We booked this as a joint 50th birthday for myself and my husband, we wanted something special where we didn't have to fly, could relax but also see some sights. From arriving at Southampton to being in our Stateroom (BA Balcony) was ... Read More
We booked this as a joint 50th birthday for myself and my husband, we wanted something special where we didn't have to fly, could relax but also see some sights. From arriving at Southampton to being in our Stateroom (BA Balcony) was around 20 minutes, very impressed with embarkation. The stateroom was what we expected and the decor and cleanliness was too a very high standard. We found the food and service excellent and ate in the Britannia, Lido and The Veranda Restaurants, The Britannia was a different menu every night. We had read all of the small print before hand so we were not shocked at the drinks prices, although they are very expensive and you pay 15% on top as a service charge for every drink. I love wine so it was particularly expensive for us, though the wine selection was excellent and I tried a wide variety of them (I bought on board credit before going as I knew we would be spending quite a lot on drink!!). There was a variety of entertainments but they are definately geared towards the older generation and we did not take part in many, although we did enjoy the classical music concerts and the Male singer was excellent, the library is also of a very high quality.
We did find that breakfast could be a bit of a scrum in the mornings as all the singles insisted on having a four seat table to themselves, we shared but others obviously did not like doing this. About 90% of the people on the cruise were couples but only about 5% of the tables are for 2 so be prepared to share or have complimentary room service and avoid the crowds all together.
A major problem for me personally was not being able to make a cup of tea in the mornings, I wake very early, my husband doesn't, and I like to make myself a drink at 5 or 6 in the morning, it's not very convenient to have to get dressed and go up 3 desks just to get a cup of tea!
The only other issue I had was the launderette, using an iron in your stateroom is not allowed so unless you want to be really creased you have to use the one in the launderette which is rubbish and there is only 1 for the whole deck. There are 3 washer driers for the deck which also wasn't enough as I was surprised how many people actually used them. There are some very selfish people that use 2 of the 3 washing machines at once..Grrrr.
We took 4 shore excursions all of which were excellent, Herculaneum, Rome, Vejer and Barcelona. Rome it's self was a nightmare as 25000 other people were in the Vatican at the same time as us, however they are overpriced, but again I knew the price before I booked them so can't complain too much.
It did end on some thing of a low point though, the disembarkation was a fiasco, they let 3 decks go at once so everybody ended up queuing for 40 mins to get of the ship, many of them elderly with health problems. There were complaints.
Overall this cruise lived up to our expectations, the service was excellent and the ship's interior is beautiful to look at. The cruise itself is very good value for money although the cost of 'extras' is breathtaking. We are booking another cruise with Cunard. Read Less