I was a little apprehensive about this cruise as I had read some iffy reviews of the ship. The ship, it turned out, was amazing. In fact, we preferred it to the Equinox as the atmosphere was much friendlier. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze.
We had upgraded to Aqua Class and were not disappointed. The access to the Persian Garden was particularly welcome on this cruise as the weather was not warm! I cannot speak highly enough of the Blu restaurant. The food was great and the staff were beyond great! They just couldn't do enough for us. We ate once in the Trellis with some friends and it was fine. We also ate in the Tuscan Grille and Qsine. Both were excellent (the filet mignon in the Tuscan is the stuff dreams are made of), although we ate far too much food on both occasions. We ate breakfast once in the Oceanview and decided not to repeat the experience as it was a bit chaotic. We ate lunch there on two occasions and met some lovely people, but found the food uninspiring. We also lunched in the Trellis restaurant a couple of times and were suitably impressed with both the food and the service which we felt were better than in the evening. Cafe Bacchio was a regular haunt for us.
The entertainment was fabulous, on the whole. Sean O Shea and the flautist were excellent and I believe a girl singer Colleen ? was also, although we didn't see her. The ship's company were quite new and improved over the two weeks. They were great in the ensemble numbers, but individually their voices were not that strong but, as I say, they were growing in confidence. The ship's orchestra were really good and justly deserve the plaudits that they receive from the visiting artistes. Entertainment in the public areas was also good. I especially liked the woman pianist/singer and Judah, my husband liked the folksie duo. We participated in the guest choir and the trivia quizzes which were hosted with great humour. All of this is overseen by Luigi, who was amazing and, I think, was responsible for the general feeling of friendliness on the boat.
The service was excellent in all spheres and all of the activities started bang on time.
We only did one ship's excursion. As we missed the penguins in Punta Arenas we booked the ship's tour to Punto Lombo. We enjoyed it but thought that it was way overpriced.
After our first cruise on Equinox we felt that we would cruise again, but not very often. We are now converts! We have already booked our next cruise and can't wait!
The cabin was clean and comfortable and had ample storage space. Shower was particularly good. Only quibble is that it would be nice if the bath towels were just a little bigger!