Check-in in Barbados was an indication of what was to come. there was just on member of staff on the quay side. No champagne or cold towels and certainly not the line of staff used in the advertising and this was 15 minutes after check in opened. I carried my hand luggage round to the ship and up the gangplank. I was not offered a glass of champagne until after I'd had my photo taken and handed over credit card details. Booked a gty balcony cabin and was allocated 650. This is mid ships and fine, although it had an adjoining door I never heard the people next door and they said they'd never heard me. I was offered lunch after boarding although only at the Patio grill which didn't have any menu and when I asked the chef went to list all that was available and the weeks specials. I settled on a burger and discovered I had to do it all myself, so then had to ask for the bun to be toasted and a special order of fries. A waiter then appeared and took over so that I could get a table in the shade. he also got me a drink so avoiding another queue. After the emergency drill I went to the Sky bar for the sail away party.....the poor individual there was only assisted by an equally overworked girl who could.t keep up with the demand for ice and more glasses. They were totally overwhelmed. It was as if this event had come as a surprise. The helpfully located clock told me I waited 10 minutes to be served. The cabin set up didn't have the alcohol requested as part of the on line check in and that took over 24 hrs to arrive. I went to the Solo travellers get together which wasn't hosted an neither was the LGBT one, no canapés, just a sign at the door to the bar. I had a reservation for R2 on the 4th night and had a thoroughly enjoyable meal and managed to get another booking which was equally enjoyable along with the wine pairing for which you do pay extra. I learnt that sadly R2 was to be removed in place of Thomas Keller. Some of his dishes were available on the main restaurant menu but for me they weren't a patch on R2. This will be a sad loss. Dinner in the main restaurant was a bit hit and miss. I have unsalted butter and on the first couple of nights I waited twenty minutes and then it didn't arrive at all and neither did any bread. Only when I let the soup go cold did someone enquire what was wrong. Needless to say I arranged to see the Hotel Manager and things did improve. I never went to any of the entertainment/ shows so cannot comment on them. Ship décor is good and well maintained. Due to weather conditions we didn't call at Marseille but Toulon instead. If you've never been here it's worth a stroll ashore. Disembarkation was quite a long drawn out affair. Sadly not the line of officers on the quayside to wish you well and safe onward travel although the captain and hotel manager were there, the latter by now knowing my name. Did I expect too much? Only if doing what you advertise is too much. I'd rather they under promise and over deliver.
Good size cabin and balcony although as a double bed it's two singles joined and I could feel the join. Well insulated as I never heard anybody either side and only rarely heard other cabin doors being closed. Pity the shaving mirror isn't fixed to a wall so had to kneel down to shave as there isn't a shelf on which it fits.