We have just returned from our Escape to the Med cruise. As we enjoyed it so much last year we persuaded my sister and her husband to come with us (they had never been on a cruise before). We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and now they are talking about doing another cruise next year.
I agree with the other reviews - whilst the ship in some areas seems a little "tired" and in need of a bit of a refurb - it certainly is not dirty. The cabins are cleaned in the morning and again in the evening, and at the end of the day the duvets are turned down and the bedside lamps turned on - a nice touch. If you need anything your cabin attendant will go out of his way to make sure you get it. We had a problem with the air con, mentioned it to him and he had a chap come to fix it more or less straight away - that's service!
We were on deck 7 mid-ship and we had paid the extra £39 to book our cabin, as we were pleased with this location last year. I think it is better if you pay a little extra and have an outside cabin - on deck 5 or higher. My sister had booked a Premier cabin on deck 8 and they were happy with it. They had a slight problem with the shower - mentioned it to the cabin attendant and five minutes later he returned with another chap and corrected the fault - great!
They also have hand sanitisers at each entry into the cafes and restaurants and everyone is asked to use them, a great idea.
The food was great in the beachcomber and also in the Island restaurant - which we used most of the time and excellent food in the Oasis restaurant which we visited twice, paid £35 per couple for a 4 course meal and a bottle of white or red wine, or if you go at 9.00pm you pay £10.95 per head (no wine) - superb!
The trips - we did our own thing, the organised trips can be expensive. In most places it is quite easy to walk into the town and get a bus, tram or train to your destination, a lot cheaper! My fav places - from Naples - Sorrento and Pompeii and we loved our day at Barcelona.
The shows are good - especially Ben Gillingham, he has a fantastic operatic voice - don't miss him. We loved the party by the pool and enjoyed dancing under the stars!
The weather was fantastic and the crossings each evening were very smooth, no stabilizers used at all! All in all a great cruise - as it says in the brochure - an easy going down-to-earth cruise, smart but casual evenings (most people had dressed up which was really nice). We found it to be very friendly, good value 3/4 star, but if you want a 5/6 star cruise - you need to book P&O or Cunard and pay double the price! We will definitely go again on the Island Escape.