After cruising for more than 25 years, we are old school. We like ballroom/Latin dancing, promenade decks, and days at sea. It is hard to argue with the pricing and choices from the mass market lines these days, but we felt we had to make a change. We have been looking at Cunard off and on, and finally an off-season nine-night trip matched our open dates and my (low) price point.
We were a little stressed over the dress code. I despise neckties, but could manage a sport-coat without great suffering. My wife found a large selection of new formal dresses online for around $69.95 each, which only required hemming and some fussing over shoes. I owned a tuxedo, which after a bit of dieting and a replacement set of trousers from eBay still could fit.
Embarcation in Barcelona was the worst we have ever seen. We were not told when to arrive and when we did we were assigned groups in a tired outer hall. After 45 minutes they seemed to stop calling groups and angry guests just stormed up and went into the departure hall where there was a long snaking line. We were commiserating with some fellow passengers when one disappeared. He came back shortly and said to follow him. He found the “group check in” was under-utilized and he made our own pretend group. We wonder if the others ever got on, despite the fact that we did not leave until the next day. A little supervision would have fixed this. Cunard cleverly checks passports for UK arrivals at sea, so getting off the ship and to the bus in Southhampton was on the other hand the fastest we have ever seen. We walked off the ship about 8:30 and were at our gate at Heathrow by 11:30.
Clean quiet with lots of nice touches. The tea kettle was key. The drawer space is limited but there are drawers under the bed. The balcony door whistled in high winds.
The Moorish Fort was quite pretty and easy to get to
We loved the port. The stop was sadly too short. The old fort was a hike but work it and we saw a monkey for no extra charge.
We found a cute place for lunch right up the hill from the ship - the old trolley cars were charming.