My partner and i went to Thompsons Travel Agency looking for a last minute break (we needed to depart 10 days later). We were open minded, so when the assistant suggested a cruise, we thought why not.....
Well, here's why not. We were informed that once we checked in our luggage at Birmingham airport, we would next see it in our cabin. We arrived at Palma airport and wondered why there were nore ps to meet us. We saw an exit sign so went out of the termnal. When we finally found a rep, we were told to go back into the terminal to find our luggage, along with a telling off from the airport staff!
We proceeded onto the boat. From the moment we stepped on, we were so disappointed by the shabby state of the ship. It got no better when we entered our cabin. We had paid for an upgrade to a cabin with a window on an upper deck. It was so small and desperately old. The bed was uncomfortable with bullet hard pillows. It was impossible for two of you to be in the same place at one time! The shower and toilet area were small (i was pleased with the shower pressure however). I feel we were lucky to be placed midway along the corridor, as I would imagine that being closer to the Sundowner bar would have been noisy at night.
The rest of the ship was in need of major overhaul/refit. The Beachcomber restaurant was like a bad cafe with melamine plates/cups etc. We went just the once! The Island restaurant was alot better. The staff were very friendly and attentive (as were all staff on the boat)and could not be faulted. The food was a little disappointing, as it was pretty much the same offering every day. There were speciality dishes, but we had been hoping for regional meals, for example a tagine maybe when we went to Morocco..... We sampled the Oasis restaurant once and were pleasantly surprised. The food was tasty and varied and the cost not prohibitive. We were slightly misled over the all inclusive drinks package as all branded names were off limits and so were all my favourite cocktails.
The sundecks were ok, but there were never enough sunbeds and despite the polite request from the Captain not to put towels on the beds and disappear for an age, people clearly did. I would not have gone in the teeny pool if you paid me to. It looked dirty within an hour of it opening each day.
The other amenities were ok. The entertainment, though not necessarily my thing was actually ok. I cannot believe that I played bingo!!
We did not go on any organised trips. We thouhgt they seemd expensive and by all accounts, they were varied in their value. we did our own thing and got off the boat at every destination and looked round ourselves. It was fairly easy to do and the information given on the boat was quite a good help.
We felt that there were too many people in a small space! Most passengers who we spoke to who had cruised before told us that ths was the wporst ship they had sailed on. It has not put us off going on a cruise again, but it will not be on this boat.