We stayed in cabin 10602 - starboard side with large balcony. Room was great - room attendant was AWESOME! 2 adults and 12 year old son. We tend to travel light and had way more room in closet/cabinets than we needed. Our son is terrified of boats (bad houseboating experience couple years ago at Lake Powell.) so wanted something mid-ship to cut down on movement - worked perfectly. Even with 2 storms at sea at night it was only the lightning that woke him up once!
I previously sailed on Serenade of the Seas to Alaska and there is just NO comparison. This ship is beautiful and there is so much to see & do you will not get bored. There is no way you can even experience 10% of all the activities they offer. Our son was never bored either and never even made it into the teen center.
Shows are excellent. We did not make it to the Headliner show but saw all of the others including the improv shows 'Throw Me A Line' - HILARIOUS! The comedian who hosts the comedy live show was better than both comics - his Burl Ives imitation had my sides hurting I was laughing so hard! I would recommend getting to the shows at least 20 minutes early and MAKE RESERVATIONS!!! They are always full. The comedy diving show we had gotten seats to but then people just stood in front of us and even when we told them we couldn't see they didn't leave. So we got up & they took our seats....so they get very crowded.
You can watch the diving pool shows from decks 11 or 12. There are balconies on both the port and starboard side if you want. The boardwalk tends to get pretty packed during the shows. They also play movies on the big screens out here too during the cruise and there are plenty of seats for that. The shuffleboards are behind each screen - nice breeze and we really enjoyed playing there!
Now, the bad news is that on our cruise (left 6/1) we broke prior records for number of passengers :(. We were at full capacity. My husband hates crowds and he said the entire cruise it felt like being at the mall on Christmas Eve. There are people everywhere almost all the time. The Solarium is a great place to get away from crowds but can get warm due to not enough open air due to the windows.
All of the pools were always crowded. The flowriders were as well - took about 20 or so minutes to wait in line to get a chance to ride. Same with zipline and ping pong tables....miniature golf...just everywhere always packed.
The worst was dining due to full capacity. In the Opus Dining room we had My Time Dining but got to sit at same table the 3 nights we went. Great service!!! However food was not that great. The night we paid $35 for lobster/steak was the best. Otherwise everything was way overcooked. Same in the dining room for breakfast and lunch. Windjammer the food was the same as I experienced on my last cruise on the Serenade....
So I would recommend paying the $4.95 for Johnny Rockets (All you can eat) or any of the other pay to eat places. We went to Giovanni's the last night and that was superb ($20 per person). The other Park CafÃ© food was ok...and typically did not have to wait long if at all. Promenade CafÃ© was a joke - a few sandwiches or desserts. We ended up eating at Sorrento's quite a bit :) Open 11:30a - 3a and they have ready slices or you can make your own.
So, if you are ok with eating ok food and not concerned about crowds that much (which I am all good with - my husband not so much)....the ship is really spectacular. I would highly recommend then.
We went to Bahamas which was busy....apparently the security alert went up to high right before we got there. People on Carnival's ships were told they would recommend to stay directly in the shopping district right by the ships and not do any island excursions. We were never told that - our friends went to Atlantis for snorkeling and were fine & had good time.
We did the St. John coastal tour excursion in St. Thomas which was the best time we had. We went snorkeling at Trunk Bay which is beautiful and we say a bunch of marine life.
We also went to St. Maarten and did an island/Orient beach tour. That was ok - the beach has a rougher surf so definitely cannot snorkel. The kids had fun and we just kept saying 'no thanks' to the beach hawkers selling merchandise...
All in all we did have a good time!
Busy...and there were guys on the streets saying things about strangers coming to their island...a bit uncomfy.
Lovely place! Our favorite! Great snorkeling
Easy getting thru customs. Longer walk to get to front of port but have little carts you can take (for a tip).