My partner embarked at Avonmouth on the 27th April, we chose the cruise as it was in easy reach of Cornwall and I had always wanted to go round the British Isles. I also wanted to convince my partner that smaller ship cruising was as good as the larger ships.
Embarkation was quick and efficient and our bags were already outside the cabin before us. The cabin was an outside cabin on deck 4, and was a disappointment, being quite small and twin bedded instead of the double bed I had asked for, and payed for a better cabin to get. However this was quickly rectified and the beds were converted.
The first days voyage was from Avonmouth to Liverpool and there were a lot of people just doing the one day cruise. I was rather shocked at the bar prices, a glass of rather poor house wine costing £6.00. In any event the first day was quite lively with a good atmosphere on board.
A large number of guests embarked at Liverpool and the ship set sail for the Orkneys. Imagine my surprise when I found a new price list in the bars and that all the prices had gone down, it seems we were penalised for the first day.
The weather became very rough although my partner and I were not affected, many people became seasick. The Captains cocktail party was cancelled because of the weather.
After we left the Orkneys the Captain announced that due to several cases of gastro-intestinal infection several measures had to be taken. This meant the Lido buffet, the gym, spa and library were all shut. Meals had to be all taken in the dining room which were all chaotic, except for the two sitting dinner, which was almost normal. The dining room was very cramped and very noisy. The food at dinner was usually quite good although wine prices were high, higher than most other ships I have been on. Breakfast, however was a disaster, with food taking ages to come and when it did it was generally cold and almost inedible.
Meanwhile the ship was being sprayed with chemicals daily and smelt terrible. My partner had a fall when she slipped on a patch that had just been sprayed.
We spent as much time as we could off the ship in the various ports of call which were all well worth visiting.
We disembarked at Falmouth and on the morning of disembarkation I came down with a stomach bug, which now, two days later is somewhat better.
Unfortunately, far from convincing my partner of the joys of small cruise ships it has made her vow never to go on another one.