This was our second cruise on Adonia, the first in June/July to the Baltics, and following in a cultural fashion, off we went to The Black Sea (first visited on the old Victoria, fly-cruising from Cyprus, in 2000.) The cruise was chosen because of the ports of call.
We had the same cabin on both trips - but despite the 'refit', the curtains are from Princess days although due to be replaced at some time. The cabin furniture is dark and dated, the lighting is poor, and storage space is somewhat limited.
We could not fault the food in the Pacific Restaurant, after about 20 days we were quite frankly 'fooded' out. We booked the Sorrento Restaurant on 3 occasions,and the Ocean Grill on another night. The food in both Restaurants is good, but service is slow. There is no 'free' alternate dining in as much as The Conservatory only provided evening food on special Theme Nights, of which there were we think only four.
Entertainment on board was varied and interesting. We are not 'show people' so did not watch the Headliners, nor did we listen to Edwina Curry. The speakers - Prof. Robert williams, Stanton Marcus, Mick Testoni, were excellent
as was Graham Cole (PC Stamp of The Bill. Radio 4's Peter Hobday gave an interesting talk but sadly that proved to be the only one. The comedians made us laugh, Bobby Crush revived old memories.
Steve Ledwell, the pianist who looked like a member of the Grumpy Old Men team, was fantastic and with his very droll humour, was excellent entertainment. The Dance Instructors, a young couple Leighton Jones and Jo Almond, were an inspiration to would be dancers. They taught in a modern innovative way, greatly different from the past dance instructors on board, and they also gave dance demonstrations. This was the first time they had worked on a cruise ship, and hopefully P&O or other cruise lines will give them contracts. If they stay with P&O, then we think that Oriana or Aurora would best suit their talents. We cannot speak for Ventura or Azura, since we have not cruised on either, and are unlikely to do so. The band, Quintessence, whilst good did not seem to perform that often. Duo Vision (or is it Vision Duo) performed extremely well, but we gather they are soon to join another P&O ship.
The downside to such a long cruise on Adonia is that she has only the one show lounge, and thus while there is a show/lecture on, there is little alternative activity. The dance lessons were held in part of the Gym area, on deck nine, which is not the safest nor most comfortable place especially when there is a swell. (Adonia does tend to 'corkscrew' in less than smooth waters). The quizzes, of which there are many, have in our opinion lost the bite and the fun of earlier years and are held usually in The Conservatory (way too cold at 10.30pm) or in the Crow's Nest.
As ever, the cabin crew, restaurant waiters, bar staff, and reception, were absolutely brilliant - always courteous, friendly and smiling. The Cruise Director may be excellent at administration and behind the scenes, but his PR ability in our opinion was very poor.
So, will we sail Adonia again? We have a cruise booked for next year simply because of the ports of call but after that very unlikely.