Do not let the negative 1 star reviews put you off completely! However, I do agree with some of the points made by the 3 star or less reviews. Firstly, I do agree that the cabins did not look anything like they were made out to be in the brochure! This did make me and my mum feel a little :/ when we walked in the room. The room is dated, no doubt, the pictures aren't very nice, the TV's are old and the beds look nothing like they are made out to be! However, this room really is only for sleeping and for the price you're paying you can't expect anything outstanding, I slept fine for 2 weeks and I have trouble falling asleep, it's not the best bed but not the worst either, I think most people will be able to put up with the quality of the beds. ANOTHER POINT I MUST POINT OUT IS MAKE SURE YOU CHOOSE YOUR CABIN CAREFULLY! Me and my mum were on deck 8 towards the front of the ship with an outside window, and no word of a lie, we were shaking constantly for the first week until we had to DOWNGRADE for a better room. Basically you could feel the shuddering of the boat constantly and we were honestly shaking from side to side, this is not to say we didn't sleep but it's not something you should have to put up with. Only a selected few had the same problem as us and we also think it was because we were so close to the white barrels that help balance the ship, they juddered from side to side and we believed this was the cause. BEST PLACE IS MID SHIP, MID CABINS! We felt nothing in the second week, completely no movement and slept fine!
The food really isn't so bad, the pizza is a little poor but for all inclusive you can't complain, don't expect anything exceptional like steaks or anything but they have good puddings and have different themed food nights on almost every night, like I say, it is what is it, just enjoy.
Also, i've read numerous times that the crew make up for where the ship itself fails and I have to agree that this is COMPLETELY TRUE. The staff and crew work their arses off and are funny and polite and you meet some good people who work really hard.
The entertainment is good, all the singers are class and the dancer are very good, they put on a different show every night and is quite good, again it is what it is, don't expect broadway but enjoy it for what is is.
I think the best part of the entire cruise is the fact that you get to know a lot of people and the crew including the Cruise director and the assistant cruise director are so funny, they have class banter with the quests and put in loads of effort to say they must do it all the time.
Also the oasis restaurant is a must, the food was quality, a starter and main and a pudding for 14.99 pp is quality.
The only problem we had was with some of the excursions, eg: Monte Carlo. DO NOT PAY FOR AN EXCURSION if and I say if you are docking in Villefranche for Monaco and Monte Carlo because you can get the train for like 2.50 return! Also I would suggest in my opinion to book the option of doing trips on your own, so for example, Florence on your own 9.5 hours, you get a chance to walk around by yourself and you aren't rushed, you obviously get dropped off and picked up and this is better I think, I would have booked all the excursions we went on with the option of going by yourself but that is my opinion, I am only 21 and wasn't put off by the fact you had the find your own way around.
Overall, I would book with Island escape again, I loved the crew, the banter, the shows, the game shows etc and especially the people! For what you pay and what you get, remember IT IS WHAT IT IS and it's not that bad. I would recommend to people no doubt just remember also MID SHIP MID CABIN AND DON'T EXPECT P&O TYPE SERVICES ETC.