I was part of Bernard Magee's bridge group. Both this and the fact that we arrived back into the UK rather than having to make another flight with all the airport hasssle involved persuaded me to take this voyage. The observation lounge was a wonderful venue for the bridge, but it would have been even better if the air conditioning could have been controlled at a chosen level, rather than only on or off.
I thought most of the excursions were good and appreciated that their cost was inclusive. Just one point regarding the Oporto port tasting and the vineyard visit from Bordeaux. At neither of these venues was there anywhere to sit whilst the guides gave their talks. I was unable to stand and often the quiet talk system didn't work and I had to find somewhere to sit and therefore missed the information.
Yesterday I went with our U3A on a vineyard tour (Brightwell vineyard near Wallingford) and the owner guided us around the vines, imparting relevant information on the growing, pruning, watering and picking etc. en route, but the main part of the very informative talk took place inside the tasting area, where everyone was seated. Each wine and its production was explained as the tasting progressed. At the Bordeaux vineyard we were not even walked around the vines and all the talk took place without any seating. If at all possible I would suggest this way of conducting such tours would be appreciated far more if seating was available and in particular, if done in the way the Brightwell tour was.
My cabin was very comfortable and my steward excellent. I enjoyed the food, mainly lunching on the promenade deck and dining in the Marco Polo and breakfasting on the Lido deck. The staff were delightful. I cannot comment on the lectures or entertainment, as I didn't attend any due to the amount of time I spent playing bridge. However I heard good reports about some of the lectures.
I am not sure why the coaches were always a good step away from the ship, but thought this might have been due to security requirements.
I found the ship's shop useful, especially as the weather from Bordeaux onwards was colder than many had anticipated.
I note you don't give an option for comment on the disembarkation! I thought this was chaotic and Tilbury a nightmare of a port for the taxi to navigate.
Very comfortable but impossible to watch to TV from the bed as the bracket does not allow the set to swivel enough.