Decided on going into the sun for one week in February during the winter. We were looking for several land options but the cruise sounded actually better as you can see more destinations. We booked via a tour operator which also included ... Read More
Decided on going into the sun for one week in February during the winter. We were looking for several land options but the cruise sounded actually better as you can see more destinations. We booked via a tour operator which also included airfare and transfers, so in all the package with also the Pullmantur "all inclusive" made this offer a great bargain!
Embarkation can be hectic, in spite of pre-registration, you still need to sign forms. Funny as even the health declaration is forwarded via email to you, so all the nitty-gritty details can be done at home.
Yes, the ship is 30 years old design, it is still a nice ship to sail on. There is maintenance and carpets have been refreshed amongst other things, but it is not sparkling new ship.
Our cabin therefore was renovated but still unchanged in set up from 30 years ago. It is adequate and ok. An other example the gym is very small and not many machines are offered.
We found only very friendly staff: smiling, happy people offering all your all inclusive drinks and food happily! There is also Cafe Mocka, a meeting hotspot, offering excellent espressos, caffe latte, cortados or cuppuchinos (luckily for me NO instant muck!). Breakfast and lunch are buffet style and during busy times even the main dining room is open and set with a buffet. For dinner the MDR (2 seatings) offers you a selection of a la cart specials (set ones) and along some daily specials of 2 starters/main/desserts. As the ship is Spanish focused, most food is geared to Spanish taste: paella for lunch along roasts of leg of lamb, etc. Gazpacho is one of the standard soups, excellent tuna steaks as a daily special or little filet steak for dinner during the gala. For us it was a eat as we consider this food as delicious. There are very few small tables (for 2 or 4 persons, most tables excist of 6 or 8 persons), so you will be asked to share the table. We asked the Maitre 'D and he provided a table for 2.
Entertainment is also focused on Spanish guests, so there is dance band with live music for salsa and cha-cha style dances, a flamingo music style guitar player but there was also the main band playing with several different singers. Many nights they also sing & perform along a dance group at the theatre. The evening show is at 9pm and in between the seatings for the dinner. Most shows are really good, because all is played 'live'; like ABBA or Beatle night. There was also a Spanish story with music & dancing (nice) and a ballet based on recorded classical music (not so nice). But in all, the ship is alive with passengers amusing themselves and having a real good time at all outlets!
There is a casino with gambling machines as I know them from the fairgrounds, where with little money you can gamble.
Excursions are sold in advance and on the ship, it was easy to purchase tickets on-boards but remember, you need to be a crowd of at least 10 pax in order to receive a guide who will speak English on that tour. We have done our tours by ourselves:
- Santa Cruz Tenerife: take local bus 910 to beach Las Teresitas and hired lounge chairs
- Danta Cruz La Palma: as the island deserves a proper visit, we rented a car upon arrival at the terminal and drove to the other coast (60 mts drive), you can drive more around, we just enjoyed the scenic views and stayed there.
- Sea day and enjoyed the sunshine, cafe Mocha and there was the gala night
- Agadir, Marocco: we pre-arranged ourselves via a local hotel (Riad Villa Blanche) a transfer and enjoyed lunch and spa treatments after a visit to the market.
- Arrecife, Lanzarote: rented a car at the pier and drove to the vulcano (45 mts drive).
- Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura: due to wind and less sunny weather we walked around the town and visited a big shopping mall (best mall of all islands).
- Las Palmas, Gran Canaria: we had 12 hours before the evening flight and booked a hotel on the beach (Sercotel Cristina Las Palmas)
We would certainly do this package again but we heard that MSHorizon is going to be placed from Dubai same time next year. Read Less