At the end of a hard year, we touched lucky by chance on a cruise on the countess. not permitted to fly for a while:( , the free pickup from belfast and drop-off at the countess in dublin was a real treat. embarkation was smooth and pleasant and lovely and cold just to get us ready for the sun, (one of our ports was basking in 39 degrees centigrade!). once on board we were guided to our cabin, our suit cases arrived in minutes and we were surprised at the ample storage space in our inside twin cabin. luis was our cabin steward and we really could not fault his hard work in any way. loved the monkey and the dog he left to greet us! the cabin and bathroom were very clean and enjoyable to stay in. especially liked the bridge cam on channel 9 on the tv.
we went to the kensington for the first four nights and were never disapointed, candido the waiter has his very own way, a bit reserved until he sees you smile, then he really opened up as a warm and friendly person. the food was well presented and even better to eat!
the last lot of nights to save time, we used the boat deck. self service and nearly the same choice as the kensington less maybe one high class choice. the constant prescence and hard work of the staff was very evident. tun the barman and his constant side kick really stood out. some idiots with books and a cup of tea sitting alone at tables for four had trouble reading the signs requesting some manners regards moving to allow diners to sit for dinner,but thats not the ships fault! my only warning would be about the range of food on offer, you could leave the countess over a stone heavier than when you embarked!
a big part of our cruises are the casino,,,, natalia was an excellent croupier and we really enjoyed our russian lessons! won several hundred pounds in the slots over the duration of the cruise, which funded several good evenings at the black jack table, we even finished on a high by doubling our money at the table on the last night! spasiba Natalia!!!
the tower bar made for a nice quiet relax with excellent piano and violin playing while hamptons was lively with good entertainment, any requests we gave the dj were played with-in minutes.
through-out the cruise, we found the troupe to be professional in each show we went to see, though standing on eddie's stomach as he was lying on a bed of nails made me cringe. the russian night and moulin rouge were definite favourites!
Falmouth: the maritime museum was very good, pity there was not enough time to go see the eden project as we spent so long in the museum, others seemed to enjoy the land's end tour.
next port was o-porto / lexios portugal, took thelocal bus into town center and really enjoyed ourselves. a very nice place to visit.
the crew were pleasant from the reciptionists right through to the guys doing the really hard work, on that note it is such a pity we booked excursions and met jenni. if we ever meet a more repulsive, verbaly abusive person, we will be astounded.
on the whole, the countess is a beautiful ship with a crew that really do compliment her and we had a very good time. we enjoyed the sensation of being at sea, why go on a ship if you dont want to feel the odd wave? lol and if we can, we will definitly be back on her.