We were on the 3/31 - 4/8 sailing out of NYC. Drove down the night before and stayed in Secaucus NJ at the Hampton Inn. Cheap, clean and close to the port. Drove into the port the next morning and had the car parked at the pier by 1045 and was on the ship at 1145. Went straight to our room as VIFP guests to drop off our carry ons then headed to the Lido deck to have our standard deli sandwiches for lunch.
My wife liked the pink decor while I was neutral on it as the color decor of any ship doesn't matter to me. Layout was one where you couldn't go from one end to the other on deck 3 due to the kitchen. But you get used to it pretty quickly.
We had a room on the upper deck mid-ship near the elevators/stairs which was real convenient for us since it was easy to get to deck 4 where the casino, coffee shop, Club O2 and shops were. Also easy to go right up to the lido where the food was.
We spent a lot of time in the casino playing poker, blackjack, 3 card poker and some slots. Also enjoyed the bands that were playing in the casino and even the passenger karaoke during the day. The casino and some bingo were our main activities except for the shows and other entertainment we took in.
The Vroom show was great and we really enjoyed the Legends Show. We see that every cruise and like it a lot. Malcolm the CD was part of the Legends show and he was great. We really enjoy his as a CD as we find him to be very funny and personable. Very approachable and like-able.
The food in the MDR was very good as we always find it. I know some people wonder why the comfort foods but the way we look at it, it is in addition to the normal menu, not instead of. The kids even had the comfort food and/or didja foods a couple times. It was great to see they went back to offering shrimp cocktail every night. Every night we all found something we each liked. Sometimes there were multiple things we wanted and had to order a couple of entrees. We went to the steakhouse one night like we always do and it was again simply AWESOME! Everything is so mouth watering. Can't recommend it enough.
Ate lunch at many venues. The deli, burrito bar, Mongolian Wok and the buffet. All were good but we are partial to the deli sandwiches. The turkey on a country roll and the reuben are both great as I am sure the other selections are. Breakfast was usually on the lido but we did the MDR twice also. The MDR food is better and as others have said, the lido buffet scrambled eggs have gotten bad. Suggest the omelet station but the line can be long depending upon when you go.
The kids (15/16) both loved Club O2. Probably too much since the only time we saw them was at dinner. But e made sure we kept tabs on the them as we did leave our texting on. They made a LOT of friends and all hung together the whole cruise and had a great time with many pictures and memories for them.
Although Syracuse lost, we had a blast in the sports bar watching the final 4 games with about 100 other SU fans and about 10 Michigan fans. They even put it on the large screen at some point during the game but we stayed in the sports bar.
As to the ports. We have been to Central Florida dozens of times so we didn't do an excursion. We just rented a car with my corporate rate ($35) and drove around, had lunch and took the kids zip lining at the zoo in Melbourne. It took about 3 hours as it was crowded but the kids loved it. In Freeport we went to Junkadoo Beach and shopping. It was pretty good with a nice beach, plenty of loungers and a neat bar/restaurant. We did the Carnival excursion instead of going on our own because we hadn't been to Freeport before. The only slight negative was that our bus broke down on the way there and they had to get another one. When we returned, I let the excursion desk know (not really expecting anything) and the next day they called our room and told us they were crediting us back 20% which was pretty cool. We have also been to Nassau numerous times so we stayed on the ship and relaxed.
As always, the service was exceptionable. Our wait staff and steward were so friendly and they knew our names from day 1. We left them all additional tips as they were polite, friendly, and took care of any need we had.
My wife worked out in the gym almost every day and the kids did a few days. Very nice area and well maintained with lots of equipment.
We had zone 1 for disembarking since we are VIFP but we stayed on a bit longer and when we decided it was time to leave (the worst part of any cruise) it was pretty quick and easy and we were in our car about 30 minutes after we walked off.
A very relaxing but fun cruise. Will probably do the same one during the kids spring break next year as it goes to HMC and Grand Turk which are 2 places we love.
The only bummer was that we were having so much fun in the casino at the time, that we forgot all about our Meet and Greet that we had committed to going to. So we never did meet up with anyone in that group.