We were very taken aback by what we felt was the 'hard sell' policy of the company. As it was our first cruise we felt we should attend the initial briefing meeting, however after a few general points the whole meeting was used as a selling opportunity for the on board shops. Jewelry and handbags were displayed and there was a whole presentation on the 'opportunity' to buy 'special offer' watches.
Next did we want to buy a drinks package ($57 per person per day) or an internet package or indeed a photo package.
We were assured that if we didn't book official excursions we might miss seeing important sights or indeed that it was our only guarantee that the ship wouldn't sail without us. As it turned out we could have seen more much cheaper in every port by using locally available tours.
For 'sea days' the ship had a policy that guests should not reserve sun loungers if they were going to be away for more than half an hour, however this was not enforced by the staff (hard to see how it could be) and generally this was the cause of some ill feeling.
Finally gratuities, we consider ourselves to be fairly generous tippers but were taken aback to find that a prescribed amount $12.95 per person per day was summarily added to our account at the end of the cruise. This way of supplementing staff wages is not our idea of how tipping should work.
Our cabin was comfortable and clean and the staff were very friendly