I will try to be a constructive as i can as we enjoyed the concept of the cruise but NOT the Islands Escape Ship.
Arriving at the port and going through all the boarding process is very easy and got to our cabin without a problem.
We then went for a wonder and headed for the Beachcomber for a cold drink and a snack. I have to say it wasn't that bad but bear in mind that everything you eat from is plastic and people just wonder around in there swim wear with no shoes on. Don't look inside the cups as the stains will put you off. Not pleasant but hence the word informal, that's the Beachcomber.
We then went to our cabin and unpacked our cases. Then it was off to Palma as we didn't sail until 23.00 and really didn't want to sit on the ship all day, especially as we had a day at sea on the Wednesday. We arrived back at around 19.00, had a shower and went to the Island Restaurant. We waited to be seated and went to explore the Buffet for our dinner. Please note you will be seated with others but we didn't find that a problem as the majority of people would chat and make everyone welcome. The food was good and plentiful and a lot of choice. Plates were also China and you had table cloths on your table and napkins.
After dinner we went to the theatre to see the nightly show, sorry no choice on this cruise as it is a small ship, and the young guys and girls are good with the limited resources they have. The Theatre is all on one level and gets very busy and cannot hold everyone. So when full that is it i'm afraid. They serve you at your table, with your drinks, so a pleasant hour was had. The shows vary and you will enjoy it i am sure.
One bloke who did get on our nerves and that is the so called Entertainment Director. My god does he love himself and loves to remind everyone that he is gay. He really needs to get into the 21st century, people are not bother if people are gay anymore!
I then went to the casino and had a little flutter and we went back to the cabin at around midnight.
The next day was at sea and we were awoken at around 06:00 by people on deck 10 moving their sun beds into position. Sad or what? When we finished breakfast, Island restaurant, we went back to change and went up on deck about 10.30 to grab a sun bed. NO CHANCE! they had all gone and if there was no one on them, then their towels were. We went and sat on some hard chairs, on the Beachcomber Bar, and chilled and was now looking forward to out first port of call, Corsica. Then we went back and sat on our balcony as the sun stayed there until sunset which was great.
We ate in the Oasis restaurant a few times and enjoyed the fine dining experience, although you pay extra for it, it was great to be waited on. £14.99 per head but worth every penny.
I wont go into the ports as we done our own thing and had a fantastic time visiting different places. Those memories will stay with us, for all the right reason, but the Island Escape took the edge off the cruising experience.
We are going to do another cruise but next time will ensure we do our homework, not be hoodwinked by Thomson's, and pick a better cruise ship.
Pros: You will visit some great countries and meet some great people.
Cons: The ship is old and very tired and although the staff are excellent, some have been told there contracts will not be extended so are very down in the dumps.
Do not expect luxuries and you will be fine.
Take your break, enjoy the sights and don't think too muck about the ship.
We opted to upgrade to a balcony as we were not sure how we were going to feel being in a confined area, being first time cruisers. We entered and BANG, just how small the cabins are was a bit of a shock. But onwards and upwards at least we had a balcony we could sit on. My wife called me back in to look at the bathroom, OMG what a horrible smelly bathroom which we had to use for the next 7 days. There was no air circulation so the smell/s just hung around and the drains were open which didn't help. Tiles were hanging off and all the gaps were covered in mastic to try to prevent the leaks. We were of the opinion that we were only going to sleep in it so would make the best of it.
Not a lot to do