We had cruised before only a river cruise though, we had been told that this ship and P&O were the ones for us (by people who "knew").
the cabin was adequate, although when we arrived ours stank of tobacco smoke, they did fumigate it but eventually the smell came back, we believe it was coming from the crew quarters as they were right next door. the carpet was stained badly and the upholstery on the furniture was tatty, not what we expected from a new 2010 ship. decor was very drab too.
Cabin steward and room service waiter were excellent.
i think they miss a trick by not offering binoculars, even for a price it would have made the views more enjoyable.
food- adequate certainly nothing special, the waiting staff were at best ambivelent to our presence at worst downright rude with notable exceptions. we chose freedom dining and therefore could choose when to eat, that worked pretty well. the "select dining" resturaunts were very good, for a cover charge that was reasonable, food in Sindu was excellent, service on our second visit poor, plus despite us having booked 5 days earlier they "did not have our booking" but "accomodated us" food in 17 also excellent as was the glasshouse.
the waiters in many instances could have done with an interpreter so poor was their english. someone should tell them a smile costs nothing!
comunication of weather forcasts non-existant, the interactive TV service was rubbish, it kept saying things like we left such and such a port on saturday when it was actually wednesday, when the cruise diary or log arrived on the last day it failed to mention the force 11 storm we endured for 8 hours prior to arriving at Kefelonia. it also downgraded two force 8's to 7's, (unless the TV was wrong again!!!
three times my door key would not allow me to enter the room and i had to ge it reprogramed, you would think i were a criminal the way the reception staff behaved, lots of behind hand whispering and looking in our direction, totally unnecessary, even when one of them came with me on the third occaision having "reprogrammed my card it still did not work, they then had to reprograme the lock, that sorted it!
in all too many sea days, pools unusable due to unsupervised children creating havoc, adult only pool was like a communal bath, no showers therefore you would be sloshing around with everyones suncream and what else?. the retreat was booked up within an hour of people boarding, (we did not get on for 3.5 hours so No Chance, even then the place was mostly empty and considering the price and the area it occupies i'm sure better use could be made for it, but that would not fill P&O coffers.
Peter Piper - jokes i had told when at school (they werent funny then)
Peter Cuttler - good voice, thats it!
Mike Scotts 4 Top revue - mostly good although one chap was very flat, the resident band was rubbish, no where hear punchy enough and on "stand by me" the bass player was very poor despite only having 6 notes to play.
Mark Walker - very good
Aiden J Harvey - still telling jokes and doing impressions from the 70's, who can remember what John Conteh sounded like??
did go to two others but cant remember what (i dont drink) as they were poor obviously did not leave any impression.
could not be bothered with the rest as this lot put us off, but rumour has it that only the Freddie Mercury tribute act was any good (not for me, dont do Queen).
Bar prices are reasonable, especially the mocktails.
shop staff mostly very good, the exception being one of the watch staff insinuating my Montblanc watch was fake despite not even looking at it for more than a second, i obvioulsy look like i cant afford it!
needless to say I did not purchase anything from him.
selection of clothes in the shops are very limited.
the port visits were as follows
Malaga - building site, we went on a tour with a chap who continually banged on about how wonderful Picasso was boring the pants off of us for around 20mins in 35C heat at one point.
Kefalonia (even the greeks don't know how to spell it) - very nice, we did the natural wonders tour, that is not worth the effort. one of the "wonders" was a cave which is not as good a wooky hole and that is not great but the island is lovely,our guide was excellent. just a note two coaches actually broke down on route to various tours!!
Dubrovnik - Great
Venice - its Venice... been before but managed to do things that we had not done before i.e Doges Palace and the Basilica as well as a gondola ride on one of the booked tours, only down side was on the return to the ship they dropped us off at the end of the dock (having departed directly from the ship) we had over a mile to walk to get back on board, we discovered a shuttle service when we had covered most of the distance, there had been no communication from the ships staff about this, (i have a foot problem which prevents me from walking too far) so better comunication is needed, everyone was moaning about it.
Korcula - really nice
corfu - tatty as most of Greece, we did a 7.5 hour trip around the island, not worth it, very tiring, shou have stayed in the town.
Vigo - Why??
Too Many Churches but hey ho gotta fill the time.
P&O go all the way to extract cash from you, it is very blatant, the Sailaways are pushed very hard, all to sell you a drink of Champagne...
the cruise CD on sale shows as many kids as possible (extracts on the TV) so the parents will be mugged into purchasing. the Photography staff are annoying in the extreme and not very good, we had a pic taken on the first formal night but the angle it was short from made a very strange picture (i had more chins that a chinese telephone directory), in Kefalonia we were told by the Captain to take care when walking down the causeway as there were no railings, " stay in the middle" when we disembarked the photographers were positioned in the middle so you have no option to walk around the edge!!
if i was to describe the experience - Butlins on sea. not one i will be repeating, this cost around £9,000 I can do alot better for half of that!