Very mixed experience, ship felt very overcrowded and we had to queue for everything. Waited for 20 minutes to be served at the Ben and Jerry's/ Starbucks counter and then gave up waiting. Found it difficult to find tables and seats in the Windjammer restaurant and in bars and other seating areas.
Evening meal table was in a very poor location, tucked in a corner with the only view into the clearing away area. Restaurant staff were really attentive and friendly. Food was high quality. Not much variety or suitable things for kids mostly just pizza and chips. We were sat with other people for evening meal and if we went to a sit down breakfast. There wasn't a choice, we would have preferred to sit on our own as it was awkward at times.
Had 2 promenade view cabins with interconnecting doors, cabins good, very clean, stewards were fantastic. Was worried cabin would be noisy as above a bar but sound proofing very good. Would recommend having outside cabin or balcony as constantly having artificial lighting is unpleasant as lighting is very dim.
Everything on board is very expensive and when docking in port bus transfers out of the port were $15 each, even for the children. We avoided the coach and got local taxis which were much cheaper. Sea pass cards are used to pay for things. Kids can use theirs too which resulted in a huge arcade bill and shop bill from chocolate ($50 for 5 bars of chocolate). Excursions were really expensive $125-275 so we didn't do any.
My 16 and 10 year old thought the activity clubs for their age group were old fashioned and outdated. Swimming pools were freezing so people sat in the hot tubs and swimming pools were mostly unused.
The talks and activities seemed geared up to trying to sell you a product at the end of it which was a bit uncomfortable at times. Went to a Pilates class, the instructor didn't ask about injuries or offer basic beginner moves and seemed to find it amusing when a couple of people struggled with some of the exercises. Overall fitness staff were not friendly or helpful.
Guest services staff were not very helpful and didn't seem to know what was happening on the ship. When we asked if they had a map of le Harvre on of the ports of call they gave us a map of Paris and insisted that was le Harvre.
The ice show was fantastic and the cast who also ran the open skating sessions were brilliant. The dance show was also fantastic.
Getting on and off ship and parking at Southampton hassle free and organized.
Overall some highs and lows, glad we experienced a cruise but wouldn't do it again.
Ship dock in walking distance to town and places of interest. Good restaurants, nice town.