We went to swim and snorkel with the whale sharks and that indeed was fabulous. They are beautiful calm fish and we got up close to them. Be warned though, it is a somewhat artificial experience. The fishermen on the bagans are paid to feed them for the tourists. Also, to get the most out of the experience one needs to be able to free dive if not scuba dive. Snorkelling on the surface is third best. That would have been good to know before departure.
The staff were polite, friendly and helpful. One rescued me when I drifted away in a strong current while looking at the whale sharks and another gave me helpful lessons on free diving. I didn’t nail it, but that’s no criticism of the instruction.
The food was just okay. It’s basically pub food trying to be gourmet and very meaty, which was surprising on a cruise costing this much. In contrast we went to the Kimberley on Great Escape a few years ago and the food was fresh, varied and top restaurant quality.