In 2019, Royal Caribbean was the first cruise line to include a stop in Cuba. We ask our friends about their experience on this new adventure and how it compares to other cruises they’ve been on.

The “ambassador cruise line” is a new cruise line that has been created by the UK. It offers a luxurious experience, with a variety of activities and events. The “Back-to-Back on the UK’s Newest Cruise Line, How Did It Go?” will answer your questions about this new ship.

Back-to-Back on the UK's Newest Cruise Line, How Did It Go?

Following the completion of the first trip aboard Ambassador Cruise Line’s Ambience, the second journey was sailed, making it a back-to-back. Here’s what we thought of the following seven-day cruise from Tilbury, England, which included stops at Eidjfjord, Bergen, Sognefjord, and Haugesund.

Examining the Environment

Unfortunately, the second part of our back-to-back got off to a rocky start. Our stateroom’s heating system failed again again, leaving our Suite Junior freezing. Also, the sound of workers moving furniture on the terrace above disturbed us awake at 4 a.m.

Staff awakened us again at 6 a.m., this time restoring the furniture to where it had been at 4 a.m. To make things worse, we contacted guest services, who did nothing. We were subsequently greeted at 7 a.m. by room service, who claimed to have delivered a breakfast that we had not requested.

Make a U-turn

Our issues didn’t stop there; during the transition, they altered my wife’s date of birth on her key card, which caused us a lot of trouble accessing the internet through the onboard system since your date of birth is required as part of the log-in process. 

One of the benefits of being on this particular back-to-back is that we were able to observe the shambolic disembarkation procedure. This is the first occasion in 60 voyages that the ship was not parked by 7 a.m. on disembarkation day.

Ambassador Cruise Line Cruise ShipSkyshark Media / Shutterstock contributed to this image.

The problem was caused by long lines at guest services, which took almost two hours to clear. The issue seemed to be two-fold: first, a huge number of people sought to settle their accounts, many of whom had questions.

Personally, we always pay our bills the night before, but we understand that they had their reasons, one of which being that everyone had been promised a final printed bill that never arrived.

Also read: Ambassador Cruise Line Names First Ship’s Godmother

The first guests departed shortly before 9 a.m., and others were still departing at 10.15 a.m. With 500 more passengers expected on this voyage, we fear to imagine what it will be like when we exit.

Suite Junior

Our Suite Junior on deck 11 was spacious, bright, with plenty of storage space, as with many cruise ships, the bathroom was a tad small, but it did have a bath so I was happy.  The TV channels were limited and there were no movie channels, no view from the bridge, or ship entertainment/information channels.

Suite on AmbienceTony Russell (photo credit)

We enjoyed the three major lounges – Raffles Bar, Botanical Lounge, and Observatory – however the ship appeared overcrowded this week with 500 more people on a sea day without sunbathing weather. The passenger/space per square foot ratio would be good to know.

Borough Market, the buffet on Deck 12, has a reasonably diverse selection of cuisine (including a vegan counter).

There was also tea, coffee, and water accessible 24 hours a day. The service at the main restaurant, the Buckingham, was sluggish but courteous, with decent cuisine and a diverse menu, including some daily staples.


The entertainment is of excellent quality and diverse, and the stage plays were particularly popular. The Botanical Lounge featured Jamie Lee and a classical music pair as lounge entertainment. 

The presentations were fantastic, and we like that they included theatrical plays, but we spent the most of our time listening to the most incredible piano-playing singer we’ve ever seen on a cruise ship.

Jamie Lees has a large repertoire and invites audience requests, as well as performing some of his own songs, with whom he has a strong affinity. Jamie has a tremendous vocal range and a deep and beautiful voice, which I can attest to as a former singer.

Facilities for Ships

While Allwyn, the Hotel Director, was always accessible and eager to help with any difficulties that arose, we regret to report that the Guest Relations crew, while kind, was not adept at resolving concerns.

On deck two, near to the Spa, there is a tiny but well-equipped gym with a variety of moderately priced options. On Deck 10, there is a self-service laundromat that charges £3 every wash, £3 per dry, and £2 per soap capsule (coins not tokens). Many of the visitors we spoke with thought it was pricey.

Hot Tubs on AmbiencePhoto Tony Russell (photo credit)

I don’t believe it’s unfair to expect guests to have access to all of the ship’s amenities. The hot tubs were still broken on the penultimate day aboard, and guests were unable to use the pool. The sauna was also broken, and the active studio, although close to opening, was still closed.

Ports and an Open Deck

Although there were apparent indications of improvement, the observation area on Deck 10’s bow was remained closed. You only have one opportunity to create a first impression, and many people, including many first-time cruisers, didn’t make a good one.

We assume that how Ambassador Cruise Line handles comments from the first two trips will determine if they can recover with individuals who were unsatisfied.

Ambience Cruise ShipPhoto Tony Russell (photo credit)

On the good side, progress was made with the heating, but many individuals still had toilet issues.

Two small annoyances: when the ship parked at ports, there was only one short gangway, which caused delays for passengers wanting to get off or back on the ship during the day, which was exacerbated by the fact that it was rather chilly in a few of the Norwegian ports. Also, since there was so much stuff going on board the ship, the windows were left filthy, which was unfortunate.

Because this was a thirty-year-old ship, the rooms and balconies were smaller than we had become used to.

Too warm or too cold

We usually aim to speak to as many individuals as possible while doing these evaluations to get a more comprehensive picture. Unfortunately, several people complained about cabins being too hot or chilly, toilets not functioning, and bathroom leaks.

People were also displeased about being charged for bottled water despite having purchased beverage bundles. The ship’s policy of pouring soft drink cans into glasses and not letting passengers to remove the can was also not well welcomed, however in our case, common sense won out, and we never had that problem after raising the matter with Carlito, the bar manager.

Problems with Supply

I mentioned in my original evaluation that several essential condiments were missing. We then had a lengthy conversation with the company’s procurement manager, who detailed the terrible difficulty that not just him, but other cruise companies are experiencing getting supplies.

Ambience Open DeckSkyshark Media / Shutterstock contributed to this image.

And as if to magnify his point, I then read about another cruise line having to delay their launch of a new ship because of Problems with Supply which left me thinking rather than complaining, I´ll consider myself lucky that cruises are taking place as it´s not just supplies causing major problems but securing enough staff too.

Sea & Grass is a Must Visit

I want to end on a good note, as I usually do. Despite its early flaws, we learned to appreciate the ship as each day went.

We think the drinks and beverages are reasonably priced by cruise ship standards, as are the shops and specialty restaurants, talking of which our favorite is Sea & Grass.

Sea & Grass is a speciality restaurant @ambassadorcruis This is a culinary experience so would implore u not to expect a quick meal – llWith 7 courses cooked from fresh u need to allow around 2 1/2 hours . 24.95 for the meal or 29.95 if you pair wine. – 1/2

— Onboard (Tony&Angie) 🇺🇦 (@OnboardTony) April 27, 2022

A visit to this fantastic facility should be seen as a gastronomic adventure that should not be hurried; there are seven courses, so plan on spending approximately 2 12 hours sampling the delicious cuisine, ideally in good company, as we did. My wife enjoyed one of the nicest vegetarian meals she’s ever had on a cruise ship, and I tried foods I didn’t think I’d like and was pleasantly delighted.

Officers and crew members

On the Ambience, the officers, particularly Mike, the Guest Relations Manager, Allwyn, the Hotel Director, and Carlito, the Bar Manager, are warm and accessible. The staff is generally kind and eager to assist. By halfway through the voyage, all of the stern decks were open, providing a fantastic location to enjoy what we call the spirit of sailing.

Ambience Cruise ShipSkyshark Media / Shutterstock contributed to this image.

The management on board is open to recommendations, and we witnessed numerous instances of modifications implemented as a result of passenger input. 

We also liked that, unlike some cruise lines, Ambience’s Shore Excursions (or Destination Experiences) don’t treat you like children; there’s no waiting in the theatre to be called off or to collect tickets; instead, you simply show up at the bus or meeting point on the pier at the designated time and have your room card scanned.

Would We Return to Ambience?

We’ve already booked a 42-night Cuba and Caribbean cruise with Ambassador Cruise Line in January, but as I said in my assessment of the first trip, we’d want to see a drop in the high internet prices (we believe this is already being worked on).

We’d want to see additional suite perks, and then we’ll be regulars on both the Ambience and the Ambition, which will debut next Spring.

Ambience Cruise Ship

The “ambassador ambience cruise ship” is the newest cruise line in the UK. It was launched on July 28th, 2018 and it has been a hit with travelers. The new ship offers more than 50 different itineraries across Europe, North America and Asia.

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