We sailed from Portbury in Bristol which was great as we only live 40 minutes away. The embarkation was very quick and smooth and the luggage was in out cabin within a few hours of us arriving. We were sailing to the Faroe Islands and then on to Iceland. Our itinerary was for a stop in the Faroe Islands, 3 stops over night in towns around Iceland and an over night stop in Reykjavik. Within a few hours of leaving Portbury we were informed that due to bad weather we would not be able to visit the Faroe Isles and instead of travelling up the Irish channel we would be travelling into the Atlantic on the West of Ireland, this would give us another day at sea. Ok nothing we can do about the weather so decided we would make the most of being on board. This was by far the roughest sail I have ever experienced, we were nearly tossed out of our beds on the second night. During this rough weather the boat really did show it’s age. The bar staff, serving staff, cabin staff entertainment crew were all fabulous and very hard working, always had a smile on their faces and very engaging with passengers. Cruise and maritime obviously look after their employees as they all had good things to say about the company. But this really does not go for the reception staff. They were the most unhelpful sour faced bunch I have ever had the displeasure to meet. I think there idea of customer care was you are the customer and they don’t care. We were eating in the Kensington restaurant, the service was excellent but the food was only mediocre and at times just warm. The Raffles buffet was good for lunch but far to busy and nowhere to sit, the Waldorf was also good but closed to early for our liking and found ourselves being rushed out of there on most occasions.
The theatre entertainment was Ok but nothing like you would get on the other cruise liners. They did have a guest speaker there some days who was talking about his rock & roll heroes and this was very good. There was some entertainment in all of the bars but again just Ok. The ship has had a makeover in the last few years but it’s age is showing, it really does look very tired in places. There were water stained ceiling tiles in most bars and painted over rust everywhere around the deck areas, hence my heading mutton dressed as lamb. The decor is Ok but the seating is so uncomfortable and most of the furniture on the back of the boat was broken.
We had booked and inside cabin on the 7th floor room 7044. The room itself was quite spacious with plenty of hanging and cupboards space the beds were very comfortable also. The first night was Ok, a few creaks and groans but about what I expected on a boat of this age. The second night, o my goodness it sounded like we had the rhythm section of a heavy metal band in our room, I am sure that this room was moving independently of the ship and it was like this for most if not all of the sail days. The following morning we went down to the see the emotionless reception staff and explained our problem and said they would send someone to have a look. Two guys promptly turned up to have a look and announced that there was nothing they could do as it was because it was an inside cabin.
We went back to the zombies in reception and was shown another inside cabin which was just as bad. We asked if there was an outside cabin available but told that the boat was full. The best they could do was offer us ear plugs !!!!!!!! We did notice that the outside cabin was vacant opposite us even though the boat was full. We inquired with reception and were told we could have the room for an extra £200. Luckily for us the ear plugs did help. So if you do book this ship stay away from the inside cabins.
Probably a nice town in the sunshine