My mother has always wanted to go on a cruise, particularly after watching a tv show set on the MS Deutschland (she's German, my dad's Maltese, so I'm split down the middle!). I was never that enthusiastic, but I decided to make her happy this years, and I honestly was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Also, we live in Malta, so getting on board was simply a matter of driving down to the harbour and getting on - although be warned - there's a long line for passport control and to get the board card which you use to buy anything and as a key card, so you might want to board a couple of hours later than the travel agent advises.
The cruise itself, though, AMAZING. Of course, my mother and I are both fluent in German, so we understood everything, all the announcements, all the signs, etc. However I don't agree with whoever said non-Germans were not welcomed. Every week there's a group of between 100-200 Maltese on board the Mein Schiff, they have their own tour leader aboard, and they seemed happy whenever we chatted with them.
Why do so many Maltese go on the Mein Schiff cruises? I suspect the reason is the all-inclusive concept, which was one of my reasons for choosing the cruise - to give an example, it's not just the usual pizza/pasta/burgers that are free (and being Germans, some sausage too), but two huge restaurants with varieties of dining, and a snack bar, a pizza place, a tapas bar. Talking about the buffet alone, you had so many varieties of food, whether meat and potatoes, salads, pasta, etc. My highlight was a Wok station where you could choose noodles/rice, different fresh meats (duck, beef, etc) or fish, veg, sauces, and the chefs would stir-fry it there and then. And the breakfasts! OMG, the breakfasts. Oh dear. I must stop writing about food, but just let me mention that on the last day at sea there was a champagne and caviar breakfast. Yes, as part of the inclusive breakfast.
Mein Schiff 1; Balcony cabin 8171 on Deck 8. The cabin was great, very comfortable, great balcony, etc. The bathroom and shower were amazing (that had been my greatest worry).Only problem: noisy neighbours.