Drove 5 hours to the Baltimore port. Was extremely cold and windy in Baltimore. Lines were long to embark, but moved pretty quickly. A family member had a birth "record", not a birth "certificate", so there was some scrambling and phone calls back home. We were able to contact an amazing woman that worked at the health dept back home and she actually went to the office and faxed the birth certificate to the cruise line, and this on a Sunday afternoon! So just a heads up, make sure it's a birth "certificate" or you won't get on the ship.
Our luggage was waiting for us when we got to our cabin. We had the standard balcony room. There were 3 of us in our room, so it was a little crowded. there were only 2 chairs for the balcony. there were 3 closets. 2 for hanging clothes, and one with shelves. was not enough hangers. had to ask the room steward for more. bathroom small, but again, that was expected. took me a few minutes to figure out how the shower worked!. i think i saw our room steward, Jose, 3 times that week. our room was always cleaned and our towel animals were cute. i slept on the bed by the balcony door. i slept at the foot of the bed and kept the balcony door opened a crack so I could hear the ocean waves ! awesome! our room was just off the elevator and stairs which was nice. you always have to have our sign and sail card with you. i recommend buying a lanyard to wear the card around your neck so you don't have to carry your purse around. The food buffets on Lido Deck 9 was okay.. kind of spread apart. all stations were not always open so that was kind of annoying, especially the salad bar. my daughter loved the pizza.
We had late seating in the Normandy dining room. We were in the very back of the dining room by the window. we must have been above the propellers because our table shook horribly. Each of us had queasiness at some point during the week at dinner due the location of our table. I loved the food! The warm chocolate melting cake was the best dessert I have ever eaten! I am not a night owl, so next time I would choose early seating. Saw a couple of comedy shows which were funny. Went to a couple of dance shows. i never went to any bars. played a little in the casino. Bought some things in the gift shop. Did a mother-daughter mani/pedi at the spa which was nice. Disembarking took a few hours. we did the general disembark, not the self-assist. next time, i will pack less and do the self-assist to get off the ship. Only encountered one rude staff member during the week.