I wrote this pretty much as we went, please forgive the tense irregularities! Embarkation was very good. We arrived at the port at 11:00 and were stepping aboard by 11:35. Some lineups but handled very well and quickly. We headed up to the Windjammer to have some lunch and were joined by some people from the roll call. Very nice choices for lunch including the famed Honey Stung Chicken (it looked like a deep fried cutlet -- I gave it a pass) and when we had finished, an announcement that our cabins were ready. We made our way to our Promenade Stateroom (7601) and found that it was exactly as the photos we'd seen. Small but lots more storage than we'd expected. This particular stateroom is well situated, right across from Guest Services. We have not heard any noise from the Promenade.
The bed is indeed a king size. I expect they have to say queen because of the length but it is very wide and comfortable. There is a kettle and makings for tea but not coffee. I had brought some Nescafe instant Latte sachets -- a good idea! If you are an instant coffee lover, take some with you. The coffee on board while not terrible is also not great, whether you like instant or not. There is a small fridge filled with mini-bar stuff including coke products, water, and some chocolate snacks. The fridge does not get very cold but I found that if we left the outer cupboard door opened for ventilation, it maintained a cooler temperature. The couch and window seat are adequate -- not very long but reasonably comfortable. There is a blow dryer and two American style outlets in the vanity and a shaver outlet in the bathroom (on the ceiling). The shower is equipped with a short clothes line and there is a small bar of soap in the shower and by the sink. There is also a wall dispenser with 'gloop' in the shower. I used it as body wash and laundry soap. The water pressure in the sink is very light but the shower is lovely, with lots of water pressure. The shower is a hand held one, useful for rinsing clothing in the sink. The stopper in our sink does not work. The bed is high enough for us to stow our three suitcases under it. There were two mattress pads under the bed which I asked the stateroom attendant (Olinda) to remove. One was large which she took away and the other had two twins. I asked her to put them on my side of the bed and I now have a very comfortable (for me) bed.
There is a channel on the TV that shows our position, things like speed, wind, time, etc and occasional shots from the deck but there is no channel dedicated to the web cam at the front of the ship. Revision, on about the third day of the cruise, this channel with the deck camera was turned on. We tried to leave it on -- muted -- through the night to sort of simulate sunrise, but found the ambient light of the turned on TV was too bright for us. This channel plays classical music.
Activities on board include some physical exercise. My husband has enjoyed morning stretches at 7:00 AM. These are available even on port days. There are also stretches at 9:00 AM and also aqua aerobics (very gentle!) in the Solarium pool at 9:00 AM. All a good way to start the day -- these are not available on port days. The water exercises were particularly fun when there were a lot of waves -- a lot like a wave pool! These exercise classes are all free. There are for pay ($12) yoga classes at 4:00 PM.
The food on board has been very good. We ate at Portofino's on the first night and found it quite good but would probably not do it again. Except for the first day, we have been eating in the Main Dining Room for breakfast and lunch as well as early seating for dinner; many choices with wait staff very eager to please. Tutti Salad in the Dining Room on sea days is lovely. It's very difficult to try and maintain any kind of control over my diet -- many delicious options to choose from. There are always some lighter/healthier choices on the menu for appetizers, mains, and desserts. Most of the meals we've had have been excellent with just a few misses, and those were rectified immediately. We have eaten in the Windjammer a few times and find that the food is more to our liking in many ways -- less 'haute'!
Entertainment on board has been patchy. The Ice Show was truly spectacular and very well attended, get there early for good seats! The Broadway show was good for the production numbers but we were very unimpressed with the solo singers. We very much enjoyed Jane Cho, a classical violinist who played a lot of rock music -- truly excellent! Movies are not first run and the theater is very small but comfortable
There were few enrichment programs that we were interested in. Lot's of art auctions. There was an excellent astronomer on board who gave several talks on stars, life 'out there', the sun etc and who took us outside at night to observe the Southern Hemisphere stars. She was excellent!
I had asked on Cruise Critic about a place to play cards and didn't receive much response. We did find up on deck 14, Seven Hearts -- a room mostly dedicated to game playing. (It was closed once or twice to make room for an expanded Diamond Lounge. Lots of complaints about that and it didn't happen again!). There were boxes of playing cards (free), scrabble boards, chess and checkers boards and some other board games. Lots of card tables and comfy chairs and a great view of the ocean. This was a nice place to spend some time.
Overall, we enjoyed the cruise. The last three days of our cruise were sea days from Adelaide to Perth. We had not realized that we could have left the ship at Adelaide and if we did this cruise again, we might leave at Adelaide. This was three days at sea that we could have spent visiting Australia. After 15 days, we would not have missed the extra sea days! It was worth doing and I'm glad we did.