My wife and I are in our 40's and this was our first cruise. We stayed in New York for a couple of days before the cruise and took a taxi from Midtown Manhattan to the Brooklyn terminal. The taxi cost $30 with tip and the driver had no problem finding the ship. It seems that all Yellow Taxis in NY have a GPS mapping system so you can follow the route and see that you are not being taken on an expensive joy ride.
Boarding was efficient and all of the staff we dealt with were friendly and helpful. It took about 30 minutes from the time we were dropped at the terminal until we were standing in the Grand Lobby onboard the ship. Our luggage arrived at our cabin within 2 hours of boarding.
The temperature on our first day at sea rose to 20c by 6pm and on the second day most people were lounging in the sun on deck.
The cabin was clean and well maintained throughout the trip. The robes and slippers are a nice touch and are great to lounge in when getting ready for dinner. I found the bed had a ridge in the middle which definitely was not comfortable to lay on and effectively split the bed in two. The shower was one of the best I have used in a hotel/ship. The pressure was consistent and the temperature was controlled with one simple knob. No guessing or hopping in and out of the shower stall due an alternating hot/cold flow. Our cabin had a sheltered (in hull) balcony that we did not use much as it felt too much like an enclosed space.
We had the 8:30 seating at the Brittania Restaurant which was convenient for relaxing in the evening instead of having to rush onboard after a day trip and immediately getting ready for the early dinner. Generally we would go to one of the after decks or promenade deck to enjoy the sail away and sunset before returning to the cabin to get shower and get dressed. We were at a table of six with two other couples which worked out very well. Every night we had a relaxing meal while exchanging tales of the days' activities. The food was very good especially the steak and fish and the only complaint I have is that it was sometimes a little bland. The service was excellent in this restaurant. Our waiters were friendly, efficient, went out of their way to ensure we enjoyed every plate that was served and regularly checked that the food was hot enough.
We tried the King's Court for lunch on the first day and quickly labelled it the "trough". It was busy, the food was not very good and the layout was confusing. My only serious food related complaint is about the tea and coffee. The coffee was weak and tasteless and the tea was surprisingly bad given that we had 1500 tea loving Brits onboard. Also honey was rare wherever tea was served but a waiter always found some when I asked. The only explanation I have for the bad tea is that the water was not hot enough.
The library was one of my favorite spots on the ship as it is quiet and well stocked with books and magazines of all types. Several times I dozed off in one of the forward looking chairs while reading.
Churchill's Cigar Lounge is also a quiet place to enjoy a cigar and meet fellow cigar smokers. The humidor is well stocked with both Cubans and Dominicans at reasonable prices and there is a good selection of Port, Cognac and other cigar friendly drinks. The wait staff in the bar and lounge are also friendly and entertaining.
I tried the golf simulator but was underwhelmed and found it pricey at $40 an hour. They have both mens' and womens' clubs which are included in the price.
The ship tendered at two ports and we found the service very good. Both days we picked up our ticket in one of the lounges, as directed in the program, and were onboard a tender within minutes. Similarly in the afternoon, we were on our way back to the ship within 5 minutes of arriving at the tender dock.
On our return trip to NYC we had winds of 30 knots and 12-15 foot seas but the ship barely moved. Most of the time it was hard to tell that we were on a ship because she is so stable and smooth.
Overall the ship is very nice, comfortable and well maintained. All of the staff we dealt with were friendly, efficient and did everything they could to assist us and make our cruise as enjoyable as possible. The only issue I had with the ship is the cigarette smoke from the smoking areas tends to migrate to other parts of the ship, especially up the C stairway to the other decks.