This was our first cruise (wife, daughter and I). We were a little apprehensive because of some of the negative reviews but found the ship, crew etc. to be wonderful. The ship is beautiful, always clean and well appointed.
We arrived four hours before sailing and were through the entire boarding and check in process without stopping for more than two minutes at a time (well organized).
Our room with a balcony was very clean and large enough for the three of us. Our cabin steward Erickson introduced himself immediately. Our room was always cleaned several times a day and Erickson made sure our daughter always had a towel animal waiting for her, which she loved.
The food was excellent in both the buffets and at the sit down dinners. If you cannot find great food and plenty of it then you are not looking very hard. The food is a mix of European specialities and American food, all was again excellent.
The staff were all very nice, spoke very good English and always greeted everyone with a smile. It impressed us that the staff works such long hours and constantly, yet we never heard any complaints and they never looked like they were not enjoying themselves.
Our four year old daughter enjoyed herself a lot. She was apprehensive at a "kids meet the captain" event at the Squok Club. The captain on his way out of the club saw her, came and sat down with us and had a ten minute conversation with her. He did not have to do this but it as great example of how the staff go out of their way to make sure the cruise is fun and a great experience.
The other passengers were mostly European and Canadian which was actually nice. We did not encounter any loud, obnoxious Americans (we are American). Everyone we talked to were friendly and if there was a lack of English knowledge they still attempted a friendly exchange.
This cruise is a great opportunity to encounter other nationalities and enjoy listening to their languages (especially Italian) and learning about their countries. It is almost like having a Mediterranean cruise with Caribbean ports of call.
If you enjoy meeting interesting people, eating food from around the world and relaxing with great service, this is a good cruise to take.