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Graham Couch

Age: 40

Occupation:Aerospace Engineer

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Sun Cruises

Ship: Carousel

Sailing Date: September 6th, 2003

Itinerary: Western Mediterranean

I will let you into a secret, this is our 2nd cruise with Mytravel/Sun cruises and could not fault either of them at all, but we don't want everyone to find out about it as they will fill up to quickly. I would give the cruise a rating out of 100, 99.9%. We could not fault anything, ok the Carousel is a bit old but the service, staff, friendliness, facilities all get top marks. I will start with the food service, 7 course meals at all sittings and the standard of food was unbelievable, I have never had any better service even at the best restaurants, our waiter was first class we never waited or wanted for anything, they got all our food spot on and was piping hot and always with a smile, they made paper roses for us all and showed us demonstrations of napkin folding. At the end of the meal it was show time when all the waiters would start singing and dancing around the room and making everyone laugh so much. On deck the buffet food was delicious and plentiful, the bars serve drinks all day from 10 am and had a selection of cocktails all day as well, for 119 pounds for the week you can have unlimited drinks which is good value if you drink a lot. All the entertainment was fantastic from the singing, dancing and the comedian who was Mick Miller from TV's The Comedians, who we made friends with and had a few drinks. We also met some lovely people from all walks of life not one wrong word was said and were all so polite, there were two formal nights and others were casual. Everyone was treat with the utmost politeness and courtesy, even the captain was so approachable and nice to talk to.

Our itinerary was western Mediterranean, we called at Tunisia, Civitavecchia/Rome, Livourno/Pisa/Florence, Villfrance/Nice and Barcelona. First Tunisia, well see it if you like once, but you will not go again, all the people at markets really were bullies they will not let you alone and the place is so hot, dusty and dirty so once is enough.

Citavecchia next, this is the port for Rome but it is a 90 minute coach ride there so we stayed in the local town which was quite nice but not a lot happening but was pleasant enough, I believe Rome was nice though.

Livourno, it is a 30 minute ride to Pisa which is worth it if you have not seen the Leaning tower but be prepared for the heat and the 10 minute walk from the coach park, and the place is covered in market stalls selling tacky tourist junk it really spoils a beautiful area which consists of a cathedral and a huge baptism building and the tower, all very beautiful but brought down by commercialism. Florence is about an hour away this is such a beautiful place, it seems like it has not changed since it was built god knows how long ago! So steeped in ancient history it seems the Romans were there last week! Absolutely breathtaking view over the city, you must see it!! If you are a Hannibal fan you can visit the various places where the movie was made including the Plaza del Veccio where most of the scenes were filmed, simply breathtaking.

Only two criticisms, to the rear of the ship it is a bit noisy at night with the engines and the excursions are a little pricey, it is cheaper to go on your own.

To sum up our cruise I think Sun cruises has got it just right, I have not heard anything bad about it ever and at such affordable prices! Don’t think bigger and more expensive ships are better the Carousel is just the right size and has excellent service and crew. They have got the mix of enjoyable cruising to such a good standard that we will not be cruising with anyone else, why should we? The whole experience from start to finish was pure pleasure. This cannot be bettered.......ever! But don't tell anyone we will keep this our little secret.


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