The fact that it was a German-speaking cruise and we have very little German did not matter since all crew speak English. Safety announcements are also in English. This was our first-ever cruise and we were truly amazed at the quality of everything.
Staff: The crew are well selected, well trained, friendly, and clearly happy in their jobs.
Food: The main Atlantik restaurant is first class. Excellent quality food amazingly well prepared. The buffet is very good indeed too. The 24-hour burger bar was disappointing. We also tried the "fine dining" restaurant, Richards, and found it pretentious – a mismatched array of fruits, flowers and herbs prettying every dish – and over-priced. We ate far better in the Atlantik.
Bars: Excellent choice of ambiance and a very full range of drinks, alcoholic and not. Service sometimes slow to get going in the evening. The X-Lounge (suite passengers only) was superb, but shut at 7pm – a real negative.
Entertainment: Not all of the musicians seemed sufficiently experienced and/or talented. The shows in the theatre seemed of a very high standard but of course the comedy was lost on us.
Accommodation: We had a junior suite, a very comfortable room of good size, with all facilities, cleaned twice per day. Cabin temperature fully adjustable. The furnished, spacious and secluded balcony was superb.
Negatives: The wifi kept locking us out. This was quickly sorted by the staff each time but was a recurring nuisance. We were entitled to priority check-in and needed it (reduced mobility), but had to breach a barrier to get it. It wasn't available at all during the cruise at visited ports. We felt a little misled about this.
Ideas for TUI:
- Sell a day pass to the X-Lounge and keep it open longer. It's an under-used facility. Quiet is good but we were often on our own with the staff.
- Make deck plans clearer. We kept finding our way was blocked (by the theatre etc.)
- Designate at least one non-smoking outside area.
We both developed coughs and the ship's doctor advised keeping the balcony door open as much as possible as the A/C is deliberately kept very dry to reduce virus infection etc. That sea air worked a treat. Some areas of the ship were stiflingly hot.
Nothing to fault. A good size even compared to hotels, with lots of storage - far too much really for a week. Bathroom was quite small but had a large shower area. Also a washing line in there and the extractor was on permanently.
Big comfy bed; big safe; well-stocked minibar; Shame not to be able to make tea though.
10059 is in a good position, handy for both ends of the ship, and we had a great view in some of the ports as we were directly above the gangplank.