Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Island Cruises
Ship: Island Escape
Sailing Date: n/a
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
We have just returned from a fortnight on the Island escape. We had a brilliant time. Our party consisted of 4 aged from 42 (me) to 64 (the mother in law).
The check in procedures on day one were quick efficient and showed us what sort of efficiency to expect for the rest of our cruise. Thanks to the previous reviews on this site we had a few hints on what not to take and this proved invaluable. I would say that when you are packing pack what ever you like to wear, anything goes. Even in the Oasis restaurant men with jeans could be seen sitting with men in black tie, no one blinked an eye.
All our stops were well organised we took four excursions, and this is where I would disagree with some reviews we found them to be very good value for money. The guides were friendly and informative and without them we would not have had such good experiences. We did the VIP Rome and saw all the major attractions in one day, fabulous. Next was Pisa again brilliant, a wonderful experience and a great tour guide. The next week we went to Mount Etna, WOW, and finally and my favourite to Pompeii. Our guide new lots of short cuts, we arrived at all the popular places early and had them to ourselves. In Barcelona we did not do the organised trip because we new that the port was in the city centre. As you disembark there are numerous open topped buses to take you around all the sights for about 16 euros, the commentary was adequate.
Now to my favourite subject food, we ate breakfast in the Island restaurant, we snacked in the beachcomber, believe me there was no room for lunch and we dined in the Oasis, this I must say was truly a great experience, friendly staff good food and a very good choice of wines. We took the advice given on this site and pre-booked our table for a week at a time Table 18 with Warner and Reg, Yasi was our wine waiter, they spoiled us and we had marvellous views out of the window.
The cabins are not huge but exceptionally clean and comfortable. Maid service cannot be faulted we were in cabins 5053-5055, inside cabins coral deck midship. I state midship because this became an important factor on the two nights that the sea became rather rough and I retired early. However taking the advise of our friendly waiters I drank very little fluid when the sea was rough and laid horizontally and although I felt unwell I was not sick and managed to sleep it off.
I think it important for you to realise that money is spent very easily because using your on board credit card is very easy and at the time it does not feel like money, especially in the casino. Our bill for the two weeks was £1150, which I feel was good as we did not scrimp on anything we ate what we wanted often with a supplement and we drank copious amounts of good wine, plus beers and shorts and cocktails etc. This also included all our onboard shopping and about £100 blown in the casino (good fun was had at the roulette wheel) Our parents bill was £1650, but they bought cigarettes, blew a lot more in the casino and also paid for their washing to be done before they disembarked, which costs an absolute fortune.
I will cruise again but not exclusively as the only thing that was missing was the beach, I think perhaps the ideal for us is to do a cruise and stay holiday the best of both worlds!!!
Please feel free to email any questions I will try to answer them.