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133 Island Escape Cruise Reviews

My friend and I booked a cruise on board the Island Escape travelling from 12th July until 19th July, 2011. The facilities on board were good the entertainment first class including the game shows. Having previously travelled on The ... Read More
My friend and I booked a cruise on board the Island Escape travelling from 12th July until 19th July, 2011. The facilities on board were good the entertainment first class including the game shows. Having previously travelled on The Spirit I did not think it could get any better, and although the afternoon tea wasn't as good as The Spirit the meals were of better quality. We only booked on the 5th July and the ship was full. The beds and pillows were very hard and uncomfortable and the cabin was much smaller than the Spirit. My gripe is that the excursions on this cruise were too active for anyone with any mobility problems. In the newsletter it does state active, mod, or easy but when we enquired how active the trip to Monaco and Monte Carlo was I was told a walk of about 20 minutes with a maximum of 3-4 steps. After getting off the tender there was a very steep hill to climb and no handrails. We were taken to a car park and then a steep uphill walk for the rest of the tour, followed by several steps leading to the main attractions. The trip to Rome was a nightmare. We booked the easy option which was a Panoramic caoch tour lasting three hours. Actual time was 90 minutes giving us a five stay in the city. As the temperature was 35C and rising we were advised by the courier to take a Hopper bus. This cost us 18 Euros each but we were told you could hop on and off all day. We were put upstairs with intercons and by this time there were eight of us from the ship yet not one of the intercons worked. After several minutes one person went downstairs to ask where the Trevi Fountain was, to be told we had passed it along with the Spanish Steps, and if we got off the bus there was no guarantee we would get another one for at least an hour possibly more. After 2 hours and 15 minutes we ended up back where we started. This excusion cost us £57 plus £18 and all we saw was the inside of a coach. By the time we walked to the Vatican there was a three hour wait so we didn't get in. There was no shelter, nowhere to sit and it was getting hotter by the minute. I enjoyed the cuise but the excursions were over priced and in my opinion were not value for money. Yes I know they are optional but the information given out is not enough. We booked a Natural Beauty one and all we saw was trees. We stopped at a cafe which was situated at the top of a cliff accessed by a very steep climb with no handrails or some steps for the able bodied among us. I think it needs to be spelt out how active or moderately active these tours actually are (in the brochure please) Despite asking how much walking was involved before booking each excursion we were not told the truth. The newsletter that was delivered to the cabin did not arrive until afte 10pm each day. lighting in the cabin was not good enough to read at night. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
For all you first time Island Escape cruisers, Unless you fall asleep reading this I do hope the following will help put your mind at rest if you have booked a cruise on this ship and are now spending the remaining time logging onto Trip ... Read More
For all you first time Island Escape cruisers, Unless you fall asleep reading this I do hope the following will help put your mind at rest if you have booked a cruise on this ship and are now spending the remaining time logging onto Trip Adviser/Cruise Critic to read and worry about the negative reviews you have obviously been reading and probably thinking to yourselves "oh god, what have I done, booking this ship" ?!!! Well, first of all let me explain, I am not a seasoned cruiser. This is only my second cruise, both booked through Thompson Holidays. The first was with a fabulous ship called the Emerald (sadly no more) and five years later now with Island Escape.So like the majority of you, I too was reading every new review posted as the time neared for our holiday and by the time we set off was actually believing I was off to Butlins on Sea ! We arrived in Palma on 28th June 2011 around 11.30 am to find the tour rep waiting in the arrivals lounge. She quickly directed us to the transer coach. The trip to the port only took about 20 minutes so pleasant drive. The nice thing was that once we were at the port we didn't need to worry about our cases as they would be taken on board for us and deposited outside our allocated cabin within the hour. Anyway, first call was into the Port quay lounge where a glass of orange or iced water was freely available. Then we had to collect a envelope containing relevant information,on-board security card/cabin allocation/credit account form etc. You also have your security photo done as well. Don't worry, all this only takes about approx 10 minutes. So to the ship itself. Well, I took my first real look at it just prior to embarking. First impression? not bad at all. We all know that she was originally a Ferry but I really didn't expect her to be so big !! Once on board you need to go to the reception desk and either hand over your credit card for the details to be logged (no money is taken from your credit card at this time) or you may deposit £200 pounds sterling in cash. Most important,this is a british ship and everything is traded in pounds sterling only. Everything you purchase,except for the casino or bingo, is deducted from your credit card or cash deposited with reception. You sign for everything else with your signature plus cabin number and you are given a receipt every time and a bill is put under your cabin door at the end of the final night for you to check out and tally with your receipts. If you originally paid £200 cash and either have change to come or need to pay more, you need to go to reception. For those who handed over their credit card, if you are in agreement with all that you have bought during the trip (whichever, make sure you keep every receipt) there is no need to go to reception at all. We also purchased a key to the safe in our cabin which cost us £15 (although in the brochure and our holiday contract it stated £14) hey ho, I wasn't going to complain about the extra £1 though for fear of being labelled mean !! and we actually shared the safe with my brother and sister-in-law in the next cabin so it wasn't that expensive and gave peace of mind. Well onto our cabin, which was situated on Deck 9. We were shown to the cabin by our steward, Akash, a lovely young man who could not do enough for us. We had treated ourselves to a cabin with balcony for this our second cruise because on our first cruise we had an outside cabin where the window did not open and which I hated not having any fresh air so was really pleased that this time hubby and I could enjoy the doors being open at night (both of us being fresh air fiends)and especially because we wanted the pleasure of being able to sit down outside every morning and enjoy a coffee and a cigarette (yes, one of those dreadful smokers) but especially to be able to enjoy a glass of wine in our own private space and not have to fight for seats which I normally have to on every holiday I have been on !! The cabin itself was as one would expect, basic but absolutely spotless thanks to Akash, although the bathroom was a bit tired looking, it was again basic and small but perfectly adequete. it had a toilet, a sink and a shower with plenty of towels which were replaced every day or as required. The beds were nice and comfortable and there was plenty of wardroom and drawer space.There is also a fridge in the one wardrobe (safe is in the other wardrobe) cans of cold drinks and bottled water are there for you but you must tick the list to say what you have had and it will be deducted from your bill. Not much more I can say about the cabin, at least you now know that you wont enter and be disappointed. (all cabins have same facilities i.e. safe and fridge etc) Well our cases arrived within 20 minutes so after freshening up, obviously the first thing was to explore the ship (look away now all non-smokers)and find out where the designated smoking areas were,for all you smokers out there this is where they are. Deck 8 port and starboard side, The Mirage Bar Deck 10 Portside and Sailaway Bar Deck 11 aft. (See, know seafaring slang already). We were due to set sail at 11 pm that evening and on the hour everyone was excitedly waiting for the ropes to be let free and glasses clinked. Unfortunately because of a flight delayed from Edinburgh, this never happened and in the end everyone went to bed, we eventually sailed around 4.30 am in the morning so that was a bit of a damp squid. Never mind. Day one .....Restaurants. We decided to try the Beachcomber Restaurant on Deck 10 for breakfast, (a) because it was conveniently only one deck above us and (b) because there are no set meal times there we could go anytime upto 10.30/11 am. It was very nice, the food excellent and absolutely ideal if you have children as relaxed, easygoing and no pressure at all. Plenty of staff for help and guidance but they do not bother you at all. Everything is self-service but the queue is very quick as there are different food stations for different things. you can either eat inside or outside on the terrace. This restaurant is open 24 hours so really handy if one is peckish after midnight. We then decided to try the 2nd restaurant for lunch, The Island Restaurant. Now this one I really enjoyed. With this restaurant you have to queue just outside the restaurant (two queues) to be allocated seating, once you are seated, a waiter will automatically fill your glass with iced water and ask if you want a drink? If, like us, you are on All-Inclusive, you can only order wine by the glass, have a beer (San Miguel or Boddingtons)or if ordering a short, make sure you ask for the short with a splash of whatever mixer you want (if you do not use that word "splash" you may be charged for the mixer ! If you want branded shorts it costs 10p more than their own european labels so very good. My tipple is Gin and Tonic so I ordered Gordons with Schweppes which cost me 10p and 70p respectively but the tin of Schweppes was enough for two drinks. Hubby was happy with his San Miguel. Anyway I digress, back to the Island Restaurant..... again once you have ordered your drink, it is again self service and you go along and get your own lunch but the atmosphere, ambiance and quality of service is oh so nice in there. After that first day, we did breakfast in the Beachcomber (although I heard that breakfast in the Island was superb and superior) up to you of course) and Dinner in the Island Restaurant all week. We never once bothered with the Oasis Restaurant where one has to pay extra. Why would we ?? The bars...... Now, as I said,most important that if you are all-inclusive and ordering shorts you make sure when mentioning the mix to go with it that you ask for a "splash of....." to ensure you not charged for more. The drinks can work out very expensive off your account otherwise. Oh and the disappointing news is that unlike our first cruise when we also went all-inclusive, apart from when you use the Beachcomber and the Island restaurants to have coffee,(the coffee is ever so strong) you will have to pay for all other coffees in the bars and the Brazilia coffee shop. Hubby and I love Latte or Cappucinno and these were £2.80 or £2.90 respectively every time, charged to the account. Telling you this as most people are on a budget and money counts. The shows on board are brilliant and West End quality. Well, apart from the ports of call which may be different from ours so won't bother you with them (fabulous), not much else to tell you except not to take any notice of the bad reviews. Hubby and I are at an age where we demand value and comfort for money paid for our holiday and if there was anything wrong I would be the first to tell you. Enjoy your cruise. We had a great time. Don't expect P&O luxury but again, don't expect all the bad review scenario, these have obviously come from people who expect the same service but have only paid half the price. You have my word that you have nothing to worry about. Every member of staff is eager and willing to ensure you have the time of your life and the food is superb. Enjoy your Cruise. Ajuaccio - Fabulous, the beaches are out of this world. Rome - Excursion. day trip too long. If they could have done a 1/2 day it would have been better. Florence - didn't bother as another day long trip the day after being shattered from the Rome Trip. Went instead on a lovely 1/2 day Wine Tasting in Tuscany. Wonderful trip and back on board by 1.30 pm lunchtime. Cannes - With trepidition because Tender had to be boarded to get ashore but not too bad at all. Cannes is absolutely beautiful. Mahon - Old stomping ground and know it well. Only thing that got to me was with my crock knee and hubbys both knees, the 100 steps to the town was a flippin nightmare but oh so worth it once there. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
We have travelled many times before never with the same cruise line as we are still looking for the ideal cruise ship. Each one offers something more or less than the others. All in all our experience aboard Island Escape was a pleasant ... Read More
We have travelled many times before never with the same cruise line as we are still looking for the ideal cruise ship. Each one offers something more or less than the others. All in all our experience aboard Island Escape was a pleasant surprise. Old , Old Ship? Yes Shabby cabin? Yes We had a deluxe balcony, it was like a flash back to the 60's Love Boat! Food? Pretty regular except when we ate in the dining room at an extra cost and that was excellent. But the whole experience was made by the fabulous staff.They were all so friendly and welcoming , they really made us feel part of one big happy family and went out of their way to compensate for the shortfall of the ship. I can understand why many people repeat with Thomson, we would definitely go with them again, but on a different ship!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
This was our first cruise and we were very excited about it, and I have to say we were not disappointed in the slightest. The Island Escape is advertised as a relaxed informal cruise ship and we found this is exactly what it was. ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we were very excited about it, and I have to say we were not disappointed in the slightest. The Island Escape is advertised as a relaxed informal cruise ship and we found this is exactly what it was. From the moment we embarked in Palma we found everyone fantastic, from the cabin steward,cleaners, entertainers, bar staff and crew to be the friendliest we have ever come across. We have been to lots of All inclusive hotels round the world and have never found anything better than the Island Escape. Embarkation at Palma was very smooth and fast, we were on-board before we knew it, this was also the case at all Ports we visited. The Excursions we went on were, Sardinia Emerald coast, Sporting Barcelona and Monaco & Monte Carlo, all were very well organised and the guides very Knowledgeable. They were all very enjoyable, I loved Sardinia and would like to visit this beautiful place in the future, my husband loved the Barcelona and Monaco tours, we were very lucky on both these trips with the Champions League winners having paraded round Barcelona the day before we arrived, but while we were at the Nou Camp the players arrived for official photo shoots and even tho' the tour was stopped we managed to see them having there photos taken on the pitch from a distance. Also with Monaco we visited a week after the Grand Prix and as such all the stands and flags etc were still erected. Even the advertising hoardings were still in place. It made the visit even more special. With regards the food on board I don't know how anyone could make a complaint as we found it both varied and hot. We did use both beachcomber and the Island restaurant, we did prefer the Island as we like to get a bit dressed up for dinner and the beachcomber was definitely more relaxed. The food in both was excellent. We did not use the Oasis restaurant as we were very happy with Island. The bars and theatre were all excellent with very good service, sometimes when they were busy it may have taken a few minutes to be served but as the staff are so accommodating you don't mind a little wait. The entertainment on board is absolutely outstanding the Show team are very talented and Benjamin and Sophie are outstanding singers, the dancers could be in any west-end show and so nice and seemed very genuine boys and girls, they work very hard to make the passengers happy. A special mention must go out to Kerri, Kate & Ginger Dan they really did make our holiday so enjoyable. I think the one and only thing that could be better is the swimming pool it is very small and once the kids club has finished it is full of children. If this was bigger or even if there was a second pool for adults only it would be much appreciated. All in All this is the best holiday we have had and would come back to the Island Escape in a heartbeat. We are already looking at next years cruises. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
After a great flight and very easy and quick embarkation we boarded the ship to find our cabin (5582) was in a great position on the 5th deck near the customer relations desk. Yes the cabin was small, and simply furnished but it was quite ... Read More
After a great flight and very easy and quick embarkation we boarded the ship to find our cabin (5582) was in a great position on the 5th deck near the customer relations desk. Yes the cabin was small, and simply furnished but it was quite adequate for the amount of time we would be spending in it. The single beds were narrow but we slept very well. We had read derogatory reviews about the bathrooms - admittedly it wasn't luxurious but spotlessly clean and there were fresh towels each day. We were very glad to have paid extra to have an outside cabin it being exciting to wake up and see where we had arrived at, what the weather was like and to see the rolling seas. The size of the ship was about right for us. We soon got our bearings and got about very easily. When docked at Funchal we were next to an MSC ship which made the Island Escape look tiny! There were 3 restaurants- but we opted for the, open 24 hours a day, Beachcomber. The quality and choice of food was excellent and we enjoyed the informality. If we wanted to take our food on deck to admire the view while we ate - we could. My pre-cruise intentions of not succumbing to afternoon tea didn't last long. At 4 o clock we enjoyed the delights of freshly baked scones and cakes which we ate in the sunshine. People have sniffily commented on the 'plastic plates' - they were actually melamine and no way made our lovely meals less enjoyable. We had paid for the drinks package which was expensive at £378 between us. The bar prices were comparable to home and I don't think we really got our moneys worth. It was our first time so we weren't to know. The entertainment was excellent. We went to the Ocean theatre most evenings and the production, costumes and vocals were of a very high standard. Most of the shows were musicals but there was also a comedian and tribute act which were excellent too. Quizzes and game shows were often on in the Bounty lounge and a selection of singers in one of the bars. We were spoilt for choice. The trips were good value and we opted for half day ones so we would have the afternoons on the ship. The trip to Gran Canaria was one of the least enjoyable as there was a big emphasis on Christopher Columbus which got abit boring in the end - though the guide certainly knew her stuff. In retrospect the Maspalomas/ Puerto Mogan one may have been preferable. Madeira was beautiful and we found the views from the cable car stunning. Unfortunately we didn't have time for a toboggan ride as there was quite a queue and and not enough time as we were due back at the coach. Maybe it would have been better to have got about independently in Madeira to have had more time. One place I wouldnt have wanted to travel independently was Morocco. We were glad to have had the safety of an organised tour. I was fascinated by the country but it was hot, dirty and like stepping back in time. The locals were always asking for money and shopping in the souk was not an enjoyable experience - the traders pestering us constantly. The crew on the ship were great. 31 different nationalities and they were all helpful polite and attentive. We had a wonderful holiday. We wanted an informal cruise, good food, interesting places and sunshine and the Island Escape ticked all the boxes. Cant wait to sail on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Have just returned from another wonderful cruise on Island Escape around the Canaries. Bit dissapointed that the refurbishment was not as much as we thought but we could see a few differences. ie the green carpet on Top deck and new ... Read More
Have just returned from another wonderful cruise on Island Escape around the Canaries. Bit dissapointed that the refurbishment was not as much as we thought but we could see a few differences. ie the green carpet on Top deck and new seat covers at the pool bar. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and look forward to returning. People moaned about the rough seas, but thats the sea isnt it!!!!! A man at Captains Question Time asked why wasnt their a formal night and more formality.......THINK HE WAS ON THE WRONG SHIP!!!!! He obviously didnt read that the description says informality. Yet again the staff were wonderful and attentive. Yet again the entertainment was first class and friendly staff. Ross the Entertainment Director and is excellent Asst Chris were brilliant, very friendly and always had time to talk to you. Special regards to Ollie, Dan, and Katie and the wonderful vocals of Chris. and a get Well Soon to Matthew Keylock who broke his foot. Some of the staff had to double up and quickly learn routines to cover for his absence, shame it couldnt be shared out more equaly amongst the Dance Captain and Fuse etc. as some of the entertainment crew doubled up repeatedly due to this injury absence. Paul Eastwood the guest Comedian needed to change his routine from last year!! but we still laughed at the same routine. So, we will come back and hope the same Entertainment Crew will be there when we return. GOOD WORK GUYS Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
This was our first cruise and we booked it 10 days beforehand. The day before we went my husband went onto cruise critic sight and after reading some of the reviews wondered what we had let ourselves in for. Our first impression was very ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we booked it 10 days beforehand. The day before we went my husband went onto cruise critic sight and after reading some of the reviews wondered what we had let ourselves in for. Our first impression was very good. The ship looked fine. Our transfer went smoothly except for queuing for a short while, which we have got used to. As far as the photographer always taking your photo, what is the problem. You do not have to buy them. Our cabin was an outside cabin on the 9th deck. It was basic but clean with plenty of storage space, what more would you want. The stewardess came 2-3 times a day, always tidying up, leaving us various animals made out of the towels. She was extremely friendly. We always used the island restaurant. It was always clean, the food was very good with plenty of choice. The staff couldn't do enough for you. The various bars and lounges catered for all types on board. There was always somewhere else to go if you weren't happy in one particular place. We did go on a couple of excursions and made our own way on other ports of call. Our overall impression was excellent. Our advice go and make your own mind up. You cannot please all of the people all of the time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
We have just come back from 2 weeks on Island Escape. We have read the reviews before we went so would like to address a few on how we found it. We always go when the children have gone back to school and there was only 10 so it was ... Read More
We have just come back from 2 weeks on Island Escape. We have read the reviews before we went so would like to address a few on how we found it. We always go when the children have gone back to school and there was only 10 so it was quiet. There were more more mature people than we expected and quite a few groups of mature parties having a whale of a time and obviously on the drink package. Yes the ship is tired but its having a revamp in October and that will all be sorted out with new paint and wallpaper. No difference in bumps and scratches in my house ! The cabin steward was wonderful and turned down the bed at night and was always in the corridor bringing towels and changing towels even if you only popped back for a few minutes. The towels are made into great animals and I hadn't the heart to take down my monkey from my window for a week!!! When you get back on board on monkey towel day look at the portholes and windows , it makes you laugh!! People moaned about the coffee and I found that no problem. The restaurants are wonderful and the staff overly attentive in a nice way. They remember your name and what you like to order and sang. Some people dressed for dinner and some people enjoyed the atmosphere and talked to the other diners. "Some people didn't want to talk and should have booked the Queen Mary and obviously didn't want to associate with their fellow diners" Its nice to dress up and its nice to chat - we made some great friends. The entertainment was excellent and varied. Singers, quizzes and the like. If you didn't want to take part there are plenty of places to sit in the quiet with no music. The promenade to mention one. Theres composed and games and loads of dance classes, Deal or No Deal type games. You can dip and dip out of the fun if you want. The Theatre entertainment was brilliant. But I did get a bit tired of "who is in from Wales YAY, Scotland YAY or hello at the back in the cheap sets" and on "We Will Rock You" they did songs from Scotland Wales Ireland Brazil, China etc etc all except England. It did feel a bit of Scots or Irish Nite. Unfortunately the Comedian on the 2nd week Phil DOYLE did half the same routine as the comedian Phil EASTWOOD who was on the week before. Phil EASTWOOD was excellent in his routine and as a Judge in Strictly Come Dancing Comedy Nite. The tribute acts Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin were excellent. Ross the Entertainment Director and his Team of entertainers were brilliant and we had such fun and they work very hard. All the staff did and said hello and were lovely all the time. And they were the people who looked after you on Boarding day. Thanks to Adam who found us wandering about as we were independent travellers and not on the en masse coaches boarding. Well spotted. Shame "some" of the diners weren't so "in the zone" We had a wonderful time and will book next year and cant wait to see the revamp. We have found a great replacement for Ocean Village. Thanks Island Escape it was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
When we first arrived there was an error in the booking of our cabin. We booked a deluxe balcony, one of only 5 on the back end of the ship, but ended up in a deluxe (?) double with picture window. So straight away we were quite annoyed, ... Read More
When we first arrived there was an error in the booking of our cabin. We booked a deluxe balcony, one of only 5 on the back end of the ship, but ended up in a deluxe (?) double with picture window. So straight away we were quite annoyed, but had to lump it as the ship was sailing full capacity of passengers. We will be getting a refund on the balcony cost. Anyway, back to the ship itself. The room was clean, but tired in the bathroom. A bodge job had been done on the tile grouting. The toilet seat was old and chipped. The cabin attendant, Luis, was from Hondouras in Mexico, and nothing was too much trouble foor him. He was very proud of his work and started work about 5am until gone 10pm. The Ocean Theatre had no air conditioning for the whole week. The lower corridor carpets are thread-bare in a lot of places. But we believe a few million is going to be spent on a refit after October. The food is plentiful and very well cooked. An extra charge in the Oasis restaurant is well worth it. They cook the best steak I have ever eaten. The extra charge of £15 per head is well worth it. The term used in the beachcomber restaurant is a bit mis-leading. They advertise it as self-service, but that only applies to the salads and puddings. All the hot food is served by the chefs over their hot-plate counter. But it is all still good grub! The Island restaurant is a help yourself buffet, but waiter come to your table with drink, and you have table cloths here. The coffee from the machine is a bit strong and if you like a strong cup of tea, use two teabags. The entertainment is a bit butlin-like, but not un-enjoyable. The pool is more like a fishpond-size and had a bit of a green hue all week, so we didn't bother going in. Five people would have been too many anyhow. Apparently it is filled with filtered sea water. There are no plunge pools or hot tubs either, so this is it for cooling off. There is not enough room on the very small sun decks to accommodate the sun-bathers. They were crammed together likes sardines. To get a good view of the arrival in the port of that day, you had to pick your way through sun loungers to the rails on the sun-deck, and if you had more than a bikini on, got glared at by near-naked passengers that clearly thought you had no business to be there, it was very territorial. There were a small amount of shops on this ship, the usual trinket shop, perfumery, clothes and sweet/cigarette outlet complete with a small selection of soft toys and a limited pharmacy selection. The toilet system broke down 3 times on our pipe system, but was quickly repaired by the engineers. The public toilets were nice and clean (they were situated next to the main entertainments venues shops and restaurants). We feel that cramming 1500 passengers on a ship this small should not be allowed. The deck space does not accommodate it. It would be a much nicer ship if they reduced the passenger numbers to 1000. Having said that, we did manage to have a nice time and a holiday is, after all, what you make it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
My husband and I called into the travel agents on the off chance they might have a late deal, being the start of the summer holidays, prices hadn't dropped enough to qualify in my husbands book as 'a bargain!' After ... Read More
My husband and I called into the travel agents on the off chance they might have a late deal, being the start of the summer holidays, prices hadn't dropped enough to qualify in my husbands book as 'a bargain!' After exhausting nearly all the deals they had to offer, i was feeling a tad subdued, until I suggested a cruise. The price was right, flights were ideal and the destinations appealed to us- so it was decided- The Island Escape it was!! After booking and paying, we came home to read the reviews-BIG MISTAKE! All we kept thinking was 'well its only for week!' We were in our cabin at 10.55am, (a bonus is that the dock is only 15 mins from the airport.) Our cabin steward, Amr greeted us and made us feel instantly at home. Anything we needed we only had to ask. We were very impressed with our cabin, it was huge! The food, well what can I say was bountiful! Every minute of every day there was something to eat-even fussy eaters had no cause to grumble. The price of beer was reasonable. A pint of Stella was 3.10 and the daily cocktail was 2.70. We bought local wines ashore and was able to consume them in our cabin. The crew always polite and friendly, as were the entertainment team. All took the time to chat if seen round the ship. A magnificent bonus on the entertainment front was the swing singer - Asa Murphy. Wow what a marvellous singer! It was worth going to listen to him alone! I realise I sound as though I'm gushing about our entire holiday but we enjoyed immensely! My husbands and I had only 2 complaints, firstly we might have used the gym had it not have been a walk through gym with everything and everyone on show. Secondly, the excursions were so expensive. Our entire holiday from start to finish was excellent. So the island escape is not the biggest, newest and brashest ship in the dock, but the crew, entertainment team, food and destinations sure made up for that! My only complaint was we only booked for 1 week and not 2. Some people are never happy and always moan whatever!! go with an open mind and have a wonderful time!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
I have just returned from a week on the Island Escape. Having read many reviews of the ship i was quite worried about what we were going to find when we opened the door to our cabin. We had a twin outside cabin on deck 4 (2 of us ... Read More
I have just returned from a week on the Island Escape. Having read many reviews of the ship i was quite worried about what we were going to find when we opened the door to our cabin. We had a twin outside cabin on deck 4 (2 of us travelled: my mum aged 57 and me aged 34), this was our first cruise. We called at the follwing ports: Villefranche, Livorno, Civitavecchia, Propriano, Mahon. We joined the ship at Palma in Majorca, but there is no option for Palma as the port of embarkation above!! The cabin was surprisingly spacious - there were 2 very comfortable (and good-sized) beds, 2 wardrobes, a desk, mini bar and bathroom. We had 2 portholes which provided a lovely view out to sea. We originally booked an inside cabin, however we upgraded for just £22 each after booking, to an outside cabin. The cabin was spotlessly clean and the cabin steward was very attentive - cleaning the cabin in the morning and then coming back in the evening to turn the beds and put the bedside lamps on! The only downside to the cabin was the very small bathroom, however it is a ship, so what do you expect?! The cabin was a little dated and could do with a bit of a facelift, but it was perfectly comfortable and clean. The food onboard was very good; there are several restaurants. We had lunch every day in the Beachcomber which is a 24 hour cafe-style venue with a buffet. We had dinner every evening in the Island restaurant which is also a buffet but a bit smarter. Every evening we had a cocktail or 2 in one of the many entertainment venues - the Bounty Lounge which has quizzes and live music, or the Ocean Theatre which has shows (some better than others). The prices of drinks onboard were very reasonable - on a par with UK pubs i would say. We called at several fabulous ports but chose to only go on one organised trip: Puccini Lakes and Pisa on the day we called at Livorno (note: the brochure says you will call at Marina Di Carrara, however the itinerary has been changed to Livorno). The trip was excellent, but it cost £41 per person which is quite a lot of money for what it was. Each day the Shore Excursions team has maps and information about each port on their desk on deck 5 if you choose to explore a destination independently. Also the ship has a publication called Island Chat which is pushed under your cabin door each night. This details opening times for all the restaurants and bars, etc and also provides information on the port you will call at the following day. One trip i would definitely say to miss is the day you dock at Civitavecchia for Rome. Some of the organised tours cost up to £100 or more. We took a train from Civitavecchia station to Rome Termini (the main train station in Rome) and the ticket cost just 9 Euros. This ticket is valid not only for the train but also buses and Metro. The train took just over an hour. THere is a courtesy bus from the ship to the entrance to the port. It is then a 10 minute walk (in a straight line along the seafront) to the station. We thoroughly enjoyed our time on the Island Escape and cannot understand what people were expecting when they wrote those very negative reviews. Travelling on P&O or some of the other high-end cruise lines would cost twice or three times as much as you will pay to travel on the Island Escape. You get what you pay for. However you cannot fault the cleanliness or friendliness onboard. Have fun!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
I have just returned from a one week cruise to the western med on the Island Escape and was not disappointed. (Just to mention before anyone thinks we are easily satisfied, my partner and I are extremely well travelled, having stayed in ... Read More
I have just returned from a one week cruise to the western med on the Island Escape and was not disappointed. (Just to mention before anyone thinks we are easily satisfied, my partner and I are extremely well travelled, having stayed in the poorest regions of Africa and India to the most opulent 6* hotels in the Emirates and Middle East.) I apologise if this is a long review but I try to be accurate. Embarkation was quick and efficent, with photos being taken of each individual at check in and a a credit card style card with a bar code was issued which was used every time you embarked or disembarked the ship and was used for purchasing drinks or as proof of identity. Our cabin was a standard outside cabin on deck 4 (cabin 4064 to be exact) and we were pleasantly surprised. There was a small ensuite shower room with toilet, basin and shower, clean towels and soap, but no shower gels etc. Ok it wasn't huge, but perfectly adequate enough. The water was hot and the shower was powerful. Ok there were a few cracked tiles on the base of the shower, but we are not paying 5* prices are we? The cabin itself had two portholes each of about 14 inch diameter and allowed plenty of natural light. There was plenty of storage space - 2 wardrobes, hangers and and drawers and a dressing table as well. There was a small colour portable TV which had a view from the bridge, movies and news channels. There was some engine noise but this was not troublesome and there was slight rattling from the wardrobes with ship movement but nothing a bit of card would not sort. Tapwater was drinkable. A nice touch was towels on the beds made into animals and the cabin was kept immaculately clean and tidy. Staff came in three times daily including to turn down the sheets and light the cabin dimly to welcome you back from as late night which was nice. The restaurant food was excellent. It was not repetitive at all and there was plenty of variety. The food was always hot and fresh. There was always a soup (most of the time vegetarian), lots of fresh salads, pasta, carvery, pizza etc plus lots of other main options. There was always a quality vegetarian option. Desserts were lovely and a good selection. There was usually a special dessert on each day as well such as trifle or profiteroles and by this I mean they made it up fresh - so jelly, then sponge and fruit, custard and cream for trifle for example. Tea, coffee, milk and water were available from machines in the beachcomber. My on;y criticism would be at times it was extremely busy to the point it was difficult to find a table. However, staff were always polite and on the ball and hygiene was enforced through encouraging the use of hand gel sanitisers which were present all over the ship. We paid to upgrade to All Inclusive. On draft is Stella and Boddingtons and this is the only lager/bitter option for All Inclusive. Most Cocktails are available and soft drinks by the glass, including diet coke. Cans of soft drink were not included and were much more expensive. (Prices for comparison - 85p glass soft drink, £3.00 cocktail, £3.00 pint beer, £1.60 can soft drink - if not all inclusive). The waiting staff were excellent and you never had to get their attention to bring you a drink which was good and you never had to tip either. Entertainment - Every evening a copy of the Island newsletter would pop through the door so you could plan your next days activities, but these ranged from pub quiz to cabaret and I have to say we were very impressed with the efforts made by the staff and high standard of shows. Excursions - These were very expensive, but it is easy to do most of them on your own. For example, the ship charged near £80 to to Rome on your own, or £40 ish for just the transfer. If you walk five mins from port to train station and buy a BIRG ticket you can get unlimited train travelfor the day for 9 euros. So about 6 quid would get you a return ticket to thecentre of Rome and you could come back when you pleased - also it was twice as quick! Overall I would give this 5 out of 5. You may get better shows etc on bigger ships, but you are not paying those sort of prices so all this has to be balanced. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
This was our first and definately not the last cruise we have been on. Travelling with my husband and son of 11 we would definately reccomend cruising as an alternative to an all inclusive hotel. We holidayed in a 5* all incl in Turkey ... Read More
This was our first and definately not the last cruise we have been on. Travelling with my husband and son of 11 we would definately reccomend cruising as an alternative to an all inclusive hotel. We holidayed in a 5* all incl in Turkey last year for about the same price but this was much much better. The beauty of it you are not confined to the same resort for 7-14 days the beauty of waking up in a different country every day is unreal. The ship thou a bit dated was immaculate and we constantly found maintenance staff checking and painting different areas thou I believe it is going into dry dock for refurbishment in October so this should take care of that. The customer service is outstanding much better than we have ever received. In particular the restauraunt staff in the Island where we frequented every night a special mention to Matius and Jammy who entertained our son on a nightly basis who after two weeks still tells everyone about them. Our cleaner Natalia was also well above the normal standard all very much appreciated. Food was great and the staff just couldnt do enough for you. My son did not go to Palmy Kids club as this age group was from 3-11 which was a little too young for him. He did enjoy the arcade but a bit pricey i.e. £12 lasted about ten minutes. Entertainment was good thou only attended the cabaret twice there was just so much choice. We went to the beauty salon and I had a cut and blow dry with a treatment for £27 which I thought reasonable my son had a massage which cost £20 for about 30mins (As he is only 11 think we got better value) the staff in the salon where very attentive and informative. We went on two excursions to Nice, Monacco and Monte Carlo and too Pisa and Puccini lakes although cost about £120 per trip for the three of us but no different that you would pay at any other resort. We thoroughly enjoyed both as they were well structured and you were not left to wonder around for hours in a place you didnt like. Bar staff very also very friendly thou maybe a bit too much in your face asking if you required "Bar Service" when quite clearly you had a full drink in front of you but if thats all to complain about its not very much. We booked about three weeks before we went and were not offered a drinks upgrade and asked at Customer Relations desk could we do it then and were told no we should have done it at the travel agents so we missed out or perhaps the travel agents should have told us about this. Overall it was the best holiday we have ever had and please do not be put off by the bad reviews because you cant please everybody all of the time. We will definately go cruising again and if dates suit we would love to return to the Island Escape I am so jealous of anyone who is going this year. I hope because of the refurbishment the prices are not increased too much as I feel everyone should do at least one cruise in their lifetime and if they are lucky enough to do it on the Island Escape. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Just came back from a week long (1st July - 8th July 2010) cruise on the Island Escape and we loved it. I'd read lots of reviews about the Island Escape before boarding the ship and I was quite apprehensive. 1st things first, this ... Read More
Just came back from a week long (1st July - 8th July 2010) cruise on the Island Escape and we loved it. I'd read lots of reviews about the Island Escape before boarding the ship and I was quite apprehensive. 1st things first, this is NOT the cruise for you if your the 'stuck up' and 'hoiti-toiti' type. It is totally informal, relaxed and enjoyable (very enjoyable) as the ship's motto states. And secondly, it's true, the ship is certainly in need of a general upgrade but our enjoyment of the trip was not in any way affected by the ships slightly 'worn' state. (Worn but certainly not dirty!!! I've never seen as many staff constantly cleaning - anywhere like this before - the ship is spotless.) The food on this boat is amazing. I've been to lots of 'All-Inclusive' resorts and such likes and I've never enjoyed buffet food (and A La Carte) as much as I did on this ship. Not only that, one of our friend's wouldn't eat anything from the buffet so no other than the head waiter came down and arranged for anything she wanted to be cooked for her - I couldn't believe he did that. The best part of this ship though by a mile is THE STAFF!!! WOW. You will never meet nicer, bubblier, more friendly and accommodating staff than we did on the Island Escape. I was gobsmacked that not as much as one member of staff was rude or abrupt with us at any stage, and I'm not exaggerating. They are the best we've ever encountered. If you're in two minds about booking with this cruise then don't be, book it and enjoy it. We did! Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
I thought that this would be the last holiday my eldest children would want to come on with me, so opted for something special. How wrong I was.... I'm never going to get rid of them now... they are already on my case for 2011! Our ... Read More
I thought that this would be the last holiday my eldest children would want to come on with me, so opted for something special. How wrong I was.... I'm never going to get rid of them now... they are already on my case for 2011! Our party consisted of a ten people being 55yrs, 42 yrs, 21 yrs, 20 yrs, 18 yrs, 18 yrs, 16 yrs, 16 yrs, 11 yrs and a 2 yr old.... (No they are not all mine!). There was something for everybody... The entertainment was varied, professional, entertaining and enjoyable - each and every one of us were impressed by the energy, attitude and diversity of all the entertainment staff. The food was in abundance, and more often than not we opted for the Beachcomber buffet restaurant and ate little and often, around our hectic pre-planned schedule. Waiting and bar staff were incredible. Not just efficient, courteous and welcoming, but each and every one of them made you feel special, and as for Joseph, our cabin steward, he deserves a large medal.... nothing was too much for him! Newsletters were delivered daily, and the information given was brilliant. It had an itinerary of the on board events, plus essential information regarding the port of call. The excursion clerks at reception were knowledgeable beyond belief, not just with information on their excursions but provide local maps and details of the towns for the ones who chose just to get off and have a wander. The pool was on the small side, and imagine in school holidays this may cause a problem, but didn't affect us in the slightest. We opted for all inclusive drinks package, and were pleased we did. Drinks were surprisingly not expensive on board, but it was nice for us knowing that part had been paid for. The ship did look a little 'used' in places, but this was totally irrelevant in comparison to the positives. I fail to see how anybody could not have a wonderful time!!! and if you're going.... I envy you! Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
We decided to go on a cruise to celebrate our big birthdays, but wanted something informal and fun, which would be within our somewhat limited budget. The Island Escape was all these things and gave use the holiday of a lifetime - at least ... Read More
We decided to go on a cruise to celebrate our big birthdays, but wanted something informal and fun, which would be within our somewhat limited budget. The Island Escape was all these things and gave use the holiday of a lifetime - at least until next time! We were able to upfrade free of charge to the all-inclusive option, which meant we did not have to worry about any hidden expenses whilst on the cruise. The only things we needed to pay for were the excursions of which we took three. The other two days we were happy to simply go ashore and check out the ports, which was always very simple and well organised, and gave us a great deal of flexibility. The ship itself was just the right size and, being disabled, meant that everything was easily accessible. We could come back after our day out and have dinner, go to the theatre, enjoy thethe music in the pub and the a late night drink all within easy reach. The staff were so helpful and friendly - nothing was too much trouble and empty glasses and plates were whisked away and fresh drinks brought constantly. The choice of food was fantastic, all of a very high quality and constantly fresh, and there were 3 different restaurants to suit your mood, although we preferredthe Beachcomber restaurant because it was so relaxed and informal, and we could even sit outside and enjoy the sunshine or sunset. We went to the theatre most nights and the shows were excellent quality in a very relaxed setting. The Sundowner bar provided live music, with a brilliant rock guitarist in Assen, who we thought was fantastic, but there were different acts to suit different tastes throughout the night to keep everyone happy. Some people chose to dress in their finery, whilst others were happy to remain casual throughout the cruise, but whichever option you chose youfelt comfortable and at ease. We found the other holidaymakers to be extremely pleasant and friendly, but did not feel compelled to mix with other people if we didn't want to. Our excursions visited Pisa, Rome and a round Corsica tour, which were hugely enjoyable andvery easy to do in view of my disability, and with excellent guides at each place. It was possible to do just as much or as little as you wanted and so we were able to engineer the perfect holiday - each day brought the excitement of a different place with no constant packing and unpacking, resulting in a hugely enjoyable (and hopefully soon to be repeated) experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Having cruised with Celebrity and Royal Carib. I was a bit worried when I read the reviews at the beginning of the year. This cruise was booked by friends who had never cruised before and they booked right. The more recent reviews are ... Read More
Having cruised with Celebrity and Royal Carib. I was a bit worried when I read the reviews at the beginning of the year. This cruise was booked by friends who had never cruised before and they booked right. The more recent reviews are nearer the mark. With buffet service your evenings are not run around eating times. Gentlemen tend not to wear jeans and shorts at night. Trousers and shirts/polos being the order of the day (casual nights on formal ships). I found the food to be very good, not as fancy but good and on the whole British. The 24 hour (and it is!)upstairs has exactly the same food as the downstairs which is also buffet but with semi-waiter service. If you are on your own the latter is good as they sit you at tables with strangers/ new friends. I would not exactly call the upstairs crockery "plastic" you would only know because of the weight or if you threw it at the wall. The cabins are to get a refurb. but where no where near as bad as stated in other reports. For the all inclusive drinks package to work you have to drink £50 per night per couple, the drink is pub prices £2-90 per pint, not bad. The theatres are not the same as the 3 tier theatres on the large ships but the shows and entertainers where very enjoyable. It was a bit like social clubs in the 80's and 90's. The excursions where good, but always check to see if the port itself is enough for you. I am a tour guide so I tend to do a lot of excursions. In Villefranche be aware for a few pounds the local train will take you to Monaco, Nice or as we did Cannes. All in all a great break.FANTASTIC Staff, as courteous and attentive as any "posh" ship. Oh by the way if you are a cruise snob you will find things to pick at but on a cruise in Patagonia in the Beagle sound we where looking at a "Blue Glacier carving out the side of a mountain in glorious sunshine and we heard 2 Americans discuss whether the sweets on Celebrity where up to there usual standards. Some people are never happy. The rest will enjoy The Island Escape. A wee bit Butlins A wee bit 70's/80's A Big Bit Fun. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
We did the Med discovery and enjoyed every minute. The ship is old compared to some cruise lines but in our opinion it is the friendliest ship we have ever cruised on. The cabins have everything you need, the entertainment is second to ... Read More
We did the Med discovery and enjoyed every minute. The ship is old compared to some cruise lines but in our opinion it is the friendliest ship we have ever cruised on. The cabins have everything you need, the entertainment is second to none. The food was exceptional. Piled weight on, but never mind. Every crew member on that ship speaks when they pass you. The friendliness of the crew seems to rub off on the passengers and it doesn't take long before you make friends with other fellow passengers. Met up with a few 'first time cruiseres' and they all remarked on what a friendly ship it is. The ports of call were great. Really impressed with Corsica, and the one and half hour cruise down the estuary to Mahon in Minorca is out of this world. The captain announced that he recommended you to be up on deck whilst sailing down the estuary so nearly everyone was up and about. The scenary was beautiful and to top it all we docked right in the main street!! We would definitley sail on the Isand Escape again, we love the ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
We sailed from Palma in the evening, after a red hot day on deck. This weather lasted forthe whole cruise and for the stay on Mallorca afterwards. The ship has been upgraded in lots of places, but still needs a bit more. The cabin, on deck ... Read More
We sailed from Palma in the evening, after a red hot day on deck. This weather lasted forthe whole cruise and for the stay on Mallorca afterwards. The ship has been upgraded in lots of places, but still needs a bit more. The cabin, on deck 4 had two portholes, single beds, en suite and loads of storage spacewith doors on. The cabin steward, and all the crew were very friendly and nice. Two places we docked at, Villefranche and Propriano, were too small to take the ship, so we had to go by tender. It's quite exciting getting back aboard from a tender! Our cruise was 'all inclusive'and included drinks as well as food. The waiters kept coming round the ship to make sure everyone was supplied with the drinks they wanted. (They made quite a joke about it "Come on, wakey, wakey, the more you drink, the longer the sun will shine!") The food was excellent. We used both the Island Restaurant and the Beachcomber, both as good as each other, with plenty of choice. We put on a few pounds, I can tell you! We're not people who like "Entertainment" and only went to the show on the last night, and ended up wishing we had gone to them all, as this was so good. We went on two coach trips - to Monaco and Montecarlo and to Pisa. These were both excellent. The guides were very informative and the coaches dropped us as close as possible to where we wanted to be. We didn't go to Rome, as we have been there many times and a day is not long enough, so we stayed on board and relaxed that day. Some people walked into Civitavecchia and wished they hadn't - it was as uninteresting as it looked from the ship. We were searching for dolphins all the time and saw none, but, better than that, we saw two whales, blowing fountains into the air and diving over and under each other. It was a very relaxing experience. There no need to dress up in the evening. You could if you wanted to, in fact we did see someone in a dinner jacket on the first night, but we didn't see him again. There several couples on board who had been on Island Escape at least once before. This was a truly wonderful cruise and we can't wait to go back again next year. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
We booked this cruise without reading any reviews just by listening to our travel agent. However when I went on to read reviews we can honestly say we were dreading it. We flew into Funchal from our local airport on arrival everything ... Read More
We booked this cruise without reading any reviews just by listening to our travel agent. However when I went on to read reviews we can honestly say we were dreading it. We flew into Funchal from our local airport on arrival everything went very well and it was not long till we were on the mini bus taking us to the ship. Saw the ship on the horizon and it looked ok. Got on board and again the embarkation process went well. We had booked an outside cabin and although a little on the cosy side it was very clean with enough storage space for the week. Yes it was a little tired and in need of a refit, however all the public areas were spotlessly clean. The staff were more than helpful and our cabin stewardess was amazing. Entertainment on the ship was very varied and there was always something going on. The resident group were only average but the show teams were very good. If we have to criticise anything it would be a bit of a bun fight in the Beachcomer restaurant to get a table and we hated the plastic mugs for tea and coffee which always tasted vile. However the food when you got it was of a very good standard. We dined one night in the Oasis restaurant paid a cover charge or £14 99 each but well worth it for the service and standard of food. On the bar side all the mixers and soft drinks come out of cans and large bottles so 9 out of 10 drinks were flat as they open cans and bottles then they get left. Did complain to the bar manager about that but did not get a lot of satisfaction there. All in all good value for money don't listen to negative reviews. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
I ventured on this holiday with a great deal of trepidation as I did not read the negative reviews on the ship until after booking. I have cruised before on a more up to date ship, spent a £1000 more and the cruise was not as good as this ... Read More
I ventured on this holiday with a great deal of trepidation as I did not read the negative reviews on the ship until after booking. I have cruised before on a more up to date ship, spent a £1000 more and the cruise was not as good as this one. The cabin we had was designed for 4 people as it had fold up bunk beds, for two of us there was plenty of room. The shower room is small but has a toilet washbasin and shower what else do you need? The bedding was very clean and comfortable. Originally I was in a cabin at the very front of the ship and not being a good traveller felt sick after a couple of nights, I was moved to a cabin mid ships with no problem. The food is plentiful and good, the entertainment first rate and the staff helpful, friendly and hard working. Drinks on board are very reasonable with a cocktail costing £2.50 - £3, cheaper than down your local! The trips are good value and I was very satisfied with the one I went on, if you feel like finding your way around yourself most ports of call have open top tourist buses that you can hop on and off all day for approx €12. The ship is due for refit in November and in some areas shows a sign of age, but overall it is the best value for money anywhere, I would sail on her again with no qualms at all. On a final note the Norovirus that has been mentioned on other reviews was brought on board by passengers nothing to do with the ships standard of hygiene The week we were on board there was no self service and we were served by crew wearing thin plastic gloves. There is lots of hand sanitization points on board and it is up to you to ensure you use them, as we left I noticed that the ship was once again self service. Enjoy your cruise don't expect the Queen Mary, you have not paid for it, enjoy your holiday Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
After reading all the bad reviews we were dreading going on our half term break. We had a great flight, really good embarkation and sailaway party on deck. 2nd day in Gran Canaria was sunny and we were lucky enough to be there for the ... Read More
After reading all the bad reviews we were dreading going on our half term break. We had a great flight, really good embarkation and sailaway party on deck. 2nd day in Gran Canaria was sunny and we were lucky enough to be there for the carnival. We watched over 35 floats and they were still coming and saw I am sure thousands of people in fancy dress all enjoying themselves and a fantastic atmosphere. From then on the weather was very windy and we turned into nomads of the sea. Couldn't go to La Palma due to the weather, had an extra day at sea then on to Madeira which was beautiful. If you are doing your own thing take the yellow open top bus as this gives you access to the local buses (to go up to Mont) and an extra tour loop. We were on our way to Morocco when the Harbour master closed it so off we went again. We had to leave Lanzarote early due to the weather and that night it was F10/11 - really scary noises at 3 a.m. in the morning but still make breakfast in the morning! Entertainment on board was excellent. The whole team were professional and it was great to see such talent. The cabin was - as others have said - tired but really clean and our steward was fantastic. We were really impressed by the hygiene on board and that staff were positioned next to the sanitisers to gently remind anyone who "forgot" to use them. Food was vary varied and I am sure that even the most fussy of eaters would find something to suit every evening. It was replenished frequently and always served hot. Omelettes in the morning took some time but were worth the wait. For those who like a full cooked breakfast bacon was not served every morning. Drinks were not too expensive considering they have a captive audience and it was lovely to be able to get draught cider on a ship for once. We were not AI so I don't know if this would be covered if we were. All in all despite the weather we had a lovely relaxing cruise and yes we would sail on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
For those who make so many negative comments - Read the details before you book - it's a casual cruise and you get exactly what it says. I have been on the Island Escape a few times and was never let down - I've met so many ... Read More
For those who make so many negative comments - Read the details before you book - it's a casual cruise and you get exactly what it says. I have been on the Island Escape a few times and was never let down - I've met so many people on this cruise who are expecting very formal type cruises and feel let down - I can only say to them that they booked the wrong cruise. A very happy ship with really friendly staff, love it that you don't have to get dressed for dinner every night(you can if you choose)but smart casual is the order of the day or still very casual if you choose. Cabins are good, clean and serviced daily, not once have I seen or bumped into the cleaning staff, but I know they exist because of the towel sculptures left on the bed after cleaning. Good choice of food and entertainment. All I can say is Island Escape here we come, and so looking forward to my holiday once again! Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
This was my partners first cruise and as we would be celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary and my birthday while away thought it would be a nice "Taster" cruise for him. I have cruised before as i used to work for P & O ... Read More
This was my partners first cruise and as we would be celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary and my birthday while away thought it would be a nice "Taster" cruise for him. I have cruised before as i used to work for P & O years ago, and although i realised it would not be luxury cruising standard i thought that Ian my partner would feel at ease with the relaxed cruising experience. We had read some terrible reviews on here about this particular ship so to be honest we were hesitant what we were letting ourselves in for. Our flight was good and the seats realy comfortable although Ian did find the legroom tight we did manage to dose off, the transfer from airport to embarcation was easy and professional and before we knew what was happening we were boarding the Island Escape - In the dock she looked a glowing white and very welcomeing, the registration process was easy & efficient. We were on deck 4 in an outside cabin with two portholes, standard twin room whih was converted to a double for us - on entering our cabin we were greeted by the chocolate dipped strawberries, Moet & Chandon, and a huge beautiful basket of fresh flowers as we had gone for the "Celebrate in Style" package and it was well worth it. The cabin was standard and in desperate need of refurbishment, i would call it tired but it was exceptionally clean, had ample storage and the en-suite was adequate for our needs, i am by profession an Executive Housekeeping Manager for Hilton Hotels so do know the difference between tired and dirty. We then went around the ship to get our barings and popped into the Beachcomber restaurant for some well deserved lunch while awaiting the arrival of our suitcases - lunch was lovely and plentiful and we were inpressed by the choice on offer. we returned to our cabin after and our cases had been left in the corridoor outside so we unpacked and showered then went for another mooch to get our barings. The public areas are similar to the cabins needing refurbishment but were clean we found a nice seat on deck to have a drink and the weather was lovely, so nice to feel the sun after the snow in England. Hilda served us and was very friendly and professional she called us by our first names after delivering our drinks and did so throughout the rest of the cruise - we both commented on the fact that this was "Good Customer Service". Afternoon tea was served 4 till 5 and again was as delicious as lunch with cakes, biscuits, scones & jam with cream and sandwiches. Restaurant service was efficient and friendly & after afternoon tea we went back to our cabin for a snooze as it had been an early start that morning, we slept very well although i am not a lover of Foam Duvets and pillows as i tend to find they make you over perspire. The shower in our en-suite was great and very powerful so then off to dinner which like our other experiences of The Beachcomber restaurant we were not disapointed, We then attended the sailaway party and had a great time. The day after we tried the Island Restaurant for all our dining and found this as good as the Beachcomber although the fact of sitting at large tables with complete strangers is not realy our thing, the standard of food was great and plentiful. The time on board seemed to fly by with so much to do, and we did book two excursions: 1st was Funchal, Madeira which we thoroughly loved and it was money well spent and everyone that we spoke to on it agreed, the guide was knowledgable and we could have listened to her all day. 2nd excursion was Lanzarote and although informative the guide did not stop for breath and it did your head in after a time. We did get off for an hour at Agadir and made our own way into town but did not stay that long as the place is a shithole and your mithered from start to finish - thank god we got back on board to our home from home, Island Escape. All the other ports of call we did our own thing in but loved the experience. The 9th February was our Anniversary and my birthday and we had recently booked to eat in the Oasis Restaurant this night via Clair at the Celebrations Desk, The food well there is only one word for it and that is "Outstanding", Service was 2nd to none and anyone celebrating was at some time during the evening serenaded at there table by the staff (and although this sounds corny they do have good voices and can hold a tune)- Anyone going on the Island Escape has got to try the Oasis Restaurant, a huge thumbs up..... The rest of the cruise went to fast but we enjoyed enery minute or should i say highlights were: 1) Friendliness of staff, these people cannot do enough to please 2) If your a fussy eater there is something here for everyone 3) Island Chat Magazine very useful for all daily activities 4) The Pub / Sundowner bar on deck 7 has great caberet every night, we loved it in here Downsides were: 1) Resident group "Increase" were terrible and would not even be allowed on Britains got talent 2) Very Small swimming pool 3) Internet access very slugish and slow 4) Not being a lover of haveing credit cards i found it strange that there system does not allow you to use your Visa Electron Card 5) A lot of the retired passengers on board seemed to find it necesary to try and single handedly demolish and eat the entire buffet at every meal time - but failed miserably as the staff replenished it too quickly Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
Contrary to other reviews regarding this ship; my husband and I travelled on board from the 15th -22nd January 2010. We we arrived we were advised that there had been a problem on board with regards to a virus. All steps were taken by the ... Read More
Contrary to other reviews regarding this ship; my husband and I travelled on board from the 15th -22nd January 2010. We we arrived we were advised that there had been a problem on board with regards to a virus. All steps were taken by the crew to avoid this virus spreading among the passengers. The crew were amazing and did everything they could look after the passengers. Yes! the cabin was very basic, however we only had to sleep in it and fortunately not have to spend day after day in it due to the virus. The food was very adequate and there was a good choice. It was served by the waiters which I considered to be a good thing in respect of the problem on board. The al la-carte restuarant was really nice and the food was excellent. The waiters were brilliant!!!! The entertainment was really good and the entertainments team did everything they could to make sure that everyone had a good time. The ships captain was a really nice genuine man and enjoyed the pool deck party with all the passengers. I can honestly say that although the ship is old and in need of refurbishment, that it has a lovely character and along with the good weather that we experienced for the time of the year we had a really good relaxing holiday. There will always be people out there who will continue to moan and groan but if they want a posh expensive ship then they will have to pay posh expensive money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
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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