We have just returned from a Spring Cruise on the Island Escape, the second time we have cruised with Island Cruises on this ship. All inclusive worked very well without any obvious over indulgence. Local spirits aren't quite up to the standards we are used to at home, but that's what you expect when abroad. The food quality was good and although buffet style, the waiting staff were there to help when needed. Well done Ronnie our waiter, very helpful again.
The shows were of good standard with Johnny Mac providing humour and an Elvis Tribute a good sound alike and not taking himself too seriously. But it was the ships own entertainment crew which shone with outstanding personal contributions and superb dance routines. Well done to the cruise director Ross Roberts and his show team.
The excursions were very comprehensive although rather over priced, and the descriptions of trips purchased on-line did not always agree with what actually happened. One unfortunate incident when we landed in Toulon at 9.00am and disembarked for our 9.15 trip to Cassis only to be told that we did not have clearance from the French authorities to leave the ship. An hour of our port time wasted, although Captain David Thackray arranged to leave Toulon and hour and a half later than originally arranged to allow trips from St Tropez time to return. If you get the chance do not miss Cassis.
This may be considered a budget cruise and the ship so obviously ageing, but the staff and crew are all so helpful and friendly it really makes for a superb holiday and, as tipping is taken care of in the prices you pay, you only need to say "thanks" to those who really go out of their way to make your holiday special.
Disembarkation was a bit of a farce as we were going on to Palma Nova for a few days but were not allowed to travel until 11.30. That seemed to leave us at a loss for anything to do, and when we did finally get to leave we had to wait in line while new arrival buses were emptied of luggage. If we had been sent earlier we would not have been in the way.
However, if she's still sailing this will not be our last trip on the Island Escape.
None of the ports we visited are on the review list supplied, so just for the record, Palma, Ajaccio, Cititavecchia, Livorno, Toulon, Barcelona and back to Palma.