this was the first time that our family had decided to go on a cruise. after reading just about all the reviews available we booked a cruise to the south pacific for 9 nights, 4 ports of call, for xmas. i waited with baited breath for nine months for the cruise. everyone was so excited. we got to the port early and checked in with no major difficulties. went for lunch at the windjammer and then to our junior suite. the room was of average size with a balcony. it was a little worn but spotlessly clean. i am not going to bore you with a blow for blow account of our holiday so here are some aspects of the holiday you may find of use.
entertainment - our family did not find the entertainment very good. the headline shows in the evening were good but the rest very pedestrian. it may just be us but by the end of the cruise i was really bored to death. if you gamble and like casinos then you're fine, if you like drinking lots of alcohol then you will love it, if you sunbathe and want a tan then the pool area is for you. if you are looking for a variety of entertainment, forget it! takes lots of books to read etc
food - the food was wonderful, especially in the eidelweiss restuarant. a wide variety of just about anything you can think of and lots of it. take only very comfortable clothes (ie. elasticised waisted stuff) cos you are going to be very bloated by the end! there were also lots of sugar-free options in the dessert dept. there is a soft-serve ice-cream machine by the pool which was worked overtime! we bought soft-drink packages which we made very good use of. they are well worth the money.
gym - well equipped gym and walking track
we had a junior suite on deck 8 which is one below the top of the shop. it is worth the extra money i think cos you will be close to everything. infirm or elderly persons may find the movement of the ship dangerous. there were many such people on our cruise as well as wheel-chair users.
internet access was very expensive about four dollars a minute. there is a good little library with some interesting books.
the shopping on board was surprisingly good and at great prices. the jewelry was very competitively priced.
just about everyone took the formal nights seriously, so if you want to wear a tux or evening gown go right ahead! a tux hire is available i think about a hundred bucks a time.
kids club - my kids didn't want to go to the kids club which is no surprise! from talking to some other mums, i deduced that the kids club for those up to about eight years of age was good. the pre-teens were bored and the older teens found their own friends to hang-out with. i think it really depends on the child themselves. the staff make a big effort to make the clubs all fun and exciting.