We had watched eagerly as this ship was being built very excited for our trip on May 7. The ship was beautiful, clean still smelling fresh. The carpet was not warn, the windows and hand rails still clean and shining. We had sailed before but not on a new ship and I would recommend the experience.
Embarkation - was a disappointment as we had priority boarding but there was no such thing.
We found our cabin with ease and was greeted a very short time later with our luggage. We had fantastic cabin stewards Salvatore and Jose. Nothing was a bother to them they had our rooms cleaned quickly and quietly every day and they went out of their way to make our trip excellent.
The cabin was lovely, its the first time we travelled at the back of the ship and I was concerned about the noise (what noise) there was nothing but the sound of waves, which was beautiful. Being at the back gives you all views and with the ship docking in with the aft towards the town it was a perfect greeting to each port.
We were very disappointed with the main dining room. The food was just not as good as previous cruises we had taken with other ships. We found the meals to be cold and not very pleasant, a few times we just left it or returned the meal to the kitchen. I expected much better food. The bistro upstairs for dinner was ok but it did not have the selection that it did for lunch and it seemed to be the left overs from lunch (same deserts, same pasta selection etc).
Breakfast and lunch were always too crowded to find a seat but if you skip breakfast and go right at noon for lunch you can get a seat.
The biggest issue we had was the fact that staff in the food areas allowed people to pick up food with their hands. We thought in this day and age that this would be stopped. It was rather disgusting to see a grown woman pick up bacon with her fingers out of the tray warmer or a man pick up a sausage and eat it there in front of you and go in for another helping. Somehow this has to be addressed.
I thought their shops on board were lovely but a bit overpriced. The shows on board were on par with other ships except the second last night when the show was a kind of Cirque du soleil performance. It was truly amazing.
Loved the Martini Bar with its iced counter, the Passport bar with wonderful Barbara serving and the entertainment every night in the Foyer was really very good.
This cruise was for the older generation with the average age being 65 - 75 yrs. A lot of English as this left from Southampton.
We found the shore excursions were quite good, overpriced of course but when your going to a foreign country you have not been too its always best to go on a tour. We spent a lot of money on the excursions but in the end I think it was worth it. However there were a lot of older people complaining about the amount of walking. You must make sure you read the details before booking. They tell you the approx amount of walking that is involved.
If the ship improved its food and service in the dining room I would have no hesitation in going on this ship again.