I found embarkation from Southampton Port very easy and efficient, with only a small queue to enter the ship..10 minutes approx. We were greeted with a glass of bubbly wine on arrival, and the stateroom was available. suitcases arrived about two hours later.
My initial opinion of the ship was it was extremely clean but it smelled somewhat like a hospital in places. My stateroon on Deck 8 was lovely, although the corridoor near us to the nearest lifts had a public toilet smell. That really is quite off-putting and for the entire cruise it remained to be very wiffy (& not nice to come back to) Stateroom attendant was a mystery man to us for several days, so remained unintroduced.. very unlike any cruise we have been on in the past. He did however check on me some days into the cruise to say he was always there if we needed him.
I dined in the main dining room Moonlight Sonata, but also tried one of the specialist restaurants "Qsuine" as well. All very high standard of dining except for the waiters always getting the meals muddled up. (never experienced this on aany other cruise) It was at times quite amusing, my fellow Cruisers found it quite entertaining every night!
Breakfast was quite attentive in the Moonlight also, but again lacked the usual attentive service offered on previous cruise lines.
I found the Ocean View self service quite good for meals at lunch time/ they do not provide trays so you have to keep making several trips to get drinks, main couse and sweet course. Only ok for the fit ones, although I did see assistance offered for the very elderly in carrying plates etc. Anyone who is disabled is very well looked after on this boat.
We found the entertainment somewhat lacking in the Theatre, shows 7pm & 9pm as it was only just one comedian or singer per night usually and then occasionally it was a variety show.Comparing this to other cruise lines it does'nt quite match up, which was a big dissapointment to many.
Music throughout the Ship was very good and I do think more could have been done to include these very talented celebrities in the theatre shows as opposed to just hearing them in bars and by the pool side.
I found the majority of the crew very polite and helpful but it was certainly lacking in the dining room at times where waiters appeared to be "elsewhere" and I dont think I have ever had to summon a waiter on previous cruises as they are always "there". On this one you have to summon them for what you want.
Certainly standards do need to be improved in this area. We dined at 8.30pm maybe they were getting tired out by that time!