We sailed from Alicante. I have given 5 stars as I am taking the price into consideration. If I had paid double, I may have given 3.5 stars.
I travelled with my husband and 4 other couples aged from 49 to 71, but also knew about 10 other people.
Downside.... Toilet system is on a par with an aeroplane, a suction system that can't cope with toilet paper, you are advised to not put paper in the wc so if you're embarrassed, I suggest you take a roll of doggy poo bags for your paper and bin it.
Yes, the ship is old so more noisy than some others and a bit of soot does come down on you if you're sunbathing at the very back of the ship, but so much space and beds available all around the ship, move elsewhere if you have white shorts on!
The ship is very very clean, the curtains in the public areas must be new as the linings are pure white. Some comments say it needs a lick of paint but as most of the walls are laminated materials, not sure what you could paint.
The entertainment is fantastic, my husband and I aren't big on going to tacky shows but we happened across one show mid week and went to all others after, the dancers are actually professional ballet dancers and the shows were modern (only one classical night). The rock show was fantastic. There are two resident bands on board, one catered more for the Spanish and the other tended more towards English songs.
The cabin was much bigger than average, two full size single beds together so equal to a queen size. Had to roll over twice to find the hubby. Two double wardrobes, lovely big dressing table, free safe, Tv. White bedding so you know it's clean. Mattress was old but still comfortable as were the pillows. Bathroom was dated but water pressure was good so was the temperature. Run the tap for a few seconds to clear any yucky water first. No toiletries provided other than one bar of soap and some shower gel in a dispenser (and obviously toilet paper). Towels provided (and also pool towels available at the swimming pool).
FOOD.... OMG..... Amazing. Ate in the restaurant every night, you have the same table at a set time every night. I need to diet now I'm home. The waiters were fabulous and couldn't do enough for you. Desserts were heavenly. Not always sure if veg was going to come with the meal so we always also ordered the side dish of veg. There was always a fish dish, veg dish and meat dish, the bread bowl was varied (also speciality breads) and flowing, usually a choice of about 3 starters, 5 mains and perhaps 4 desserts and a sugar free option. Everyone of our group of 10 was really impressed with the food.
We booked a package of transfers with our travel agent. The organisation from Pullmantur was very organised and ran like clockwork. I was a bit disappointed with our Rome guide (Katrina) as she led us to a particular bus tour and lied about the other hop on/off bus companies and also tried to push a particular restaurant (obviously on commission).
The service in the bars was great. It was actually quicker to sit and be served rather than go to the bar (except poolside as no waiter service there).
My hubby and I (+4 friends) are booked onto the same ship in December for the transatlantic cruise and were quite worried after reading the reviews on here but now we're counting down the days and can't wait to get back onto the Zenith.
They have theme nights and suggested dress codes incl. white night, tropical, rock, gala and elegant. But, again with thought, the theme after the Rome stop was casual as it was a later sailing and people wouldn't necessarily have enough time to dress up.
Don't expect Princess line facilities for Pullmantur fares!! However, expect more than Thompson for lower fares (I've done both). I reiterate that my ratings are taking price into consideration.
We heard some British complain about the number of Spanish people aboard and about their ways. Yes, the vast majority of passengers are Spanish and acted typically like Spanish, just as the majority of us Brits acted like Brits !!!
Clean, dated bathroom (see my main review)
Not happy with the guide Katrina who pushed us into using an unknown hop on/off tour bus by lying about the other companies eg. Citysightseeing only have 3 buses when they have 17. If we had ignored her, we would have benefitted from a discount when in Florence the next day. She also gave everyone details about a particular restaurant but luckily a fellow passenger was previously duped by her and told us it was crap.
We weren't informed about the "Holy door" at the Vatican which skips the queues.View All 171 Rome on Your Own Reviews
Florence on your own but the tour guide gave us a little walk. Very informative guy, talked all the way from ship to Florence and was very interesting, unfortunately we didn't realise that we wouldn't get to see Pisa.View All 136 Florence Walking Tour Reviews
A great guide and in the free time we hopped on the noddy train for €9, well worth it with English commentary.View All 9 Montecarlo Walking Tour Reviews
The town is missing a trick here by not providing a reliable (frequent) shuttle bus getting the tourists into town to spend money. The noddy train was frequent so people were changing queues only to find it cost more and only took you to the end of the port and pointed you in a direction to walk. After a short walk and seeing nothing I caught the noddy train back to the ship.