This was our first cruise so we approached this with no pre-conceived expectations. We normally go all-inclusive vacations in Mexico or rent a condo in florida and do the amusement parks.
The four of us (me, my wife, and our two grown children 16 & 22 yrs)drove down to the Baltimore area (about a 9 hr drive from Canada)the day before the cruise. Arrived at the cruise port about 11am and parked in the cruise port secure area for the week @$115. The check in was very easy and organized. We were having lunch in the Windjammer by 12:30.
The ship was very well appointed and appeared to be a new ship on the inside since the refit. We had two large inside cabins which worked out well for us. Did not miss having a window at all and the darkness of the room and the lake of noise allowed us a very good sleep. The cabins are small but fine for a couple.
Our room stewart Terry was very good at keeping everything spotless and was always there with a smile and a hello with our names. Very attentive service.
The cruise director John and his staff including Daryl (activities manager) and his crew worked non-stop. From 9am to 12 mid-night there was something to keep you occupied. The evening show with the outside performers were very good, the in-house performers although talented were not the most exciting. The trival games, love&marriage show, karoke, quest and centrum shows were all worth the admission.
We ate every dinner in the dining room were the service was top notch with Austin & AJ being our servers. The food however was just ok primarily due to things that should have been hot or cold were all just luke warm including soups and mains. The food in the windjammer buffet or park cafe were at times a better choice.
The ports were ok, we rented a car and went to Universal studio in Fla, went to Cayo Coco for a few hours and went to Nassau. We have stayed at Atlantis a few years earlier so there was not anything new for us and it was very hot on our day there.
We originally thought that we would get stir crazy being on the ship for two days but these were fun days and when quickly. The ship had 2300 people on board but never felt crowed. Also the weather temp was beautiful on the ship at sea with the sea breeze. We thought for a August vacation this was much more pleasant than going to a beach resort hotel. Also because other guests were going to the same actives (such as triva) your were to meet and chat with other passengers very regularly.
All in all we had a very nice time and would recommend this cruise out of Baltimore as a good cost effective vacation alternative.