We booked on-line after seeing an offer. We were attracted by the price.
We booked a superior outside cabin and were allocated cabin number 5045 on the 'main deck' (deck 5) We travelled from 5th-19th January 2012.
The catalogue price was in excess of Â£1500 per person. We paid Â£899. I like to think we got a bargain, but I couldn't bring myself to ask other passengers what they had paid.
The destinations included Madeira, La Gomera, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Agadir, and Lisbon. Most of which we had visited previously.
This was mostly a trip to find out whether we liked cruising.
The first 4 nights and 3 days were spent travelling to Madeira, across the bay of Biscay. We thought the crossing was quite rough, with the ship bobbing around so much that it was almost impossible to walk with holding on tightly to what was fixed down. I don't know what we would have done without travel sickness pills.
The rest of the cruise went fairly smoothly.
The good points were numerous.
Boarding and eventual disembarkation went very smoothly.
The staff were all friendly, smiling, and helpful. Making us feel very welcome.
The food was varied and of excellent quality.
The evening entertainment, though of quite good quality, was definitely aimed at the older age groups.
My wife and I are in our 60's and were amongst the youngest passengers.
A few days in there was a minor outbreak of some sort of stomach upset, with some passengers being confined to cabin for several days. They crew appeared to cope very well with this and the only way in which passengers were affected was by the suspension of all self service breakfast and lunchtime buffet meals. We had to wait to be served by staff members wearing blue plastic gloves.
Despite the extra work load, the staff continued to serve us with a smile. Nothing was too much trouble.
A few of the passengers complained about the restrictions (perhaps they would have preferred to catch the bug?) Most of us appreciated the efforts of the staff and just took it it our stride.
We had one problem with our cabin, 5045, the shower temperature was 'erratic'. One could be having a lovely warm shower when, suddenly, the water flow dropped, and so did the water temperature. We became friends with the couple in 5043 and found that they were having the same problem. The only way to avoid this was to shower 'off peak'.
Did we enjoy the experience? YES.
Would we cruise again? Definitely YES.
Would we go to Morocco? NO.
I've not reviewed the ports of call because I don't know what say say about them. We've been previously several times to each of the Canary Islands, and to Madeira. They are quite convenient for a short winter break from the UK weather. We didn't like Agadir. It has no character.
Outside of the tourist area we were Harassed by people wanting us to give them money in exchange taking a picture of their camel.
In the Souk every time we stopped moving the sellers would be waving their goods at us, trying to harass us into buying something. Had they left us alone to browse, we would almost certainly have bought some souvenirs. As it was we left with nothing.