We embarked from Ft. Lauderdale in painless fashion after driving to the port. Upon entering the Windjammer for lunch we started to discover that there would be more kids on this sailing than we bargained for. The food in this venue was a step up from what we had experienced in the past on RCI, but not as much variety or as good as the buffets offered on Celebrity. Of course, Celebrity is known for it's great food.
Our stateroom was as we expected with nice interactive flat screen tv, and nice-sized balcony. With our loyalty program we were provided with nice white fluffy bathrobes. The refrigerator in the cabin never really got up to snuff, even though we had it looked at. Just didn't cool. Shower amenities included only a wall pump dispenser of shampoo/body soap. No little bottles of lotion, conditioners, no shower cap. When I called to inquire about a shower cap, answer was these are only provided to suites. Last night of sailing our reading lights konked out. We fixed by maintenance in short order, only to konk out again. We just went to sleep after that.
Room attendant service was above and beyond our expectations, similar to what we have experienced on Celebrity. Friendly, smiling, and professional in every aspect. We would love to have this kind of service on every cruise. Dining service was equally efficient, friendly yet professional.
The Main Dining Room meals were somewhat of a disappointment. His meals consisted of cod first night (not served hot), and 2 steak nights that he said compared with a steak one might receive at a Denny's. His sea bass was also not hot. My favorite dish was chick pea curry, and a nice-tasting turkey dinner on another night. Wines by the glass were delicious, and there were a few offered on the extensive wine list. Even though the ship's policy clearly states each day that "short pants" are not allowed in the dining room, we continued to see lot's of men refusing to comply.
We avoided the Windjammer buffet at all costs due to the high number of preteens and smaller children running around. Though we thought this was an "off" date for school vacations, we found out the hard way that this was not the case.
This ship is spotless, and in a state of constant renewal. Very impressive given the number of people it takes care of each and every day. There seems to be great pride of owenrship on the part of the crew. Our wood balcony railing was varnished while we were sailing.
The entertainment was super and not to be missed. Saturday Night Fever the Musical rivals a Broadway production and the In the Air and Ice Spectacular were great too. We enjoyed the comedian--laughter is always the best medicine, no?
On sea days there were no chaise longues available poolside or in the adult solarium. You would just have to pick a contrarian time to avail yourself of a chair or hang out elsewhere. We really welcome the announcements about no chair hogging and hope enforcement takes place. I believe you can ask a pool attendant to help you find chairs if you can't find anything, and they will remove chair hogs' belongings. There are signs mentioning that one can get one's belongings back at the towel stand.
Disembarkation involved very long walks at the port, be prepared. Luggage retrieval takes place in small, congested rooms with no traffic patterns and can be frustrating.
Summary: we realize this is a family cruise line and probably would not sail it again for this reason, with caveats. (While taking a nap with ear plugs in it's not pleasant to be woken up by preteens running up and down the hallways for long periods of time.)
The ship acts as a giant baby sitter, and it's just not for us. Clean and beautiful ship though and if we could ever suss out a time when not so many American kiddies aren't around, we'd go back.