This was our first cruise, and after reading many of the reviews here I was a bit apprehensive about the trip. But it was fantastic.
You get what you pay for here, and I think it was well worth it. We had a blast, and I definitely recommend a balcony room. We saw wild porpoises in Galveston, flying fish and a sea turtle while out at sea, and gorgeous sunsets. All without having to deal with the too-loud music up on Lido deck [Deck 9]. I think the music was excessively loud, and we always got our food and then went into the interior dining area to avoid the deafening noise.
We were on deck 8 and it was good except for the constant dragging of chairs from lido deck above us. Relatively easy to ignore most of the time, but still a bit bothersome.
The food was good and I have absolutely no complaints there, the big hot dogs off the grill on Lido deck were very good and I wasn't disappointed at all with our dinners in the London Dining room.
The shows were entertaining, but again very loud. It sometimes seemed like the singers had to really shout to be heard. Loud music doesn't necessarily mean it's better, but they didn't know that I guess. Still, it was fun. I have to say the French Burlesque show was very disappointing. If you're not in the front row you see nothing and this was the loudest of all. We left after ten minutes because all we saw were people's heads, glimpses of the stage, and couldn't hear a single thing over the noise. It really needed to be in a different room, like the Rome Lounge, rather than Club Rio. The magician was awesome, I highly recommend his show.
For Excursions we did the mangrove kayak in Progresso, and Swim with dolphins at Chankanaab Park in Cozumel. THe Kayaking was fun, and we had beautiful weather all days, but it IS a lot of work and sunscreen is a must here. Cozumel was wonderful, and i'd definitely suggest this excursion. You get plenty of time with the dolphins, though pictures will cost you a lot and you are not allowed to bring your own camera anymore [pictures were $30 a piece, or $109 for all of them on a CD. ]
But as well as the swim with dolphin part, with the Chankanaab pass you also get to explore their beautiful park and go snorkeling off their beach, which was amazing. So many fish, and they had no fear. Swam all around us, got very good pictures. Saw two barracuda, a stingray, and a big lobster as well.
I do recommend going back to teh ship a hour before they suggest you to though, the lines are immense if you don't. We watched the ilnes from our balcony, having already gotten on board, ate, and took showers. Was very amusing. Definitely recommend the cruise though, it was a great ship that didn't show its age at all!