My wife and I cruised on Chandris Line out of San Juan in the late "80's and loved the experience even though it was very inexpensive and last minute. Food was the best surprise. All else was very good but not enough to get us hooked on cruising.
Our next cruise (3-day)was on an older Carnival ship out of FL to Nassau with our 14 year old daughter and her friend in 1996. Quality was lower and entertainment for the teens was terrible, thus turning us off cruising.
Our March 2010 cruise was thoroughly researched before booking. We quickly focused on Celebrity with other premium lines such as Holland & Princess being considered.
Concierge veranda cabin was great with more room and comfort than expected. Food in MDR was good but no wow factor. (My wife voted very good; I voted fair.) we ate twice in Normandie and it was well worth the extra of $30 pp.
Spa was great and used daily. Excursions were good but we only took a few, favoring instead to do our own thing with other guests we met.
We chose fixed dining and did not enjoy one of the couples and quickly switched (just in time) to open dining which worked out well.
Aqua spa breakfast & lunches were good and much more healthy than regular choices but sadly had fewer accessible hours, especially if you went ashore.
Passengers were much heavier than expected, which in retrospect, made sense, given the unheathly food choices that were most popular.
Wine choices were very good and we chose the top end that allowed for a 15% discount over $75 and bought by-the-glass on occasion as well.
Only regret was not choosing Normandie for 2 more meals.