PART ONE - Horrendous
Our holiday got off to a terrible start. I had booked to go away with my mother and a few of her [elderly] friends. We booked early and chose our cabins so that we were all together and conveniently located to the facilities we planned to enjoy. However, a few weeks before we were due to travel, one of our cabins was pulled and we were told we were going to be placed 3 floors higher and at the opposite end of the ship. This was a big problem for us as we had all planned to convene on each others balconies to enjoy afternoon teas and coffee; also, to enjoy pre-dinner drinks. I complained to customer services who did their best to get our original cabin back but to no avail. Their 'allocation team' would not budge and neither would they locate our friends near to our new cabin. We were all gutted, as separating the group prevented us from popping in and out of each others cabins and enjoying the usual camaraderie. As a compromise, they managed to find us another cabin on the same floor but still this was a trek and left us isolated. To make up for it, we were given 50 euros onboard credit and Prosecco on arrival and although this did little to make things better, it was a gesture we appreciated. That was, until we boarded the ship and discovered our newly-allocated cabin 9084. For anyone allocated this cabin, please note that even though it is classed as a Bella Balcony cabin, IT HAS NO VIEW WHATSOEVER UNLESS YOU ARE STANDING UP!!! When sat on the chairs provided all you can see is solid white metal. All the saving up to pay extra for a balcony on which we could relax and enjoy the views out to sea, was therefore wasted.
The disappointment and upset was beyond words. It was bad enough being parted from our friends but to be denied the benefits of our balcony too was just the final straw. We demanded a proper balcony cabin or to be refunded the cost. Unfortunately, this was not something the cruise staff could sort out as - any claim would have to be handled by UK admin staff - and there was no other cabins available to move us to! All we could do was wait to see if anyone with a balcony cabin failed to show up at the next port and we could then have theirs.
Avoid cabin 9084 at all costs. it has no view. it is a complete waste of a balcony. All you can see is a white metal wall - unless you stand up and dont bother sitting on the chairs!!!
Other bella balcony cabins (which our friends had) are ok - a bit small by comparison with other cruise ships but otherwise ok.
Terrible tour. No free time to explore. No coffee stops in 10 hour day (apart from lunch break). Guide rude, disinterested, ill-informed and interested only in taking us to venues where he got commission. Complete waste of money and a day's holiday. DO NOT TAKE THIS TOUR.