Overall the cruise wasn't bad but there were minor faults that built up leading me to drop my cruise rating from 4 in the early stages of the cruise to bottom. I have no complaints about the cabin, the steward or the food in the Dining room. However one of the highlights of any previous cruise I have taken is the shows. I'm afraid to say that with the exception of the Freddie Mercury Tribute, all the shows that I saw ( and there weren't that many) were dire.
For example on day one it was swing music. I am in my seventies and yes I like some swing music but my musical formative years included Elvis Presley, The Beatles etc. Yet the troupe sang a medley of swing songs that in itself wouldn't be so bad but one guy couldn't reach high notes and the other couldn't reach high or low without looking as though he was going to burst a gut. Unfortunately their version of 'Mack The Knife' has totally destroyed my memory of the Bobby Darin version. A few nights later they had 3 ladies performing songs by the Andrews Sisters who I think reached their peak before I was born. I don't feel old but I wonder who decides on the performers for cruises because they certainly made me feel old. The Freddie Mercury tribute performed to packed houses and the audience really participated and enjoyed his performance, finishing to rapturous applause. Maybe a pointer to the type of entertainment that should be supplied.
The Captain's messages to passengers could not be heard when on the pool deck, food in the Buffet was OK but the hot food (alleged) often was not labelled and nothing to write home about. The waiters were always hovering to literally snatch trays and used dishes from the table so meals there were never relaxing. Drinks waiters appeared to be too laid back ( possibly because not on commission) and to cap it all the arrangements for passengers to leave early with their own luggage was farcical, inept and nobody seemed to care that possibly 100 plus people were kept waiting, sweating in a corridor, without information whilst crew members walked past with cups of coffee, entered their offices and pulled the curtain over.
It culminated after we had waited about 45 minutes on all of us having to carry our luggage up two decks using the lifts. All it would have taken was for somebody to have stationed a crew member on each deck near the lifts ensuring that some were exclusively available for us to take our luggage. It wasn't done and we had to wait until those going for breakfast left one free that actually reached the deck we were on. More delay and frustration as we entered a large area of the arrival lounge and had to queue for another lift which took a maximum of 5 people and luggage on each trip. Tempers were getting frayed and one passenger yelled 'Thanks for Screwing Up our Holiday' I couldn't have agreed more but sadly I really don't think that any crew member cared.