This was our first cruise, myself, DH, DS(13), and DS(15)...plus friends and their 2 teens. Embarkation at NOLA was quick and efficient. On the Lido deck by noon. Our cabin was on the Riviera deck, OV. Perfect location in the middle of the ship. We didn't experience a lot of rocking, but the size was good(although we did have 1 cabin for us and 1 for the kids).
We ate in the dining room every night, and loved the food and atmosphere. No, the food wasn't 5 star, but it was still very good. Our servers Angelika and Ahmed were the best. The kids enjoyed the conga line and Macarena.
We did not get involved in a lot of the daytime activities as we just wanted to relax, however we could watch them from our chairs on the Veranda deck. They were pretty entertaining. The kids didn't do the Circle C thing, just hung with us, or explored on their own. The night shows were great. the first night comedian was funny, and the kids loved the magic act. I thought the Ticket to Ride was fantastic...really took me back!!!
Although the ship was full, I really didn't notice it. I never had to wait long for an elevator, and even though there was a lot of kids on board, they were good. the college spring breakers were a lot of fun watching sing and dance on the pool deck.
Overall, I would rate this cruise as great, particularly since the port is so close to us. On the trip, I heard horror stories of people from up north trying to get to the ship on time...makes me glad I live within an hour's drive. Next cruise, I might stay close to home for the same reason.