This was my first cruise and will certainly be my last. My wife went on a similar cruise with her mother on the Azura. When she got back I never heard the end of how good it was. The cabin, the food, the shows, it sounded like the holiday of a lifetime. That was pre COVID-19, so we decided that this year we would repeat the experience and booked a pre Christmas holiday. The first thing that hit me was the number of people on the flight when we got to check in at the airport. I am a very seasoned traveller but this came as a shock. On arrival at Barbados we transferred to the ship, a long laborious process, reasonably efficient but still tiering after such a long flight
The food was repetitive, poor quality and of a limited selection. We did choose the restaurant on a few occasions but this had to be booked in advance via the ships app. Bookings could not be made in advance, only at opening time and then your booking was given a 15 minute window to be seated. The portions were small and not to decent standard. The wine was good but over priced, £10 for a large red.
The shows were cut down from the expected 2 hours to 45 minutes. On sea days sunbeds were in high demand and the noise from the DJ was deafening at times. Luckily I upgraded us to a cabin with a balcony before sailing, my thought this unnecessary but on reflection was grateful we had. The ship was difficult to get around with no stairs and the lifts always full this exacerbated the situation when wishing to eat, go for a drink or enjoy any of the entertainment.
The cabin maid was welcoming and very friendly, explaining everything quite simply. She informed us we could buy canned water or use the tap water if wished. This came as a bit of a suprise as would thought two bottles a day would have been complimentary.