Ship - Accommodation & Service - 4/5
The ship lived up to its reputation and our Junior Suite accommodation was superb. It was probably the best cabin we have had on a number of cruises with perhaps the exception of the QM2. Things were spoilt a little on the second day when we noticed a terrible smell seeming to come from the bathroom which totally pervaded the whole cabin. We complained, but it lasted for a day and an uncomfortable night before it was fixed.
Another minor negative was the laundry service which we were advised when booking was free for our class of cabin. I did however check with reception and was told there that it was not free. Unfortunately I did not have the booking advice with me, but I later raised this with the cruise director who also informed me that he was unaware of it being free. We later received an apology with the information that it was in fact complimentary and that there had been "a communication error”.
The ships crew were all very friendly, helpful and efficient.
Food on the whole was good and quite varied. Breakfast and lunch was buffet style, but for some reason, food in bain-marie’s presumably meant to be hot was only luke warm. There was an egg station at breakfast which was good, but for at least 2 days this was not manned.
Dinner was either served at your table or buffet style. Because of the weather all meals except one were served in the dining room. We found the food to be of high quality and varied although towards the end of our 7 day trip it did become a little monotonous and again some dishes were served luke warm when they should have been much hotter.
Wine and beer was complimentary with meals and was based on good European selections. The wine waiters kept it coming and you did not have to wait too long for your glass to be filled. Personally, I would have liked to have seen more information on the wine including the type of grape and the wine waiters did not (unless asked) show you the bottle label.
As with all cruises a daily information sheet was left in your cabin in the evening. This contained good information on the next port of call, but did not include any weather forecast which considering the weather was a little inclement at times, would have been useful.
The maps provided of the various places we stopped at were also a little hit and miss. Some of them good, others unreadable. We usually found out where the local tourist office was situated and obtained a map there. Not sure why Seacloud could not source these maps from the various tourist offices?
Docking was either right at the local town dock, somewhat outside of the town or off-shore and we caught the tender in. Considering Seacloud’s size I would have thought that docking in the town would have always been the preferred and feasible option. I would be interested to know why this did not occur in Dubrovnik for example.
Wi-Fi was available, but as on most cruise ships and as expected, performance was not very good. However cost was quite minimal at E10 for a 24 hour period, but there was no reception on the Promenade Deck where our cabin was situated. I am sure the technology is available to provide a ship-wide service.
All excursions were at additional cost. We did however know this when we booked, but did not know the actual cost of the various excursions offered until almost before the cruise. Excursion costs averaged around E50 per person for a 2 to 3 hour itinerary and in our view were expensive and poor value.
The cruise overall was a great experience due mainly to the quality of Seacloud II itself and the lovely Croatian coast we cruised down and the little towns we stopped in. Although there were some negatives, but with the exception of the room odour issue they did not detract from our overall enjoyment. Would we sail with them again? Probably not, but it has given us a taste for Croatia and we would perhaps like to return to this area and spend more time.