Ok, so this being a new ship with few cruises under her belt, I expected there would be some hiccups- and there were, but that didn't affect my cruise. i just took some notes for comments is all.
First- the ship is really nice to look at. The artwork on the hull is amazing. The colors and design makes it feel like I was walking in a courtyard plaza. I like the atrium and the open design between the 6-8 floors. I also liked how everything you might need was centralized on 6-8 and then like 15-17 for the outdoor stuff.
I had a balcony room. I thought there was plenty of room on the balcony. I made a lounger out of the two chairs and table. I did not spend much time out there. It was fun to hang on the balcony to wait for the "runners" in port. The room layout was pretty comfortable, with the exception of the space between the bed and the closet. I don't know if it is because we had the bed split into twins, but I could barely squeeze into the side if I needed to go into the closet. This is the biggest room for storage I have ever had on a cruise. There are shelves and cabinets everywhere. No need for an over the door thingy for bottles, as there is plenty of space to put everything away neatly.
I rented a cabana in Vibe for the week. This was the hiccup I had referred to. First, the lady tried to charge both me and my companion for Vibe access. I told her the cabana rental fee included access for two, but she said no. I insisted and then someone came over and told her she was wrong. No biggie. We go up to Vibe. I have no access, but get in when other people go in. We try and check out which cabana is ours- the staff says we need a receipt, which I wasn't given. Also, the wrist band doesn't work, so he says I need to get another one in Guest Services. Ok, so from deck 17 I go back to Guest Services on 6 and have to now stand in line. I get there, ask for my receipt for the cabana (which is handwritten) and ask for a new wristband. I am told the people in Vibe can get me a new one. I say that is not what they told me, and they insist yes. I shrug and go back up to 17. I still have no access to the Vibe door. I get in again and show the receipt, ask which is my cabana. The staff say they are trying to find out from management how to hand out the cabanas, but point one out for me to use. I ask about access to the door, and they say Guest Services was supposed to give me access on my key card. I ask again about the wrist band, and was sent back to, you guessed it, Guess Services. So, now mildly annoyed, I go back to Guest Services where the line is super long, and wait. Finally I get the access to Vibe, they issued me a new key card. I gave up on the wrist band, and just carried it with me. Every day I went, I had a different cabana as there was no rhyme or reason. It was annoying as you have to play peek into the cabana to see which on was empty. Also, on the last day in Bermuda, it was even more annoying when the cabanas were all full! It seems people who did not pay for the cabanas were using them, because there was no way to really stop them. I am going to suggest they either have a different color wrist band for cabana renters or put key card access readers on them.
The handwritten receipt for Vibe was interesting. They were also doing this for Bingo. This was a nightmare as Bingo was slowed down when it took over forty minutes for the people to buy the cards because of the receipts. Where are the computers or hand-held scanners?
The bingo and game show also had an issue with venues being really small to deal with all the people wanting to play. Small clubs with little or no tables is not a good room for a $10,000 final bingo with the free cruise raffle. It was wall to wall people in a tiny space.
The shows were all excellent. I highly recommend the Cirque show. I think the standard seats are the best seats in the house for the show. One problem with Rock of Ages being cancelled on one night due to technical problems. We stood out in the hall for a very long time before they cancelled it. Could they have at least let us into the theatre?
I toured the spa- it seemed small. She said they sell 120 weekly passes for the spa. I think Vibe passes sold are for 70 people.
The pool area seemed a bit small. Lots of chairs on the different decks. I can only imagine what it is going to be like when it is really warm. Speaking of warm- the hot tubs could be a little warmer than the bathwater temperature they were set at.
The aqua park was fun. I did the slides, except for the big one. The rope course looked good, but I had no sneakers on the one day I went. When I tried the next day it was closed due to high winds.
The casino is big, bright and nicely laid out. They do enforce the smoking and non-smoking sections. It didn't smell too bad to me at all.
Service was awesome as always. The only trouble was with crew who weren't sure of information, but I expected glitches and it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I had a service issue with the toilet- think flowing river. They got there right away to take care of the problem before it became a really big one. Oh, and maybe having people at the Shore Excursion desk who have been to the port you are going to might not be a bad idea.
The food was decent. I ate mostly at the Taste and O'Sheehans. I have issues with breakfast in the main dining room being over at like 9AM, though. I mean, I am on vacation and don't want to have to get up at the crack of dawn if I want to avoid the buffet madness. I did do two specialty dining, three if you count Cirque, and had no issues with the food quality at all.
The Waterfront was a really nice touch. It was pretty neat to stroll around the area and get my dirty water dog. It is going to be a great hangout when it is warmer/less windy. I found the set-up of the stores to be a bit odd on 8- kind of like you walk through and can miss everything. I like the Art Gallery being in the halls on 6.
Overall,I really enjoyed the ship's feel, layout and had a great time. I can't wait to go again in December when it is on its Bahama run.