I had been tempted when I saw the offer of a one night Gala Cruise on the Astor as I was curious to look around that ship, but my wife was working and unable to go. However, just one week before the cruise, I received an email that told me the price was now £99 with "no single supplement"! That clinched it for me, so I rang and booked it straight away. I agreed to pay an additional £15 for the coach transfer from Stansted, since that is where the included flight returned to, and where I left my car.
Approximately 30 passengers were on the coach from Stansted to Harwich. Embarkation was smooth, we carried our own bags to our cabins and I was unpacked by 11am. I was very pleased to find that I had been allocated cabin 122 (a premium cabin up on the boat deck) in which the second berth had been made into a settee and had a picture window with clear views out to sea.
I went to the Waldorf restaurant for lunch and only three tables were occupied. I was asked if I wanted a table on my own, but I said that I would rather share. One couple, on a table for four, immediately asked me to join them. Shortly afterwards, another solo traveller also joined our table and the buffet lunch was most enjoyable.
Very nice and spacious cabin with the second berth made up as a sofa. Good range of toiletries, dressing robes, thick, white towels. Although window looks onto the outside deck, it cannot be looked through from outside as it appears to be silver - I tried this, just in case!All cabins have keys, rather than swipe cards.