We ( my sister, a first time cruiser) and I flew to Orlando the day before our cruise started. Stayed at the Embassy Suites near the airport. Nice hotel- free shuttle from the airport and managers reception nightly plus full breakfast in the AM. I had arranged with Cocoa Beach Shuttle for a 10 AM pickup- right on time. Easy 50 minute ride to port, very smooth embarkation process. We avoided the rush in the Windjammer and went to the pool- had thought to pack suits in our carry-on.
Cabin- we had a balcony on deck 6- great service from our cabin steward all week.
Dining- we had the late dinner, enjoyed our tablemates. The food was a bit better than on my cruise last year on the Independence. Our waiter was very blah, though- not attentive nor was he very personable. That said, all the other ship personnel were great. Had dinner one night in Portofino- excellent! Windjammer for breakfast- and dining room one morning.
Excursions- Coco Cay was okay- wear water shoes as the coral rocks are killer. BBQ lunch was fair, you really go for the beach though. On St. Thomas took the Trunk Bay/St. Johns excursion. Loved the beach but too little time. Would have liked to wander around a bit. On St. Martins we did an excursion with Bernard's Tours, with 3 other ladies. Since the morning included a tropical downpour, it was nice to be able to customize our tour. The sun did come out and we made it to Maho to catch the incoming planes and enjoy the beach- try it once.
Entertainment- did not do any shows except the ice show (really good) and the Quest (very funny adult game show). Loved Mike the piano man in Schooners. Went to adult karoke but they need a larger venue.
With 3 sea days, the pools were quite crowded, especially the Solarium pool. The dastardly lounge chair hogs were out in full force- you know who you are!
Overall, can't say enough about the great service and friendly attitude of both staff and passengers. We did not hear complainers/whiners/malcontents at all!
Disembarkation- the easiest ever- fast, efficient!