We booked this cruise based on our experience on Marella Discovery which we really liked, and although we were aware that this was an older and smaller ship, thought that services and food would be of similar standards, how wrong we were.There was evidence of penny pinching(or nickel and diming)as our American friends would say, as soon as we entered our cabin, which I must say was quite spacious (outside and upgraded) there was no hand soap only a soap dispenser, no face tissues and the usually free safe was chargeable, in my opinion the company did not operate a "duty of care" in respect of security as the door key was clearly labelled with the cabin number to which it related.
We had purchased a cruise with an "all inclusive" basis-drinks and gratuities but found the choice very limited, the wine available was a house red, white or Rose with the former being particularly dry and vinegary, if you preferred a bourbon whisky the only option was Canadian Club, Jim Beam or Jack Daniels was not included.
We did not enjoy much of the food on board, breakfast was the usual fayre, there was good variety but the quality was poor, lunch and dinner again offered a wide choice of vegetables but some strange combinations of dishes and it is not everyone's preference to have the vegetables al dente, we were surprised no salad cream on an English ship!.
Service from the waiters, assistant waiters, and head waiters was excellent- polite courteous and helpful.
I would like to single out Gamal one of the head waiters who was most diligent in accommodating requests and always delivered what you requested.
Entertainment options were quite limited with a main show lounge, a cabaret type lounge and a piano bar, the production shows were average, the band who played a blues/rock type of music in the cabaret lounge were very loud and on one occasion so loud I found it painful, they also played on deck reggae type music which I found quite pleasant.
We have visited most of the ports before and have our favourites this was our first visit to St Barths and found it very pleasant but relatively expensive.
We took only two excursions one in Antigua - Sun and rum which was not as good as the previous one with Marella at this resort-very poor facilities! and the Rhum Runner which is our favourite party trip, happy-great atmosphere and good music and dancing.
I am aware that this review may be seen as a litany of complaints, however it reflects our perception of this cruise, the point that I am attempting to make is that given the cost of this cruise which was very similar to others with similar itineries and inclusive arrangements but offers significantly less in terms of food quality,entertainment and facilities.
We did speak to a few other passengers who did like what was on offer which illustrates the point that you can't please all the people all the time.
Our Cabin 113 was quite spacious, clean and reasonably appointed, but showed the age of the ship in some of the fittings and fixtures-the door required a separate key to your cruise card which usually doubles as your door key.
The overbath shower was difficult to access because o the placement of the soap/shampoo racks.