The draw of this cruise was the destinations along the south/west coast of Central America and ultimately the Panama Canal into Colombia, finishing in Cartagena.
My booking included flights from Heathrow with AeroMexico: Voyages of Discovery reps were on hand at Heathrow to assist with check-in and the flights were good and on time. I was impressed that although we arrived into Acapulco at 8:00 am we were taken straight to the ship and only had to wait about an hour for our cabins to be ready so full marks for that bit of organisation, which gave those of us who came in on that flight almost a whole extra day in Acapulco.
The ship has everything you need for those who want enjoy days at sea and visit great places. The company prides itself on its lecture programme and this was very good, appealing to varied interests from history to geology to wildlife to anthropology. There were also port lectures of variable accuracy and usefulness, though it was good that it was made clear there were alternatives to the trips organised by the ship.
There are several bars and lounges, a pool and a large sun deck. In its daily programme, there is always a warning that sun loungers should not be reserved and that items left for more than 20 minutes will be removed but in practice this didn't happen, so why bother to mention it? Most days it wasn't a huge problem but annoying on the occasions when about 25% of the loungers had been abandoned for hours.
The "theatre" is a lounge, all on one level and so it is hard to see the shows and slides in the presentations if you are not near the front. I understand there is not enough headroom to install raked seating.
The entertainment was nothing great: good dancing but a lot of off-key singing, though the troupe was very enthusiastic and pleasant in their other duties such as shore excursion escorts and quiz hosts. There is music in the bars at various times throughout the evening.
There are two restaurants, one waiter service and one self-service, both serving the same menu. The self-service Vernada gets very busy at breakfast and lunch and it can be hard to find a seat, so I recommend the Discovery as less hectic and it has a good breakfast menu in addition to the usual buffet. Note that it is described as "open seating" but in fact you are led to the table and tables are filled in order of arrival. You can ask to be seated alone (maybe not at dinner when it is busy) or at a round/rectangular table and while the request is met, it is clearly not what they want to hear and disrupts their system; but sometimes you just want to eat in peace. The food is good but a bit samey.
Shore excursions were good, with good guides on the ones I went on, if not great value for money. The advance booklet described them well, and included details of mobility levels required but these were regularly ignored by participants so there were hold-ups and waiting for some less mobile passengers. The average passenger age is well over 70 and there are a lot of zimmers and sticks in evidence, which also influences the excursions offered and restricts landing by tender. Full marks to the shore excursions team for their arrangements for the late change of port in Nicaragua.
Drinks and wine are expensive - shore prices rather than the duty free you get on many cruise ships.
Overall, the cruise was great value for what I paid, but would not have been for the published price or for the amounts paid by some who had booked early. The ship is reminiscent of a 3-star package tour hotel
I thoroughly enjoyed my trip because of the destinations. The ship was a means to that end.
My cabin, on deck 3, was a good size and well-equipped with hangers and storage space. The bathroom is not large but adequate. Overall the cabin was a bit dull and could do with being redecorated; the towels were yellowed with age and need to be replaced.