My wife and I had never previously been keen to join a cruise. However, the itinerary of this one, its emphasis on historical exploration and the fact that the boat seemed relatively small and therefore perhaps more intimate and less processed, enticed us to book.
The itinerary was well planned with appropriate time allocated to most of the venues and days at sea, although the time spent in Morocco was too short, leaving insufficient time should any glitches occur. Several did and the coach journeys in particular became endurance tests for us.Commencing our cruise in Funchal created a special introduction to both the ship and Madeira, helping us to settle in quickly to the ship and its routines and to relax whilst guided around such a beautiful town.
The ship was in tip top condition having quite recently received some refurbishment, and throughout the cruise every opportunity to maintain the ship in splendid condition seemed to be taken by the ship's crew.Our cabin was of an adequate size and apart from the paucity of storage space let us enjoy its comfort and amenities.It was kept clean by our cabin staff, although there were several occasions when insufficient towels or loo paper etc were provided.The options for dining were very acceptable and a star feature was the energetic and friendly waiters and waitresses, who were consistently conscientious and welcoming. The main restaurant was situated in the depths of the ship. It was well organised and food was served slickly with an emphasis on courteous attention from all staff.Its physical size, especially the low ceiling made it feel slightly claustrophobic at times. The food was generally quite good but did not live up to our pre-cruise expectations, especially the dinners. Providing almost 300 dinners from a relatively confined galley space may well contribute considerably towards explaining this.The food provided at the other restaurant where breakfasts and lunches were mainly served, was very well staffed and our food was generally enjoyed.Once again, the staff were very well organised and worked consistently hard to please the guests.