This was our 10th cruise and we have sailed with many cruise lines including Airtours and Thompson on our early cruises and Celebrity, Princess and Royal Caribbean more recently. We booked this cruise because we felt it offered good value for money and we knew the ship was old so we kind of knew what we were in for.
Firstly let me report on the ship, she is an old lady, built in 1976 and although she is being very well maintained by her current owners (I have never seen as much maintenance being carried out on any of the ships we have been on before) she has had a hard life in the past. Her cabins are a little rough around the edges and creak and bang in anything other than a complete flat calm, public rooms whilst spotlessly clean are old, dated and in need of some repair, corridors and stairs are in the same condition. The open decks and there is plenty on such a small ship has been extensively re fitted and over all look good, just don't look too closely, the pool however appeared to be filled each day with dirty water and was still being heated in Malaga when the temp was close to 80oc.
Food and drink, firstly the drinks as this is simple they are what I would deem to be two or three star hotel prices. The food could also come from a two or lowly three star hotel, nothing to complain about but also nothing to write home about, we ate in the boathouse for breakfast and lunch and we had opted for late sitting for dinner, I would like to say we had a fantastic table and we looked forward each evening to hearing what everyone had done that day there was a great rapport round the table and I do hope that we all can stay in touch.
The staff were in the main excellent, our waiter and assistant waiter were superb along with the bar staff, our cabin steward seemed to be a little overworked and didn't complete the little finishing touches we have come to expect, but she kept the cabin lovely and clean and delivered our ice each day (eventually). The other staff IE cleaners, boathouse staff and maintenance staff, I don't think anyone could ask for more, they worked tirelessly and always acknowledged us.
Ports of call, we visited 7 ports of call all of which we enjoyed except Casablanca, if the world had piles this is where they would be. Please cruise lines don't put us through this hell again.
Now my main gripe, this cruise was all we expected 2 or 3 star at a push, old ship but very well maintained, good company but unfortunately this was spoilt by the liverpool experience, sailing back into the dock was nothing short of a complete shambles, we were ready to enter the dock at 10am and didn't disembark the ship until gone 2pm, the lock took an eternity to fill then the captain, as with all the other ports of call was very poor at docking the ship. The liverpool experience took the edge off our cruise and I will never sail from here again.
I hope this review helps others understand this ship. however I would say that for around an extra £20 per day we could have gone on a far superior ship and stayed in a far better cabin.