We left from Southampton (not on list of choices).Worth going the extra miles to reach Cape Verde... warmer and sunnier. We liked the 2 days at sea and then a port stop procedure. All good ports to stop at and Lisbon especially interesting (but cooler of course).
Fred Olsen did screw up with embarkation as boat was late (or still being checked after a dry dock experience) and passengers were slowed down by queues
of some length. Not what was expected by an older crowd. Finish one queue and then find another. Not good. Lots of standing when we could have been sat down for 2 hours. AND WE HAD TO PAY FOR TEAS AND SANDWICHES! Only the British put up with this nonsense. NB on returning, the porters are FREE but not very forthcoming. Taxis will 90% take you to the wrong Train entrance... deliberately as it saves them 5-10 minutes. Find out where you want to go before you get in and insist and then check on arrival at the train station!
Take Taxi number. A big big problem for older people.
A great crowd of people on board and much fun had, especially at the 10pm quiz every night.
Entertainment was very good. Thanks to Ashley, the acts and all the entertainment staff.
I would easily do this cruise again. Good enrichment speakers, well attended.
Food? Very good and back to where it was 2 yrs ago. Lots of choice and good meals. Currys are always excellent. We ate more in informal Garden Cafe. Very nice. Food staff did seem a little more stressed and tired than previously.
Black Watch is great allround winner. And the passengers seem younger than they did 10 years ago!