Just returned from Europe in which our trip over was a transatlantic from Miami to Barcelona. I read a lot of reviews before we left on cruise and want to address some of the reviews. Embarkation was a breeze and was allowed to go straight to cabin and drop off our luggage before going to Garden Café for lunch and wait for room to be ready. Lunch was good and our stateroom was ready by 2:00. We will start there:
STATEROOM 9181: There has been a lot of negative reviews in regards to the room design. We had an oversized balcony located on deck 9 and on the bump of the ship facing aft. WOW! We loved it! Cabin attendant brought me a lounge chair that accompanied the two chairs and small table (adequate) already on balcony. The room was great! Yes, funky design and our bed was positioned next to window as I paid attention to reviews I read and was happy that I did. It would have felt crowded to walk into room and have bed right there and position so close to toilet. So take note and make sure bed is next to sliding glass door. The bed was great! Sooooo comfortable and even though reviews stated it was small we did not have a problem and my husband is 6'1". TV was great, we loved that we could watch movies in the afternoon and they were not to bad on the selection side. We had a coffee maker and I brought a few snacks. Water and soda are a good idea.....make sure to bring enough for the number of days of your cruise.....we really enjoyed having them in our refrigerator. We removed contents of frig and cabin attendant took contents out of our room. Our cabin attendant did a really good job! One suggestion would be if you have a balcony request that your cabin attendant clean your balcony glass as salt really builds up fast. Some of the attendants did it but ours had to be asked and he did it. Lots of storage and couch was not real comfortable but didn't really care as out on balcony when we wanted to sit. Shower was great! Toilet no complaints. Bring your own shampoo and conditioner as what they have is really hard on your hair. If you have a balcony and robes are not already in your room ask for them. We loved having the robes as when it became a little chilly on balcony we found them very comforting.
FOOD: Started out really good and as cruise progressed food was not as good but not terrible! Look 11 days at sea you are going to have leftovers and at least they changed the look of them and renamed it. We did not do specialty restaurants but our friends did and their experiences was positive. We did our evening meals in the Taste and it was ok....nothing to rave about but it was ok...we ate in the Manhattan one evening and did not enjoy it due to the loud band and music, could not even talk and they were not that good. I would not have considered dancing to dirty dancing dinner music but that is just me! The Manhattan you will dine with tablecloths and the Taste will have place mats. Did not matter to us as we just wanted to meet new people and we did and that was great!
ENTERTAINMENT: Hypnotist was good but she was also selling her program but at least she was entertaining....Blue Man Group, bored with it.... missed Legends in Concert....Hail at the Moon was great! All in all the ship could have done a little better but did not spoil the trip.
CASINO: I went with certain amount to spend and when it was gone, it would be gone! Had fun with penny machines! They had a smoking section and nonsmoking section which made it nice! I do see what people meant when they complained you have to pass smoky casino to get to the Manhattan and this is true. Fortunately, on this cruise not a lot of smokers.
SMOKING: Not a problem on our balcony, however, we did not have a lot of smokers around us, only one and he was very considerate! It would be a problem if everyone around you smoked and used their balcony as their place to do so. We did not have that problem. All through the ship just did not seem to have a lot of smokers on board.
ELEVATORS: There was a lot of issues with the elevators in the reviews that I read, we did not experience a problem. They were not slow and we never had to wait and we rode alone a lot of the time. People were courteous. They said we had a full ship but if I listened to the reviews and issues people had on a full ship I would swear ours was not full, but they said it was!
JOGGING TRAIL: Reviews were right but we did not let it bother us and did our thing and then up to the gym for a little more exercise.
GYM: Great and clean, loved it! SPA: Did not use it as to expensive and they were not very busy!
INTERNET: Just don't do it! To expensive and did not work majority of the time.
CONCLUSION: We had a great trip and a good experience on this ship. I am happy we booked and would do it again!