This was my family's first cruise - myself, my husband, and our 10 yr old daughter. Since we were coming from the west coast, the cruise line flew us out the day before and put us up in the Miami Hilton as part of the package. Very nice hotel and a really nice room - but not a big choice in where to eat and the restaurant was pretty expensive. The hotel provided buses to take us to the ship from the hotel, and also provided a bus to the airport. This would be my only critical review of the whole trip. We had to stand in line for 45 min -1 hour each time, with no seating while we waited. It was hot and humid both times, so it was very tiresome. Once we actually got on the bus, it was smooth sailing. Our bus driver to the ship was a very funny young lady who not only acted as a tour guide, but kept us laughing all the way to the dock. The embarkation line was long, but seemed to move really fast, so wait was not that long. We stepped on board the ship and...WOW. It was absolutely beautiful. We found our cabin and was very excited to find that, as we had chosen the room guarantee and paid for an inside cabin, we had been upgraded to an oceanview room. Our room steward was one of the nicest men I had ever met - he not only made a new towel animal every night, but he always just added to the collection so that by week's end, my daughter had a zoo. He even repaired the animals that had come undone during the course of the week. We threatened many times that we were going to take him home with us to Seattle. He was ALWAYS out in the hallway or close by if we needed him - I swear he never slept. Our room and hallway were always kept immaculately clean. The ship itself was great. We went to the vegas-style show in the Caribbean lounge every night there was a show, and thoroughly enjoyed them all. We went to a couple of the adults-only late shows, and the piano bar. All were great fun and entertaining - although we had to leave the piano bar after a while because the smoke was really thick and suffocating to a non-smoker. The casino had that problem as well, but we just left when it got too bad. The CD Dana and his crew were hilarious-always entertaining. My daughter spent half the trip in Camp Carnival, which she absolutely loved. They did so many activities, and she made friends from all over which she still keeps in contact with. We had to practically drag her to do things with us, on occasion. The food was always good - my husband is a big eater so they would being him 2 different entrees on request without batting an eye. EVERYONE who worked on board were always smiling and courteous, and even the captain himself was gracious enough to pose for a picture with my daughter while he was shopping with his wife in one of the ship's stores. The ports were wonderful. We booked excursions through the cruise line, and found the prices very reasonable. We especially recommend the St. Maarten Beach Break in St. Maarten, and the Sea Blaster Speedboat and Snorkel tour in St Thomas. Be advised that in St Maarten, ANY beach can be topless to the locals, as we found out. We explained that it was the custom in that country to our daughter so it wasn't a big deal to us...and the teenage boys (along with most of the big boys) from our ship had a great time. On the Sea Blaster - they make a "Painkiller" punch that is the best I have ever tasted, and they even give you the recipe to bring home. I would HIGHLY recommend this trip to anyone who wants a great family vacation - I felt like royalty the entire week. It was such a great experience that I have already booked a Mexican Riviera cruise in May 2007.