We have just returned from a b2b taking in the western cruise first and then the eastern. I want to say that the ship fully lived up to expectations and even with 2 weeks we didn't get to see everything. I have read lots of posts and could spend ages on the the small things that were a bit irritating but I'll just check through a couple of them quickly as overall they did not spoil our holiday. We went with the view that we would enjoy ourselves and we did. They charged for a couple of things on the account that we didn't have/do and it took several trips to guest services to sort them out. They were helpful but you are still left with an impression that sometimes the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.
Breakfast was the most crowded time of the day and we spent 2 weeks trying to find the best options for eating. Try to avoid the Windjammer and the Solarium any time after 9.30am and even room service has a fairly lengthy waiting time. On the whole the food was fantastic we ate in 150 Central Park, Solarium, Chops Grille, Johnny Rockets and the main dining room and each one was great - 150 was the best for the experience. The food was really rich and we couldn't manage the cheese course - share the wine pairing unless you want to stagger out! Everyone has mentioned the shows - they were excellent. The cast changed between the cruises and we saw the original Hairspray cast and the new Come Fly with me cast. The ice show was riveting and the sand artist lived up to expectations. We thoroughly enjoyed the comedy club even understanding American humour!!! As we were in a suite for those of you who are interested the Concierge Lounge was the best - a big thanks to Reyno and Julian and the bar staff Eugene and Indra for the wonderful service. We had a Grand Suite on the starboard side and it was plenty big enough for us. No complaints about the stateroom attendant Donna she was lovely. What really stood out for us was the difference in the other cruisers during the first and second week. We felt completely outnumbered by Brazilians on the eastern cruise particularly in the dining room on deck 4 where we were surrounded and lost out a little on service. The first week had a far more even distribution of nationalities and this was really nice to experience. Embarkation and turnround with the b2b was very smooth.
Disembarkation turned out to be a bit of a bun fight with people everywhere searching for cases (including us)and long queues through customs. I will briefly mention the unfortunate incident with the member of staff who was lost overboard. This was tragic and I was very disappointed with the attitude of some of my fellow cruisers who felt this was a personal inconvenience and in one case complained loudly and publicly to a member of the waiting staff who listened very patiently and all credit to him for this. We did receive compensation (a quite substantial amount in our view)and our shore excursion was refunded. Our biggest disappointment was the service we received from staff on the ship when we tried to find out what was happening with our return flights to the UK with BA on strike. They were very unhelpful and although we were on a fly cruise package we felt abandoned and found out more information ourselves. We met other cruisers in the same situation and this was a big let down. Again we didn't let this take away from the whole experience and we are cruising the med with RC next May. A fantastic holiday and we met lots of great people. PS get the photo book it's excellent value.