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Graham Couch

Age: 42

Occupation:Engineer

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Island Cruises

Ship: Island Escape

Sailing Date: August 21st, 2005

Itinerary: Med Charm


This was our 4th cruise but the first on the Island Escape; we have previously sailed on the Sunbird and the Carousel twice, so we have some experience of cruising. Overall the cruise was excellent and I would recommend trying it, the ship the Island escape was built in 1982 so is a bit dated inside, but also very clean and lavishly decorated.

Our itinerary was sail from Palma-Ibiza-Alicante-Malaga-Cadiz-Gibraltar-Palma, Alicante and Malaga were disappointing as there is not much to see, they are big cities, noisy and dirty, but worth seeing, please go to Malaga cathedral, it is the most breathtaking cathedral I have ever visited. I find going on one of the many tourist buses helps you to find your way round, the one in Malaga is 13 euros for a 90 minute tour, 90 minutes because of the bad traffic though, but it goes up to the castle and you can get on and off all day. Ibiza ok but a little boring, lots of shops selling tourist tat and bars, but a lovely harbour. Cadiz is lovely, I like this place the more I go to it, it is full of history and little streets with nice shops selling quality goods, I recommend going into the cathedral and up the bell tower, what a view, a very nice place. Gibraltar is our favorite, a piece of England in Spain, go up the rock on the cable car to see the apes and the spectacular views, lots of good shops selling cigarettes and alcohol at unbelievable prices, 1 litre bottle of whisky 6 pounds!!! 200 ciggys 8.90 (sorry my pound key is not working) But the restaurants were pricey beware!

Here are good points and not so good points about the cruise

Not so good points: -
•Price of the onboard shop, extortion if you ask me.
•The ship was full so the entertainment venues and the deck were always full and difficult to get good seats, as usual people spoilt it, some were literally running to find seats and deck chairs, pathetic. One down side to cruising being cheap nowadays it attracts riff-raff, they know who they are, and I am not a snob, I just have highish standards.
•Food sometimes not so hot, but was good and plentiful
•You have to get your own suitcase at Palma airport, something that other cruise lines do for you.

That’s all really I am not a complainer at all, but the above needs mentioning.

All in all the cruise was brilliant, good points worth mentioning

•Entertainment in the lounges at night was brilliant, the five guys and girls put on some stunning costumes and performed flawlessly, well worth seeing although I would go early as the lounges filled up quickly.
•Staff/crew all very friendly and helpful captain John Brockenhurst keeps a very tight ship, he is very friendly and approachable.
•Food service in the Oasis was first class although you have to pay for most things, about 6 pound for a steak, which aint bad, all the food and selection of wines was 5 star quality, the wine waiters are very knowledgeable about wines. You can dress as you like but smart casual is the order of the day,
•Cleanliness is fantastic all areas were constantly being cleaned and was kept very tidy.

To summarize, this would be an ideal first cruise as it is easy to find you way into the cruise culture, there are higher quality ships at higher prices but this is a good all rounder good quality ship, good itineraries and good culture, cruising has a long history and culture which has kept standards high, like I said before it is being infiltrated by the chavs as they are called and is in danger of having the culture tainted by these people, cruising is for like minded people who have high standards and etiquette and can exist without forcing their personalities and traits onto others whether they like it or not, so don’t go if you have no style or class and wear fake designer clothes and lots of bling, that’s me off my soap box now. Have a go with Island Cruises we had a great time and would go again. If you need any info about this cruise line or itinery please e-mail me at gcoohy@aol.com and I will be glad to advise you.

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