By Maria Harding, Cruise Critic contributor
The well-maintained Island Escape attracts travelers at the budget end of the market and offers decent-quality traditional cruising with a few modern twists like an alternative restaurant. It has proved highly successful in tempting takers of "bucket and spade" (package holidays) trips to try cruising for the first time; 50 percent of its passengers are "cruise virgins," while 30 percent are veterans of budget cruising, having sampled one of the Thomson cruise ships or P&O's low-price-cruise subsidiary Ocean Village.
With seven-night flycruises priced from 599 GBP (just over $1,000) and child prices from 199 GBP (just over $350), Island Escape is a good option for people who want to "do the Med" without breaking the bank, and will provide a relaxed, comfortable, fun cruise.
The highlight of each sailing (weather permitting) is a deck party, during which the ship's very jolly Captain and his officers perform a dance modeled on the finale of the film "The Full Monty" -- though without disrobing, naturally!
Island Escape Fellow Passengers
Island Cruises prides itself on attracting younger-than-usual cruise passengers, claiming an average age of 45. But you will find older folks on its Mediterranean runs. It's a budget ship so don't expect the passengers to be grand, but they are very friendly and delightful to chat with.
Island Escape Dress Code
Island Escape is an informal ship and its casual dress code reflects this.
Passengers are asked to cover up and wear shoes or flip flops if coming indoors from the pool, and smart casual clothing is appropriate for dinner in the Oasis Restaurant but other than that, passengers can do their own thing (though on my cruise many of them did dress up a bit in the evenings)
Island Escape Gratuity
Basic tips are covered in the cruise fare, but staff members always welcome a little extra at passengers' discretion.
Have just returned from a week on the Island Escape. On the whole had a lovely holiday. On the down side i found the bar staff unfriendly except on the friday when they thought there was tips to be had. The morning staff in the mirage bar were ...continue
As first time cruisers we booked the Island Escape and then read the reviews which began to worry us (I know we did it the wrong way around but it was booked very quickly), we couldn't have been more wrong, we had a fantastic cruise, if we had ...continue
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Just returned from a superb week on board the Island Escape and went straight back to Thompsons shop and got next years catalogue with the view of booking on another cruise.
Our cabin was very comfortable (we were on deck 8 port side near ...continue