The cruise was sold to me on the basis of being a 'Maiden Voyage', but once on board it was indicated as 'Pre-Inaugural' or 'Preview' cruise. There was no indication the ship would still be in the process of being completed, with work men being everywhere. The Aqua Theatre not being ready was a big disappointment.
The main dining room was a major let down due to the calibre of the food and the service. We ended up having to use the supplementary restaurants in order to get a decent level of food, spending another £200 in the process. On the first morning we had a sit-down a la carte breakfast in the main dining room. After waiting an hour for our order, random dishes arrived for our table in place of what was ordered and they were lukewarm. We left shortly after, hungry. The quality of food at dinner was mediocre at best, with service being very patchy.
There were very few places to sit when it rained, due to the amount of outside public space. This drove people in to the limited seating in the Royal Promenade, even into areas that they had no intent of using, such as Sorrento's. This then made use of those places harder. I appreciate the ship is intended for more warmer climes, but rain is still likely in the Caribbean. An enclosed lounge area looking out to see was sorely missed - even the Solarium is unusual in that it is open to the elements. It seems you can sit inside or outside, but not inside looking out. You end up being forced to your balcony in order to get adequate seating and have some peace and quiet.
The room was in a very good location, a short walk from the aft lifts, located between the Boardwalk at the Royal Promenade. It was still in a quiet location however.
The Markthal was very interesteing.
Southampton is a pretty average port town, extraordinary in the number of cruise ships it can hold.