We decided to go on a cruise to celebrate our big birthdays, but wanted something informal and fun, which would be within our somewhat limited budget. The Island Escape was all these things and gave use the holiday of a lifetime - at least until next time! We were able to upfrade free of charge to the all-inclusive option, which meant we did not have to worry about any hidden expenses whilst on the cruise. The only things we needed to pay for were the excursions of which we took three. The other two days we were happy to simply go ashore and check out the ports, which was always very simple and well organised, and gave us a great deal of flexibility.
The ship itself was just the right size and, being disabled, meant that everything was easily accessible. We could come back after our day out and have dinner, go to the theatre, enjoy thethe music in the pub and the a late night drink all within easy reach. The staff were so helpful and friendly - nothing was too much trouble and empty glasses and plates were whisked away and fresh drinks brought constantly. The choice of food was fantastic, all of a very high quality and constantly fresh, and there were 3 different restaurants to suit your mood, although we preferredthe Beachcomber restaurant because it was so relaxed and informal, and we could even sit outside and enjoy the sunshine or sunset. We went to the theatre most nights and the shows were excellent quality in a very relaxed setting. The Sundowner bar provided live music, with a brilliant rock guitarist in Assen, who we thought was fantastic, but there were different acts to suit different tastes throughout the night to keep everyone happy.
Some people chose to dress in their finery, whilst others were happy to remain casual throughout the cruise, but whichever option you chose youfelt comfortable and at ease. We found the other holidaymakers to be extremely pleasant and friendly, but did not feel compelled to mix with other people if we didn't want to.
Our excursions visited Pisa, Rome and a round Corsica tour, which were hugely enjoyable andvery easy to do in view of my disability, and with excellent guides at each place. It was possible to do just as much or as little as you wanted and so we were able to engineer the perfect holiday - each day brought the excitement of a different place with no constant packing and unpacking, resulting in a hugely enjoyable (and hopefully soon to be repeated) experience.