For the most part the cruise was great. Enjoyed the ship.
Food: The food at the sit down venues was great. We did the anytime dine thing and only had to wait once in 14 days. We decided instead to go to a different area and were seated right away...so it worked well. The pizza by the pool was awesome...hot dogs were good, the Hamburgers...not so much..had that cheap hamburger taste/texture thing going on. The buffet was not good for lunch or dinner at all. We heard other with the same complaints. On our Carnival Cruise last year we were much more impressed with the variety of food and the number of places to get food... for example they had an area making sandwiches everyday, another serving Indian cuisine, another area serving Mexican, etc...
Staff: We thought most of the staff were great. Of particular note was our stateroom Steward. He took the time to get to know us a little and really took care to make sure we had a good time. He was the absolute star of the trip for us. THANKS HECTOR!!!!!!!!!! We also got some help from the shopping hosts on board. While in Skagway I bought my wife a 20th anniversary band to add to her wedding ring. Our shoppiong host helped us negotiate a price and even had a "loop" so she could check out the ring to make sure we didn't get ripped off. She also helped us out in another shop where they weren't to keen on providing the deals they had advertised on the ship. THANKS KENZY!!!!
On the negative side we really thought the bar staff was hit and miss. Most were relatively friendly and provided good service. Crooners bar was generally exceptional, while the coffee bar in the main atrim was not. Sometimes we felt like we were an inconvience rather than the reason they have jobs. I really felt like the bar supervisor did not set a high bar. While most of the wait staff was great in the dinner venues, there were a few that struggled with English...which is OK..I'm not one who thinks the whole world should be experts, but there were some that would not understand and rather than ask for clarification they would just get you what they thought you might want.
Entertainment: It was really pretty good throughout. We are not into the big dance and music production shows, but, did enjoy alot of the smaller shows. They had great bands, singers in several areas of the ship and somne excellent classical musicians. The highlight in entertainment for us was the "Cult Classic" type shows such as the marriage match game, the Yes/No Game, Majrity Rules game, etc... Basically anything hosted or involving the Deputy Cruise Director was a laugh a minute proposition. THANKS DAN!!!! You were one of the highlights of our trip. On the disappointing side was the comedians...two out of three were no better than so-so. One was a former Beach Boys musician and he was very entertaining.
On Board Shops: Well, as is the case with most cruises these days, it is all about nickle and diming you to death. The customer service was OK if your buying...not so good when your not. Our biggest negative experience came from one of the shops. One clerk was just rude and when we said something to another clerk she just shrugged her shoulders like that was normal. We probably should have taken our issue up the chain of command, but, we were on vacation and didn't want to waste the precious time.
Again this was an overall wonderful trip. We visited the ports twice and had great weather on the southbound trip.