by Earl Mohan
July 14, 2006
We enjoyed this cruise very much, however, the food was disappointing. The dining room was very cafeteria quality. The seafood smelled fishy and the steaks were tough to chew. The chicken had a bit of an odor. They had two paid restaurants you could elect to dine at that were good but we felt the food served here should have been the quality that should have been served in the main dining rooms. The buffet food was good and we primarily dined here because pizza, hamburgers and fries is hard to ruin.
What makes this cruise worth taking is the service. The service was unbelievable. Everyone is friendly which includes the people at the pursers desk. They really go out of their way to make sure you are happy. I highly recommend the dine-any-time feature because you will want the flexibility to avoid the dining room food and there are some days, you don't know when you will eat due to an excursion or the desire for down time.
The tours were well organized but a bit pricey for the options they offered. I would avoid the wine tours because they are very informal and professional like Napa or other well known wine tours in the United States. On one of our wine tours, we arrived at someone's house and the owner of the winery was taking a nap. They quickly took us to some random garden in their house and then a quick tour of some wine barrels. We were then given 2-3 small sample glasses of wine. The tour guides were disappointing. They were friendly but disorganized. Many of them were boring to listen by providing unnecessary details. Many of them lost passengers and the tours lasted longer than scheduled due to the tour guides being verbose and wasting too much time at certain stops.
I recommend this cruise for it's service and overall organization but for the money you are paying, I would strongly consider Holland America or Celebrity Cruise lines first.