We organised this cruise as a relaxing week in the sun for me and my wife, visiting a couple of new ports (for us) and a few old favourites. The pre-planning by Scotland's Cruise Centre was top notch. We flew from Edinburgh to Barcelona and jumped in a taxi to the port (39 Euros) without a hitch. The process of welcoming us on board was flawless and our luggage arrived at our stateroom within half an hour. We then explored the ship and discovered a lively vibe around the place. Staff were attentive, friendly and helpful. The casino was the biggest we've seen on any ship. The pool deck was excellent. It was a pleasure going for a dip or soaking in one of several hot tubs. The shopping deck was also massive with an incredible range of goods. They had a large number of concession-style shops with highly-priced items and the range was impressive. The number of restaurants to choose from was wide and varied and the planned entertainment looked good.
So, to the cruise experience we had. Our cabin design was surreal and not to our liking at all. We were in a balcony cabin on deck 10. It had a tiny toilet with NO washing facilities, a separate shower, which was fine but it was part of the main cabin, with a curtain to draw across the room, for modesty. The room had a small wash-hand basin in the main cabin, rather than in the toilet. Truly bizarre. The bed was too short, and I am only 5' 7" and yet there was not enough room for us to pass one another at the foot of the bed. For some reason there was an inexplicably large sofa which was not required. The balcony was a good size and it was a pleasure to sit out.
We had a Premier Drinks Package as part of our deal and it was ideal. We could have a couple of glasses of wine at dinner, a nice cocktail (great frozen Pina Coladas), branded spirits, soft drinks all at any time. No water included in the package for some reason. The food in all of the restaurants was excellent, including the Garden Cafe buffet on the pool deck. We helped ourselves to the ice cream on tap and it was very nice. we had two nights on speciality dining. The first was Italian. It was fabulous. I could not have eaten dessert if my life depended on it, such was my lack of resistance to what came before. My waiter duly arrived with a plate, hand written in chocolate with the words 'No dessert' on it. Great humour and great service. Our other speciality dining experience was the Brazilian Churrascaria. It was magnificent. A terrific salad bar, followed by a constant table service of many different cuts of meat, supplemented by vegetables of choice. If you haven't tried this, make a point of it. While we were waiting for our table, we had a drink at the lovely circular bar. I chose a Glenfiddich Whisky and was informed it was not part of the drinks package, therefore I would need to pay any cost over $12. I happily signed for it, only to find that I was charged $13 dollars. So the price of a shot of whisky was $25. WOW ! Strangely, if I had chosen Glenmorangie it was part of the package. The Chinese restaurant was not considered speciality dining and it too was first class.
Very, very poor design. In fact, it was laughable. See above.