this was our first family cruise. we traveled with our 4 and 5 year old daughters. we had connecting inside state rooms (as our youngest is not a good sleeper and we dicided this was the best cabin choice for our family).
we embarked quite quickly: we were in and on in less than an hour!
this was the second week of the dreamworks extravaganza. we attended TWO character breakfasts (NO FEE). each breakfast had 3 characters come out individually and each child was able to have a photo with them. we danced, the food was great. pictures were taken by us parents--not the cruise personnel.
the dreamworks parade was awesome. the walkways fill quickly. it's on the 5th floor. i believe it was the 2nd night of cruising. 530p and 1130p (not sure why such a late show). the show was about 30 mins in length. loads of fun, music and dancing. you quickly recognize faces from the workers on the ship.
our meals were average, what i expected. you certainly were able to order what and how much you wanted. our waitstaff was friendly and even though we did "my time dining", we had our two waiters the entire trip (which we requested). suad, the lead hostess on deck 5 MDR, was FANTASTIC. exceptionally personable. we met her upon boarding the ship (at the "my time dining" table). that's where she suggested signing up for the character breakfast the following morning. that night at dinner suad greeted the four of us by name and cabin # before we could even say hello! QUITE impressive! she has an infectious smile. my only "gripe" with the dining room (all areas of eating as a matter of fact), was the fact that i felt there was always dishes in need of being picked up at the table. far too crowded, and with my 2 little ones i like things to be cleared quickly so as not to break anything. besides, who wants to look at dirty dishes anyway?
we spent a lot of time at the sports deck. the staff were great (except the one worker from the Grenadines (??i think that's where she is from)--she wasn't all that friendly or helpful--the ONLY crew member that i encountered this with.
lucy at the sports deck was AWESOME! a joy and a great smile! too bad the liberty is losing her this week as she is getting transferred to the oasis (or was it the allure)....lucky THEM! with lucy's help, I GOT TO THE TOP OF THE ROCK WALL--first time trying. my husband did the flowrider several times, i skipped this hilarious not to be missed event! :-)
i had read many reviews on the pool being too cold. i did not find this. it by no means is warm, but it is comfortable. and i don't like cold water! the pool itself was never overcrowded, but i found the "saving" of lounge chairs to be beyond annoying. towels left on the chairs for hours (in prime locations too)before anyone showed up to sit in them. then, once on a lounge chair, you felt like you were in a sardine can. there just isn't a lot of room to move around.
we used the gym and enjoyed our experience there.
we saw a few shows which we enjoyed. the ice show was fantastic!
we ate at both speciality restaurants of which i would go back to chops again. the food is out of this world!
sorrento's and cafe promenade were great. we loved their new menus everyday.
i had read many comments about the windjammer and people being annoyed with the same food. there are A TON of options. ie; breakfast options include: hot/cold cereal, bagels, toast, muffins, pancakes, waffles, eggs, hard boiled eggs, bacon, sausage, salad, TONS of fruit, omelets etc.... not exactly sure what those that are not happy with are looking for.
i find it rather odd that one gets charged for ice cream and cupcakes on deck 5, but not pizza or the cafe promenade. and johnny rockets with a $5/pp cover. C'MON!, really?! not to mention the upcharge for the specialty restaurants. how cheap is soda?! very!--so you have to pay a ton to drink it?