Reading the reviews from other posters, I feel as if I was on a different cruise than most. My DH, DS and I were on the NYE cruise and we all had a great time.
Embarkation was a piece of cake. We arrived at 10:30, dropped off the luggage curbside, and check-ed in. As we are CAS guests, we were #2 boarding group and we were on the ship in a snap. Debarkation was just as easy- through customs in less than 20 minutes.
Once aboard, we roamed around the ship, as my DH and DS had never been on her before (I had done the inaugural to Bermuda). The ship is big and beautiful, but easy to navigate.
The food was fine. We ate mostly at O'Sheehans as it fit our schedule and taste (best Chikcen Pot Pie ever). The waitstaff was fine, not too friendly but not rude. We had room service every day for breakfast, and for late night snacks. A little bit of a wait, but nothing outrageous. We ate at Teppanyaki and Moderno and they were both superb (food and service). The buffet was ok, although food was predictable. The main dining rooms were also good.
The staff I encountered were all pleasant. Yes, maybe some weren't bubbly and peppy, but no one was ever rude. I had servers learn and remember my name in the Atrium cafe, and when they saw me in the Casino they greeted me and remembered my drink of choice.
The only rude people I encountered were the grousing passengers complaining about the size of the ship,the number of people, having to actually wait in lines, not having a parental waiver for a child that wasn't theirs and not being able to have the child participate in events, not having a ready table for 10 at a main dining room at the drop of a hat, and other stuff. Do people not research their trips?
Anyway, Florida was a nice stop. We stayed on the ship most of the day, then took a cab to Cocoa Beach for a bit. The private Island was great as always (the clamshell was a bonus- thanks Cruise Critic). Nassau was a lot of fun as well as it was the first time we went to Atlantis.
The tendering to the private island was a bit messy. The seas were a bit choppy, so I don't if that affected the speed. The poor people running the process in the theater had their work cut out for them, and it could have been done better. At one point three people actually disregarded the workers and just up and jumped the que for the tender. Applause for the worker who ran on to the tender to try and get them off and shame on the selfish people who thought the rules don't apply to them.
The NYE parties were all done well. It was nice to see all the choices. In the end, we roamed around a bit, but finished the NY with a toast in our room and on the balcony to watch the fireworks with the celebrations on tv. It was really nice.
The super rough sea day on Friday was a bit difficult, but I was prepared. I had my sea bands and bonine. I gave the DS some Bonine, and after a nap he was good to go. The staff had barf bags out all all locations and were quick to clean up any messy situations.
We made the best of the trip, no matter the weather (I mean sailing in January out of New York we were prepared for a few days of not so sunny weather) . We played, swam, hot tubbed, partied, went to the library for the daily suduko challenge, gambled or whatever. We kept ourselves entertained.
I realize that no-one will be happy all the time, but honestly the trip was not as bad as I've read others describe, perhaps a combination of expectations too high, and information too low.
Rocky beach- don't forget the water shoes!
Rent a clamshell early- it was awesome to have the relaxing lounger in the shade.
Line for food was long, but not unexpected.
The water was great, fun to snorkel and just have a good time.
Tendering to the island was a major fiasco. Needs improvement or more staff to help.
Awesome time at Atlantis. We all had a great time. We had never been before and went all over the resort (beach, lagoon, water park, casino). I can't wait to go back.
I thought it was a bit pricey at first, but so glad I booked. Also, the food prices were not that outrageous at the water park. Take a credit card as no cash taken.
Took a cab to Cocoa Beach so DS could go to the ocean. It was a bit chilly. I roamed the stores, had coffee at the Starbucks while they went to the beach. The cab shuttle was not unreasonably priced.
Problem getting back as there was an bad accident along the highway which shut down traffic. There were lots (over 80) people waiting for the shuttles to start arriving and it was pure mayhem when one did.