Felt compelled to write a review after our first cruise onboard the Island Escape. After booking (just one month before leaving) I read a few reviews and was initially a little concerned. No need to be whatsoever!! We have had a brilliant week (30/07/13 - 06/08/13). On arrival at Palma there was an Island Escape rep to show us where to go to get the bus to port. Got on bus, which left almost immediately and it took about 20mins or so to get to the ship. Your luggage is taken care of and delivered to your cabin (literally about 10mins after we got in it!). The whole embarkation process was quick, easy and extremely well organised, very impressed.
Onto the ship, cabin was an ok size, very, very clean indeed and plenty of storage for your clothes etc. Bathroom a little dated (as we expected after reading reviews) but again spotless and the shower was brilliant and hot water not a problem at any stage. Beds very comfy, cabin air conditioned and pitch black at night (if you want) ensuring a good nights sleep :)
Food & Drink - We ate breakfast in the Beachcomber restaurant each morning (Deck 10 - the most casual of the restaurants) and dinner in the Island Restaurant (Deck 6) a more formal restaurant. Could not complain about a single thing. Loads of choice, hot, fresh, lots of different meat dishes, fish, veggie dishes, sides, salads, fruits, bread, puddings.... People who complain must be the fussiest wotsits ever!!!!! We also paid to eat in the Oasis Restaurant (Deck 5 - a la carte dining), it costs 14.99 a head for a three course meal which was absolutely stunning, plus canapes and beautiful breads, coffee...etc and all your drinks are still all inclusive in there. The service was second to none - highly recommended and worth every penny - a bargain!!!
The all inclusive drinks were fine (unless you are really fussy and only want smirnoff vodka or named spirits). The draught lager was San Miguel, wine in the restaurants was fine, cocktails were good... no problems. Even the coke they use is Coca Cola.
Staff - Well, that's what makes this cruise fantastic!! Our cabin steward came about three+ times a day to check everything was clean, fresh and tidy, he was just lovely (well worth the extra tip!). The waiters and bar staff work so hard, always friendly, smiling and happy and can't do enough for you. The cleaning staff/crew are on the go non stop, the ship is kept so clean, it was lovely. Entertainment staff were absolutely brill, loved Tony Mac and Ross, made the evenings in the Bounty Lounge very enjoyable. The resident band in there 'The Switch' were also brilliant. Saw lots of very good quality live singers. There is something to do somewhere all day long!
Really enjoyed going to all the different ports. Calvi in Corsica was just beautiful and Barcelona was excellent. Some days we stayed on board, chilling by the pool or up on higher decks if you don't want to be around kids. We have children but were holidaying without them!! Sunbeds can be a problem but the only day we didn't get one was our 'day at sea' when you have every single person on board. Days in port people were on and off all day long so you could get a sunbed no problem.
We liked using the Sailaway Bar as we left port each evening (lovely bar staff)and we also used 'The Pub' a lot after leaving The Bounty Lounge at around midnight. The waiters in The Pub are a real laugh :) The singers in The Pub were excellent. The Casino is also worth a visit if you like that sort of thing (left there very late indeed a few nights!)and if you fancy a real late night and a dance there is a nightclub on the top deck (also very good!!).
All in all, we had an amazing week on the Island Escape, loads of food, drink, clean cabin, clean ship, excellent staff and entertainment, what more can you ask for..?!
If you are booked to go you are gonna have a great time!!!!
Definitely looking to go back onboard next year :) :) :)