My wife and I chose this cruise due to the price, the duration and the departure date. Our cruise was for 30 days sailing from Southampton at the end of September, so we avoided some of the autumn at home in the UK. We considered the longer cruise all the way to Australia but given that this was our first long cruise we decided that it was too long.
Having sailed on the Emerald Princess before we were familiar with the ship and its layout. We chose a balcony cabin midships on Aloha deck. We had previously had a cabin on Riviera which suffers from the overhang above which restricts the sunshine so this time opted for a lower cabin and were more than satisfied.
Embarkation was a fiasco. We arrived by coach and were sent to a holding area because of the existing long queues which stretched out of the terminal. As a result the staff were restricting additional people joining the queue and were having to manage the input of coach arrivals. Whilst the wait in the holding area was not too excessive it was the first time we had encountered this (usually the coaches disembark passengers in lane 1 of the terminal), and queried why. We were advised that the delays were as a result of the need for the embarkation staff to check that all boarding passengers were in possession of the necessary visas for the proposed ports. This reason was later confirmed once we had joined the queue and entered the terminal waiting to be processed. The wait inside the terminal was lengthy but organised, as each person was allocated a group on entry to the terminal, which was then called up for processing by the embarkation staff. During embarkation the staff did indeed check passports for visas, in particular for an Indian visa which cannot be obtained upon arrival. Once checked and verified as correct the remaining embarkation process went smoothly.
Great location close to lifts. Adequate size although the bathroom & shower are a little small. Whilst not shabby the cabin is ready for a facelift.