The limo brought us to the port by 11:00, and we were on-board within an hour. We set up our purser's account first thing, and bought soda packages for my wife and Dad's fiancEe. A little lunch at the Windjammer -- quite tasty, and time to explore.
There was the obvious comparisons between this ship and others we've been on (most recently, the Carnival Legend for my wife and I); the decor is much more subdued compared to Carnival -- it's nautical-themed, as opposed to the over-the-top casino-esque decor favored by Carnival. The public areas seemed more open and expansive, and there were fewer bars.
When it came time to go to our cabin, we were surprised by how roomy it felt. Now, no mistake, we were in an interior cabin, with a whopping 119 square feet of space, so it was cozy. But, the way the stateroom is laid out, there's enough space for two people if you're willing to share it. However, I did feel badly for the four girls in the stateroom across the hall... that must have been cramped! I will note that, if the beds are in queen bed configuration, you don't have a nightstand, so expect to be hunting for your glasses, etc, on the desk. Also, the bed is in a niche formed by the wall of the cabin and the backside of the bathroom, so whomever sleeps on the right of the bed will have difficulty getting out of bed without disturbing their partner.
The in-stateroom bathroom was similarly tiny. Having two full-grown adults in the bathroom at the same time would have been well-nigh impossible. There was just enough room to shower in the shower, and I couldn't imagine how a woman could shave her legs in it. Water pressure was pretty poor (to the point of making cleaning off a used toothbrush difficult), and there seemed to be no way to get hot water out of the sink at first. We figured out the last day how to get hot water out of the sink (set the shower to hot water before you turn on the sink. Weird, but it worked.).
Our luggage arrived while my wife was sunning herself on the deck, so I put our clothes and assorted toiletries away. Another thing to note with the interior -- there's just barely enough space for two people to hang all their clothes. If we were in a triple or quad, I feel we'd have been living at least partially out of suitcases.
I'll skip the bulk of the port reviews here, with the exception of noting that we didn't get to go to Coco Cay, as there were strong winds -- 20 knots, according to our waiter -- that would have made tendering dangerous. So, instead, we spent two days in Nassau. There was some grumbling amongst the passengers (including my wife), but ultimately I feel it was a good decision; much better to be safe in port than on a forced sea day, or even worse, to be anchored out near our destination and unable to actually go there.
Dinner service all 4 nights was adequate; the food itself was quite tasty, but there were some miscues during service itself (eg, my wife ordered a Sprite before dinner the first night... that arrived after the desserts. My father and I ordered NY strip steaks another night... and our orders were reversed, with him getting my blue steak, and me receiving his medium-rare.).
My major service complaint was with the wine; we ordered a bottle of wine one night -- Belle Glos "Las Alturas" -- and we were presented with a completely different wine from the same producer -- Belle Glos "Meiomi." At retail, it's a difference of around $15-$25 a bottle (Meiomi is less expensive), but since Meiomi wasn't on the wine list, I wonder if the more-expensive Las Alturas was what we were almost charged (at a restaurant, I'd expect the difference to be around $25-$35 a bottle). However, as the username indicates, I'm pretty wine-savvy, and refused the incorrect bottle. Turns out our second choice was out of stock, so we had to go to a third choice. Royal Caribbean, if you're reading this, update your wine list to reflect what's in stock, or give the dining room staff the ability to do so (perhaps a printed-menu wine list that can be easily updated by removing and changing pages, rather than the pre printed one that the ship has? Heck, even a sticker covering out-of-stock items on the pre printed menu would make sense); it's a very irritating experience, and in fact smacks of trying to cheat your customers that may not know better. It did seem that this ship didn't have a sommelier or wine steward aboard, as the person handling the problem was our headwaiter.
However, even with that annoyance (which is admittedly minor, and essentially out of the hands of any of the crew we interacted with), the trip was a great deal of fun, and I'd happily recommend the experience to anyone looking for a short vacation. Just make sure to under-pack, and perhaps bring an AM/PM alarm clock.
Kudos to Jose and Roxanne, our waiter and assistant, George, our headwaiter (this cruise is the only time any of us, with around 20 cruises under our collective belts, can remember having any serious interaction with our head waiter; the first night, he was right there, asking if we had any special requests -- my wife indicated she wanted an off-menu dessert, a bananna split, and he made it happen!), and Garnet, our cabin steward. They overcame, collectively, some miscues that could have been more than annoying, and did it with smiles, grace, and good humor.