Hello, I am writing this review straight from the facts and not my personal feelings on the ship. Prior to our cruise I read every review of the ship and found that I just couldnt seem to find all the answers i needed in one place. so here it is and I hope this is helpful.
Frist off this is a very beautiful ship inside and very clean, however that is sometimes overpowered by the fact that the casino and a couple of the public lounges as well as one whole side of the ship is smoking. We booked a balcony room at the very back on the tail end, and as one member wrote it wasnt only vibrating all night long when the ship was sailing fast literally everything in the room was vibrating and shaking vigorously and the kids were a bit frightened at first. Others in different areas of the ship also felt this too but after the first 3 days it didnt seem as bad.
THE FOOD: It is true that there are 2 formal nights and infact they do close the buffet except for the pizza. We did not dress up formal but were dressed respectable and we never had any problems entering the dining room. So make sure not to miss your seating or you will not be eating. Every night they had a small buffet of mostly sweets and this started at 11:30. They do not have self serve drinks at the pool, you must go in to the buffet to grab a glass which consisted of either water or unsweetened ice tea and these drinks are already poured and placed on a tray, this is offered at all meals as well, the only time you will see milk or orange juice is at breakfast.during all other meals in the buffet they are locked up tighter than a drum. I did go to the salad bar a couple of times and asked the gentleman behind there for some milk and he begrudginly gave me a couple of cartons,. It is also true that there is one big line for the buffet and even if you do not want something from the meat section you just have to wait patiently to get to the next station.
There are 2 pools only and they do not have shallow ends and are saltwater unheated. There is no kids pool as advertised it is small wading pool the size of a hot tub. The activities like mini golf and tennis and ping pong are available but you have to sign up and they give you a time to come back and play. There are 4 soft serve ice cream stations and they were hit and miss. sometimes there were all open or only some were open and everyday they were at different times but never before 11:00am and never past 4:00pm They are located at each corner of the pool deck. There was a beer special for the first few days like buy 3 get one free which ended up being about 12.00 u.s dollars total but after a few days they stop the special. The prices are still reasonable. YES on every announcement and before and after every show the cruise director says everything in 5 languages, She is very talented however this can get a bit annoying. EXELLENT shows at sea. They do not sell water bottles on shore days and you are not allowed to fill up your water bottles in the buffet so go prepared. Towels for the shore days need to be signed out and make sure to ask someone before you get off of the ship as to where to do this.. sometimes they were set up outside the ship and sometimes inside before you get off. Overall we chose this ship because the kids sailed free but since the ship is really not geared for kids we found that they were bored and the kids clubs were not up to par with the other lines and we have sailed ncl carnival and r/c within the last year and a half so were were able to compare. Happy sailing.