Everything was on a grand and roomy scale, particularly its 3 pool areas. Our cabin was roomy, comfortable and clean. Service throughout the ship was impeccable. Goanese staff polite and cheerful. Alcohol was reasonably priced as were the tours. All of this should have added up to a really enjoyable trip except for one important ingredient - FOOD.
Let me start by saying that this is an English ship and we have never cruised on an English ship before but being Australian we thought their cuisine should be somewhat similar. The food quality, quantity, variety and preparation were below an acceptable standard.
Main Dining Room: We had 4 couples at our table, 2 of whom were English, and we were all struggling to remain cheerful when faced with, on many nights, inedible dishes. For example - Vegetables such as broccoli and beans were so rubbery that they could not be cut with a steak knife, likewise hard carrots etc. Soup was either canned or unidentifiable if you had forgotten what you ordered. Pasta and Salad choices were almost nonexistent and Desserts in the main were horrible - no chance of putting on weight here. Example - menu said Pears lightly poached in White Wine. Reality - canned peaches in syrup. The really said part of this was that the dining service was 5 star and deserved 5 star meals.Buffet: Breakfast was the only decent meal in the buffet and then it was severely limited. For instance, no omelettes at all and all fried eggs were cooked in advance and sitting on warming platters. Fresh fruit was in very limited supply, quality was poor and bananas had to be requested. Lunch was pathetic, curries appeared to have been made with last night's leftovers, pasta was pre-cooked and sitting on a water laden platter which was then topped with a watery sauce; not a crumb of parmesan in sight!
On a happier note, the fact that the ship was child free was a definite plus.
Incidentally, we embarked in Brisbane but this option does not exist on the embarkation selection panel.
C158 Category EA - Deluxe Outside Cabin
Excellent cabin in all respects; clean spacious and airy. Only drawback was that it was a long way to the buffet dining (opposite end of the ship).