1. Our embarkation was smooth. We left Montreal on July 4th and were greeted with a festive atmosphere in the Lido deck. There were hand sanitizers throughout the ship! The weather was great during this cruise. The Captain who was under the weather for a couple of days said we brought sunshine in our suitcases!
2. There were 11 people in our travel party; 5 adults and 6 children ages 12-18. We stayed on deck A since that had rooms which would accompany 4 people per room. As you exited the elevator to go to our rooms, there was a smell of cigarette smoke daily that came from the stairs leading down to the the lower decks. We notified the staff.
3. There did not seem to be as many hounding photographers on this cruise as in our previous cruise which was nice!
4. They offer an "open seating" for dinner but if you want to make sure you get a table, I would recommend signing up for a table when you board the ship. We had the 5:30 seating and people were turned away (all dressed up); eventually dining in the Lido Restaurant. The dining room seemed to abide by the dress code. Our servers, Abu and Sultan, were wonderful! They made sure the children had something to eat.
5. There must have been a refrigeration problem aboard the ship. The first couple of mornings, chocolate milk in cartons was served in the Lido Restaurant. Then it disappeared. The kitchen tried to make their own version with milk and probably hot chocolate mix but it didn't work. Nasty! In addition, we asked for cream for our coffee with dessert for dinner one night and were told they were out of cream. We used the whipped cream that came with our dessert for our coffee instead. Cream was served with our coffee that last night for dinner. But when my 18yr-old. niece poured it into her coffee, the cream's consistency was that of cottage cheese. Yuck! No kidding. Our servers were most apologetic!
6. Stateroom: I was happy to have a small bathtub in our room but was "sickened" by the mold in the grout and caulking. I contacted housekeeping, and they recaulked it the next day. In doesn't stop here. The handle bar fell off inside the shower. I contacted housekeeping, but it was never reattached. I took pictures of this. Our room attendant had asked if the bar had been reattached the night before we left, and we told him no. He was very apologetic. We had to ask housekeeping for more shampoo because our room was not restocked. There were holes in some of the bedding; specifically the pillow cases. The night stands were dusty.
7. In regards to the staff, I felt the ship was probably understaffed in the Lido and stateroom attendants. I unofficially heard that 1 room attendant was caring for 28 rooms.
8. We enjoyed playing cards, reading, and listening to music in the Explorations Cafe. However, the last night we went to play a boardgame after dinner; no later than 8pm. The games were locked up. My 12 yr-old son and his Aunt asked to play a game of Sorry but were told they would not unlock the cabinet.