We have been on a number of cruises and we tend to select by itinerary and price rather than cruise line and have been on RCI, Princess, MSC, Oceania, Azamara and HAL.
We selected this cruise to give us the opportunity to have some warmer weather and there are not many lines cruising in this area.Cost was also attractive.
Pullmantur focus on Spanish speaking markets but all staff speak English, announcements are in Spanish and English, menus are in Spanish and English, daily programme is in English, there are 3 English speaking channels on the TV ( bbc news and 2 entertainment channels primarily US shows) plus a couple of movie channels which could either be in English or Spanish depending on the film.
The evening shows were mostly musical and ranged from very good to disappointing - the quality of dancers and singers as good as any other line but musical interpretations could be a bit bizarre. We watched about half of them. Singers and musicians in bars were all very good.
Standard of food in main dining room was good without being great - we have had better. Portions were adequate but not large, after the meal we were not hungry but were never stuffed. Menus are Spanish based so do not expect usual UK or US staples. There is a fixed range available every night plus daily options that changed. Burgers, plain chicken, steaks, chips, do not feature on either menu - although there was a small fillet steak on gala night. Gala night has a fixed menu with no choice with some tapas to start and then three courses. Coffee is not served in dining room - similar to MSC. Dinner was either 19.30 or 21.45 and didn't seem to be anytime dining. They put English speakers together usually table of 6 but were a few 2 seat tables and some larger tables. You could pay a supplement if you wanted lobster or steak or a few other options.
Buffet was similar to most other lines with courses variously hot or only warm with roasts available at lunchtime, also pasta station who would stir fry meat and veg and mix with pasta of your choice and you add sauce. Pizza was also available. There were separate children and gluten free sections.
There was a grill open during the day when buffet closed with hot dogs and burgers and a couple of other options.
Room service was available but there was a charge.We never felt the need to use it.
Breakfast could be taken in dining room or buffet and were both similar with usual selection of cold meat, cheese, bread, fruit, yoghurt as well as hot options of eggs (fried, scrambled, boiled, omelette) streaky bacon, sausages (could be chorizo, Frankfurters or 'proper'). Would equate to a standard 4 star UK hotel other than absence of back bacon, hash browns and beans.
All inclusive included red, white, rose and cava wine ( only one variety of each), spirits mostly local but included Grants whisky and Gordon's gin along with other standard brands or local varieties. Cocktails were also mostly included e.g. Mojito, pina colada, tequila sunrise. Local beer also included as were soft drinks from bottles e.g. Coke, Fanta. You could pay 1 or 2 euros each time for premium spirits, beers, wines, other cocktails soft drinks in cans but most people seemed to be happy (as we were) with basic option or you can opt to upgrade your package to include premium drinks for, i think, 14 euros per day. Cappuccino, lattes etc from baristas were also included as standard. Service was excellent and much better than on many of our other cruises where we were paying for our drinks! During dinner wine was constantly topped up by the waiters. Mineral water was free by the glass but if you wanted a bottle you had to pay for it.
Room was made up in morning only.Standard of housekeeping was very good. We had a balcony and were happy with space and storage and no worse than other lines.
Excursions were very good value (probably best we have seen) and were in Spanish and English.There was no information provided about ports of call so you either take their excursions or do your own research. Because their excursions were such good value we took them on four of our ports rather than looking elsewhere as we normally do so cannot really comment on availability of shuttles but don't think any were provided.
The ship itself is old and in places worn so do not expect shiny attriums and speciality restaurants (there weren't any). Fittings and wallcoverings showed age but cabin was however well maintained and clean. Bed was comfortable.
We only had hand luggage so walked off ship shortly after docking so disemarkation for us was simple.We also pretty much walked on at embarkation.
Dress code was relaxed and on gala night there were only a couple of black ties - UK cruisers - most wore smart trousers and shirts with a few ties and ladies smart dresses and tops rather than evening gowns.
All in all we were very pleased with our cruise and would happily go on another cruise with Pullmantur