We travelled from home to Southampton by train three days before the cruise to visit friends on the Isle of Wight. We travelled back to Southampton on the red jet ferry and walked to the dock! On the way home we walked to the train station from the dock.
Very slow - there had been a computer glitch. 25 minutes to clear security and then another 30 minutes in the check in line. Long walk onto the ship and even at after 1.30pm cabins weren't available for another 30 minutes.
Beautiful ship with muted colours in most places. We decided not to fight with the buffet and went straight to Bistro on 5. Great lunch, very quiet and excellent food. Safety drill was to 4pm before sailing. Wasn't impressed. My muster station was in Michael's Club - very crowded, far too hot, couldn't see screens and too many people carrying on with their conversations. Worst I've ever attended.
Nice decor,comfortable bed, solid sofa, good bathroom, poor storage. I wouldn't want to try putting everything away for a two week trip - not enough space for T shirts / jumpers and other folded items. OK if you hang everything but no shelves - overbed lockers are too narrow for shirts etc.
We were free style dining and had made reservations for the dining room for first and third nights and at Murano's on the last night.
Food in MDR was good but overall experience wasn't great - tables very close together so waiters lifting plates over your head for other tables and having to squeeze past and very noisy. Second time we requested somewhere a little less busy. It was better but still not that great.
Second night we ate in the buffet and that was OK - no table cloths or places set as we've had on other lines.
Breakfast in the buffet or room service was good. Bit strange that on the last night the TV ordering was available for breakfast room service but once order was placed they phoned up to say not available - so why let TV go live? (Have previously has room service breakfast - continental only - on Celebrity).
Lunch buffet was OK but very samey - ie no change in options from day to day.
Murano's - excellent food, good service (a little bit too attentive for our tastes but typical for a US ship) and overall a great experience.
Attended a couple of lectures and the hot glass show. Enjoyable.
Two shows were a contrast, one we really enjoyed but the acrobatic one made us feel uncomfortable watching the contortions.
Seemed to be a lack of other entertainment in the evening - ensemble lounge is too small and dark and often long gaps between sessions in Sky. Disco location is excellent but underused on our trip.
Enjoyed our trip and would sail on this ship again but would have a different dining strategy. Probably asking to be on a large table would help with the crowding issue.
Grass was not very green and they seem to be struggling to keep it alive!
We asked for 9am but received 7.45am but told we could wait! Went to buffet at around 8am. Lots doing the same and then quite a queue to get off the boat but quite smooth.
Port of Call - Cork (Cobh) - missing from dropdown list
We'd visited Cork less than a year ago so didn't travel into Cork.
Took train to Fota and visited Fota House and Gardens. No publicity in Cruise literature but a fantastic experience. House is run by volunteers and they are very welcoming. Very interesting Victorian house with lovely gardens. Nice tea room. Definitely recommend.
Ship tour to Kinsale. Shame the weather was poor - heavy rain. Interesting drive and lovely town. Guide was excellent and gave lots of interesting information.
Afternoon stroll around Cobh but didn't climb the hill on this trip!