The embarkation process is quick and was on the boat in 15 minutes.
The public areas are exceptional, royal promenade is always flowing with people. The boardwalk has the carosel, Johnny Rockets, Rita Cantina, candy shop, ice cream shop and a hot dog stand, which was great and free 5 types of dogs and the trimmings. The aqua theatre is an excellent venue with two large video screens. Central park is also nice with piped in bird sounds and lots of lush vegetation. A lot has been said about rising tide bar but it seemed hardly used, the fountains under it were more exciting than the bar itself, it goes up every 15 minutes. The casino is huge with smoking allowed on the starboard side, didn't like that but what can you do. The comedy club is a nice quaint venue for 120 people and studio B nice as well.
The food is ok, not bad not exceptional but what can you expect when you feed 5900 guests?
We ate at windjammer a couple lunches and it was ok. What has been said here is true, the layout is horrible in windjammer too close and tight for the number of people eating, they need to check celebrity solstice for a good buffet layout! Chops grill had the best food of the cruise but it should be for 25 dollars extra. Johnny Rockets is good for 4.95 a person, they do serve a pretty good free breakfast. Central Park cafe was pretty good with a nice roast beef sandwich and made to order pressed sandwiches plus soup and have it your way salad. Sorrentos has pizza always and you can get them to prepare a pizza the way you want it. My only food rub is yogurt and ice cream you can only get frozen yogurt at the pool area for a few hours a day and it was never really frozen but runny, wipeout cafe has it but closes at 6 they have a ice cream shop but they charge 4 dollars for it. Lots of choices but as with most cruise lines they want you to pay for the quality we used to get for free!
The ports are a sideshow in my opinion the ship is the attraction, lines were hardly a problem,sometimes in Windjammer but could always find a spot, incidentally on you tv menu they restaurant availability that has a bar that back and forth according to the number of people in the various venues. For example at noon the windjammer was in the red near the full line but Ritas was 1/4 full in the green, a great touch. Also, there are video monitors near the elevators on every floor that have the cruise compass and restroom finds with directions like map quest, Venue locations are on there and near the Adagio restaurant the menus is posted electronically.
As I said before I would go again but only with friends or kids. If you like exciting, fast paced action and lots of kids activities as well as adult this boat is for you. If you like great service, great food and laid back style go Celebrity or Princess. If you get bored on this boat it is your fault!