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35 Island Escape Cruise Reviews

We joined the boat in Palma de Mallorca and had a smooth run in from Stanstead with no problems, We were met at the port by the boarding party and had our first of many Crew photo's taken of us. We had to wait quite a while to get our ... Read More
We joined the boat in Palma de Mallorca and had a smooth run in from Stanstead with no problems, We were met at the port by the boarding party and had our first of many Crew photo's taken of us. We had to wait quite a while to get our bags and in the end went and got them ourselves. we made our way to our cabin to find it had two single beds even though we asked at every visit to the travel agent that it was a double. we eventually got the receptionist to sort it out as our steward was a bit vague when we asked him to sort it out. THE CABIN.. OMG what do they really think people expect for their money. well not what we got that's for sure. The cabins as stated by 99.9% of people are OLD and very TIRED. and ours had the added benefit of having a sticky carpet at no extra cost. And to think we upgraded to this, We had a large window cabin but it was not very clean in fact it was not clean at all. so that was a waste of money. I talked my wife out of bringing our own towels as it is stated that the ship supply clean towels every day as well as beach towels. How wrong was i the grey towels supplied were awful and we cringed every time we used them. The animals that the steward made looked well dead with this colour towel in fact they looked a bit creepy. We were very impressed with the hand hygiene stations dotted around the ferry, A great idea and one that some Cruise ships might pick up on. The food every day was to a good standard and the drinks were quite surprisingly good value but we had a drinks package so did not really benefit from them. Staff all round the ferry were great and i just wish i could bring myself to call this a cruise ship but it isn't and never will be. The Air con in the Theater Lounge did not work for the whole week. To top it off when we left the ship to go back home we picked up our case's only to find that one of them had been smashed to bit's it had been like it for hours but we found it just as we were about to board the bus. as yet we have had no response from First Choice about this but i will live in hope that they will honour their guest's at some point. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
We want to be totally fair and accurate in writing this review so we'll start with all the good things first. Our flights and transfers both to and from the ship could not be faulted - well done Thomsons. Our cabin, an outside ... Read More
We want to be totally fair and accurate in writing this review so we'll start with all the good things first. Our flights and transfers both to and from the ship could not be faulted - well done Thomsons. Our cabin, an outside standard balcony on deck 9, was as we expected (after viewing online pictures) and had plenty of storage space for one week's cruising. It was clean and smelled fresh and the shower was excellent too. We found all the ship's staff to be very friendly, polite and hard working and nothing was too much bother for our cabin steward who left lovely towelling animals as a nice surprise in our cabin everyday. We ate breakfast in the self-service Beachcomber Restaurant (like a cafe really) every morning and it was a bit of a free for all but then that's to be expected I suppose if loads of people arrive at the same time. We ate our dinner most nights in the Island Restaurant which has cloths on the table and cloth napkins but is still self-service but it had more of a relaxed restaurant feel about it. We enjoyed the food in both and there really was something to suit everyone we felt. We enjoyed all the entertainment we went to from the Welcome Aboard Party on our first night on Deck 10, the odd game of bingo in the Bounty Lounge, the guitarist Assen in the Pub and various cabaret acts in the Ocean Theatre to the more relaxed Champions Bar where you could always sit and meet people for a bit of a chat. We did an organised tour to Monaco and Monte Carlo which we really enjoyed and found our guide to be very informative and chatty. We also did an organised tour to Pisa and again found our guide to be very informative and had a good sense of humour as well. We visited Propriano and Mahon ourselves as the ship docked only a minutes walk away in both really. We did not visit Rome as we had already done this on a previous cruise so stayed on the ship that day. Now for the bad - One thing we did notice on arrival on the ship was that there were some ripped seats in the Pub area as we went there for a drink first to kill some time before we could get into our cabin. On route to our cabin we did notice quite a few stains on the carpets (mostly in the cabin corridors) and some of the paintwork was a bit shabby. Also some of the large viewing windows were misted inside the glass which made them look dirty and needed replacing really. Our shower area in the bathroom needed re-tiled and the shower curtain was too short! The towels did have a lot of stains on them and never really looked that clean. We had two single beds and one of the duvet covers had actually been patched! There was an ominous smell of sewage in various parts of the ship we noticed on a few occasions and it wasn't just us as people we spoke to had noticed it as well. Probably the worst thing for us though was feeling this constant vibration/rocking motion in our cabin. As soon as you put your head to the pillow there it was. As a result hardly a relaxing nights sleep and then when the ship was docking in the morning the whole cabin rattled and shook with the vibration and there was no way (even if you had managed to doze off at some point during the night) that anyone could sleep through that! We have cruised before but this was definitely a new experience for us and one which I'm sorry but we will definitely not be repeating on the Island Escape Cruise Ship. By the way we never did get to fill in the ships questionnaire which was supposed to be put through our door on the last night to fill in - I wonder why? We left the ship on the last day of our cruise having enjoyed our holiday mostly but we were totally exhausted through lack of sleep so come on Thomsons you have to sort this problem out or perhaps its just time to put Island Escape into a long overdue retirement. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
just arrived back yesterday.first things first the waiters,bar staff and cabin stewards are the ships biggest assets.they are brilliant. However there are many negatives!the ship is very old and dated and urgently needs a proper refit not ... Read More
just arrived back yesterday.first things first the waiters,bar staff and cabin stewards are the ships biggest assets.they are brilliant. However there are many negatives!the ship is very old and dated and urgently needs a proper refit not the 2 weeks its getting in oct/nov the pool is the smallest ive ever seen,in the brochure most of the photos are from the island star, pool etc The ship is clean but some carpets are stained,the bathrooms are poor. The food in both restaurants is good,but in the beachcomber you have to wait in a dinner queue plate in hand .the tea is ok but the COFFEE.is a disgrace.on a normal cruise ship you get sachets of coffee in this ship to save money the coffee is in a boiler and tastes horrible... a tip take your own coffee....THE shows and guest artists are good but the day hosts are very poor apart from the big welsh lad and the lad from reading who tried their best the others were very poor the excursions are mega expensive but most cruise ships are.... you are harrassed by the ships photographer...It is easy to see why thomsons, who control island cruises, will not bring the ship under the thomson cruise umbrella as you would expect,because "you cant make a silk purse out of a pigs ear" I would expect the island cruises to be quietly dropped in the next few years. please note when booking the cruise it is not with thomsons but sunshine cruises..... overall we still enjoyed ourselves the casual way is great... but the ship is in a very old it was built as a baltic ferry nearly 30 years ago but is safe..... but it needs a major refurb.if they got rid of the escape and brought back the island star it would be great as the star was built as a cruise ship.....we shall see!and believe me if you enjoy the escape you are hooked on cruising as every other thomson ship is better Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Compared to all the other ships we have been on this has to be the most scruffy, wall paper and paint peeling off, cabin feels old and worn out, some clanging and banging at night, I admit I was not proud to be on this ship.Entertainment: ... Read More
Compared to all the other ships we have been on this has to be the most scruffy, wall paper and paint peeling off, cabin feels old and worn out, some clanging and banging at night, I admit I was not proud to be on this ship.Entertainment: is OK much better than NCL (which is awful) and the usual mad rush to the next show in the other lounge, but not bad overallExcursions: OK not a great variety but not too expensive eitherDinning: Funny setup, but ok, not much variety, in fact very limited compared to other cruises we have been on but good quality none the less.Drink: Prices are ok (good for a cruise) but again not much variety one brand of Larger (Stella), one brand of Bitter (well known brand but I can't remember)Staff: Reception was very disappointing to be honest, they would rather talk to each other than attend the desk so much so I gave up waiting and walked away , but the cabin crew were excellent, most of the other staff were very friendly (as to be expected) Would I go back on this ship? No, sorry, there are much better ships out there, but it was cheap so I'm not complaining (I suppose you get what you pay for in the end) Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
This was our second cruise and I can honestly say that if it had been our first, we wouldn't be going again! It was advertised as carefree and informal, should have really been cheap and cheerful, You get what you pay for! The ship ... Read More
This was our second cruise and I can honestly say that if it had been our first, we wouldn't be going again! It was advertised as carefree and informal, should have really been cheap and cheerful, You get what you pay for! The ship should have been retired years a go and should certainly not be sailing in the Atlantic, and is in desperate need of refurbishment. I understand it was a ferry in a previous life, it should have stayed a ferry, some nights I really thought we were going to sink, what with the crashing and banging going on. My partner was sick two nights - not usual - and when we got back to UK I was in bed for 3 days with sickness and diarrhoea which I must have picked up on the ship. However, we did enjoy the ports of call except Agadir, why ever we went there I have no idea, never seen such a dump in my life, and having spent a day at sea it was very disappointing. The food was adequate but not very interesting and the Beachcomber bar was a free for all, much better in the Island but still the same food. The entertainment on board was excellent and the staff all very nice and helpful. We are booked on the Spirit in May so hopefully we will enjoy that one, If not goodbye to Thomson cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We were on the Island Escape for two weeks, sailing on the 1st January 2010. The first week was enjoyable, OK the ship has seen better days, the cabins certainly need a refurb but the public rooms weren't so bad. There was staff ... Read More
We were on the Island Escape for two weeks, sailing on the 1st January 2010. The first week was enjoyable, OK the ship has seen better days, the cabins certainly need a refurb but the public rooms weren't so bad. There was staff around all day cleaning surfaces and polishing, painting and varnishing so maintenance was in hand. The Beachcomber functioned well, tables were cleared relatively quickly and queues were quick to clear. The food was well presented and plentiful, and of a good standard. The staff were a happy bunch, particularly Jammy and Irene in the Beachcomber, and Lawry our talented towel folding steward who looked after our cabin perfectly. There was a good choice of entertainment ranging from the Elvis tribute act to the wonderful Steve Simone, who told the story of Motown with songs. The entertainment team produced vibrant, colourful shows proving they have some talented singers and dancers. Although on some nights I thought the content wasn't really for children but that's just my personal opinion. The two classical singers from the team were excellent, they could go far. The Captain was no stranger to his passengers either, always to be seen walking about the ship chatting with everyone, though during the second week he was strangely missing, I wonder why ?!?! The ports of call were good, we like to explore independently so it was disappointing to find out that doing this was not advisable in Agidir. Consequently we found out too late but we had a second bite of the cherry, and the following week we booked a coach trip to the walled city of Taroudant. It was little pricey but it would have been a shame to miss this country, seeing I doubt very much we will ever return! Whilst in the company of our guide we were completely safe from the locals but as soon as we were told we had thirty minutes to explore on our own they all swooped on us. Beware of being separated from the group, you will probably be safe enough with the local but he will expect money for his "tour". All the locals want from you is your money, so if you are of a nervous disposition, then don't even think about visiting! Arricife in Lanzarote was the other port where to get to the resort you were advised to use their shuttle bus, tickets were £4 and purchased on board. Eventually, visitors will be able to walk into resort as they appear to be building a road/pathway but it could be a while before it's finished. Other ports of call were very pretty, especially visiting them just after Christmas, their street and church decorations were lovely to see. The night sailing from Funchal, in particular was beautiful, all the lights made such a pretty spectacle. On the middle Friday, the changeover day, we were able to go into Santa Cruz and explore before returning to the ship for a quiet relax with use of all the facilities. As the people left for their flights the ship became quieter, it was very pleasant. Eventually, the new cruisers started to arrive, we heard later that two flights were delayed so our sailing at 11pm was delayed until around about 3am. This meant that the passage to Gran Canaria had to be made more quickly than planned to ensure our morning arrival. This made the voyage a little rougher than the previous week, which was a shame for the new cruisers, as it made a lot of people poorly. Our cabin was amidships on deck 6, so we were lucky that we hardly felt the movement that others have complained about. The one thing I did notice on that Friday was a large number of new cruisers (especially men) pretending to sanitize their hands on entering the Beachcomber Restaurant. What is wrong with these people? Such procedures are in place for a reason, why do they think they can avoid them? Consequently, after a day or two Norovirus raised its ugly head, and spoilt the cruise for everyone. I might add that during the first week there was no hint of the virus, and everything remained normal until we entered into the second week. Staff and crew clamped down on everything, all tablecloths, drinks menus, material napkins disappeared. The self service facility was stopped so that even pats of butter, pots of jam and yoghurts had to be handed over by staff. Once tablecloths were removed it rather showed up the poor state of the tables, something we wouldn't have normally seen. On the last day of the cruise we were all taken off the ship, put on coaches and taken to hotels to relax until our flights were due. This was to allow the crew time to fully sanitize the ship before the next lot of holidaymakers. I must admit this whole procedure went like clockwork; it was as if perhaps they weren't strangers to this predicament! The only downside to this way we no longer had the all inclusive drinks package, so we had to shell out for any drinks at the hotel, although we did get a lovely lunch before a spot of sunbathing!! All in all we had an enjoyable cruise, though I doubt we would sail on the Island Escape again, Thomson has far better ships in its fleet. And I'm not that keen on this totally informal cruising, I think certain rules should apply. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE JUNE 2009 Ship: Island Escape This was a 14 night cruise of the Mediterranean which I was doing on my own; it was two seven night cruises which looped back to Palma in the middle with the weeks on either side ... Read More
MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE JUNE 2009 Ship: Island Escape This was a 14 night cruise of the Mediterranean which I was doing on my own; it was two seven night cruises which looped back to Palma in the middle with the weeks on either side visiting different ports. Including Palma the ship visited eleven ports. I had chosen to go all-inclusive so my drinks were included in the price. Overall it was good value for money. Tuesday 2nd June Good flight - on time - Glasgow to Palma. Arrived in Palma at 12.30, had to wait an hour for luggage but from then on embarkation was smooth. The bus trip to the ship was around 20 minutes. The cabin is just OK but not in any way as good as the Royal Caribbean cruise I had done previously. It is a bit tired and in need of freshening up, a bit like a hospital room, very basic. Size wise it was certainly fine for one, maybe a problem for two. It was an outside cabin with two portholes. Had a G&T in the Sundowner lounge and digested all the info and excursions then went to the Beachcomber (self service) and had a salad and fruit for lunch washed down with a glass of wine. Met up with two ladies I had been speaking to in luggage reclaim. The Beachcomber is a bit holiday campish, I would much rather be served and I don't think I will enjoy evening meals when I've got to find my own table rather than have the same waiters each night. Did a spa tour, I would really like the hot stone massage and the BCA which tells how much fat - muscle - water is in the body, probably much different at the end of the cruise from the beginning! I wanted some quiet time so had a G&T and read my fab new e-reader (a great benefit on a cruise as I don't have to carry six paperbacks with me) before going to the excursion presentation. The excursion presentation was excellent and very comprehensive, giving details of all the excursions offered. Not sure which ones to do, I'll have a think about it. Nice dinner, self service with many different choices. I went to the Welcome Aboard show in the Ocean Theatre. Quite good, lots of dancing and singing. Afterwards went to the Deck Party, it was really good: singing, dancing, competitions - fab. -------and then to bed at 11.30. Wednesday 3rd June At Sea. Slept quite well, too late for breakfast in the Island Restaurant which I thought was the nicest so went to Beachcomber then sat in the sun reading for ages, after that we had the usual muster drill. Afterwards lay in the shade by the poolside reading Barack Obama's autobiography, 'Dreams of my Father', a brilliant book. Had lunch by the pool and a couple of cocktails of the day. Watched everyone play Gladiators, good fun. I had afternoon tea in the Beachcomber then a drink in the Lookout Bar which is at the top of the ship and has beautiful panoramic views. This bar is really quiet during the day, I don't know why because it's well located with windows all the way round. I watched Revolutionary road in my room, it starred Kate Winslet and Leonardo de Caprio. There were different up to date films showing constantly on the TVs in the cabin which was good. Had dinner in the Oasis - it was lovely. The Oasis is the a la carte restaurant on the Island Escape and you pay a little extra but they do have deals, e.g. if you book a certain number you get one night free so it brings the added cost down. I had: Tempura Tiger Prawns French Onion Soup Sole Normandy Cheese & Biscuits Coffee & Brandy Delicious and the service was excellent, I was on my own and I felt the staff really did make a fuss of me. I then went to the Sundowner to listen to the music. Assen, one of the resident entertainers, is brilliant - a fantastic guitarist and singer - mainly rock!! Then I went to the Lookout bar and listened to the Karaoke for a wile. And so to bed!!! Thursday 4th June Trapani, Sicily Up early, quick breakfast then waited in the Bounty lounge for the tour to be called. Erice and Segesta pronounced Erichay and Seggesta (soft as in suggestion) Erice is a medieval town 710 metres above sea level. We accessed it via the longest cable car I have ever been on. The views were stupendous. When we got to the top, Maggie, our Sicilian guide, took us through the cobbled streets to the Cathedral which is very beautiful. It is a mix of styles. The ceiling looks like embroidery, very intricate. Then we walked through the lovely little streets to the Baliol Gardens and the castle. Very beautiful and again, spectacular views. From there we went by coach to the Restaurante Belvedere for lunch. I was at a really nice table of people. We had: Antipasti (sun dried tomatoes, olives, cheese, bread and a kind of ratatouille) Rigatoni with tomato and cheese Veal and paprika potatoes Fresh fruit salad All washed down with copious amounts of really nice red wine. From there we took a 45 minute coach trip to Segesta which is a 36 column Greek-style temple. Very well preserved. Built in the Doric style, very simple columns, 10 or 12 'barrels' stacked on one another, no adornment. Really interesting, sandstone not marble as you would expect. From there we drove back to the ship. In the evening I had a couple of Margueritas (cocktail of the day) then dinner in the Island Restaurant. Went to the show, it was themed on Broadway, very good and afterwards drinks in the Sundowner. We were delayed leaving Trapani so were not due into Naples until lunchtime. We were notified that the full day excursions could not now take place as there was insufficient time in Naples. I had to rebook from the Isle of Capri trip which had been a full day, on to the Herculaneum excursion. This was all done quickly and efficiently. Friday 5th June Naples, Italy (Neapolis means New Town) Naples was founded in the 8th century BC and Mt Vesuvius is 1282 mtrs high. As we had been delayed in leaving Trapani the tour to Herculaneun did not leave until 11.45. It was a 30 minute journey from the ship. Herculaneum was destroyed by hot mud and lava in the same Mount Vesuvius eruption that destroyed Pompeii. It is a smaller city of about 4,000 people but was much richer, with wealthy people from Rome having holiday homes there. The new, modern town of Herculaneum has been built on top of the old city and the Italian government is slowly trying to buy back land to continue excavations. At present it is about 25% excavated. The whole trip was really interesting and made me want to learn more about the Vesuvius eruption. At night went to the Ross Roberts cabaret, he was excellent. He is the cruise director and had to stand in as the original artiste had a flight problem and didn't arrive. After the cabaret I went to the Sundowner and listened to Starlites and Assen. Got to bed around 1.00am Saturday 6th June Livorno, Italy Arrived in to port an hour late due to congestion in the port. My excursion was to 'Puccini and Pisa'. We took a coach trip to Lago del Toro, which is also known as Puccini's Lake where we had a boat trip. On the boat we were served with sweet dessert wine and little biscuits while listening to Puccini. He composed Tosca, Madam Butterfly and La Boheme amongst others. It was quite overcast but very enjoyable. We then went to see Puccini's house which was very interesting. He was a very rich man in his time. Afterwards we took a short drive to Pisa and saw the Leaning Tower, the Baptistry and the Cathedral. It was very beautiful and impressive. Really clean and sparkling white marble. What a great photo opportunity! At night I watched the Reader (with Kate Winslet). I'd wanted to see it for ages and it was worth waiting for - great movie. Dinner in the Island Restaurant then off to the Sundowner to listen to the music. Sunday 7th June Cannes Very windy but sunny and hot. We had to take the tender to get ashore. I had decided not to book an excursion from here as I've been to this area a number of times and was quite happy to do my own thing. I wandered around Cannes for a few hours, stopped for a beer and read the Sunday paper, very relaxing. Cannes is very easy to do independently, there is a little train on wheels which you can go on and it takes you around the town and there are earphones giving commentaries in different languages. There was a market on with lots of stalls; I bought a Danielle Steele book in French. I thought it would help me learn French. I always make 'Holiday Resolutions' when I'm away and this time it's to learn French. I had to queue for ages to get a tender back. Very, very windy!! There was only one tender running for safety reasons because of high winds. I don't think they had kept enough qualified crew on board to manoeuvre them in bad weather and apparently one of the tenders had got damaged - it smashed into the ship I think, or so someone said. Despite the wind it was still hot though. The journey back was an adventure! People were getting soaked with spray, we had to have two tries at getting alongside the ship then had to jump from the tender to the ship. Monday 8th June Barcelona Arrived at Barcelona around 10.45, we had a quick disembarkation but had to queue a little while for a shuttle bus. I had decided to not to do an organised excursion here either as the ship docks so close to the city. When I got off there was a hop-on-hop-off bus, 21euro for the day, this included three routes, really good value. The Blue Route was south, the Red Route was north and the Green Route was somewhere else. I did half the Blue route, through the Gothic quarter, amazing, then transferred to the Red route which went to the Sagrada Familia, the remarkable building designed by Gaudi and still unfinished. I would like to have gone in but was afraid of being late. It is something I would really like to do in the future though. Got off the Red bus at the Place Catalunya and walked down La Rambla. Quite an unusual street. It has a wide promenade in the middle between the two lanes of traffic which is populated with cafes, stalls and entertainers. There are stalls selling everything including animals, (rabbits, geckos, birds) and the usual souvenir stuff. I had a beer and people watched for a while. I think I prefer the sophistication of Cannes and the Old Town in Nice but I loved the Gaudi architecture. The entertainers were interesting though, dressed up as statues, monsters, pieces of fruit etc. etc. I got back to the ship around 4.30pm, had a light lunch then a couple of drinks in the Lookout bar as I watched Barcelona disappear from view. Tuesday 9th June Palma This was changeover day for those who were doing a seven night cruise so all the public areas on the ship were busy with people waiting for their call to disembark. I had breakfast quite early, and chatted to a couple of people then I went in to Palma. I couldn't find anywhere to get a map on the ship or in the Port terminal. I got a shuttle bus (1.35 euro) to the Centre of Town (a guess!!). I walked through some of the old streets and came across a shop selling walking tours. I managed to get a map and realised I wasn't far from a Tourist Information Office. I got a better map and info about the hop-on-hop-off bus. The stop was right outside and it cost 13 euro. I went round once and then back to Pueblo Espanol which is a complex built recently recreating the very best and most historic architecture in Spain. It is very clean, very beautiful, with some shops and a couple of bars but very quiet. I had a coke and relaxed for a while. I walked all the way back to the ship - very hot and very tired! Had a snack and then a shower. I had dinner in the Oasis: Canapes Smoked Salmon Parcels Asparagus Soup Filet Mignon White Chocolate Bread Pudding Delicious! I went to the show in the Ocean Theatre afterwards which as usual was very good, the entertainment on this ship is really excellent. Wednesday 10th June At sea A totally lazy day! I read all day, and watched some of the poolside activities. Nothing much else to say! Had dinner in Oasis: Canapes Duck Spring Rolls French Onion Soup Tenderloin of Pork Apple Strudel Preferred last night's but it was still lovely. I went to the Ocean Theatre show afterwards, Jayne Curry, who was a bit like Jane McDonald, then Loryn and Ed (Opera) they were great! Thursday 11th June Olbia, Sardinia Up early, arrived into port about 7.30, beautiful. I did the 'La Maddalena' trip. We drove across the island and caught a ferry to the island of La Maddalena then drove around for about 50 minutes before having 50 minutes free time in the port. The scenery both on the larger and smaller island was absolutely stunning, quite beautiful. The colour of the water rivalled the Cote d'Azur but it was emerald green rather than azure blue. It's called the Emerald Coast. The guide, Robert, was great. He was English but married a Sardinian and had lived in Sardinia since 1982. He was really knowledgeable. I would love to come back to Sardinia!!! There are three airports on the island and Easyjet and Ryanair fly from Stanstead and Gatwick, I suspect though, that it would be expensive once you get here. The temperature reached 32 degrees today - boiling! Ate in the Oasis again: Canapes Shrimp Croquettes Chicken Soup Salmon Chocolate Dessert Friday 12th June Civitavecchio, for Rome Early start! It was a 1 ½ hour journey to Rome. We had a good guide, Maria, then picked up another guide when we entered Rome. The tour was called 'Monumental Rome'. I saw the Circus Maximus, Pantheon, Colisseum, Trevi Fountain and we went in to the Vatican City and right inside St Peters Basilica which was absolutely amazing. We saw beautiful work by Michaelangelo, so, so beautiful. We had lunch at an outside cafe: salad, bread, pasta Milanese, coffee ice cream and lots of wine. Lovely! And a really friendly table, maybe because of the unlimited wine! I slept on the way back, we got back to the ship around 6.00pm. Exhausted. I had dinner in the Island restaurant and met some nice Irish people, and then went to the Sundowner, where Assen and the others were playing then we had the 'Lock-In' which was an impromptu fun night. Bed at 1.00am. Saturday 13th June Livorno I didn't get up until late. I read all morning and spoke to a lovely couple from Perth over breakfast. I went on a wine tasting excursion in the afternoon which was very good; the vineyard was set in such beautiful countryside in the heart of Tuscany. We were shown how wine was made and then had a cold lunch of meats, olives, bread etc washed down with their own wine. It was a really good excursion, very relaxing. Had dinner in the Oasis then went to the Sundowner to hear Assen play. I bought his CD, there are some great tracks on it. Sunday 14th June Nice We sailed right into the Port of Nice which was fantastic. The city looks beautiful from the sea. I have holidayed in Nice quite often so didn't choose to do an excursion. I just love it here! I got off the ship at about 8.30 and wandered through the Old Town, not much open this early. I discovered a book exhibition 'exposition de libraire de Nice' which I think means Exhibition of Bookshops of Nice. Lots of authors including Douglas Kennedy but there was a long queue for him. I found a park and read for a while then wandered down the Cours Saleya and the old town for a bit. Had a Pastis (always makes me feel French) at the port overlooking the yachts then found a cafe and had a Pain Bagnat and a glass of red wine for lunch (4.50 and 2.50, 6.50 euro in total), and then got back to the ship at around 2.30. Oasis again at night then went to the show, a Night of Musicals, and finished in the Sundowner for more music. Monday 15th June Mahon, Menorca Went up to the Lookout Bar to watch us coming into port, beautiful, nicest port entrance yet. The ship docks right at the foot of the town of Mahon, just up a few steps and you're in the shopping area. It's a beautiful little town. I wandered about for a while then had lunch, tapas (tortilla, Russian salad, and a beer 7.50 euro), really nice. I went back to the ship for an hour, very hot 28 degrees, then in the afternoon I went on a tourist boat trip for an hour around the bay which was really good. Menorca is a beautiful island; the houses are stunning and so many beautiful boats. At night dinner in the Oasis as usual, lovely, but looking forward to less food, have definitely put on too much weight. Went to the show afterwards, it was really good, spectacular, probably the best yet. It included the Rocky Horror Show, Barcelona, Chicago, Carousel and some swing stuff. Afterwards I went to the Sundowner: Assen, Bobby the Starlites and then: 'A Band On Ship' - absolutely fab!! And so to bed. Tuesday 16th June Palma Woke early, 06.15am, with the sounds of the ship's engines as we docked at Palma. All luggage is colour labelled by flight so easy to locate. Early breakfast in the Island, pancakes, bacon and maple syrup, delicious. Waited in Sundowner to be called - due to leave at 10.40. 09.40am An hour to go before pick-up, this is the worst time in a holiday, I just want to get home now. Disembarkation was easy, on time and the bus to the airport was there waiting. Good flight home. Overall a good value-for-money cruise. Once I realised the deals that could be had by dining in the Oasis I was happier. I don't think it particularly good to have self service all the time if you are on your own. The entertainment on this cruise was excellent and the excursions were great. The cabin, as I've said, was a bit shabby and tired but overall a really enjoyable holiday. Would I return to this ship? I'm not sure, overall I think Royal Caribbean has my vote, the extra cost is worth it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2009
Good Points Entertainment staff are the only stars of this cruise ship. 50% of bar staff excellent the other 50% couldn't be bothered General Comments My expectations were not very high after speaking to people who had been on this ... Read More
Good Points Entertainment staff are the only stars of this cruise ship. 50% of bar staff excellent the other 50% couldn't be bothered General Comments My expectations were not very high after speaking to people who had been on this cruise ship before, but even they were not met. This ship is in serious need of a full refit, if it's your first time you might love it, but if your used to a more normal full service type of cruise you will hate it. The Vibration in some of the room is just terrible especially when going in and out of ports with the thrusters being used, got woke up every day due to this noise. The buffet style food is very basic and not to some peoples tastes as many fellow passengers commented. I heard 1 man in his 60's say that he didn't come on holiday to eat shepherds pie. If you pay the upgrade for the Oasis restaurant (£12.45 each person) the food quality goes from a 2* holiday hotel to 5* city hotel One of the most frustrating things is the way they charge your drinks on a all inclusive drinks package. You have to sign for every single drink you have so if there is a party of 2 people you have to sign 2 receipts with your cabin number and signature and get 2 copies which were just wasted paper. you don't need a receipt if it's not getting charged to you account. People without the all inclusive could buy as many drink as they wanted it one card and just one signature. It's nearly impossible to get a pint of soft drink or juice, as they will only serve it in a small half pint type plastic glass. If you do get it you will be presented with 2 receipts to sign just because they class it as 2 drink even although there is a cost of a pint of soft drink on the menu Overall you try to make the best of a bad situation and we did have a good time especially helped by some bar staff and the excellent entertainment staff. If you are planning a trip on this ship try to pre-book your cabin nearer the front of this ship it's much better. Bad Points Very tired looking cabins,had changed cabin 3 times during the 2 week cruise due to vibration problems with the first on deck 4 inside. Moved to outside deck 3 and had to change cabin after first week due to problems with the cabin, wet carpet, plumbing problems etc. I was fed up having to call at guest relations to get things fixed in the cabin. Beachcomber restaurant very hard to find a seat and move around when it's the only food place open. Read Less
Sail Date June 2007
As our first cruise we weren't sure what to expect, so we chose this as it was reasonably priced and informal. Subsequently, we found Island Escape to be an ideal introduction to the world of cruising. It has been a few years now ... Read More
As our first cruise we weren't sure what to expect, so we chose this as it was reasonably priced and informal. Subsequently, we found Island Escape to be an ideal introduction to the world of cruising. It has been a few years now since we sailed, and the boat has had a few alterations during this time- mostly the takeover of Island Cruises by Thomson. However, I will try and write a review as best I can based on my experience. This is a relaxed and informal cruise, so no dress code or set dinning times to adhere to. Since there was no set tables at meal times, we found this to be one of the best boats we have been on for meeting other people. The ship itself is rather old by today's standards. It is also quite small and lacks some of the extra amenities that larger, more modern ships have. However, it was well kept and maintained, and had the standard things- swimming pool, hot tubs, gym, casino etc. The dinning options on board included a buffet style canteen, a buffet style main restaurant and a speciality restaurant. We never tried the speciality one so cant comment on this, but we were more than happy with both of the buffets. There was always a good choice of food available- both myself and my mum are veggie/picky, but always found plenty to eat. Whilst the restaurants were self service, we still found the waiters to be very friendly and attentive. There was always plenty going on in terms of entertainment. There was a wide variety of British Game Shows, which were always good for a laugh. Also singers/dancers/karaoke/party nights etc. I cant really remember much about the main shows, however i'm sure these were also good (I certainly cant remember anything bad!) The ports of call were generally good. I have noticed that the 2 ports which weren't that great have since been dropped from the itinerary. Overall for us, this was a great introduction to cruising. It is quite reasonably priced, however doesn't necessarily come with quite the same standard/attention to detail as some of the larger lines (RCI, NCL etc). Perhaps if you have already been with some of these larger lines, you might find this cruise a bit of a step back. However for the cost, it provides a great little holiday with good food and entertainment. As previously mentioned, it has been a few years now since we sailed, and the company has since been acquired by Thomsons, so things may be a bit different now. Looking at pictures on the net, the cabins look like they could do with a bit of a refurb, and its certainly a different experience to some of the other ships we have since been on (Oasis/Allure etc). That said, I would give it another go, and recommend to others, especially first time cruisers or those who want a more relaxed/informal experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2006
Visiting Europe from Australia in May/June it rained for 3 weeks none stop. Fed up of being in wet weather gear we decided to look for the sun. The unknown to us T/A suggested the Island Escape as value for money and as we had no evening ... Read More
Visiting Europe from Australia in May/June it rained for 3 weeks none stop. Fed up of being in wet weather gear we decided to look for the sun. The unknown to us T/A suggested the Island Escape as value for money and as we had no evening dress with us we thought this to be an ideal ship. Manchester to Palma by air and then transported to the ship. This was a very smooth exercise and well performed by both land agents and ships staff. Our cabin 811 was sufficient, but we were horrified that we had to pay 10 English pounds for the safe key - no money refunded at the end of the voyage. Our cabin steward was a very efficient Indian boy who was saving his money to pay for his sister wedding. Our room was kept very clean at all times. The ship had a lot of good features, the staff on board were either from Eastern European countries or from India. The Captain was British who ran the ship in a very relaxed atmosphere. Food was plentiful and very English, 2 areas serving buffet meals and a more formal dining room where you had to pay an average of 25 pounds. We ate in the formal area 6 nights out of the 7, this was because we like being served at the table and not queue (don't the English love queues!) One of the buffet areas was open 24 hours a day. We thought the price of drinks very high and this spoilt the trip as we knew you could buy wine at every port for 2 pounds a bottle but the ship was charging up to 15 pounds. The public rooms were well appointed, but we always seemed to be looking for a seat. There were never enough seats in the theatre for what looked like to be excellent entertainment and entertainers. This ship caters for British holiday makers who like to be very very casual on board a cruise ship. There were no dress standards and not many rules either. I wouldn't recommend the Island Escape if you are looking for glitz and glamour as it simply is not that type of ship. I have read reviews elsewhere on the Internet and the person had more issues regarding the standards of the passengers than any faults of the ship. I am inclined to agree with him entirely. Many on this cruise were fully inclusive as they had booked up to 12 months prior. We asked twice to pay for this upgrade but we were refused. We had booked the cruise at a very good discount but felt that the ship was then making its money from highly priced drinks. A final word - if you like playing BINGO this is the ship for you, they even have linked bingo which means there are 2 decks on the ship linked to play the one game as it was so popular with most passengers. There was every age group on board, the ship didn't cater for any special age groups but there was a children club so on this cruise we hardly saw the children. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
Island Escape Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.2
Dining 3.0 3.8
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 3.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.4
Family 3.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.5

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