We are no strangers to cruising and travel to all parts of the world. This vessel was chosen as it gave us the option of a Xmas cruise. However, I regret not doing my homework prior to sailing and hope this review will deter others from making the mistake we did.
The boat is beyond its sell by date and no amount of touch up paint, new mastic seals etc can hide the serious problems affecting it. Major problems were encountered on our cruise including the human waste disposal system malfunctioning resulting in many travellers being asked to leave the ship and stay overnight in a hotel(the best night of the cruise !!)whilst the problem was rectified. We returned aboard to find the problem was now intermittent and not persistent a status which remained for the duration of the 14 day cruise.Due to this health and hygiene will always be compromised. Our outside view cabin was small with a picture window and basic facilities - no fridge, tea/coffee making facilities or hair dryer. Forget the slippers, dressing robes, chocolates on the pillow or a news sheet. However, if you want a hair dryer staff services will provide one on a first come first served basis under threat of "you will have to pay for it if you damage it".
Rumours will always circulate faster than a bush fire but we heard that people had returned to the UK early in the cruise having witnessed the overall state of the ship, including a honeymoon couple. Others were organising petitions, threatening legal action and exposure in the media.
There is ample food on board, albeit simple and lacking imagination. To enjoy a little indulgence, ie waiter service, you will add handsomely to your expenditure.
For days at sea or during inclement weather do not expect to be watching blockbuster movies to while away the hours nor should you expect reasonable entertainment on your cabin TV - it does not happen. There is no promenade deck for exercise or an an evening stroll although there is a small fitness suite.
Now for the irony - we actually enjoyed our cruise for the following reasons : 1. The multinational staff were superb, always available with a smile on their face despite the plethora of complaints. 2. The people we integrated with were fabulous, like us they had decided 'we are here now so we might as well make the most of it'. Together we made it enjoyable for each other although we were surrounded by those persistently moaning about the same problems which, quite simply, were not going to disappear unless this vessel is taken out of service.
Think before you book, you have been warned