Just recovered from a very nasty illness caught I'm sure from our neighbour who sneezed constantly without covering his face whist sitting on his balcony, this did rather spoilt the start of a long awaited and looked forward to cruise. My wife is disabled and we travelled with her mobility scooter (much to the annoyance of some of our fellow passengers who complained that the lifts were always full....use the stairs!) IOTS is a wonderful ship for disabled passengers, everywhere was accessible and the staff most helpful. Boarding at Southampton was simplicity itself and certainly a real change for me as a carer not having to struggle with luggage and looking after my wife. Our first experience of the Windjammer was good however after that it failed to impress every time, food was cold or just warm which can't be great for food safety, it was always packed full and not a pleasant experience. The main dining room (ours was King Lear, My Time Dining) was great, food lovely but a bit rich sometimes, staff really helpful and attentive, met lovely people when we chose to share a table, we had a lot of fun. Ports were good and leaving the ship with a mobility buggy was simple even on tender days, nothing was too much trouble. Local taxi drivers inflated prices making using them unaffordable apart from our trip to Rome when John from RomeCabs made our tour an amazing and fun experience, one we shared with a fellow Cruise Critic member who was such a lovely lady, cannot recommend RomeCabs too much, fantastic service.
Getting back to the ship, I did find it too big at times and on poor weather days it was crowded, luckily we had a lovely cabin and was happy to chill in our stateroom. Far too many smoking areas on the ship, and sitting on the balcony sometimes was an unpleasant experience, as was walking along deck 11 where the smokers were given the undercover area, holding your breath was the only way to navigate through! Would I go again? possibly, the ship is great for my wife and the staff fantastic; would not go so late in the year as bad weather days did mean the ship was too busy. Take a couple of china cups with you as you only get nasty paper cups in your stateroom and they do not provide coffee, take your own!