This was our first cruise - family with a 2 year old. We went to our local Thomsons to book a holiday to Turkey an were talked into this " amazing, unforgettable, I've been and booked again already" cruise. our first mistake was to book it, and our second was to book it without reading any reviews.
The flight with Thomson was great; cannot complain at all. Friendly staff, comfortable seats, no problems at all. Transfer was also OK. Middle of a thunderstorm and the coach leaked a bit but fine. We got to the port and it took almost 2 hours to get on the ship. The Kids club reps approached us and informed us that contrary to what we'd been told the kids club was only for 4 years and up. Good start. When we finally got to the front of the queue and were photographed - excessive photographing on this cruise- we went through to the glorified ferry, which another reviewer called it. I cannot agree more. I got on board and cried. This was when I was waiting for the lift. The joys of the room were still to come. The public areas were not too bad once you got away from the foyer area where we boarded, apart from the cafeteria style beachcombers buffet.
We then got to our room. The word small doesn't seem to cover it. The word clean unfortunately didn't either.I must stress that I don't think it was the fault of the staff member, but that the room was just so old that I don't think it will ever come clean. The bathroom was beyond disgusting. Dirty grouting and shower head, and just generally very grubby. The room itself was faded and had dirty patches on the wall. I went to customer services and complained and was told there was nothing that could be done until the following day when we had left port and all the guests had boarded. The thought of washing me or more importantly my baby in that bathroom was almost too much. I starting describing how dirty it was and instead of being helpful, sympathetic or even polite, was advised to keep my voice down otherwise other guests would hear. I had now been awake since 4.30 am for the flight so temporarily backed down. We went to eat in the restaurant which I have to say was ok. Kids menu was average but the buffet food was varied and there was a different theme each night, which sounds tacky but actually made for some lovely food. The staff were amazing. the 1 positive on this ferry.
The next day we were reallocated a room, which was slightly cleaner but at least the bathroom was bearable.
The pool was miniscule - a plunge pool and looked dirty. The holiday passed by - the destinations were good, although personally I thought Naples port area was a bit of a hole and also rather frightening. We went to the nearby Ischia island instead. beautiful. One day I made the mistake of thinking I'd go to the gym to clear my head. When I approached the 6 machines that were stuck in the corner of an aisle I had to give up as, if you're over about 5'5" then you will hit your head on the ceiling if you go on some of the equipment, for example cross trainer.
I cannot tell you how plesed I was to get off this ferry. The night time entertainment is awful, the shops are tacky and the ferry is unbelievably horrible. Butlins on Sea is about accurate, and might actually be generous and a slur on Butlins. It hasn't put me off cruising however, as I saw the decent ships that pulled up at the ports we sailed to.
Oh and to top it off, if the travel agent tells you that they accept debit cards on board that's also not true. I had switch maestro and they only accept Visa Debit. I had to withdraw cash in the destinations, change it with the purser and then pay cash as I went. So much wasted money on exchange rates. Such a waste of a week of my life that I will never get back. In summary, if you hadn;t guessed-noy recommended.