Myself, my finance, and 3 friends had planned this cruise almost a year earlier. I'm a hydrologist and my friend is an engineer, so we both wanted to see this marvel of engineering up close as well as see the progress that was being made on the multi-billion dollar expansion project. Overall the cruise was magnificent! The staff was very attentive. The food was extremely delicious. There seemed to be a nice balance between days at sea plus days in port. We took cruise-sponsored shore excursions at almost every port which were usually hits with small misses. We were at sea for Christmas Day which was a fun and interesting experience. New Years Eve was a blast around the pool even though it followed a long day making the passage through the Canal.
We spent much of our time at the Sunset Bar at the back of the ship. Since we had opted for the Classic Drink Package we made sure we got our money's worth. It was actually quite nice not thinking about the cost of a drink, a beer, a bottled water, a glass of wine, or an espresso. Speaking of espresso, The Cova Cafe was a great place to relax in the atrium area. We spent several evenings enjoying the music of the two-piece band "Five O'clock Somewhere." The lectures on the countries we were going to visit and the Canal itself were very informative. My only complaint was the over-the-top Powerpoint presentations. Simple beats flashy. We only saw one stage show, but enjoyed it.
Very attentive staff that kept our cabin constantly in good shape.
Afternoon canapes delivered to our room.
Sushi available every evening.
The Mongolian BBQ station on the buffet
Tasteful Christmas decorations (not over the top)
Bollywood music constantly blasting in the main dining room
Need for more chairs in the Sunset Bar area
Cigar smoking in the Sunset Bar area
Inconsistent service in other bar areas i.e. tables in need of cleaning for quite a bit of time and waiting for service