Was a little nervous about cruising, also after reading some of the reviews, however we needn't have worried. As this was our first cruise we had nothing to compare it with but highly recommend this ship to anyone. Flew from Manchester to Palma to do the Western Mediterranean. Check in at Manchester was just like any other flight. At Palma you are directed to the transfer coaches and given an information leaflet (good to read on the coach). Takes around 20 minutes to the port. Once at the Port you are given an envelope with luggage tags with your cabin number on and boarding cards. Your suitcases are then ready for you to tag up. You don't see your cases again until they are brought to your cabin. At the port you queue to get a photo taken,and to leave your debit/credit card details. You are welcomed onboard and directed to your cabin. Cases arrived very quickly, before we went to explore the ship.
As everyone has mentioned, all staff are amazing, polite and attentive, cannot do enough for you. Drinks are free flowing, don't bother with the upgrade package, there is plenty to choose from just on the all inclusive. Food was amazing at every meal. Cannot fault it. We tended to have breakfast and evening dinner at the Orion Restaurant on Deck 4. Waiter service all meals. You are made to feel very special. Dinner you can choose to sit with other passengers if you wish. We did both, and it was a lot of fun. We also used the buffets on Deck 9 & 11. Was going to try the 3 restaurants that you can pay extra (it isn't expensive), however we found the food excellent without going to these restaurants.(there is a package, bookable by reception for around £49 per person to include all 3 if you like).
Entertainment is fantastic, the staff all work very hard and long hours. There is so much going on, you need to organise yourself a little timetable. Something for everyone.Our 'day at sea' was poor weather, but plenty of things to keep you amused all day/evening. The Theatre normally has an 8.30pm & 10.30pm show, we went every evening as they were so good. You need to take your seat around 15 minutes before as it does get busy. Entrances on Deck 8 & 9. Help yourself to drinks at the tables as you enter the Theatre. Waiters also come round once inside asking if you want more. Most things are on Deck 8, such as the lounges, reception, excursion booking, shops.
Inside twin cabin. Pre booked prior to going as I didn't want to be at the front or back of the ship as I do get motion sickness. Was worried about feeling claustrophobic, but the cabin was plenty big enough, with two bedside cabinets, small sofa & coffee table, dressing table, TV, tea/coffee making facilities, fridge, large wardrobe and plenty of coathangers. There is a free safe in the wardrobe, you set your own code. I liken it to being in a caravan. Our bathroom was small, but everything you require. Hand wash, Shower Gel, tissues & hairdryer are provided. If you use any items from fridge or the bottled water it is charged to your cabin. Don't bother with buying the water. You are given a glass caraf in your room. Chilled water dispensers are on every deck by the staircases. Use this to fill any water bottles.
Must mention Ive our cabin person. She came in the morning to make beds, replenish supplies & check towels. Then came again in the evening to turn down the beds, tidy your bathroom again, & replenish stocks. You are also given a Cruise News each evening, with details for the following day, informative information, restaurant opening times, entertainment times etc. Was lovely to come back in the evening to towel animals on the bed, & for my daughters birthday and amazing birthday cake made from different towels, and a bed throw!