Previously we have been reluctant to book a cruise because we were told it was only frequented by elderly passengers who sit around habitually talking about their vast portfolio of cruising experiences. However, we wanted a change from our usual package holiday experience and decided to take the plunge. Compared to our recent holiday on a Greek Island we received absolute 5 star service from the moment we stepped aboard to the moment we left and when you consider the all inclusive extras the price comparison is very competitive.
It is true to say that the majority of passengers are 65 plus; some of whom we met at our shared breakfast table. The conversation we found was very interesting and friendly. It was not at all staid and monotonous.In fact we found the whole dining experience first rate from the variety and quality of the menus to the service we received from our waiters Eddie and Gerco. We did hear some complaints from a minority of fellow passengers but in our opinion these were unfounded and unjust. We tended to skip lunch in favour of afternoon tea; in the Queens Room there were different pianists, a harpist and a string quartet which were all very entertaining during afternoon tea.
There were plenty of on-board activities to keep us occupied during the sea days, so many in fact we were unable to attend any lectures , pub quizzes or planetarium shows. We did not make full use of the thermal spa and in retrospect we could have negotiated a better deal.
The shows in the Royal Court Theatre were good especially the dancers and Allan Stewart a singer,comedian and impressionist. One afternoon we enjoyed a Classical Performance by James Sherlock. Being jazz fans we spent a lot of time in the Chart Room listening to the excellent Simon Galfe Trio. Sometimes, it was very crowded so it was difficult to get a seat at the beginning of the evening. The chart room bar staff looked after us very well especially Maya and Yuliya. The only disappointment was when a guitarist joined the trio and in our opinion drowned out the other instruments and effectively cleared the room by mid-night.
We had an inside stateroom which was large enough for the two of us. The bed was really comfortable.
The free shuttle buses to and from the ports were really convenient. Because you are only visiting for a few hours, at best you can only scratch the surface of each port of call. However, we considered Lanzarote to be our favourite port of call. There are less high-rise and commercial developments. The capital Arrecife is smaller and less congested than the other ports. There is a tree less lunar volcanic landscape which, whilst not to every body's taste, is very atmospheric and dramatic.
We enjoyed every minute of our Iberian Adventure Cruise and can't wait for the next cruiuse.