I travelled on Island Escape around the Mediterranean late on in the season. Following a short flight from the UK, we had a very smooth and efficient transfer to the port of Palma and were checked in and on board with just enough time to pose for the embarkation photograph.
There was a really friendly, informal atmosphere on board the ship. As there are no set meal times on board you can pick and choose where you dine, and with whom. We did tend to go to the Oasis Restaurant for our evening meals, as I like to be waited on when I’m on holiday! The food was good, and there was always plenty of choice, and the service was excellent.
I booked a shore excursion in each port, which may not have been the best idea ever. I’m not an early bird, and often the excursions had quite early starts. That minor criticism aside, they were good value for money, and brought the ports of call alive. Although we went late in the season, the weather was kind to us, except when we went to Pisa where it poured with rain! The sea was flat calm for the entire week, and it was great to get out on deck and soak up the sun.
The entertainment staff on board worked hard to ensure we had a good time. There were plenty of activities to take part in if you wanted, but they were unobtrusive so you didn’t feel compelled to take part in things if you just wanted to relax. The shows in the evening were well put together. The bar staff got to know what your favourite tipple was, and service was prompt and friendly. Prices for the drinks were reasonable, and you can get all inclusive upgrades.
When it was time to travel home, the disembarkation and transfer procedure was as well organised as on the outward journey.
All in all, this cruise represented excellent value for money on a friendly and relaxed ship.