Let me start by saying, we are not your average cruisers, even though we have sailed over 30 times. We are not big on tours, entertainment, spa treatments or private dining. However we love to sail and enjoy being well treated.
We drove to Ft.Lauderdale from S. Georgia, stopping for the night in No. Palm Beach.
We dropped off our bags and parked across the street. Embarkation went smoothly and as we had upgraded to an SA we were whisked aboard. We looked at the Buffet Line and elected to go to the Mariners Luncheon in the Vista Dining Room, a better choice.
We were just finishing lunch, when cabin clearance was announced, so we went to our suite on the Rotterdam Deck. The location was perfect, right across from the Neptune Lounge, very convenient. The suite was well appointed, spacious and spotless. There was a comp. bottle of water and sparking white wine waiting for us. A basket of fruit (changed daily) and fresh flowers on the coffee table. We were offered this suite as a paid upgrade from our SZ for a reasonable rate, well worth the money. We both loved the cabin, the bed was very comfortable, the bathroom arrangements were great. The Concierge lounge across rhe corridor was everything promised and exceeded our expectations. We met several other passengers and any problems were quickly solved by the Concierge staff.
Staff. We had read taht the staff were less than pleasant. Just the opposite, from the deckhands to Captain PJ, everyone had a cheery smile and a "hello" or "Good Morning". Our room steward and assistant always called us by name as did the to Concierge Ladies, who went beyond the call to bring us DVD to the cabin. The dining room staff were always polite, although they were always busy, and once they served us a glass of champers, for having to wait, a nice touch. Now perhaps this helped, we had read that the staff were predominantly Indonesian and Pilipino, so we downloaded some "Tourist Phrases" from the Internet, learned a few basic phrases and tried them out on the staff. They probably were amused at our pronunciation, but by the end of the week, it was Salam Pagi, (Good Morning), and a few others. We learned some new words and the staff chatted to us and told us about their lives at home. It was fun.
Dining: The Vista Dining Room served great food. Why go to the Pinnacle? Evidently most passengers felt the same, as The Pinnacle was almost empty most nights. I'll go as far as to say, this was the best eating we have had, it beats Celebrity (we were on the Solstice in November). The As You Wish dining is a problem, it is more As They Wish, but that is because they are super busy.