First Holiday together since the children were born, now they have left home.
Convenient flight departure from Heathrow generous 23kg hold luggage allowance plus cabin luggage
Seamless embarkation plenty of staff guiding us to the coaches, luggage taken separately.
No queue at port. Free bottles of water as we got on board (stocked up with a couple each).
Cabin clean with half bottle of fizz. Steward could not be more helpful; issues dealt with same day eg leaky shower head, emptying the fridge so we could fill with our own stuff.
Steward did his job excellently no time wasted with folded animal shaped towels just immaculately clean every day we looked for dirt but could not find any. Chocolates on bed actually tasted good. Biscuits and ice bucket restocked twice a day.
Laundry and iron on each deck
Dining in Britannia, excellent service eg 3 desserts if we couldn't decide. Food good with some choices excellent. DONT bother with wine unless you have money to waste. Think like a teenager buy in each port, drink in cabin before then drink water at meals.
We had room service for
breakfast (7am twice) when we wanted to get out early and
Lunch (twice) the food was very tasty and the dessert (choc ice cream bombe) heavenly
A cocktail in the bar with free hors d'oeuvres was a lovely treat with different music
Barista coffee waste of money the self serve coffee is good and hot milk always available.
The entertainment was mixed the onboard singers and dancers were as on any ship ok for passing the time. The guest entertainment we enjoyed. The film shown each day was on the cabin TV the next day so if we missed it no problem.
On sea days we went to beginners bridge and dancing lessons which were well run. Each day I went to the Total body conditioning at 6pm, really well run with exercises to challenge and alternatives for the not so fit. A core group turned up every evening which was really good fun. I don't understand why people pay for exercise classes the free ones are great. Finished off with a lovely sauna.
One highlight was the wine tasting 12 wines in 1 hour ($28) with cheese and fruit, buffet style The sommeliers were full of tips to improve the wine. If you weren't interested in the tasting it is amazing how much some people could drink in one hour.
We had a bit of on board credit to use so chose a cruise excursion on day something we would not usually do (so much advice on the web to design your own). We will not be doing that again, over priced; small meal wine or water to drink so fell asleep on next bit of drive, too much time in Sorrento and not enough in Amalfi.
Departure day we were allowed to stay on board until 1030 which was pleasant and then the disembarkation was very smooth.
We really had a good time together, the service made it special they made us feel cared for, there was nothing to complain about on a day to day basis. Without teenagers and parents of teenagers there seemed to be a lot less late drinking and noise by 1130 all was quiet
Overall issues (but cope able with):
drinks are prohibitively expensive but no issue with bringing stuff (8 x 500ml coke bottles)and/or buying a bottle in port (Limoncello) and drinking in cabin.
Early (not as port websites) sail away times make planning own excursions a little stressful but we always docked early so easy enough to get up, out and back for afternoon tea or a swim in the lovely warm pool. I used it on 3 days and never had to share.