to each other )---next all the channels except Fox news went blank --again the same excuses--different excuse to different guests.
Once in the Red Sea at Safarga ,a blackout after sunrise was announced because of the threat of pirates so all outside decks were in total darkness,much to the dismay of all the smokers who used the only smoking area Even more annoying after checking on the NATO site giving advise to shipping re piracy there is no danger in the Red Sea. After 6 days of blackout we were passing ships lit up like Christmas trees in the Persian Gulf while we travelled in darkness all the way to Dubai.
One afternoon a notice appeared on the doors to the rear outside main deck (The Retreat) saying it would be closed for cleaning.We asked why close it for the afternoon and early evening and were told it had to be done then 'as it was in the schedule'--so it couldn't be changed --the same thing happened on the Promenade deck when passengers were cleared for scheduled cleaning in the afternoon ,,until so many complained it was abandoned
The Lido Buffet had 2 sides for serving and was open till 8pm---not late especially for those who had been off ship but at 7.15 each night one side closed causing queues on the other side so service was painfully slow, even more colder food .Even worse on the side that closed ,the staff would start vacuuming around the diners
The drinks on board are very expensive ,the trips too expensive and the ports visited changed without prior notice since the original itinery. The 'happy hour' has been abandoned since the previous cruise by this ship A guest commented that it reminded him of a company taken over by accounts---squeeze more revenue out of the customers for the least possible services
Many other small things wrong on this cruise ,during which many people e mailed complaints to their travel agents By far the worse ship we have ever been on and we have done many cruises.