We chose this cruise to experience the Suez Canal and for that the cruise was very successful. How did I rate the cruise overall - average I suppose? The food was good, especially buffet breakfast and lunch, loved the stir-fry and Thai noodle soup. The Kings Court always felt crowded, unless you dined early or late. The ship must have had over 2500 on board, but apart from the buffet and the rush to find a seat at the theatre, this huge number was managed well. We enjoyed most of the shows, but some of the seats available were only suitable for children with small posteriors!! During our first week, out of Dubai the meat quality provided in the Britannia restaurant was poor, somewhat dry and tough to eat. We had a table of eight and after a couple of days the other six table companions left us to have their dinner in the buffet, they preferred the quality provided in the Kings Court Buffet. So, for two weeks we were left on our own on a large table of 8. After the first week, the meat improved. The service in the restaurant was always to a high standard and Ryan & Jarold looked after us very well.
Sunbathing on the deck could be an issue sometimes. Some of the wooden deck chairs on the Promenade Deck could not be adjusted and those that could were often reserved, sometimes for long periods. This was discouraged, but nothing appeared to be done about it. We always abandoned our chair when going to lunch, but we often appeared to be the exception. For three days, the chimney blew out specks of soot, this landed on sunbathers on the top deck and bathers reported staining issues. I reported this to the Pursers office and was told ‘We know’!
During the first week, the ship suffered from Norovirus and restrictions for serving food etc. were put in place. This was generally handled very well and the virus restrictions were eventually successfully lifted. My partner was poorly on the last day after catching a tummy bug, given some prescriptions by the medical centre to help us travel home, hopefully avoiding any embarrassing incidents!! We were offered to be escorted off the ship. I thought this would help us get away promptly to catch a taxi to the station - wishful thinking. We were escorted off the ship and at the bottom of the gangplank told 'Have a safe journey home' We then had to find our case, queue for 20 mins for a taxi, all with a wife struggling to get around. So not a good end to the cruise really?
Balcony cabin on 11th deck, sheltered from rain and to some extent sun, sufficient space. Enjoyed the tea making facilities and use of fridge. Generally well equipped. Large TV mounted on wall which meant your neighbours TV could be heard if the volume was a little too high. Door right by the lifts, no walking to Britannia Restaurant. No noise from passengers passing our room, so convenient and quiet - apart from neighbours TV, but that must be the same for all cabins?