My parents and I spent 7 nights on the Island Escape in August on the Mediterranean Adventure cruise. We all loved it.
After spending 7 nights in a hotel in Majorca, we were taken to the ship late morning. Thomsons picked us up from our hotel and arranged everything. Embarkation was very efficient and well organised. Our luggage was taken off the minibus at the port and returned to us in our cabins. Mine was there when I got to my cabin, but my parents didn't arrive until later. My first impression of the cabin was that it was quite small, but had everything I'd need and was very clean. My steward, Mario, was very nice. As I was in a single cabin, he would knock on my door to check I had everything I needed and would always bring me ice when I asked for it. The towel animals I found in the cabin were also a very nice touch. I requested a hairdryer from Guest services, which was fine. It was free, as long as it was returned at the end of the cruise
There are 3 restaurants on board, the Island, the Beachcomber and the Oasis. The Oasis is a'la carte and has a cover charge. We never ate there, so can't really comment, though I glanced at the menu, which seemed quite varied. The Island Restaurant is open at certain times and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, while the Beachcomber is open 24 hours. We ate in the Island for Breakfast and dinner, as we preferred the atmosphere there. There was a good selection of both hot and cold food for breakfast, including everything for a full English and cold meats and cheeses. Omelettes were also available on request. At dinner, there was always a carved joint, which varied each night. There were also 3 or 4 other main courses including something with fish. There were always 2 or 3 vegetarian option, a selection of side dishes and a pasta dish. For a starter or a lighter meal, there were always cold meats, 2 pasta or other specialist salads usually containing meat or fish, other fresh salad and a soup. There was always a hot pudding served with custard and about 4 other cold desserts. Cheese and biscuits were also available. Overall, we found the food fine, with a good choice, though my mother, who is a very picky eater and prefers very plain food, could struggle to find something to eat. We rarely had problems being seated. We liked to sit by the window, as we liked to look out. The tables are quite large, so we usually had to share, but everyone we met seemed very pleasant and no one forced their company on us, so if people feel uncomfortable making conversation, that wouldn't be a problem. Water was always served with the meal. We would always drink wine or beer with dinner, which was fine. We also saw people with soft drinks, but don't know what other drinks could be served. Coffee was also served after the meal. With breakfast, tea or coffee or fruit juices were available.
We were usually on shore at lunchtime, but would have afternoon tea, which was available from the beachcomber when we got back. There were sandwiches and cake available, which could be taken out and eaten on deck. We would normally sit on deck 11, rather than by the pool, as we found it more relaxing. Activities were available by the pool or in other bars for those who would like to join in. We weren't bothered, but saw some of what was going on and everyone involved seemed to be enjoying themselves. The entertainment team worked very hard though. At night, there were several places to go. To me, there was plenty to do. There was always a show, which was brilliant and different every night. Some nights, there was a cabaret, while on other nights, there were a guest singer, a tribute act or a comedian. The show was usually shown twice, apart from on the first night, so we would see the later one, then have drinks in the Pub/Sundowner, where there was live music. There were other bars, but we didn't go to them, so I can't comment.
The drinks on the all inclusive were fine to us. The wine was nice and there was a good selection of cocktails and soft drinks. The beer is either Boddingtons or San Miguel, though we usually went for San Miguel. The only minor issue was that my mother drinks Scotch Whiskey and found what was on the All Inclusive undrinkable, so would drink branded. I felt the same about the white rum. This meant we had to pay a small cover charge, but that is personal opinion and other people would probably find them fine.
We didn't go on any excursions, preferring to do our own thing. The information provided was fine, including maps of the places where we were and the time we needed to be back.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable first cruise, with just one or two minor issues and I would definitely go back.