Check-in went quite quickly but what others wrote is true: absolutely no one welcomed us on board or offered guidance on where to go. We took advice of others and found the Cafe in Central Park for the famous Roast Beef Sandwiches, and they did not disappoint. That Cafe' also offers a nice variety of small desserts to sample as well as fresh fruit cups & they'll make a big salad to your liking.
We were thrilled to find we could watch our beloved Green Bay Packers play in On Air that first day; by the time we cheered the Packer victory, our cabin was ready and at least part of our luggage had arrived (all by late afternoon).
If you appreciate a variety of live music, watch the daily Compass; there is almost always a concert or entertainment going on somewhere. We walked out of the musical Chicago early on (too "dark" and nasty for a pleasant vacation, we felt) but rate the other major shows very high; if you miss them, you'll have missed a main feature of this ship. Try to watch OceanAria from Deck 7, simply standing at the railing outdoors overlooking the theater, even if you've been to the show and sat in seats. It gives a whole new perspective and you actually see what's going on in the pool from up there.
We only ate in the Windjammer twice but perhaps should have tried it more often. While a few entrees were extremely good in the Main Dining Room (Salmon, Beef Tenderloin and Filet of Sole were delicious), others were a big disappointment. I did not know Lobster could be bad (tough and dry and little flavor); my husband paid extra to get a Filet Mignon on that formal night, and he did not know Filet Mignon could be bad. Another night he was offered a "veal steak" and it was so tough he could not cut it; he sent it back and got something else (which you can always do). The chicken breast was fairly good. One night my coconut sugarfree dessert came to me 80% frozen and I never did taste a hint of coconut in it. I love crÃ¨me brule, but this one left something to be desired. So, inconsistent.
Be sure you understand from the get-go which food venues are free and take advantage of them (although the hot breakfast at Johnny Rockets, while free with no cover charge, arrived cold). We were thrilled to walk onto the Royal Promenade and see the huge Christmas tree with large white lit snowflakes hanging from the ceiling. Other cruise lines during this first week of December had NO Christmas decor. They even had the brass ensemble play Christmas music the last evening (they are VERY talented, by the way).
Be sure to take walks on the pool deck and other decks, especially at sunset or after dark or you will miss a big part of the experience and do not miss soaking in the cantilevered hot tubs over the edge. We were pleased at how easily we found our way around on this behemoth!
We are fine with an interior cabin and we recommend getting a room on Deck 7 near the elevators/stairways -- you will have easy access to all the "main stuff" -- Royal Promenade, Broadway and even Central Park. For the Entertainment complex, we just walked down one flight and strolled to the end of the Promenade, then down the elegant staircase to the theaters. So convenient. We wasted much more time on smaller ships being lost and walking to dead ends. The special kiosks that help you find your way around AND help you know "what's going on now" are absolutely great.
Overall, we enjoyed the ship but in the future we'll be happy with RCI's Freedom class ships. We just wanted to experience "the largest" once. We recommend the RCI shore excursion Catamaran to Passion Island at Cozumel, by the way--a pristine beach to enjoy. Labadee was also wonderful -- next time we will definitely do that zip line over the ocean!