My friend and I booked a cruise on board the Island Escape travelling from 12th July until 19th July, 2011.
The facilities on board were good the entertainment first class including the game shows.
Having previously travelled on The Spirit I did not think it could get any better, and although the afternoon tea wasn't as good as The Spirit the meals were of better quality.
We only booked on the 5th July and the ship was full. The beds and pillows were very hard and uncomfortable and the cabin was much smaller than the Spirit.
My gripe is that the excursions on this cruise were too active for anyone with any mobility problems.
In the newsletter it does state active, mod, or easy but when we enquired how active the trip to Monaco and Monte Carlo was I was told a walk of about 20 minutes with a maximum of 3-4 steps.
After getting off the tender there was a very steep hill to climb and no handrails. We were taken to a car park and then a steep uphill walk for the rest of the tour, followed by several steps leading to the main attractions.
The trip to Rome was a nightmare.
We booked the easy option which was a Panoramic caoch tour lasting three hours. Actual time was 90 minutes giving us a five stay in the city.
As the temperature was 35C and rising we were advised by the courier to take a Hopper bus.
This cost us 18 Euros each but we were told you could hop on and off all day.
We were put upstairs with intercons and by this time there were eight of us from the ship yet not one of the intercons worked. After several minutes one person went downstairs to ask where the Trevi Fountain was, to be told we had passed it along with the Spanish Steps, and if we got off the bus there was no guarantee we would get another one for at least an hour possibly more. After 2 hours and 15 minutes we ended up back where we started.
This excusion cost us £57 plus £18 and all we saw was the inside of a coach. By the time we walked to the Vatican there was a three hour wait so we didn't get in. There was no shelter, nowhere to sit and it was getting hotter by the minute.
I enjoyed the cuise but the excursions were over priced and in my opinion were not value for money.
Yes I know they are optional but the information given out is not enough.
We booked a Natural Beauty one and all we saw was trees. We stopped at a cafe which was situated at the top of a cliff accessed by a very steep climb with no handrails or some steps for the able bodied among us.
I think it needs to be spelt out how active or moderately active these tours actually are (in the brochure please) Despite asking how much walking was involved before booking each excursion we were not told the truth.
The newsletter that was delivered to the cabin did not arrive until afte 10pm each day. lighting in the cabin was not good enough to read at night.