I was hesitant to book this cruise due to the size. Love large ships but do not like large crowds. Although I don't have stats, I believe the ship was pretty full because some additional cruisers were added last minute since a sailing on Allure was cancelled. Certain times and places seemed crowded (as would on any ship). Dining hrs are crowded but they have enough venues (including "free" ones) that helps spread out the crowds. We avoided the buffet most of the time because it was most crowded. A comedian referred to the buffet as like riding in a "bumper car". Funny but true. I am not a very patient person, so I choose dining that was a bit less chaotic.
I have read a lot of reviews so I had some idea what to expect. I was still incredibly impressed when stepping upon this beautiful ship. So many unique things to see/experience. You have to see it. Describing it does not do it justice.
We ate in the dining room every night. Food was outstanding until the last night. Breaded Fisherman's platter was not good. They were very close to perfection on the dinner experience. I did experience the best beef tenderloin/filet I have ever had. Based on reviews, I tried a couple of the chilled fruit soups. Awesome! Salmon/crab grain (appetizer) was great too. This was on the standard menu and available every night. Visit the Solarium cafe for healthier dining (lunch/breakfast). If you want table service for breakfast or lunch, go to the dining room. For breakfast the dining room is split between table service and buffet (to help keep the crowds down in the Windjammer buffet). The choice is yours in the dining room. I think it is this way at lunch although we didn't visit the dining room at lunch.
Pool chairs were not as available as I expected based on other reviews. Pretty crowded near the pools.
Check out the "Rising Tide". Bar that raises up from the Promenade to Central Park (about 3 floors). Below the floating bar, there is a beautiful fountain. Hard to describe. Must see.
The entertainment was great. Hairspray was "good", just not my thing. When I heard that the
Headliner show was Abracadabra (songs by Abba), I really didn't want to go (not an Abba fan). Turned out the show was fantastic. Reserve your shows before the cruise. The couple that we had dinner with didn't get to see some of the shows because they could not get reservations. They did not know to reserve in advance.
Disembarking took a little longer than expected. Request a time a little earlier than you really want.
Wasn't quite brave enough for the zip line or flo-rider. (my husband and I are in our 50's and not the adventurous type. I plan on trying the zip line next time. I am sure there will be a next time.