This was our first cruise and I would give the cruse a solid B+ to A-. The ship was practically new and the staff was extremely polite and helpful. We were worried after reading a few critical reviews that were not very favorable. Again, we were first time sailors, (not travelers), so please factor that into the comments here.
Our cabin was #8079 and it had a balcony. The balcony was a "bump out" which meant that it was longer than those cabins which were 4 or 5 floors above it. But being bumped out, we found things like cigaratte ashes and fruit loops on the floor just about every AM.
I noticed that our cabin door handle was broken, and it was fixed within 24 hours of sailing, without us reporting it. Housekeeping delivered extra towels when requested. The "curved" cabin was spacious enough for 2 average size adults. The shower and toilet were a little tight. If your extra large, you will be tight. Your feet will go off the bed if you are over 6 foot in height. (minor inconvience)
Our sink did not splash over, and it was located on the opposite side of room from the bed. The (6) TV channels were basic CNN, BBC, etc., with the Sales Channel (#16) being a little bit over-done. Sales pitches seemed constant....Discount VIP cards for onshore shopping.....silver, diamonds, rugs, resturants, etc.
There is no better time to purchase diamonds. Really(?) A bit over done.
Suggestion: When boarding the ship on day #1 they could have told us that the rooms weren't ready yet, but the "Garden" was open for lunch.
The sit-down resturants were all very good. (B+ to A-) Think of it as being comparable, or better than, to an upscale urban restraunt. However, not better than "large city" dinning.
(We have experience traveling throughout Europe and elsewhere, so we have an idea about good food)
The Garden Cafe (buffet) was excellent for breakfast and lunch. (carving stations) We did just the regular dinning for most of the trip, and it was fine. We did go to the French Bistro one night. It was excellent. Escargo (the best ever), filet, and lobster. Well worth the extra money spent.
We saw lots of large family groups at just about every meal. (7-10 people) Nice to see families on vacation.
We did the Blue Man Show, Legends, Circus, and the Comedy Club twice. All were VG.
We did the "regular seating" for the Circus show. First, be careful, there are two lines in front of the theater. One for regular, and one for special.
The "regular seating" guests go upstairs and are seated in a "cicular balcony". Not a bad seat in the house. If you want to have a chance of being in the show on the bottom floor, do the special seating.
Porta Maya....4 hour bus trip to Mayan Ruins. C
(better choice would have been to take a bathing suit and gone swimming right at the port!)
Roatan.....4 hour Maya Key Island Getaway.....boat ride to small Island for beach and animals. C
(Roatan is a very small port....the beach had sand fleas (got us) and the water was dirty. (as in Hudson river) ....bus ride around island would have been better)
Cozumel....3-4 hour Bus tour was OK. Little bit commerical and pushy. C (trinkets and tequiella) Downtown was really commerical. (more trinkets)
Wife had a manicure on board. One of the best she has ever had! A+
Very large workout area with a digital scale. A+
The 8 ships elevators were adaquate except when the shows let out. A
Pool chairs impossible to find on sailing days! 1,500 towels, but no people! C
Note for the Captain.....
The first day we had to meet (H1) in the Epic Theater (in the bow) and it smelled slightly of cigarette smoke. Smoke doesn't really bother me, but it did surprise me. (9 month old ship)
Several reviewers said that the smoke from the Casino was bothersome, and I would agree that it was noticeable. I couldn't believe that the smoke would travel 3/4 of the length of the ship and settle in the bow. Decks #5,6, and 7 are all open and connected. Didn't smell it that much out in the open, but did notice it down in the bottom of the theater.
If they can't control it through engineering and filtration, they should restrict it.