First of all the embarkation was very easy and quick. Got on about 12:30 and went to get something to eat in one of the main dining rooms - very nice lunch and no crowds.
Cabin was nice, about the same size as most balcony rooms on the smaller ships. Bathroom, very very small (shower especially)but it was only for a week.
We were supposed to leave port at 4:00 so we went to our balcony about 3:45 to watch ship leave. They were still loading luggage and supplies.About that same time we see 3 big fire engines and 3 small fire cars pull up and numerous firemen go onto the ship in full gear. Turns out there was a problem in one of the crew's cabins. Carnival left port at 4:30, Disney at about 5:00 or so and we still sat. We didn't leave until 6:30. Oh well, these things happen.
However, I have to say the cruise was enjoyable most of the time. We only went to the swimming pool area on the days we were in port because you just couldn't get a lounge otherwise. People were coming down very early and putting their towels on chairs, not coming back for hours. Probably at lunch or in casino, shopping,etc. They should do what they do on RCCL and pick the towels up so others can sit down. There were very few bartenders on the pool decks so if you wanted something to drink you had to get it yourself.
We went to the main dining areas 5 nights and the food was good. Not a big choice to pick from though, but the service was very good. Free style dining is nice but haven't decided if I would like it all the time. We went to the buffet 2 nights and food there was good as well. It wasn't crowded when we went (about 9:00 pm) but the food was always fresh.
The observation lounge served 2 for 1 martinis from 6:30 to 7:30 and we relaxed each night with another couple we met on the first night out, then went to dinner with them. It was very enjoyable.
The casino was small but slots were paying OK - better than some other cruises we were on. All the restaurants were closed by 11:30 so we didn't eat after then, probably for the best. Sometimes we do enjoy a snack after midnight but that can only happen with room service.
We brought 2 bottles of wine on board and paid a $15 per bottle corkage fee which was really nice. At about 7:50 a glass for wine, it was really a good bargain.
Overall, we had a good time. We have been on 23 other cruises on RCCL, from the Sovereign of the Seas to the Allure - I would say this was somewhere near the experiences on the Sovereign, a smaller ship. Service was very good, food was good, entertainment pretty good, prices as usual. We didn't feel nickel & dimed as many people said - it is no different than RCCL, you just need to know what you want to buy and buy it - ignore the rest.
The ship was leaving for a repositioning cruise the day we came back to port. When we first got on, they were bringing all new chairs and stuff on board, I guess for the cruise to Europe. Beds were comfortable, chairs were comfortable, food and service good. It was very relaxing.
As to BAD, lots of teenagers on board with nothing to keep them occupied. They played in the elevators, wandered around the ship day and night with no supervision, and on one occasion, we were met by a group of them on deck 5 and they seemed to have been drinking. I do not blame only the ship for this but the parents or chapperones they were with. There was no dicipline. The cruise line needs to have some sort of teen program to keep these kids busy.