Wanted a cruise from. Southampton as very convenient for my mother living in Portsmouth. Itinerary sounded interesting La Rochelle, Santander, La Corona & Guernsey. We booked an outside cabin on deck 9 aft & tried for a balcony upgrade. We weren't lucky but it wasn't a great loss as the resultant weather was atrocious. We started off on a low with a 5 hour delay due to an engine problem not mentioned in the cruise log. Finally left around 9pm.
Made up time & arrived La Rochelle on time. Weather warm 22C overcast with slight drizzle. All trips went ahead as advertised. The on to Santander where the weather started to deteriorated with thunder, lightning & very heavy rain. Back on the ship & off to La Corona with a sunny start & sat out in the Piazza square in glorious sun for 1/2 hour. All trips cancelled due to a Spanish coach drivers strike! Then more incessant downpours in high winds.
The trouble started after we left for Guernsey heading for the Bay of Biscay. The wind overnight built up rapidly to gale force 10 then maxed out at 11! The swell increased to 6.5 metres & the ride was very uncomfortable but the captain seemed more concerned that the ship was coping admirably while most passengers including myself were pretty scared. I'm starting to think that we shouldn't have left La Corona & should have waited until conditions improved. We finally after 36 hours of hell arrived at St Peter Port, Guernsey where conditions had improved considerably but the captain decided that using tenders was going to be unsafe. This upset a lot of passengers who were looking forward to sampling the joys of the island. Conditions improved during the day but still deemed to be too dangerous for tenders. Instead we upped anchor & left for Southampton 3 hours early arriving around 4am. There was a lot of noise made tying up on our berth so impossible to get any sleep. Disembarked at 9.15 am & relieved to be back on land! Food was really good & recommend freedom dining in the Peninsular restaurant. Top Tip: Avoid The Conservatory which was a bit like the "Wild West" & a scrum. Andersons bar very good service & comfortable seats. Two formal nights when one would have done. Wine prices very reasonable & excellent selection.
Great cabin steward, Outside cabin. Very comfortable.
O.k. no outstanding.