Boarding was a breeze. We were on with no meet or greet, in fact little staff and felt intruders. Noticeable was the low ceilings in many cases held up by several pop rivets, cheaply wallpapered (in some cases simply cut around door ways), patched carpeting (replaced only in cabins / areas requiring such) and dreadful paintings.
The only bright spot was the refurbished library but unfortunately this was a walk through area from the dining room to lounge. Two of the better areas were more-or-less out of bounds, the front lounge and rear upper 'bridge club'. The Gym was a tacked on portacom, upper stern, taking up valuable deck space which should have been an extended upper dinning area of the veranda restaurant.. This was hopelessly overcrowded. Basically the ships layout worked against any interior improvements without major redesign.
The ship rocked in the slightest seas, noisy particularly around the swimming pool area, which was empty most of the time, had under powered side thrusters, and cavitated possibly because of the fins added to the rear to try and stabilise the ship. The tenders were questionable - 5 ports of call were missed from printed brochure. Power - generator failure occurred three times at sea not related to missed port of calls.
The meals were good, and to be expected repeated on a 95 day cruise. However items did run out - particularly fruit. This was ironic as we were in Central America and a day excursion trip was to a Banana plantation. The ship would only pick up pre arranged containing loadings of supplies at various ports, which had been preloaded in Germany of all places. It has to be poor when the Hotel manager apologies in a captain's meeting explaining they can only carry 80Ton of provisions where-as discovery 120 Tons
It appeared top land based management had loss of interest in their ship. Certainly, from the ship captain down were very apologetic with reference to their previous ship.. And dont be fooled by advertised accolades. VOD is a one ship line and awards were for the previous ship M V Discovery.
Of course Ports of destination are to ones choice and if one can accept back packing - go for it.