I had my doubts about cruising and I'm still not entirely convinced but passed an enjoyable week on the Island Escape Souks and Sangria cruise. Personally I would prefer a beachand snorkelling etc.
Certainly more positives than negatives once we'd found our feet.
Had read reviews, but you have to read between the lines. After all this is the budget end of the market and you don't get 5 star luxury and three star prices.
The ship was quite good and well fitted with comfortable lounge and bar areas. We paid a supplement for a superior cabin and were satisfied with it apart from the uncomfortable beds.
Food was generally very good. The Beachcomber restaurant is a shambles though, more like a works canteen free-for-all. There are two more restaurants, one serving exactly the same menu as the Beachcomber but with set tables with tablecloths etc. The a la carte carries a small supplement (15 pounds for a fillet steak or lobster menu etc) with waiter service. Why anyone would want to eat regularly at the Beachcomber is a mystery to me, but plenty did.
One complaint of mine was the "Sports Bar" Champions Bar. Sorry, but having a dozen signed football shirts and Eurosport in German does not make a sports bar. On the night of our departure a "Champions League" Football night, what were they showing? - weightlfting!
Entertainment was of a generally good standard, unfortunately the theatre was quite small for the 1500 on board and needed queueing to ensure a seat. We spent most of our evenings in the Lookout Bar, with the excellent Stratford and Borrell, a duo with a seemingly endless and varied repertoire, virtually everything except opera and rap. Very capable musicians with Paula on flute and sax and Mark on guitar and vocals. Their rendition of Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street will be a long-standing memory of our first cruise. Paula's saxophone is a tremendous experience. Thanks guys.
The ports of call were pretty good (with the exception of Gibraltar, a little like Royston Vasey in the sun). If all you want is somewhere with English as a first language and M&S and Morrisons, then this is the place for you. Cartagena and Tangier were my favourites.
Very friendly staff always with a good day and a smile.
All in all a good experience. Would I do it again - possibly, but still prefer the beach