For a first time family cruise this was great, don't put down by the negative reviews I think some people expect too much. Remember how much your paying ! You get to see a different place every day, the staff are brilliant they are always cheerful and work hard around the clock. Outside of the rooms the bars, corridors, decks, cafés, entertainment areas are immaculate. Ok inside the standard rooms are basic and dated - but you really should be out and about enjoying. As this was my family's first cruise I thought I'd share some tips with you rather than a long review :
Room tips : pay early to select a room go for mid-ship floor 4 was great. It's best for less rolling when it gets choppy.
With young kids wanting the top bunks, we used the Ladders as side rails or bring a travel one? Wedge the ladder between mattress and frame.
Don't leave travel kettles plugged in - they heat up ! Take your own coffee, there is Nescafé sachets in the room but the coffee in the cafés is a particular taste.
Bring a HDMI lead for films on your tablets, the TVs are new flat screens not the old ones shown on video clips on line.
Pools are cold and slippery, toddlers need flip flops, jelly shoes for grip.
Beach towels in room, changed daily.
Don't change many euros, it's room key charges only on board.
If you are full board - no drinks, try the wine offer, £72 for 5 bottles of wine - good deal. On board the drinks package is £230 per adult and £97 per child. We always prefer to give squash during the day anyway - less sugary drinks - Bring mini squash squirts and add to the free cold filtered water. Pick up pop and sangria on shore, there's a fridge in the room. Spirits are cheap in the shop on board, Bacardi £12, Bells 1l £9. Those on drinks package beware - many of the drinks have extras, you still pay 33-50 percent of the cost on some.
Tips are included as it says in the info, however for good service we still tip, these guys work 14 hours plus, 7 days a week - they really appreciate it, keep them happy and you get a better table, attention, entertainment with Paddy the amazing magician, maybe a drink or two!! (For those not on the All inc)
Walk into Gran Canaria - nice beach Playa de las Cante (no4) on the map 2 sun beds and umbrella 7.5e for the day. Really good Tapas bars along the front, ice cream shops too.
Cheap Booze and pop in the bazars or mini mart.
It's a short stop - we stayed on board, the boat leaves at 3pm so the top deck closes try and get a spot on deck 10 before the rush at 3pm
Maderia - Funchal
make sure you visit the RITZ cafe, cross the road from the yellow and red buses up one narrow side street. From there explore the back streets heading East. There are so many great places to eat and drink there's no point naming any.
Morocco - Agadir port, we decided not to go ashore here as the trips are long or unsuitable for young children. Book into the kids clubs. The port is the most unattractive on the trip.
Lanzarote - save your excursion cash, get your own taxi from just off the ship, there's a sign on the security fence of the main places - with fixed prices, it's 12e to go to Costa Teguise, lovely family beach, great shops and bars - get drinks and snacks from the Spar shop cheapest by far, large bottle of Samiguel 1.4e. Also amazing tapas bar/ restaurant - El Maestro, just off the beach, they also have a kids menu.
Other than Morocco I would recommend walking or walk along the port and get a local taxi there are many there and waiting.
Hope you like the tips. Enjoy your holiday.