SHORT VERSION: I greatly enjoyed the outstanding food, service, and classical music on this luxury small ship cruise and plan to return soon.
I am an American who did this two-week luxury small ship cruise solo from Nice to Bilbao. I chose it primarily for the intimate classical music experience it offered with its Ocean Sun Festival. To compare, I have done various other mostly small ship luxury cruises with cruise lines solo, with my husband, and with a friend. The cruise was outstanding, the best luxury ship experience overall, by far, despite the oddity of being an American woman traveling solo (probably the only one) on a ship where the official on board language is German.
SUITE: The generously sized modern style base veranda suite was comparable in size and layout to Seabourn and Silversea base cabins, with sleeping and two-seater sofa/table areas. The fridge included in-suite complementary water, juices, beer, and soft drinks. A desk area had two European style power plugs. The bed was very comfortable, not hard (and I am picky), but was in the German style, two pieces next to each other, each with separate high quality linens. Beds could be moved apart if desired (watch out for the crack, it tends to swallow iPhones!). My 5th level (Pacific) deck center and low veranda suite had a balcony with two chairs, a table, and one adjustable chaise lounge with soft cushions. The bathroom had a separate large shower and a tub with a rinse hose, retractable laundry line, safety grab bar, power outlet (bring adapters), and a large single sink. Water pressure was great. All tub and sink plugs worked. Nothing was broken, everything was immaculate. Storage space was ample for two people, with a walk-in closet, and a safe. Wall insulation was fine. The small TV had limited movie options in English and German, account viewing, and German interviews with performers and a travel log of the cruise’s excursions, done by ship photographers who came along on excursions (which you could then buy). You could also see your account on TV with running charges. The in-room TV cruise and program information channel in theory can be switched to English but it was useless for menus, as menus are no longer translated since the international hostess position was eliminated last year due to low demand. “English" itineraries on TV were also out of date, and in GERMAN (e.g., under the English language program option, the whole cruise I saw info displayed from an Israel trip in late April — and that too was still in German though set on the “English” option). English language TV options available were CNN international, DW-TV English —and Al Jazeera. This suite was near the upper level of the atrium lounge, so I could hear the piano player in my suite when he played, but was otherwise quiet (I liked this, some might want a 24/7 quieter location)