Having cruised with Celebrity and Royal Carib. I was a bit worried when I read the reviews at the beginning of the year. This cruise was booked by friends who had never cruised before and they booked right. The more recent reviews are nearer the mark. With buffet service your evenings are not run around eating times. Gentlemen tend not to wear jeans and shorts at night. Trousers and shirts/polos being the order of the day (casual nights on formal ships).
I found the food to be very good, not as fancy but good and on the whole British. The 24 hour (and it is!)upstairs has exactly the same food as the downstairs which is also buffet but with semi-waiter service. If you are on your own the latter is good as they sit you at tables with strangers/ new friends. I would not exactly call the upstairs crockery "plastic" you would only know because of the weight or if you threw it at the wall.
The cabins are to get a refurb. but where no where near as bad as stated in other reports. For the all inclusive drinks package to work you have to drink £50 per night per couple, the drink is pub prices £2-90 per pint, not bad. The theatres are not the same as the 3 tier theatres on the large ships but the shows and entertainers where very enjoyable. It was a bit like social clubs in the 80's and 90's.
The excursions where good, but always check to see if the port itself is enough for you. I am a tour guide so I tend to do a lot of excursions. In Villefranche be aware for a few pounds the local train will take you to Monaco, Nice or as we did Cannes.
All in all a great break.FANTASTIC Staff, as courteous and attentive as any "posh" ship. Oh by the way if you are a cruise snob you will find things to pick at but on a cruise in Patagonia in the Beagle sound we where looking at a "Blue Glacier carving out the side of a mountain in glorious sunshine and we heard 2 Americans discuss whether the sweets on Celebrity where up to there usual standards. Some people are never happy. The rest will enjoy The Island Escape. A wee bit Butlins A wee bit 70's/80's A Big Bit Fun.