This is our second New Year's Eve cruise as we were on the Glory 2 years ago which brings me to the first aspect of my review. Embarkation went very smoothly but the terminal buildings in Galveston appear to be quite old and are not as an attractive of send off as Port Canaveral. Despite that we arrived at the terminal and were on the ship within 30 minutes. The line for Non U.S. was very short and the U.S. was quite long at the time.
Our cabin had a balcony and while tight with my wife and I and 2 teenage sons (15 & 18) was well designed with sufficient storage space. Our steward was very attentive and looked after our room very well. He would always magically appear to make up the room at the appropriate time. This wasn't easy with teenagers that have a totally different biological clock.
Our 18 yr old was disappointed the first day of the cruise when he was not allowed to go to the O2 lounge because he was over 17 by a few months. This was alleviated when he got a call from the ship's staff on the 2nd day inviting him to a meet and great for 18 and 19 yr olds. Apparently their were a number of teens in his category so while they didn't organize any activities they did facilitate an opportunity for them to find each other. It worked, we hardly saw him the rest of the week except at meal times. There does seem to be a gap in programs from over 17 until they reach 21. They are too young for the lounges according to U.S.laws but too old for the teen program. They could go to the casino but this wasn't our first choice. He loved the shore stops as he was "legal" in each of these countries.
We found the food to be very nice and the beef was always prepared to my request. The selection in the dining room was extensive. Our waiters, Virgilio and Iketute were wonderful, very friendly and attentive. their suggestions were aways welcome and accurate.
The cruise director, Mark Price, was the cruise director when we were on the Glory and we enjoy him very much and contrary to another review we found him very visible and accommodating.
The one downside of this Cruise was the gale force winds we had for 3 nights. They were the nights of the days that we had our shore excursions so it didn't affect our days at sea. It was quite rough and it made for interesting walks about the ship. Fortunately non of our family felt any ill effect but I am sure others did. The only impact for us was that we were unable to go to Stingray City when we went to the Cayman Islands. Disappointing but it only means that we have to go back again.
All in all it was a wonderful vacation.