We went ahead and booked along with my sister and her partner. The flight from Manchester to palma was short with not much waiting around at either end. We met our rep who directed us to the correct coach and the driver loaded our luggage onto the coach. On arriving at palma port we were directed to take our luggage to security ,where we were given our welcome pack which included stickers for our cases and boarding passes. We then proceeded to a desk where a Thomson rep registered our cards and took our photo for security. We was asked to leave our luggage on the port side and make our way onto the ship. On boarding were told that our luggage would be outside our cabin within an hour.
On arriving at our cabin we were met by a pleasant man named DD, who introduced himself as our cabin steward/cleaner. DD was always at hand to help with any queries and kept our cabin absolutely spotless at all times, fresh towels and clean bedding daily. It actually became a running joke, how we would nip out of our cabin for 1/2hr and when we returned the cabin would be cleaned again! Throughout the cruise we could not fault any of the staff all were very friendly and helpful.
The food on the ship was also faultless. There are plenty of places to eat either self-service or waiter service. We chose to eat out most nights at the Orion , which is waiter service with five course menu , with plenty to choose from. We also ate at the Orion most mornings and always found the service second to none and food faultless. If we were on-board during lunch times we called into the self-service restaurants to eat, there were always plenty of choice and again the food was faultless. The entertainment was good but you had to get into the Medusa lounge early to get a seat. To be honest the entertainment could do with a little tweak here and there as the group became a bit samey after a while but other than that we enjoyed our nights out on board.
We booked three trips , erice in trapani, where we took a short (15mins) coach trip to a cable car ,which took us upto erice, this took around 10 Min's, our tour guide spoke good English and took us around the old churches and to a look out point where we could see our ship and wonderful breathtaking views across both sides of trapani. We made our way through the quaint streets back to a small town square where we were left by our tour guide with instructions how to get back to the cable car and what time. This gave us around an hour n half to have a look round and get something to eat if you wished the trip was short which gave us time to explore. We spent the rest of the afternoon having a look around the town and chilling out on the beach before returning to the ship around 5.15 ish , we set sail at 6pm.
The second trip was very tiring but equally value for money , we met the coach at around 8.30 am and travelled for around 1hr and 50 Min's to Sorrento , where we were given around 2 1/2hrs to have a look round and have something to eat/drink, we then boarded the coach for around 1hr to Pompeii, we were given head sets and receiver's , the tour itself was extremely interesting with some breathtaking sights, we all really enjoyed it but found it to be really tiresome especially in extreme heat(take plenty of water with you as the drinks here are very pricey)This trip is not for anyone troubled with mobility.
Our third trip was to Rome , we had become more confident in getting about by this point so chose to do the Rome on your own option , which was much cheaper and turned out to be better than having a tour guide. We boarded a coach from the port of Civitavecchia, Italy at 8.30 am , we travelled around 1hr 50Min's into Rome itself, We had a rep on board to give us directions and information including maps of the city and prices of buses,taxes,local transport. We were given a time and place to return to , so all strait forward. We decided to take a taxi over from st peters to the coliseum , we explored all the roman ruins, trevi fountains,Spanish steps,piasa navona, Pantheon before getting a taxi back to st peters where we had an amazing lunch and reasonably priced as-well.After lunch we had enough time to go into st peters but time goes fast here so try and see as much as you can no hanging around admiring for long!!! Our rep met us outside a gift shop for our return journey at 4 pm back in plenty of time for the ships departure at 6pm. Taxi's was around 8 euros from st peters to colosseum so would definitely recommend getting one rather than buses. Again this trip is not for people with poor mobility, also take plenty of water with you and decent foot wear. Also any religious places its required that men/women are covered over knees and shoulders.
Any other places that we ported at after theses trips we explored on our own, Ajaccio, Corsica is beautiful ,and well worth exploring. Its only a short distance from port to town around 5 Min's walking , beaches here are also well worth a try although the sea was really cold, but refreshing !! Palamos ,Spain was also great we had a short walk from the port into the town. Palamos also has some great beaches just a short walk from the port. we hired a pedalo for 14 euros for 1 hour , we managed to get some great pictures of our ship from this , good fun!!! as well!
Overall our first cruise went really well , we enjoyed every minute and every port we visited , there wasn't anything that we could complain about really apart from when you got off the ship for a tour you was off for most of the day , they should have provided us with fresh drinks or a packed lunch. But we know now for next time to pack a lunch box and put some snacks in ourselves before going out for the day. We would definitely recommend this cruise to friends and family.