This cruise was just for my husband and myself. We have cruised many times before both US and Europe, with a few different cruise lines. We decided to try a big ship. I did lots of research before going and we had a great time. Since we have been to all the ports before, we did not even get off of the ship, I will tell you about our cruise experience.
We usually book a balcony room, but decided to book an inside room and go with all of the extras instead. Our inside room was on deck twelve, mid ship. We had only one room on one side of us, the end of a hallway, and rooms above us, so the room was in a quiet spot. I slept late every day. There is no sunlight to tell your body that it is time to get up! I did miss sunlight though- so we turned all of the lights on in our room. A little bit about the room- it is small, but the space was used well ! There is even a hamper under the sink! The bathroom did not bother either of us. When you walk in the room, on your left is the toilet with a sliding frosted glass door, to your right is the shower, also with a sliding frosted glass door. The sink is small, but sufficient to brush teeth and wash hands, located near the dresser/desk. There is a curtain to pull across to separate shower and toilet from bed and dresser area. Elevators are located on either end of the ship, nothing in the middle, so it was a short walk to the elevators. Pay attention to the color of your hallway, whether it is orange or blue, and follow the signs and you won't get lost. Walk three flights up to buffet, have a bite to eat, walk across pool deck, then down one flight to gym and spa. That is how we spent most days.
There are plenty of planned activities onboard, but we enjoyed the biggest gym on the sea and we also bought weekly passes for both Posh and the spa. You can not buy these in advance and must make your purchases once you get on board. We also tried to buy the chefs table, only 12 spots available at $89 per person, but is was sold out immediately by B2B guests. We arrived at the port at 11:30 and were given group 11 to board. They start boarding at noon with their B2B guests - we didn't have a shot! Next my husband and I separated- he went to the spa and bought 2 passes for $292- the absolute best money spent! The spa is an adult playground with the biggest, most amazing hot tub and pools I have ever seen! There are eight lounge chairs outside the spa, on the rear balcony of the ship. I never had a problem getting a lounge and the ship was at full capacity. While he was buying spa passes at the spa, I was buying posh passes at the front desk for $118 for the both of us. I think posh was a waste of money- you get nice cushioned lounge chairs- the same as the spa- and lots of sun- no umbrellas over lounge chairs, only a few over semi circle chairs. There is a private bar and an elevator that takes you direct to buffet area. Both posh and the spa have "limited" passes available. We took care of it right away. The gym was great- never had to wait for a machine, really nice! Wood floors, two long rows of cardio equipment and some duplicate pieces of workout machines.
Okay, the nights..... This is where the BIG ship really differs to me. There is no early and late seating and then THE show. Here we went to a different restaurant every night and lots of different shows. 45 days before your cruise leaves, you can make your reservations for shows and dinner. I did that. I read that the first night was lobster, and it was actually filet and lobster tail. We went to the Manhattan room, and was told there would be a 15-20 minute wait and were given a coupon for free champagne, before we even made it to the bar, our beeper went off and our table was ready(we had our champagne after dinner). Service was good, food was good and it was a nice experience. We did see people with a very bored look on their face waiting for their food, but our experience was nice. I had booked blue man group for the first night, but we were just too tired, so we easily moved it to the last night and saw Howl at the Moon instead. Those guys can really play! We saw them a few times during the week, no reservation needed- just walk in.
The second night we saw cirque dreams. Buy the premium seats and get there 45 minutes before the show starts. It is a dinner theatre with the performance in the center of the restaurant. You are only inches away from the performers. Dinner was nothing special.
The following day we went to the murder mystery lunch - it was okay, but why spend $20 when you can see them perform for free throughout the cruise? We ended up at the buffet for dinner- not bad- but for dessert, they make fresh crepes! We had reservations to see second city that night again. I like them, they think so fast!
On day four, we made reservations for Moderno for $20 per person. Brazilian churrascio - much more expensive on land, so why not enjoy on the ship. Beautiful salad bar and the meats were awesome- filet, sirloin, and the best baby lamb chops ever. As much as you want........we went to a comedy magician show at 11:00 with Bruce Gold. It was okay, nothing great.
Day five, six and seven I prepaid for the three dinner package for $57 at la cucina, le bistro and cagneys.
Day five, we ate at la cucina. The Italian restaunt is located inside the buffet, downstairs. My husband loved his meatballs and pasta and asked for a side of sausage. My vegetables actually came out frozen! Of course, they replaced it with cooked ones. The seas were a little rough that night, so I was not too interested in food anyway. We then went to our reserved show for legends in concert- Katy Perry, so-so, Elvis Presley- pretty good, Steven Tyler - amazing! A really fun night.
Day six we ate at Le Bistro. The restaurant is off the main lobby, so very noisy. Food was nice. Captain even was eating there with some other guests. Service is rushed - too many tables for too few wait staff.
The last night we ate at cagneys. My husband had bison and I actually had sea bass. We both thought the food was very good. Only in this restaurant, is there an extra charge for a second entree of $10. We then saw blue man - once is enough for me. A family we met said they saw it four times! I think it is best for kids!
Restaurants were not outstanding, food was good, not great. The same with service, good, not great. What I enjoyed the most was the diversity of going to a different place every night. Seeing different style shows was also fun.
Getting on and off the ship went amazingly smooth for such a large ship. All in all a very nice experience