The embarkation process was smooth and well organised with our bags labelled with our cabin number at the airport check-in. After collecting the cases at the airport we didn't see them again until later that day outside our room (although not at the same time). The process of registering for a passenger card, checks with the nurse and photographs sounded laborious when reading the briefing card en-route to the port but it was a continuous line and took no more than 10 minutes to be heading to the ship. There are security checks when boarding the ship which tended to be the only cause for queuing as people removed belts, etc again.
We were pleasantly surprised with our room which was centre aft (the back) with a large balcony with 2 sunbeds, a table and 2 chairs and room to spare. The bed was a large comfortable double with fresh sheets each day. We also had a sofa bed and dressing table with plenty of mirrors. There was ample storage with a variety of draws, shelves and hanging space. The bathroom was a decent size with a powerful shower (nylon curtain). There is fridge in the room with a minibar although the prices were steep especially when on an all inclusive cruise. Even bottled water was chargeable although there was an empty carafe which you could refill from a water fountain mid-ship (a fair walk from our cabin at the back).
Room service was twice a day with an almost over-attentive cabin service cleaning the room each morning and returning each evening to turn your bed down, deliver a chocolate and cruise news with the following days itinerary.
There is an app for smart phone available throughout the ship which you just have to connect to the ship Wi-Fi for and it defaults to it at no charge. On this you can view your on-board account with live information (even no-charge transactions appear - if you are going to be charged for anything you will be asked to sign - if they just scan your card it is free). You can also book tables at the A La Carte restaurants and having done this as soon as we got on board had a full choice of dates and times. It's also useful to see a full day's timetable of activities and where they are (the list reduces as the day goes on so it only has whats coming up - we found that acts were performing in addition to these times too). It would have been useful to have deck plans available to view but to find your way around you had to view the maps at the lift lobbies on each floor. Free Wi-Fi (without any registration) was usually available at the ports too if you didn't want to pay for the Tui one.
For dining we tended to stick to the Islands self-service which had very good quality food and we never struggled to find a table. We booked the Surf & Turf for one night and found it to be very good in terms of service and food quality. We never bothered with 47 or 47 Gallery as we heard that there were always queues and service was slow.
Breakfast was good apart from the hot drink stations where the coffee, apart from being very strong, was frequently empty and temporary large flasks of hot water and coffee put out. In contrary the paid for Coffee Port served very good coffee throughout the day but at additional charges to AI - I wonder why the free coffee was so bad??
The entertainment was varied and in the evening there was usually something happening wherever you pass through. Towards the end of the week the Trio groups repertoire was repeating itself however they were always playing somewhere filling in for the other entertainers and very hardworking. We watched a guest comedian one one evening who was quite good but overall it felt a little like Butlins at sea.
There was a "dress to impress" night on Sunday when some men wore dinner suits but you weren't stopped from going anywhere without one. On most nights everyone wore smart dress with only a few people on board who couldn't be bothered making any effort.
We booked two excursions; a Jeep Safari in Morocco (8hrs) and Fire Mountain (4hrs) in Lanzarote and found both to be good value. After what we heard about trips to the markets and independent venturing in Morocco we opted for a full day guided Jeep Safari. It was very good seeing a lot of Morocco that wasn't on the tourist trail and the traditional tagine lunch was excellent. Be prepared for a white knuckle journey though and that's on the roads not off them! It felt like we were taking part in wacky races at times and don't be surprised to witness accidents on your journey as pedestrians, mopeds/bikes, donkeys and motor vehicles mix with no apparent right of way. The trip up Fire Mountain included a camel ride which was well organised and great fun and the trip around the national park was spectacular.
Santa Cruz in Tenerife is a busy commercial port and we didn't have time to visit the town.
Las Palmas in Gran Canaria is right in the town centre and there is a 3km long beach 10 minutes away reached by walking through the town. Not particularly touristy but a reasonably nice place to walk about in.
Santa Cruz in Las Palmas is right in the town centre and a lovely walk along the main shopping street can be had with a few nice bars along the way. There was a local market on by the port when we arrived on Sunday. Not a big place but nice and there is also a beach fronting the castle (loosly termed) about 10 minutes from the boat.
Funchal in Madeira is a beautiful place. The town is immediately next to the ship but you get a lot of hassle from taxi drivers and tour guides when walking in. We walked through the main streets to the cable cars (11E each) and then took the toboggan down (30E for 2) and then walked back down to the town centre. Be prepared for the weather because whilst sunny in town it was raining at the top of the cable car run. The walk back is straight forward along one road for 20 minutes but it is very steep. The market near the cable car station is very worthwhile visiting.
Agadir in Morocco is just a commercial port with no cruise facilities at all and we struggled to get the gangway on and off (the crew said that happened the week before too). Difficult to walk anywhere from the ship so take a taxi or book a trip.
Arrecife in Lanzarote has a good commercial centre on the quayside leading to a beautiful lagoon with fishing boats and a few bars which is very easy to walk to if the ship docks on the south pier however if it docks on the north pier it is a short bus or taxi ride around.
Aft cabin with large balcony with 2 sunbeds, 2 chair & a table. Interior has large double bed and a large 3 seater sofa bed. Bathroom has sink, toilet & step in shower with curtain. Has an inter-joining door to room 7632 which did let some noise through.
No facilities at the port at all for cruise ships and is nothing more than a commercial dock. Book an excursion. Taxi drivers believed to just take you to their relatives stores regardless of where you ask to be taken.
Port right in town centre but a decent walk to get to the cable car station. It is a pleasant walk through a very cosmopolitan centre and the market is very characterful.
Lovely cruise terminal with free Wi-Fi. Walk straight in to town which is small but very pleasant and has a large beach too.
Lovely cruise terminal with free Wi-Fi. Pleasant walk through town with a lovely beach too.
Good camel ride, informative guided tour round Timanfaya in the coach and a bit of a naff winery/gift shop at the end.View All 40 Mountain of Fire Reviews