My husband and I were 1st time cruisers and didn't know what to expect. It was WONDERFUL! We love to travel and decided to take a cruise to see if we would be the "Cruising Type". We live in Rural AZ and are in our mid 50's so not fond of LOADS of People and especially lots of screaming kids. The reviews we read were scaring us a little. What we found was PLENTY of alone time. Deck space was great although we liked the Serenity Deck the best as it was 21 and over and aways from the main pool and the loud music. Saying that, the main pool was fun too. Lots of crazy people to watch and still plenty of lounge chairs to go around.
The food was excellent! I read bad reviews about that too but we thought both the buffet and the dining room was very good. I imagined the buffet being on the lines of Golden Corral or Furrs but it was really good. The freshest salad I have had in a while. We ate in the dining room on the first and final nights as the mid night was dress up and my husband decided he was not bringing long pants on his vacation. He had on Columbia shorts and a Columbia sports shirt and nice sandals and they would not let us in the dining room. So all those reviewers that say that they had to sit next to a person in casual wear must have been on a different ship. We had to eat in the buffet that night and missed the lobster. So all you cruisers out there remember to bring at least a pair of dockers or khakis and a button down shirt.
The rooms were plenty big although I had a wave of claustrophobia when I first walked in but that passed. Beds were really comfy. The toilet smelled once in awhile but that is to be expected on a ship like that. It is basically a luxury RV. The robes in the room are wonderful and remember to take with you if you go swimming or sit in the jacuzzi to put on afterward. That was my favorite part - sitting in the jacuzzi on the Serenity Deck early in the morning and late at night and then just wrapping in the robe and sitting on those lounges and enjoying every minute.
The best thing about cruising for us was that you are on this ship and can't really go anywhere unless you are in port. You aren't far from the room at any time and so have lots of time to relax, have a few drinks, relax, eat, relax, workout, relax, watch a show, relax, talk to other passengers, relax, shop, relax, take a nap mid-afternoon and relax some more. Very enjoyable for us. We laughed when we were sitting in the jacuzzi with some 20-somethings who had gone on an Alaskan Cruise and said it was a bit boring to them. Too quiet and an older group of people. We looked at each other and laughed because that is right up our alley and our next planned cruise. Overall an excellent short vacation for us that we really enjoyed. Highly recommend!!