We flew from Gatwick with no baggage belts not a good start but arrived at Palma still happy to join the Island Star first impressions of the ship were mediocre it looked a bit ragged lacking basic care and attention.
This description fitted the inside as well carpets grubby on stairs although our cabin inside allocated on arrival (late booking) was larger than we expected. The linen had seen its best with tears in the quilt cover, no change second week, yes one change per week. Towels we found ok the pool towels provided had seen better days.
Our first excursion around the ship revealed very dated and shabby furniture in the library theatre and other communal areas. although ship only 18 years old with alleged major refurbishment in 2006 nothing would appear to have been updated in public rooms.
Eating aboard was in the beachcomber, island restaurants which were buffet style. Beachcomber 24 hours, Island set times only difference you waited to be seated in the Island, the Grill was open 12 to 8pm
The fare in the beachcomber island was exactly the same, limited choice of hot vegetable limited to one per lunch and dinner. main courses lunch and dinner consisted of chicken and or fish every day with a stew of beef or other such. The grill served burgers chicken steaks or hot dogs. The other restaurants steakhouse and oasis were on payment the steakhouse was £35 for two which included a bottle of house wine. The oasis charged £30. per two. Generally the food in these was a good basic standard but very repetitive on the second week.
Hygiene we found poor by some passengers they did not use the disinfectant machines or wore no upper body clothing or shoes when getting food which was not corrected by restaurant staff.
We found the drink prices to be excessive comparable to city prices in the city of london with house plonk at "£10-45 a bottle named wines substantially more champagne up to £100-00 per bottle. Wine bought in Port not allowed on board. Basic tea and coffee provided everything else charged for.
Money grabbing was evident everywhere, bridge tour £5-00 photograph with capt. £10-00.
Maintenance of the ship very poor resulting in a lot of burst pipes poor paint finish and shabby decor toilets constantly not working backing up air condition breaking down propulsion systems breaking down, to name a few of the things that happened whilst on board. Everything geared to saving money to the detriment of the ship and its passengers.
The crew not the officers were the back bone of the ship. They were poorly rewarded and indeed the winebar stewards were not paid a basic wage but paid on commission basis subject to quota being met.
The company staff confirmed wages topped up by tips alleged pre paid although at time of writing unable to substantiate pre paid tips reached the crew.
The entertainment was not sampled as it did not appeal although others views were mediocre.
Excursions were not sampled as previous experience proved expensive and lacked polish and substance, supported from others who did take.
Overall the value for money was poor compared to what is on offer elsewhere. The ship needs a lot of work and attention to detail. We would not recommend this ship for cruising to anybody as it caters for people who do not expect much or indeed get it and know the difference.