I have never felt the need to write a review until now. All the bad reviews on this ship are absurd! Also there are not very many reviews from families with young children. Let me first address the main complaint: "This ship is crowded"- DUH, it holds 4000 people!!!! Here is the deal, if you don't want the crowds, don't go when the kids are out of school. We went the week that all the kids went back to school after Christmas break. All the cabins were full, but there were only 87 kids on board. The previous week when the kids were out, all the cabins were full, but there were 1700 kids on board.---Get it?? And yes, you will have to walk some to get to one end to another. Im sure its probably a good thing considering the amount of food we consume in during the week. Even with the ship being full, the longest I waited in the buffet line was less than 5 minutes. If you can't wait 5 mins, you have issues. The wait times for food, elevators, or anything else was no different than any other cruise ship I have been on. Yes, if you want a chair by the pool, you have to get it early, but I have experienced this on every ship I have been on. We ate the buffet for every meal except dinner twice. One night we went to Taste, it was ok. The other night we went to the Italian place, it was awesome! The buffet was really good as well. The burgers were thick and even had fancy topping cooked on like pulled pork and bacon and blue cheese. The best part for us was there was always mac and cheese available for my kids and it was yummy!
The reviews about the cabins are correct. They are tiny and with the sofa bed pulled out its terrible. We survived. It would be just fine if we didn't have our kids with us. We got a thermal suite spa pass and used it daily. Our room was on deck 14 right between the Splash Academy and spa, so we would drop the kids off just a few feet from our room then walk a few feet to the spa....it was perfect!
I really want to touch on how awesome this ship was for my kids. They are 5 and 8. They loved the splash academy and we loved our adult time while they were there! There are several family game shows throughout the week put on by the splash team and were a lot of fun. Team Nick was excellent. We got to attend the slime time live show and slime time by the pool. They were so much fun. We also went to the Nick craft time where we colored a spongebob shirt and bandana. We got to meet Patrick and spongebob!
The kids loved loved loved the Blue Man group and so did we! We went to the Cirque dinner show. Get the premium seats. It was better than expected and the food was fabulous. Don't miss it! The pool was great for my 5 year old. One of them has a large platform with benches on it that is only covered by a foot or so of water, so he loved playing there. There are also lots of sprayers that shoot out water and that was fun for them. my 8 year old love the slides. We had them wear their suits when we boarded, so as soon as we got on and ate lunch they swam. She rode the slide several times with no wait. On the sports deck, there is a bungee trampoline and a tall climbing thing with a big slide, all free!!
We go to the port at about 10:30 and were boarded by 11:30 and were some of the first people on board. We went straight to the spa to get our pass then to lunch with no wait! Getting off was easy as well.
Over all, this was our favorite cruise!! If you are a bitter person who expects not to wait for anything and the world revolves around you, you might not like this ship. But, if you are a laid back, easy going person who likes to have fun and doesn't mind waiting less than 5 mins for something, you will love it!!!