This was the first cruise for me, my wife, and our 11 month old son. Before I begin the review, I would like to mention what I saw on board as well as on other posted reviews. The complaints I have seen are incredibly petty. They range from only receiving 2 or 3 towel animals or, my favorite, the food in the buffet is not that good. We had a a solution for both of these. Tip your room stewards, and don't eat at the buffet.
Embarkation: We arrived at Pier 66 at 12:30 and were on board by 1:15. I felt that the security was great and was better than the airport in many ways.
Public Rooms: Travelling with an infant meant that we did not spend time in the bars, but we did make it to a couple of shows and they were tremendous. I would rank them below Vegas quality, but they were very entertaining and seemed to be the perfect length (Just over an hour). Our favorite public room was the Under 2 Zoo, which is located on the More
starboard side of ship just behind the Spinnaker Lounge. We received a flier that there were 11 kids under 2 on our trip and that we could use this room to let them roam around. It wound up being our personal living room for the entire trip and offered floor to ceiling windows just like the Spinnaker.
Restaurants: The best deal on the ship is Le Bistro. The cover is only $15, and the environment lets you forget that you're on a ship for awhile. We ate there twice, and the food and service were great. The live lobster at the Soho was good, and the steak at Cagney's was also good. I highly recommend the Jazz brunch at Soho as it was quiet and the music was fantastic. The Endless Summer food was ok but probably not worth the $10 cover. We ate at the buffet a couple of times for breakfast, but the Versailles offered better food and environment for breakfast and lunch. Our only dinner experience at a free restaurant was at Aqua. The salmon was good and the rest of the choices looked good as well.
Cabin: We had a mini-suite on the 11th floor that adjoined to my parents next door. We were surprised by how big the bed was, and the curtains allowed our little guy to nap while we were reading or sitting on the balcony. Our Stewards were quick to make up or turn down the room once we changed the message wheel, and they never intruded when the do not disturb was posted. This was critical to keeping our son on a regular nap schedule.
Fitness - Spa: My wife took 3 yoga classes and had a spa treatment that she really enjoyed. I used the gym a couple of times and found them to be very modern and convenient.
Casino: The blackjack rules are not very favorable to the player, but you don't have a choice. It was pretty smokey in there - perhaps more ventilation or eliminating the smoking is in order.
Service: I was very impressed with the level of service on the ship. When you consider that the majority of the crew works 10 hour days without a day off for 10 months, it is a miracle that they can function let alone perform their jobs with a smile. Less