Your flight to palma is only 2 and half hours.I would prefer to sail from there.If you want it informal use the buffets instead of formal dining,no problem.
Ocean Village 2 cruise called Taoas and Togas. Fly into Palma, Majorca 2 1/2 hour flight from Manchester. Ports of call include Tunis, Rome, Genoa, Monte Carlo and Barcelona. But this cruise is only for 7 nights but very informal.
Check out P&O schedules. If you are alergic to children go for the Arcadia, otherwise Aurora and Oriana are great for starting your cruise life and all entail no flying. So many itineraries to choose.Enjo.
You are spoiled for choice for cruise ships sailing from the UK. You can choose from P&O, Cunard, Royal Caribbean, Fred. Olsen, Saga etc. etc. You can sail from Dover, Sothampton, Harwich, London, Newcastle, Leith, Greenock, Liverpool and some more. All have different styles of cruising. I am sure you will find the right one for you. Happy cruising.
If you can put up with 2 to 3 hours flying then why not try cruises starting from Venice, Rome or Barcelona or even Palma. The other thing I would say is that the more you pay the better the ship, service, food and facilities. If you are on a budget then there are certainly ships to suit as well but there are always offers going on and if you can take time off easily or you are willing to take a risk outside of the main school holidays keep looking at the ads and something will come up. Also read as many brochures as you can to get the general idea. With the exception of Cunard I would regard all the above as three and four star quality so if you want something more than this study the Berlitz pages on this site. The more you are informed the better you are to make a good decision
Regards Neil Down