My wife and I have just returned from an outstanding cruise.
Yes the embarkation process took time simply due to the fact that the majority of passengers arrived at virtually the same time. However, we were all processed with courtesy and in an efficient manner. Our cabins were ready and lunch was available.
The emergency drill was carried out with efficiency and all instructions were very clear. This was certainly reassuring.
Our cabin was maintained in a spotless condition by a courteous Irifan, our cabin housekeeping staff member. Our bed was made up each day with clean sheets and pillow cases, as well as clean towels in the bathroom each day.
The food in the L' Approdo Restaurant was excellent. Our dining experience throughout the cruise was made so pleasurable by our two wonderful waiters, Mochammed Hasanudin and Agnelo Fernandes. We looked forward to dinner each day. Every menu was exciting and different. We both agreed that the Carvalla Restaurant did not have the same atmosphere, was cramped and to some extent claustrophobic. The staff were less friendly and the service not as good. The buffet was very good although it depended entirely on whether we beat the stampeding masses or not. I must say that I have never seen so many bad mannered people who push and shove in one place at the same time, people who stack their plates with food which they then do not finish (cases of their eyes were larger than their stomachs).
Entertainment at all levels and in all venues was very well organised to suit all tastes. The nightly shows in the theatre were simply fantastic. An entirely different show was presented every night ranging from classical music to opera to ventriloquist to Spanish dance to song and dance - each brilliant.
The excursions were very well organised. Disembarkation was very well organised end executed. I do believe that passengers could have been allowed until 08:00 instead of 07:00 to vacate their cabins. Nevertheless, that is a small criticism.
The reception staff were always friendly and helpful.
I must say, that having read many cruise reviews and having met some of the constantly moaning, hard to please type passengers which one has on any cruise, I firmly believe that they are in the minority. It is unfortunate that their negative reviews dominate the cruise reviews and that more satisfied passengers fif not submit their reviews. If this were the case, the negative reviews would, I am sure, pale into insignificance.
I would finally like to add that the moaners quickly become known by the crew and those people tend to then have more and more to complain about whereas the pleasant passengers who even when they do encounter a minor problem, approach it in a pleasant manner, those problems are quickly and simply resolved.