This was our first ever cruise. I had no problems with the ship - it was clean although definitely due for its overhaul.
The food was pretty average though. The Waterfall Cafe had cafeteria-style food (pasta, so-so pizza, lots of casserole type dishes) although the sushi bar was absolutely excellent (why wasn't this available at lunch time?). The kids enjoyed the food but my husband and I ate our lunches at the Spa - tiny serves but at least it was fresh and tasty. The Cosmopolitan food was very ordinary. Our waiter was hysterical - gave us very detailed descriptions each night (I actually do know what a 'jus' is!) but pronounced all the French words phonetically. I didn't have the heart to correct him but perhaps waiter training could include pronunciation? Here's a hint too - if you order breakfast room service in Concierge class, freshly squeezed orange juice is free but you have to pay $2.50 on deck! We ordered orange juice in our cabins and then took it to breakfast with us! We had dinner at the Normandie one night - nice food but not good enough to justify an extra $35 a head.
The ports were great (except Portland - boring!!) and we really enjoyed ourselves on port days. But where were all the activities during the 'at sea' days? I was expecting lectures on the history of the places we were going (there was one very boring lectures on lighthouses and that was it!) and lots of free, educational stuff. Instead, we were offered the chance to pay lots of money for whiskey tastings - sorry, not interested.
The shows varied a lot. One comedian should have been put out to pasture years ago - i cringed at his show and even his target audience (ladies of 80+) didn't enjoy it. Troy was very funny though. The sing and dance shows were terrible but the cappella group was very good.
Overall - my kids (aged 19 and 15) had a ball hanging out with the other kids on the cruise and would do it again but my husband and I wouldn't bother again with a cruise unless it was down a river and there was a port day EVERY day.