Island Escape review Aug 2011 - fantastic: Island Escape Cruise Review by

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Island Escape review Aug 2011 - fantastic

Sail Date: August 2011
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Other
A fantastic cruise, thoroughly relaxing. The ship is awesome, the staff do not stop working hard for you. The cabin steward tidied our room at least twice a day, and the bar staff are constantly keen to bring you drinks (and no tipping required as the ship is cashless). All holiday makers were from the UK and very friendly.

The entertainment helped make a fantastic holiday with something for everyone. We enjoyed an hour of West End songs in the theatre, the Tom Jones tribute act (flown in from the UK), and the game show type entertainment (Who want to be a Millionare, Mr and Mrs, Bingo etc) in the Bounty Lounge with the on board (funny) entertainment staff. We usually finished every night in The Pub bar where there was fantastic live music (Adrian from Romania would do any request on the piano or Guitar and very often had the crowd out of their seats). There were also good entertainment activities on the top deck in the evening and during the day at four (game shows to More involve the sunbathers).

All cabins were air conditioned, the only downside are the walls between cabins are a bit thin and you can hear people next door but this wasn't an issue. The shower was always hot and powerful, and our inside cabin was spacious.

The food is excellent, 24 hour buffet in the Beachcomber restaurant, with breakfast (English bacon, black pudding etc), Brunch, Lunch, afternoon tea (sandwiches, cakes and biscuits), evening meals and all night snacks. The evening meals always had a theme, (Indian, Chinese, Italian, Mexican), but there was always chips, pizza, burgers etc for the kids, always fresh fruit and salad. The only problem I had with the food was trying not to eat too much as it all tasted so good.

The casino was good fun, with lessons how to play on day one (Stud Poker, Blackjack, Roulette and slot machines).

We attended the ships presentation on the tours available which is valuable without a pushy sales pitch. They also presented idea's on what to do on your own in the different stops which again we found helpful.

Prices on board are £3.35 for a pint of San Miguel, £3.40 Strongbow, glass of wine about £3.15 (bottle £13.90), Corona £2.95. All drinks were always served in a glass not plastic and there are always cocktails of the day etc. (Please note if All Inclusive branded drinks such as Jack Daniels etc there is a small fee not free e.g. 90 pence rather than £3.90). Ice cream and crisps are also charged.

The currency on board is all sterling but you have a card to charge everything to your account and pay at the end. You can check your balance at any time at Guest Relations (reception).

One tip - we didn't receive our luggage for about 3 and a half hours on the arrival day - therefore when you arrive at the port, take out your sun cream and bathing clothes if you wish to go straight on deck without the need to wait.

We had two 13 year old girls with us, but they spent most of their time meeting friends, touring the ship and having fun - it was like having a holiday without kids and they thoroughly enjoyed it. We even left the kids on board when we were at our last stop as it was very safe.

There is no formal dress code on board the Island Escape although some people did dress up smart and others spent the evening in shorts and T-shirt.

We enjoyed this so much, we'd cruise again next year! Less

Published 09/04/11

Cabin review: IN9589

Inside cabin was more spacious than expected, shower was always hot and powerful (although not much light in there). Cleaned several times a day by the steward. TV with two films showing every 3 hours (latest cinema releases).Beds comfy, the only downside was that the walls were a bit thin. All cabins air conditioned.

Port and Shore Excursions

Ajaccio was a great first stop. We walked through the market which was fun, lots of fresh local produce and an authentic French experience. We stopped for lunch in a local cafe (English was limited but got by with my school french!).

We then caught the "Noddy Train" for a 45 minute tour. This took us up to the local Napoleon statue which was ok and around various local streets. This was worthwhile as it was too hot to walk around (August). The cost was 7 euros per adult (and children 13 and over).

Nice, France - absolutely stunning!! The best stop we had. You can go on an organised tour to Monaco and Monte Carlo which was about £47 for an adult but you can do this yourself on the local train from about 7 Euro each.

We decided to stay in Nice which is beautiful. We took the open top bus tour which is about 20 euros for an adult (children 13 and over) and headphones are provided so you can listen in on the facts in multiple languages. There are 12 stops in total and it takes about 40 minutes but you can get off and on whenever you want. It was great going around seeing the sites, local architecture is fabulous and the beaches are excellent.

We got off on the beach front (kids wanted a McDonalds!), had a photo with the Ferrari outside the casino then hit the beach for a bit. We walked back to the ship, which was great, around the harbour with some fantastic expensive yachts, picturesque cafes and restaurants. This was my favourite stop, stunning scenery, a wealthy area, and I would love to go back here.

Read 139 Nice Reviews

On the Costa Brava, this is typical Spain, good beaches, plenty of restaurants and a town centre with stores selling the usual souvenirs. I was a bit disappointed with this stop but I think I'd been spoiled by Nice in France.

Read 217 Palermo Reviews

We actually docked in Civitavecchia which is close to Rome. As my family and I have been to Rome several times before we stayed near the port. However, if you've not experienced Rome I highly recommend it. The price from the ship isn't cheap but you do get to see all the sights, Trevi fountain, Spanish Steps, Colosseum, Vatican City etc.

The port was pretty good though with a free bus into the local market (it can be walked in ten minutes but the weather is hot). The market was good for my wife and two 13 year old girls buying some hand made jewellery and the usual holiday souvenirs. Just beware of any pick-pockets which we were warned about, but didn't feel threatened.

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