My girlfriend and I went on a Wine, Dine and Music cruise. She talked me into a room with a balcony. I thought sure, get a nice room with a view. Had never had one before, my folks - yes, but not me.
Well, we got there and it was so tiny we had no place to put the two cases of water and could not get the bags underneath the bed the room was so cramped. We had to squeeze through where the foot of the bed and the wall was. We had to turn our suitcases sideways to get them into the room. And this was a room that could sleep four. It even had a fold out couch. The bathroom was so small you could bearly turn around. Sardines would have a hard time with this room.
We then asked to be upgraded to a suite. I thought OK, a bigger room. Great!! Well it was marginally better. It was about 4" to 6" bigger space between the wall and the bed. Still had to turn the suitcases sideways to get them through. I was able to get my bag under the bed by shoving it all the way underneath my girlfriend's bed and then under mine. I fell there, I caught my foot in the duvet cover and fell between the wall and the foot of the bed. I am surprised that I could get up. There was so little room. And again having to turn the suitcases sideways to get them into the room.
And as for storage space, well you could not open the closet door all the way because the bed was in the way. There was drawer space for about one person. There was no drawer space under the desk. But we did have room or the water. We placed it in the cabinet next to the TV. There was a cubbyhole just the right size. There might have been 18" between beds, but I would bet it was less.
The bathroom in this room was a bit bigger too. You had to take about three steps to get around in it. Definitely not a room for two. Not that I planned on sharing anyway. But just an FYI.
Again this was a room for four. The balcony was tiny. It had room for two chairs and a very small drink table. And here I had visions of us sitting out on the balcony and having breakfast. The only had a very limited breakfast - continental - for room-service on this cruise. And no list of what you could order from them for other times of the day. While in port, we were next to another ship. You could see the size of their balconies. They were HUGE compared to ours. You could actually walk around on them. Ours we had to squeeze by to get ourselves into the chairs.
The food was unimpressive. It could be what I ordered which always seemed like the wrong thing. My girlfriend ordered the pork chops and they looked wonderful and she got a very generous portion. Whatever I ordered did not cover the plate. You can see how impressed I was with the food if I can't remember it. And the creme brulee was too thick and sticky. It was not creamy and was thicker than pudding. My girlfriend liked it,but then maybe she has never had the good stuff.
We went to about three or four of the different restaurants aboard. None was impressive nor stood out. But on the plus side, they had at the buffet for breakfast Eggs Benedict. It was good. And one day they had a wonderful (second best I have tasted) hot and sour soup. But those were the rare cases. You don''t leave hungry, they will give you as much food as you want, but is is nothing to write home about.
The service was adequate. Nothing outstanding. Yes, we did get the usual folded up into animals towels. But no chocolates or candies. Maybe I am spoiled.
Because this cruise was chartered by the tour company and was such a great price, it would fill up easily. But never going on that ship again. Not even sailing alone. I want a bit more elbow space.
Now I have been on a Norwegian cruise before, my first one many many years ago, and I know it was not this small. We had a porthole to look out of and the food was wonderful.
I remember having Conch chowder and reindeer pate. Mom had sea bass. It was very tasty. Wish I had ordered it, but I don't like many kinds of fish. I do remember that they had an assortment of cheeses and very small deserts on that cruise. Always interesting foods. But it seems they have really changed with this open seating and such. I kind of like getting all dressed up in some grand clothing and such. It makes for a much more elegant cruise. Have been on several cruises with kids and they liked getting dressed up too.
Now I am leery about taking another cruise with this line. But definitely not another trip on the PEARL. MAJOR ICK in my book.
We had the most wonderful informative tour guide I have just about ever had. The told us all about the flora and medicinal qualities it had. He showed us great places to go eat and did not rush us. I loved the gardens and zoo. They had a wonderful assortment of wildlife and flamingos walk around the gardens unhindered, except when they are corralled for photographs. A wonderful trainer whistles to them and the do what he wants. It is really neat. They just stand around and tourists walk by like it was the usual thing to do.
Would go back again. Wonderful place!!View All 72 Ardastra Gardens Reviews