We are not experienced cruisers but we loved our 12 nights aboard Insignia.
Embarkation was a breeze. We turned up a little earlier than the appointed time of 12 noon and walked straight through the embarkation process within minutes. Our only other embarkation experience had been on a Holland America ship and that we would not wanted to have repeated. We were greeted warmly once on board and informed that our cabins were not yet ready but that we may make our way to the Terrace cafe for lunch. This we did and had a very enjoyable experience and a glas of wine until an announcement was made that our cabins were ready.
The cabins on deck 7 are not large. But they are comfortable and we were able to unpack all our things and get our suitcases away under the bed or in the closet. There is a comfortable sofa for two and a writing desk but no chair to sit at, just a stool which was next to useless. There were plently of clothes hangers in the large closet allowing us to unpack properly. This may be a small thing but to me it is a plus as so many hotels have an inadequate number of hangers in the room. Others have commented on the bathrooms. Overall within our expectations; not overly luxurious but acceptable. A small verandah has two chairs and a small table but the side boards separating your deck from the cabin on either side do not render any privacy. There is a small round table inside as well and it is decked out with a complementary bottle of chilled champagne (yes the real thing) for our enjoyment. We oblige!! The air conditioning is working well and the room is at a very comfortable temperature. (Outside the Turkish summer is a scorcher).
Our evening dining experience is at Toscanas. We were delighted. The food was quite excellent and we especially enjoyed the thoughtful touch of the olive oil menu. We also enjoyed the company of our "shared" dinging companions who were excellent company throughout the meal. The whole experience that evening, being new to us, was perhaps one of the most memorable of the cruise. Later in the cruise we dined at Polo Grill (where i must say I ahd an excellent steak, perfectly cooked to my order and Cheryl had the lobster which was expertely de-shelled at the table by our waiter and served in true 5 star style. Our experience in the Grand Dining Room was that the place lived up to its name. The service and attention is really exceptional and the food is great. You can enjoy wine by the bottle and if you do not want to finish a whole bottle, it will be kept for you and be made available in any dining room on the ship at any time thereafter.
So this leads me to offer some comments about drinks on board generally. In my opinion the drinks are not overly expensive and the drinks package does not relally represent any value as we did not deny ouselves anything, chose good wine for evening meals and ultimatley spent on drinks less that what the package would have cost the both of us. I would like to add some more detail about drinks pricing but may have to wai for another review.
I agree with other reviewers that there is a feeling of a lack of crowd on the ship. We are able to wander around almost by ourselves. Many pepole seemed to gravitate to the pool deck but if that was a bit crowded that didnt bother us as we onle spent minimal time there. I was especially impressed with the well stocked and comfortable library. We choose a couple of recent best sellers for the duration and took thme down to our cabin. There are ample copies of each of a wide variety of titles.
Quite comfortable with some nice touches