This was our second cruise and was a disappointment. Our first was on Holland America 7 years ago, and we felt that one was a better value although much more expensive. We chose the cruise based on the itinerary, bur our next cruise will be chosen by cruise ship amenities and will probably cost a bit more, but we will enjoy it more too.
Embarkation was not bad. We came later as they suggested and did not have long lines.
The ship is huge and while cruising, sways alot even in calm water. It also groans constantly. We were on the 9th floor in a mini suite, and the noise was constant all night long. The hangers were rattling too. We are not convinced the ship is built right!
The activities were many and our only two complaints were the loud volume on the movies under the sky all day at the pool, and the charge for the internet which was not disclosed in the literature and was very slow.
Service was mediocre. We did not like the fact that a different person brings room service and expects a tip. We prefer when the steward brings the room service and we tip him well for the overall service. Also, the room steward was very nice but kept forgetting to replace towels, glasses, etc. We had to keep asking for things...
We had 2 dinners in the Lido restaurants and many of the waiters almost were annoyed if you asked them for something. And they kept trying to remove plates while we were still eating. Not the best of service.
We enjoyed our excursions and the ports. Plenty of choices and we have no complaints here. We were very happy with the itinerary. Stateroom was fine, a bit small for a mini-suite, but okay for 2 people. Verandah needed some shade though, and everyone above us looked down on us. Poor design.
Dining was very mediocre. The traditional dining was a disappointment. Nothing special at all. Like a nice diner. Event the presentation was lacking. Not much in the way of vegetables either. And they charged a 15% surcharge on a bottle of wine. That's crazy--you are already paying for the wine. Add the surcharge in already!!
Dinner at the Cafe Caribe was good on the bavarian bierfest day but the creole day had some weird items on it. Lunch was edible--We eat salad and the salad bar was okay if you added some meat and cheese. It would have been nice if they varied the selection of salad bar items and added some vinaigrettes to the huge cream dressing selection.
We thought it was weird there were no special dessert buffets or ice carvings to impress us...
We also did not like the fact that they charged for ice cream and called it a nominal fee--it was really full price. That's pretty disingenuous. Entertainment was okay--we liked the classical string quartet the best and they played everyday in the piazza.
Disembarkation was interesting but not bad. We did not get priority after paying for a mini-suite and thought that was strange. No real perks to a mini-suite on this ship. Our overwhelming disappointments were the "nickel-and-diming" they did--just add 200 dollars to the fare and stop the nonsense already--and the constant groaning of the ship while in motion. We think the ship should qualify under the lemon law!!