First and foremost, if you are traveling with young children, read on. If you are traveling alone or with a special someone, ignore this post. My wife and I traveled with our 5 year old daughter and 3 year old son.
Embarkation through Port Liberty, NJ, was effortless! We arrived around 12 noon and were on board by 12:30. The ship is impressive. While it is beginning to show its age after 10 years, it is still in decent shape. The staff was extremely nice to my children. We didn't go anywhere without a crew member engaging our kids in conversation. The kids took advantage of RCCI's Adventure Ocean program. Outstanding! The activities were well organized and the kids had a great time.
One concern about this program: While questioning one of the crew members involved in the A.O. program, my wife and I realized that he did not have command of the English language and was not understanding our questions. We had to surreptitiously go behind his back to find someone who could understand us. (We asked him if we could observe the children while in activities. He didn't understand. By the way, the answer is "no." If the kids are there, they are under the tutelage of the A.O. staff.)
Here is my review in a nutshell: PROs: Great activities for kids. Meats cooked to perfection in the dining rooms. Effortless embarkation and disembarkation. CONs: Windjammer food. Windjammer CROWDS. Good luck finding a table. Stateroom attendant was indifferent to our needs. When we asked for a child-sized life vest (we only had one) and for a replacement "Do Not Disturb" card for one that was stolen, we were repeatedly told, "You don't need one." His argument for the life vest was that the adult life vest would fit our 5 year old. While in port, toilets mysteriously stopped flushing. The last day of cruising, one side of the vessel did not have working toilets.