We have always wanted to visit Ireland and it is not often that cruises around Ireland are offered. We spent a night in Dublin before boarding the ship in the afternoon. We were given a time slot as facilities for shelter at the port are limited in Dublin and it all worked smoothly. Boarding was quick and easy. After clearing docs at portside, we went to the show lounge to get pics taken and credit card squared away and were given our room keys immediately. Our luggage was brought the room very quickly. The cabin is nicely laid out with plenty of storage and outlets for charging. Be warned - the shower is tiny! It is like showering in a golf bag! We were on Deck 7 on the left hand side and a couple of cabins away from the front of the ship. We were on the Quest years ago and since then it has been refurbished and is is very elegant. My husband and I are not show goers and we tend to just want to relax and read after a long day out and nice dinner. So the only show we went to was the Irish Dancing show the first evening in Dublin. We are also not big drinkers so we didn't frequent the cocktail lounges but the Living Room was a lovely place to sit and view the scenery.
The staff on board were wonderful. Friendly and engaged and yet very professional. I saw small touches similar to what we have experienced on Seabourn and Silversea, like being welcomed "home" when coming back from being ashore. The food was excellent and always beautifully presented. The waiters were very well trained and learned what we like to drink (sparkling instead of still water) before we even had to ask. As we had some early morning excursions, we did take breakfast in our room on several mornings to save time. We ate breakfast in the dining room the rest of the mornings and had it upstairs at the Windows Cafe just once to experience it. We dined at Aqualina one evening and it was fabulous. We chose not to dine at the specialty Steakhouse as we feel like we can have steak anytime here in the US. We did eat at Windows Cafe one evening as there was an Indian Buffet. It was absolutely delicious and the weather was warm enough to eat outside. My only complaint was the lack of variety in the included wines. They offered the same three red wines every night, even in the specialty restaurant. I only found one of the reds to be good and full bodied so I ended up having that every night.
The shore excursions were plentiful and very well done. The tour guides were all of a high quality and we enjoyed them all. We were very lucky with the weather and didn't get rained on once! The seas were a little rough a couple of nights but Bonine helped with that.