I want to start by staying that we love cruising, and we are not hard to please people.
Embarkation in Baltimore was a breeze, we only live 15 minutes from the port, so there was no stress of getting to the ship. Once you arrive, it was only 20 minutes to be on the ship. We were able to get right into our cabin which was a plus. The luggage was appearing at the cabins earlier than I have ever seen, except ours. We had boarded hours before friends of ours and they had already gotten theirs, so I was getting concerned. Now, the life boat drill has to be conducted before departing the port, which is nice, get it over with, plus you do not have to wear the life vests YEA! It was not until we were getting ready for dinner at 6pm that our cabin steward knocked on the door to tell me that they had confiscated our luggage and I had to go down to security to claim it myself. Seems that since the Concordia you are not allowed to take an iron with you. So I joined a line of people at security trying to claim their bags and get a claim check in order to get your iron back when you get back off the ship.
This ship is in dire need of rehab. Carpets, walls, and a painting. This is the first ship I have seen that had rust in the pool on the walls. In the solarium pool there are lion heads that used to squirt water that do not work anymore, and when you look under the lip of the pool there is lots of rust. Also in the area around the main pool there was rust and peeling paint in the ceiling. Never have seen this before on any ships.
The food in the dining room was a very large disappointment. Serving size was very small, the quality of the seafood was very disappointing. Shrimp cocktail was a joke! Shrimp so small that I would not even use them for shrimp salad.
One night they had scallops and rossitto,what it was, was 1 scallop cut in half with a small scoop of rice. I know they ships have to cut down in order to stay competitive, but it looks like Royal Caribbean has done it in the dining room with the food. Now the food in the Windjammer was very good, breakfast had a very nice selection, and the omelets made to order were excellent.
The one bright area of this ship was the staff. Everyone was very friendly, and went out of their way to be helpful. Even the officers would walk by and stop to talk to you and answer any questions. Also this was one of the few cruises that you could understand everyone when they were talking to you, some cruises I have never been to understand the cabin steward.
This ship is scheduled to go into Dry Dock in December, but I feel bad for everyone who has to sail on this ship all summer in its present condition. If it was not for the excellent crew and their attitude we would not have had such a good time.