I cannot begin to tell you all how much I loved the ship. It was even better than I possibly could have imagined. We quickly decided to go right to touring the cabins first since it was only open until 4. Some of the suites are beautiful and I would be happy to stay in any of them!!! The other rooms were to me just like all our other cruises.
We were assigned a D8 and I know on their website it says it is the same size, but we all agreed that they appear much smaller...and there is definitely less drawer space. Don't get me wrong they are still great, but as girls..well we use that space!!! The closets now have a new self closing feature so no more banging in the middle of the night, they soft shut themselves, its kind of cool! And to be one of the best improvements was the cabin doors now all open out!! No more slamming the bathroom door into the front door. I loved the setup of the new balconies, you now have to really comfortable chairs and a nice table, a regular one not the short ones they have always had...in all my cruises I have rarely ordered breakfast to the cabin because there was really no comfortable place to enjoy it..but now you can take it out to the balcony on that table and really enjoy that ocean.
The coolest thing we all agreed on was the new interactive sign on each floor. Get off the elevator..press find your cabin, enter the number and it tells you how to get there!! They also added a small arrow on each door right next to the number..all the arrows point to the front of the ship..so you will always know you are headed the right way. The sign is good for more things than finding your cabin though. Its basically the cruise compass. Ask it where to eat, where the shows are and it tells you what times and where to go and how to get there...It was the coolest thing, I have a video I will post soon.
Personally I thought central park was nice, very beautiful and relaxing..it was a great place to go and read, relax and just spend some quiet time....unfortunately too quiet for me lol! I am sure many will love it though and use it just for those reasons!
Now the boardwalk was simply amazing!!!! It was so lively and fun, I know its mostly for kids but its a great place to hang out if you really want to hang out because its just so upbeat all the time. Didnt care for the donuts...thought they were kind of bland..but thats my own opinion. Loved the aqua theater and the show was fantastic too, you will not believe what they can accomplish in that small space! The carousel was great and there is so much for kids to do there, I just loved the upbeat atmosphere of all of it.
The windjammer was different than you are used to, you walk right into the serving tables which are in circles all around then you have to go past to get to the tables...my own personal opinion is that I did not care for it, but I also believe we are creatures of habit and do not like change so probably after a few cruises I would be used to it and like it more.
The new restaurant additions are the best!! If you like seafood you are going to love the seafood shack! Wait until you see the selection. Honestly my group decided to forgo dinner so we could go to all the venue choices and try them instead. We figured we have all been to enough dinners since all but one of us was DP. It was a great choice. The new cafe has the BEST panninis...I can definitely see myself skipping the windjammer and going there for lunch...well there and the seafood shack. The pool area was one of the best I have seen. The two pools on either side, they have done away with the risers and no one will be complaining about the suite guests getting their own area, they are now on a different deck with their own private bar so the pool area is open to all!!!! The pool bar was great, was rounded and went around both sides, much larger with stools going almost to the center but they leave a large area in the center with no stools...much nicer for people walking up wanting a drink and now not having to ask other people to get thru them.
I usually love the sky bar, but not so crazy about this one...now that's a personal issue because its mostly in the sun and I usually go to the bar for some sun relief...others may love this for the exact opposite reason. I have always been a schooner bar person..and I really did love the new schooner bar...but miss the old one. The one feature I do love about it is that it now overlooks the royal promenade so it is really nice and tends to keep it more lively.
We went on the bar that goes up and down...its totally cool...but I will tell you what would keep us off of it is that it only serves champagne and soda...so bring the drink you want with you or you wont get it. But if you like champagne its a great place to be.
Love the new boleros, it was so pretty and upbeat and its right in the middle of the royal promanade...the disco is down one floor and honestly the best setup of any disco I have been on...I have always hated the seperation of the dance floor from the rest of the place...now you can pretty much see everything from where ever you are, and they gave the smokers their own little section off to the side that is still a place where you can see everything but not close enough to bother you if you do not smoke.
The on air club was amazing and again right on the royal promenade...I guess I keep using the word upbeat but honestly that is how they designed so many of these places.
We did try the cupcakes friends on our roll call asked us to do it for them...and to be fair...it wasn't just me..there were 5 of us. We got the red velvet and the chocolate one...the frosting was super delicious...but none of us cared for the cupcakes...now with that said we ran into several people who loved...so its going to be subjective to your own likings.
I am happy to say we made the new Oasis commercial! The camera guy just loved us...I had made us all rhinestone shirts and we could not have been stopped enough asking where we got them. We also had a couple of other items I had made when I post my pictures you will see them..I could have made a fortune selling lol.
Ken Rush as always was a great as ever...you can tell me anything you want about cruise directors, but I love that you will see ken all over the ship. I have been on many cruises where you do not even see a CD...yet ken is always out and about. I also liked that I saw Adam Goldstein too...again I just feel that it is nice that the executives can come out and enjoy their own ship..he was up on deck with us when they were filming the zipline spot and had his kids there with him...I personally think it shows the customers that he cares too...I hate when people in charge are never seen..just my own personal opinion though I did go to the casino but only to see it, we got a very late start so they didn't even allow you to start gambling until pretty late and by that time we were so busy with other things I didn't have time to go back. We know people who did though (and won lol) and said they loved the new slot machines.
I never found the internet cafe..but I meant to see it...and I also cant believe I never got to the concierge lounge, although we did find francois on the ship and talked to him for a bit.
The staff were about as excited as can be..they all had such great attitudes and lucky for me several of them I knew already from other ships! I think they were all excited about bringing this awesome ship over.
Oh yeah and in case your all wondering who I am...we were the girls holding the sign that sam champion came over and talked to! He loved us...we were told by all the GMA people to put the sign away they didn't want signs...and then we went up to the pool deck and he saw we made a sign and was so excited they asked us to move just to be there when he came on!
Couple of other things I thought of, watch out for those light switches in the cabins. They have now apparently put one master light switch by the bathroom door and it controls all the lights in the cabins..now this is a good feature except for one thing....when my roommate went to bed the only light on was the light above her head when she hit the master switch...I could not for the life of me figure out how to turn the darn lights on, there were so many switches and the only one I could consistently get turned on was the one above her head since it was the one on when she hit the master switch...I talked to a few other people about this who had the same problem..most of us thought we lost power in our room because it even controls the bathroom light so as long as the master switch is off you cannot use any other switch in the rooms. If you are looking for plugs they are now under the desk, took us a while to find those too.
They also put a small bar outside the main dining room so while you are waiting you can get drinks. Along with that they put a self serving wine bar where you can swipe your card and get some wine, prices started at $2 for an 2 ounces this way if you wanted to just taste the wine before getting a full glass you knew if you liked it or not. Then you could choose 4 or 6 ounce glasses and the prices varied according to the type of wine you were choosing. My overall impression of this ship is "WOW" I honestly loved every second on it. I didn't feel like it was hard to navigate or that it took a long time to get anywhere. So many new and exciting features it made me feel like I was new to cruising again. Even if you prefer the smaller ships (which I personally do sometimes) there is no way you cannot enjoy the time you spend on this wonderful ship and all that it has to offer.