We embarked on our voyage in NY, the ship seemed quite nice, rooms were not quite ready so we had lunch in Savor and it was quite enjoyable. We left on time, and proceeded to enjoy the cruise. Our family of 4 had two balcony rooms, right next to each other but with no adjoining door. The balcony is so small, there is barely room to walk around. It's not worth the extra money, just go for the outside stateroom if you like a view.
I have never experienced a cruise with so much smoking. Someone near our room was a chain smoker, and every time I tried to open our balcony door, all I got was a room full of cigarette stench. I asked the cabin steward if smoking was permitted in rooms, and apparently it is permitted on the balcony, if you have one. The casino also seemed to have an abundance of smokers, making it difficult and not enjoyable for those of us who are sensitive to smoke.
I have been to Cocoa Beach, so I knew what to expect. It is not the most exciting place, but it's not that bad. You can check out the original Ron Jon's, or have lunch on the pier, or go to the beach. It is a very laid back place, and the people are friendly. The next stop was Great Stirrup Cay, and here is where it began to fall apart a little. Since the cruise was during a school break week, it was filled to capacity. The tendering process was confusing, and not well run or supervised. There were only 2 or three staff members trying to maintain order in the theater where everyone had to be seated first and then led to the tender by group. The problem was that there was not enough staff to keep it orderly and people started to become agitated if they felt they had been waiting too long or someone jumped the line. It got a little ugly, (some shouting) and I couldn't help but wonder what might happen in an actual emergency. I tried not to think about it. The swells were quite high, and the tender ride was scary. We did make it to the island and enjoyed it very much. The beach is nice but quite rocky. The food and entertainment were fine.
I would like to address is the Kid's club. My 9 year old has been on quite a few cruises, and has always enjoyed the kids programs immensely, and looked forward to attending. Not this cruise. Unfortunately for me, he hated the kids program. He felt that the games were boring, not fun and the staff "played favorites, and were only nice to girls, not boys, and they got in trouble for talking" (his words). All I can say about this is, if he had enjoyed the kids club more, I would have enjoyed myself more and probably would have spent more time checking out all of the different fun lounges. We were traveling with other family members with children and even though they were in the kids club together, they were all miserable and said that they hated it.
Room Service: we ordered room service four times, and it actually showed up once. Enough said. The wait staff in the dining rooms also seemed overwhelmed by the number of people. It just seemed that they were very disorganized, and had trouble getting the food and condiments to the table.
As far as the shows, Rock of Ages was just ok. I think it would have been just as enjoyable if it had been more family friendly and a little less raunchy. I grew up in the 80's and don't recall the explicit language, sex and drugs being so "in your face." Back then we thought Saturday Night Fever was risqué. Burn the Floor was good. The lead singer in the show was fabulous. We did not see the Cirque show. Just didn't feel like paying for it, but I heard it was good. Oh, one more thing, the public areas on the ship are nice, but cannot accommodate a fully booked cruise. There were never enough seats for everyone, many games and shows took place in the atrium, which was always overcrowded and did not have enough seating. The only other thing that I noticed every day was that it seemed their staff was spread pretty thin, the public areas were not kept as clean as I have seen on other ships.