We chose this short cruise to Amsterdam and Ghent to give us insight to what cruising is all about. The embarkation and disembarkation were a joke - on arrival we were a little early and after being sent to the wrong booking area we were directed to a pub to chill out. On return there was a huge queue and we had to wait for sometime before finally giving our luggage in and getting on board. Disembarkation- We were late in port due to the weather - we were should of alighted at 9.45 but it was around 11 or 12 when we were called. We got to the queue when an announcement was made to go to the aft as someone had fallen. We all duly went aft only to find we had to queue again and then the doors were closed. (more passengers were being called to disembark when we were still stuck there) The crew were becoming frustrated as much as us. Finally a crew member came into view and we asked why were we waiting, he disappeared through the doors and a little while later the doors opened, we gave out a cheer. When stepping onto the gangplank a crew member was calling a port person a 'stupid idiot' as he had not connected the gangplank securely to the ship so it was moving in and away from the side - someone could have had a serious injury. During the both occasions there was a lack of information to why we were held up.
The cruise itself - cabin/bathroom was a good size, the food was very good but the waiter could have been a little more attentive as he got some orders wrong/mixed up. There was plenty of choice and different ways to have your meals (buffet style or in restaurants) The entertainment was good and the troupe worked very hard. We enjoyed the stop offs in Ghent and Amsterdam but time was very limited. Pick up and drop off worked OK for us but some people were waiting sometime to get a coach back to ship.
For our first time it has put us off as we seemed to queue for everything and if we did decide to cruise again we would definitely not use the port of Tilbury.
The cabin was very clean, presentable and a good size. Although we didn't see much of our crew member he kept the cabin very clean. We did have a problem with the safe on arrival but he got it rectified straight away.
The room was a bit noisy at first with air con and engine roar so difficult to sleep on first night but ear plugs soon remedied that. We were very happy with our facilities.