Booked this cruise because of the itinerary and from that point of view we were not disappointed. We are not cruise experts, having only previously been on one Thomson Canary Islands cruise and two European river cruises. However, Voyager and Voyages of Discovery were sadly lacking in comparison. The ship itself is ok and our inside superior cabin would have been absolutely fine if it wasn't for the awful noise from both the aircon in our cabin and the aircon services cupboard right next door. To be fair the reception staff did show us another cabin on the floor below, despite being fully booked, but we felt it was not as nice as ours so we accepted the ear plugs offered and put up with the noise. Was particularly disappointed because we had specifically asked for a quiet room when we booked last year! The showers are also unacceptably tiny and only the fact that there were curtains rather than glass made it possible to bend over to reach your toes without knocking yourself out. Most of the staff were reasonably friendly, but we felt the Fillipino waiting staff were often stressed and not their usual smiley selves.
The young entertainment staff put on some good shows, but don't book this ship expecting the slick productions you'll get on the larger ships, one of the trade-offs for choosing a smaller vessel. The ship itself doesn't have enough cosy areas to sit quietly on sailing days. One of the lounges, The Darwin Lounge, is given over to talks and presentations and is set out as such, so it doesn't make it a particularly pleasant place to sit and read or even sit and watch the shows which are put on here. And why are all the public areas so very cold? Found the port talk guy particularly boring, he was just reading from a script, and the dance couple were completely lacking in charisma of any kind, don't think we saw more than half a dozen people joining them for pre and post show dancing the whole trip.
5 of our 7 stops we went ashore by tender and that was an experience in itself. Having known in advance we would be going ashore by tender I would have expected a somewhat slicker more organised procedure than we got, but at least we did manage to get ashore in all places. It is also not acceptable to expect people to sit and wait until all the people who had booked excursions had been taken off the ship. We too had paid for our cruise and, as such, should have been treated exactly the same. Just because people had booked extortionate trips with VoD should not give them preference over disembarkation, it is not the fault of the passengers doing their own thing if VoD don't organise things better, and we all have limited time ashore. And who thought it was a good idea to take us ashore in an open tender on a day when it was heaving down with rain? A great way to see places like the Shetlands and the Orkneys and no complaints about the quantity and quality of the food, but cruising is still not for us and certainly never again with Voyages of Discovery!!
Very good size with plenty of storage and a safe, which we paid a deposit for but was refunded at the end of the cruise. Bathroom was very small with a tiny shower but there was plenty of wall storage for toiletries. We thought the awful toilet smell was normal for a cruise, but when we mentioned it to other passengers they said not and so we complained and it was sorted. Could never get the aircon right and the room was either too hot or too cold. Worst complaint is the noise of the aircon and the fact that the cabin is next to an aircon service cupboard so noise is doubled or trebled. A real shame as otherwise, for us, the room would have been perfect as we particularly wanted an inside cabin so we wouldn't be woken at the crack of dawn by light coming in a window. We were also in a good location for reaching all amenities and being in the middle of the ship we weren't too bothered by engine noise (would we have heard it over the noise of the aircon anyway) or movement of the ship.