After booking a transatlantic cruise on impulse when some friends suggested we take advantage of the low price opening offer I read all the reviews and was dreading it. To be honest we very nearly cancelled ! However we can honestly say we really enjoyed our three weeks on the ship and when you consider what we paid it is easy to forget the niggles .
Firstly the pros ...The ship is beautiful and kept spotlessly clean .As are the cabins ..we got our flight to Brazil on air miles and had to fly out early so did a three day mini cruise first. We had to have an ocean view cabin for this and moved to a balcony on deck 13 for the main ocean voyage .Both cabins had everything we needed and were kept immaculately clean and we had fresh towels twice daily .Bathrobes only in the balcony cabin however .
I found the staff to be , without exception ,incredibly friendly and very patient even with some very demanding and at times rude passengers who did not treat them with courtesy .However a decent command of English was the exception rather than the rule !The food was variable but unless you are incredibly fussy you will not go hungry ! Breakfast was excellent with plenty of choice and lots of exotic fruit .Lunch was variable as was dinner at times .The fish was usually very good but the meat was nearly always tough and not cooked properly .This didn't bother me as I love fish anyway but my husband prefers meat and was not happy ! Dinner is 5 courses if you want though so you can always fill up with other things ! The steak in the Tex Mex was excellent though if you were prepared to pay extra ! Now the cons ..it is a very big and noisy ship and it was hard to find a quiet spot away from the loud music .The back of deck 15 was usually quiet as others have said .We were quite anti-social and spent a lot of time on the balcony as the poolside activities were definitely not us!
Embarkation in Brazil was a nightmare as nobody spoke English or could tell us what was going on .We were there quite early however after an overnight flight so everyone was getting off the previous cruise at the same time .Lack of communication was a definite problem though .We did our own thing in port so I can't comment on the excursions which seemed expensive .The fitness centre was good but often very busy unless you were there before 8am! To sum up ...for the price we paid it was very good value .Don't expect the same standard of food as on say Celebrity but on the plus side we didn't come home any fatter for once !!The staff though made the cruise for us as they were all very cheerful and friendly despite working very long hours .They wear badges saying where they are from and it would have been a help to know if they spoke any extra languages too. One young girl who was sweeping the buffet floor had the best English on the ship and should definitely be used to greater effect !