It was our first cruise, booked on a whim after seeing an advert on the television. I had been encouraged by reading reviews on different websites about other peoples experiences but had really done no homework before booking the cruise so was a little nervous about what to expect. First impressions of the ship were wonderful all the areas were luxurious and spotlessly clean. The cabins were beautifully kept and the cabin stewards attentive, warm and friendly ...nothing was too much trouble. The minuses revealed themselves over the seven days which will ensure I do a lot more research before I book my next cruise. There will be another one because overall we enjoyed our trip but I think we will travel with an English speaking cruise cruise ship next time.
The smoking policy was the biggest problem for us. In the Dance hall area, the casino and indoor pool area smoking was allowed and boy did the passengers smoke...it was choking!. By the time we reached Rome we had one objective in mind ...to find a good restaurant where we could treat ourselves to a HOT meal. All the food on board was lukewarm...in the AL-la-ca-rte Red Velvet restaurant where the food was served in several courses was nearly always just warm.If you chose to eat a the buffet meals in the Zanzibar canteen where there was a wonderfully varied and plentiful range of food you found it was spread out over such a large area by the time you collected it and found a seat, that too was stone cold.The temperature of the food would never pass health & safety guidelines here in the UK.
The entertainment was excellent and very professional but provided in the theatre for just a half hour show in the evening unless you fancied bingo...each number was read out in five languages...it was the funniest thing I saw all week!The other lounge with a dance floor where I believe there were activities such as line dancing were choked with cigarette smoke so we beat a hasty retreat from there.
The few non smoking lounge areas where music was provided were comfortable but a little boring but we did meet a small group of lovely people on our dining table ( all UK) but the population were mainly non-English speaking so there was little mixing. Drinks were very expensive and there are no tea/coffee facilities in the room so all drinks have to be purchased. here is no coffee served after meals in the restaurants but only in the canteen. There are water taps next to the ice machine and the few people who managed to find these filled up when they can. This report sounds quite negative but we didn`t meet a single English speaking person who didn't have exactly the same moans. My advice is do your homework before you book!!!