Fantastic! Best holiday! This was our first cruise and our group of 8 ranged from ages 8 to 40+. The food was always good and the drinks were amazing (we wished we’d gone for the next up drinks package that included all cocktails - we paid for the only that was €6 and under), but definitely get a drinks package it’s worth it! The stops were great (apart from Albania) and the staff were lovely! It was our first cruise so we have no experience but I loved it and the ship was still beautiful and not dated.
4 out of 5
The embarkation process was long, I’m not sure how they could improve it other than having more people to check you in. Be prepared for at least 1.5-2hrs taken up checking in going through security. As a positive all of the staff were polite and helpful and they were handing out free juice in the cruise terminal. Also after reading previous reviews I was expecting to get bombarded once on board for all the ‘extras’ but this just didn’t happen which was a pleasant surprise.
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
This was our first cruise so the first couple of days it took us a while to get in a routine so we only went to the buffet. The buffet was always great with loads of choice, especially with me being a vegetarian there were always great choices. The children were always happy here too.
For the restaurant we had initially booked the 21.30 sitting which we wanted to change. We found the matre de and he happily changed us to 19.00 and also moved us to a table of 8 so we were with our 2 families were sitting together. The whole experience in here was so much better than the buffet restaurant, no fighting for tables or walking 100yards back to your table with your food. It was relaxed and we got completely wined and dined, our waiter was brilliant too and always smiling and joking with the kids. They also brought me out a Birthday cake and sang for my 40th Birthday (my husband had previously arranged the cake).
4 out of 5
We only used the pools and hot tubs and they were great no issues.
5 out of 5
Absolutely loved the entertainment, we were always at the ‘club dances’ whether it was on deck or in the Toucan Lounge. The white party was also a highlight.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
The service was impeccable. Our room maid George was fantastic and again always smiling and helpful. The waiting staff in the bars were all amazing especially John (not sure this was his name but his daughter also worked on the ship waitressing). Also shout out to Jacqueline in the sports bar, she was also always very friendly and great with the kids.
5 out of 5
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Room number was 8049. Being our first cruise I was so nervous about being claustrophobic but I was fine and the room was bigger than I thought. Storage was also amazing for a family of four! The kids beds folded back into the wall so it was really great overall, and you’re so busy anyway you only sleep there so I can’t see any point spending money on a balcony or sweet?
Top tip - go to the restaurant as much as possible even with kids, it’s so much calmer than the buffet! Don’t disembark at the exact time, give it at least an hour and you’ll miss the rush, you’ll still have plenty of time. Also, we didn’t take any of the excursions. Example in Athens we came out of port and got a taxi for €20 into Athens had a lovely walk around all day and taxi back, no need to pay for the excursion. Same in Croatia, I think the taxi was €12, you don’t need to pay for a guide or excursion! Talk to the waiting staff and show an interest and build relations and you will be treated so well.
Amazing, one of my favourite stops. Just disembark and go on a wander! We spend an hour at the beach then walked around the shops and stopped at a bar on the front (very expensive but worth it for the view).
Do not just walk off the ship! You get bombarded by locals wanting you to go with them in their taxi or on their trip, they’re desperate almost begging. The market stalls along the front are ok for a bargain but some of the stall holders were aggressive. The younger children were honestly scared here and I was not comfortable. I would recommend an excursion on this stop or a day on the boat!
My favourite!! Get a taxi into the old town and just explore. It’s absolutely beautiful and I want to go back!
3 out of 5
Not great, due to a festival we had to dock outside of Venice and get a boat back in. Having said that it was well organised and our cases were sitting waiting for us at the cruise terminal. We went into Lido di Venice which was beautiful.
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