As first-time cruisers we found this ship to be wonderful! We found the boards' and members' reviews to be of great help and felt quite at home on embarkation. We boarded around 11:30 and roamed the ship until we were able to enter our room. Signs and help were everywhere to assist on embarkation. We contacted housekeeping and asked for a lounger to be brought to our balcony room. We had to call a second time, a few hours later, but did receive the lounger. Be sure and request a lounger!
We made reservations ahead on-line. Be sure and do this as many weren't able to see the shows, due to the full ship. The shows were first class. We sat in the 2nd row to see Hair Spray. My hubby was blown away by the show! It appeals to all ages. I had seen it on stage and this production was just as great!
We arrived 45 minutes early to all the shows. We had choice seats every time. We were irritated by the person sitting next to me in the front row of the ice show. He had a huge camera and constantly clicked. They say no flashes but people can still bring cameras and take pictures. The man behind him also took pictures! I wish they would ban cameras completely, once the shows start as I couldn't appreciate the ice show fully. The ice show also had an artist who held our breaths! I can't begin to review what she did....it was so creative!
I loved the water show! We sat higher up as the first few rows are splashed with water. The swimmers are so talented. It was fun to read their backgrounds on the outside screens. I would have liked to have learned more about the ice skaters.
I was afraid I wouldn't like the comedians but they were great!! Somehow they didn't need to resort to unnecessary vulgarity.
We ate at the 6PM dining seating every evening. We are glad we did not do the My Time Dining. The two of us were put at a table with 7 other adults. We enjoyed talking with them at the evening meal and often we were near the last to leave. We really didn't mingle with many of the other people on board as there were many foreigners and groups traveling together. So I appreciated the meal time.
For formal nights, men do need to wear at least a coat and tie. My hubby did not bring a tie and he was one of the few who did not have a tie. There were some tuxes.
We had room service on our balcony for three mornings. What a pleasure! My hubby also liked the food in Wipe Out Cafe!! We went once to the Windjammer for lunch! What a mess! You had to hunt for seats and people were pushy! The food was nothing special and we didn't need the hastle!
The Solarium was a haven for some peace. It was laid back and you could enjoy the beauty of the ocean. You could also get healthy meals in the Solarium.
The main pools were extremely crowded. We don't enjoy being on top of people and we found spots in and around the Solarium to sun.
We did not see many people use the cupcake store. You could get free desserts at the coffee shop on deck 5. We even tried the pizza at Sorrentos.
Bingo was expensive. It cost $55 to play 4 hands and it was $72 on the last day. Of course, the person who won the free cruise didn't mind paying $72.
Luckily I was so busy that I couldn't lost all my money in the Casino! They would announce that someone had won but you never saw anyone happy and shouting!
Disembarkation was a breeze. You could walk off with your luggage and that is what we did! We left around 6:30 AM and were at the airport by 7 AM. I would strongly suggest you walk off with your luggage. Taxis were waiting and it was a breeze. It was easier going through customs than going through security at the airport.