I've never considered cruising to be something I would enjoy, however, when Wacken Open Air (German Heavy Metal Festival) announced the first Full Metal Cruise, my husband and I booked up straight away and we departed from Hamburg. The ship was wonderful, it was like living in a 5 star hotel with a music festival on the doorstep.
The food was fantastic and although I'm vegetarian, I always found plenty of things I could eat, plenty of fruit and salad and a very good italian restaurant, where you could as many pizza toppings or pasta sauce ingredients as you liked. Wine and beer and soft drinks were free all day, with spirits and cocktails included after 6pm. There were a good choice of bars to drink in, one of which I only discovered on the last night.
The staff were lovely and most spoke English, however, all announcements and written information was in German so we got a bit confused at times. Luckily a nice German passenger translated the lifeboat/safety announcement for us. I fully intend to go on Metal Cruise 2 in 2015 and I'm taking German lessons in preparation.
I was worried about feeling seasick but I needn't have been as the ship was very stable and the only time I was really conscious of it moving was when it was turning to come into port.
Embarkation took some time but I imagine this is normal when you have to check in so many people. We sat in the Hafen Cruise Centre and enjoyed the German lager until the crowds had gone down a bit anyway.
I can't comment on fitness and recreation or enrichment activities as I was there for the music, which did not dissappoint.
Regarding excursions, our first port of call was Southampton which is very near to Bournemouth, where we lived so there was not much point in us visiting Stonehenge or Salisbury, although the Germans enjoyed sightseeing.
We went to Le Havre by shuttle bus from the port and also Amsterdam, where you can just walk to the city from the ship.