Our original choice of holiday was cancelled due to the company going into receivership and our travel agent suggested this as a replacement. She managed to get us $400 each on board spend which, we decided, would be spent on trips out. This worked out well as we went on excursions at each port that we called at. However they could only be booked whilst we were on board and not booked beforehand. Most of the local couriers were very good, explaining the different sites we visited. However, if you were at the rear of the coach it was rather difficult to hear.
We were quite careful what we spent on the ship itself as (from experience) its easy to knock up a bill with the odd drinks and bottles of wine. There were numerous trips up to the Lido for orange juice etc. The Lido buffet gave quite a choice: it was a long area and if you were sitting at the far end, you had to go to next section to find the food you were after. Anyone with walking problems might find this a problem. Saying that there were numerous guests who were less mobile and they seemed to manage all right. We went to the early sitting (6pm) for dinner at the Brittainia restaurant: our two regular waiters were friendly, fast and efficient and, on the whole, we enjoyed the meals ranging from steak, fish to vegetarian and on the last formal night lobster tail.
Nice cabin, large king-size bed, good sized wardrobes with numerous hangers, space to put cases and a safe. Fridge. Hairdryer. Easy to use shower in bathroom. Everything very clean, well kept by our cheery steward. Our "obstructed" balcony, had 2 seats and a table. The lifeboat obstruction didn't worry us as they were below and not in our direct sight line.
The obstruction was just a white metal hoist next to the lifeboats to the left and below our direct view from the balcony, we where on deck 5, lifeboats were deck 4. Two reclining seats on the balcony with a table in the middle.
Good size cabin with lots of hanging space in the large wardrobes with plentiful number of hangers supplied. The safe was in the middle department.
Dressing table with chair under, also fixed dryer in left hand draw, fridge was underneath, we had a two seater sofa. Reasonable size bathroom with walk-in shower, very easy to use shower. Cabin was kept very clean and tidy by our very good steward Michael.