We were on the last tour before the ship goes into dry dock for refurbishing. Although the decor was dated and showed some wear, the ship had a sort of retro charm about it and everything was in working order. As others have mentioned, the ... Read More
We were on the last tour before the ship goes into dry dock for refurbishing. Although the decor was dated and showed some wear, the ship had a sort of retro charm about it and everything was in working order. As others have mentioned, the ventilation system in our cabin was noisy requiring me to wear ear plugs at night. We had an ordinary inside cabin on Columbus, the lowest passenger deck. It was surprisingly comfortable with ample closet and drawer space and a good sized bathroom. I am not sure it would be worth the extreme price increase to get an outside or balcony cabin.
The food and service were excellent, and Richard Sykes, the cruise director, is a one-man entertainment guru. He made the trip a lot of fun, especially for us single female travelers. Overall, I give high marks for comfort, service, and food. The captain threw a Greek barbecue one night as a celebration of the last voyage of the year, and he was out and about socializing and dancing with the passengers. That was a highlight of the trip. We found the hotel manager to be very accessible, and he helped us make a phone call to sort out a credit card problem.
Now for the down side. As Americans, we are used to a bit more activity on a cruise ship, and although we understood the limitations of a smaller ship, we were not prepared for the bridge players taking over the entire observation lounge or the readers turning the entire ship, inside and out, into a reading room, including the cocktail lounge. We felt rowdy and out of place trying to play games and socialize among all the readers. Somehow we thought that was what the library was for, but no -- it was taken over by the jigsaw puzzlers. Fortunately, we didn't have many sea days -- most of the sailing was done at night, so it wasn't a major problem -- but I often found myself thinking about how well suited the ship would be to an Agatha Christie novel.
Would I go again? Maybe. I would be curious to see the refurbishment of the ship when it returns to service next year. But probably not, mostly because of the inconvenience of embarking the ship in Europe. I may seek small ship experiences at ports more convenient to my location in the United States. Read Less