On the positive side, the ship looks good and is constantly being cleaned and polished. The new entertainment company is far superior to the former troop. The staff continues to be the ship's finest asset. Lorraine, the cruise director, is a gem!
On the negative side, unfortunately, there are just too few staff. This was very apparent in all dining and bar venues. In Compass Rose, the main dining room, after being seated, we waited and waited. We had to ask the waiter several times for wine service. On one occasion, we had to get the attention of a dining room manager in order to ask for wine service. Waits between courses, both at dinner and lunch, were lengthy, sometimes 20-30 minutes. Several times the wait staff apologized profusely for the long waits and explained they were having issues in the kitchen.
Reading the dinner menus in Compass Rose and LaVeranda, the food sounded like gourmet cuisine. Yet, when it was served, it was presented artfully but tasted bland and ordinary. In Prime 7 and Signatures the food was quite good. In Signatures, some of the dishes were exceptional. Lunches in all areas, LaVeranda, the pool deck, and Compass Rose were mediocre at best. The poolside hamburgers were thin patties that were often overcooked. Sandwiches were presented with a single piece of thinly cut meat.
Before dinner, in the various bar/lounge areas, the hot canapes were lukewarm, if warm at all.
Presently, excursions are included as part of the cruise fare. These, too, were uninspired. We would prefer to pay-as-we-go and select what we would like to pay for. Again, the ship's tour desk were knowledgeable and hard working but the tours were forgettable.
All in all, the new pricing of all-inclusive with the six star luxury tag are hollow promises when the cruisers' experiences are more ordinary than exceptional.