From our overnight stay at the Travelodge, Eastleigh, to the wonderful port parking at Southampton docks, our holiday got off to a terrific start. We were taking our daughter on her first cruise as a present for completing her Masters, so we were keen to board and show her around our ship.
Embarkation was flawless. And as usual, friendly helpful staff were there to guide us through the boarding process, and we boarded around 12.00 mid day. As we knew our cabin wouldn't be ready, we made our way to the very very busy Windjammer and were able to snag a table almost immediately. The place was heaving, and after we ate our lunch we were delighted to hear that cabins were now open. Our cabin 9358, was a triple room with balcony, towards the back of the ship. It was a good sized cabin, with very little motion or engine noise. However, each morning almighty bangs were heard from the floor above, as we were opposite a service door, we presumed these were deliveries. They did not impact on our cabin experience in any way.
Sadly during the first night I came down with a gastrointestinal illness which I believe came from my buffet lunch . After seeing the ship's doctor, I was quarantined to the cabin on a diet of dry toast and peppermint tea. I was given free access to the movie channels and the mini bar at no charge. The infirmary staff were wonderful, kind caring and professional. The next day I was allowed mashed potato and white rice to compliment the dry toast and peppermint tea. With all the wonderful food on board this was very difficult to swallow, but very good for the waistline! Eventually I was allowed out of the cabin, but not into public areas, however, the following day ( our first port of call Gibraltar) I was allowed to leave the ship, but still on the restricted diet.
Our dining room experience was wonderful. We were seated with some lovely people, and our waiter Josep, and his assistant Barjolette were just superb. So efficient and organised, it was a pleasure to be at their table.
The shows we saw were very good. I thought David Copperfield was hilarious, he was so entertaining and such a lot of fun. The ice show was, as usual exemplarary. And the daily quizzes were brilliant.
Out of all of our ports only two disappointed us, and that was Gibraltar and Lisbon. Gibraltar was like any British high street, and Lisbon was dirty, graffiti ridden and just generally not pleasant. All our other ports were gorgeous, Corsica being my very favourite.
We loved every inch of the ship, so much so, we have booked our 30th wedding anniversary cruise for next September back on the AOS- however, we've treated ourselves to a suite.
Leaving the ship was a little chaotic, but once we were called we easily found our luggage and left the port very smoothly.
Cabin positioned towards the rear of the ship. Quiet with minimal vibration from the ship's engines. Loud early morning noises from service floor above. Triple room with plenty of room for three adults.
We were expecting a Barcelona type area and sadly it was not. It reminded us of any Britsh High street with familiar shops and the addition of multiple duty free shops.We found the military cemetary very interesting and the King's Chapel too.The Rock was not of particular interest to us, and on the day we visited the famous apes had come into the town to scavenge in the bins.We took a local shuttle from the port to the town for €3.00- don't be put off by the queue it moves very quickly.
Wonderful Barcelona! Riding in on the very expensive RCI shuttle we were deposited at Columbus Square next to the Hop on Hop off bus ticket office and buses.For those on limited time, these are the best way to see the sights and historical sites of the city.We had lunch in a square off the bustling market filled street of Las Ramblas with a large jug of Sangria. And we visited Barcelona's world famous fruit and veg market which is truly amazing.
Tendered into port, a short walk then to this gorgeous little town's centre. This port has everything, a tiny little craft market, lots of harbour side bars and cafes, and a lovely beach with crystal clear warm waters.The train station is perfect for visiting Nice and Monaco.
A short walk from the ship takes you right into the little town. We took the little train which for a small price gives you a guided tour of all the historical sights, culminating in a visit to see the main statue of Napoleon that looks down over the area.Corsica has everything, fabulous beaches, great shops and lots of bars and cafés. We definitely would like to return there and stay longer.
Cadiz was a short walk from the ship. A vibrant little town with a gorgeous cathedral, bustling little shops and lots of bars and cafés.
A 90 minute coach drive into the beautiful city of Florence. The coach stops in a central square which from there, the city is very easy to explore.The streets are laden with statues and ornate churches and buildings. And there is an abundance of museums and art galleries,Plenty of great bars cafés shops and gelato!View All 136 Florence Walking Tour Reviews
Approx 90 minute drive into the city stopping right in front of St Peters square a perfect position to explore Rome.We took the sight seeing bus and saw all the major sights.View All 171 Rome on Your Own Reviews