Stateroom(s): I spent the week in a Large Balcony (B4). Since I was traveling alone, for me it was perfect for layout. There was more than enough storage and wardrobe space with tons of hanging space, drawers, and hidden nooks. I actually liked that I could practically roll out of bed into the toilet. I’m not a small person and fit just fine. I especially liked the lighting controls and small nooks by the bed and the roughly 30” widescreen flat TV. My favorite thing about the room was the balcony which was about 9’ x 10’ and had a lounger and 3 chairs – very roomy. What I disliked the most was the bed, it was too short, the curve caused a huge gap that would suck up pillows, and without fitted sheets it quickly became uncomfortable.
I toured 3 other rooms. For Balcony I preferred the bed by the balcony door, especially for two people as getting around the bed is meant only for 1 person while 2 people can get past the couch at the same time. I thought the Studio Room my friend stayed in was very clever and I didn’t feel claustrophobic at all thanks to a clever design of a “shaded” hall-view window. In fact the only thing I didn’t like about the studio was the small bathroom which I could barely fit in and close the door.
The last room I toured was the 2 BR Haven Suite of which the bathroom, bedroom, and living room are heavenly. I didn’t care for the second bedroom which is apparently meant for a child and very un-appealing. The balcony was surprisingly smaller than mine. I would consider staying here just for the food in the Epic Restaurant though – of which I had the pleasure of enjoying for several days – which was mostly on par with Cagney’s Steakhouse – i.e – the best on the ship. I liked the courtyard area for sun bathing better than the sun roof access, and the Jacuzzi’s were wonderful – but the small pool was 2 ½ feet deep and always warm.
I thought dining on the Epic was much improved compared to recent Pearl and Jade trips. Garden Café was very good – I had two delicious noodle salads, several curries, French toast, crepes, fish, chicken, sausage, lamb, and beef entrees. Even my hot dog was good.
As mentioned before the Epic Club and Haven Courtyard for lunch were fantastic with delicious shrimp cocktails, and a French dip that was fantastic. Tried the shrimp and scallop one day and didn’t care for that – only thing I didn’t like the whole trip.
Dinners in the Manhattan were very good – although I would have been bored if I spent every night there. I enjoyed my grilled salmon the best, and all the appetizers were fantastic. The bread pudding is fantastic – although I did miss the soufflés.
Went to Moderno and Cagney’s – Moderno was good with the garlic beef. Pichana, chorizo sausage, and fried pineapple being the best. Also enjoyed the soup, asparagus, potatoes, and fried banana sides. Restaurant is larger on this ship than others and we found the service to be a little slow between getting meats. Cagney’s was the best meal I had the entire trip. The sliders were excellent – kobe beef – and the Filet Mignon was superb. The shrimp cocktail was a little better here than in the Epic Club – probably due to the sauce, and the raspberry crème brulee absolutely delicious. I always try to make Cagney’s at least once.
Lastly I tried Sushi one night and found the edamame, and sashimi (yellow tail and yellow fin tuna) fantastic. I did not care for the Godzilla roll – BBQ eel was more like skin.
I always get a Spa Pass even though I was very sad the price went up to $199 for 7 days. I enjoyed the heated tile loungers and Jacuzzi as always. I was disappointed with two things: no cold plunge pool and the thlassotherapy loungers were only under a few inches of water – not as much as before. So I would do a circuit of water therapy using the strong shower heads to relax my muscles and cool off in the relaxation room. Then I would lay out on the aft balcony for a good hour, often drifting off. That was my #1 spot to be on the ship.
The spa took up a bit of my time but I did manage to enjoy several other venues: Cirque Dinner, Waterslides, Legends, Blue Man Group, Some Second City, Hypnosis, and Martini Tasting.
Sat in the balcony area for Cirque and enjoyed the unique acts and delicious supper. I was able to cut through my beef with a butter knife. It is much better to sit I the balcony as can quickly get overwhelmed with the people dancing and spinning around you in brightly colored costumes and you will have to crane your neck for mot of the acts.
Legends was fantastic – I really enjoyed all of them Elvis, Katy Perry, and Steven Tyler (even though I don’t think Katy is a legend). Blue Man Group was disappointing for me. I laughed and had fun, but it wasn’t the best show I ever saw and I was kind of expecting that.
I watched whose line is it anyways with Second City which was great fun. I caught Nadeen’s Hypnosis Act and the Martian act was hilarious. Of the three waterslides I definitely preferred the tube one.
My favorite activity by far was the Martini Tasting on Saturday at 3pm (I say this so you can go to the same one). We were served delicious “desert” drinks – Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate Mint, Coco Nuts, and one or two more. The glasses we used for the martini tasting were adorable – about 4 – 5 oz. drinks each, and I was a bit tipsy for 3 hours. We were in a group of 7 (of people we knew) and there was 20 of us all together and I can’t begin to describe how much fun it was.