We had done over 30 cruises all over the world but had neglected our own green and pleasant land, so we decided to book this British Isles cruise on Adonia in order to explore places, such as the Isle of Man and Jersey, that we had not visited before.
Adonia is a small ship (by today's standards) only holding 710 passengers, which we actually prefer to the floating blocks of flats carrying thousands of people. We had been on the "Azamara Journey" in 2011 and Adonia is identical, as she is one of a series of eight ships built.
We had booked a balcony cabin at the rear of the ship, and this was spacious with twin beds pushed together, lots of mirrors and plenty of drawer and hanging space. The bathroom, however, was tiny and the shower gel, shampoo, conditioner etc a cheap generic brand, unlike the Temple Spa toiletries that P&O used to provide.
The staircases, carpets, curtains and other furnishings and decor on the ship are well-designed and plush, and there are several elegant rooms where passengers can enjoy a drink, relax, socialise or just watch the world go by.
As this cruise was Southampton round-trip, didn't involve any flying and had ports of call in Britain we correctly predicted that the majority of the passengers would be in their later years and indeed we were informed that the average age was 69. The entertainment was therefore geared to this age group and, as previous reviewers have written, the bars tended to clear out pretty much after 10.30pm most nights.
We dined in the Pacific restaurant and the food and service were top-notch, no complaints there at all. There was a good selection of dishes and a comprehensive wine list. We thought the food in the restaurant was better than that served in the Conservatory self-service buffet which, although adequate and plentiful, tended to be a bit repetitive.
Entertainment in the Curzon lounge varied: we had a female Shirley Bassey wannabe singer, a very good pianist, a dated comedian and an excellent bass-baritone operatic singer, Anthony Stuart Lloyd, who we've seen on two previous cruises. The Adonia Theatre company were not as good as some we've seen on previous cruises; one of the female singers was obviously an ex-stage school performer who tried to hard and had a screechy voice with two much vibrato. Predictably, their shows consisted of excerpts from music theatre (West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, yawn)
The ship's orchestra, Quintessence, were brilliant and often did themed performances such as a Glenn Miller evening and a tribute to jazz.
Daytime entertainment consisted of talks, craft classes, quizzes etc and was a bit limited because deck activities were thwarted somewhat by the typical British weather (cold and windy, but at least dry).
Ports of call were: Dublin, Scrabster, Greenock, Holyhead, Cobh, Jersey and back to Southampton. We should have been visiting Douglas in the Isle of Man but Force 9 winds and a very choppy Irish Sea prevented the ship was dropping anchor and ferrying the passengers ashore in the tenders. This was a disappointment but the weather is something that is out of the cruise line's control.
All in all, we had a very pleasant cruise on a lovely ship, ate decent and plentiful food, and visited some interesting ports of call. But the vagaries of the British weather reminded us of why we tend to venture further afield when cruising, and we don't know if we'd do another cruise around Britain.