We are first time cruisers so we weren't quite sure on what to expect, although I have been reading Cruise Critic since July, trying to get a feel for what to look out for. We arrived in Baltimore around 10:00am and we were herded in and out in a very timely fashion. From the point of entry to the time we were able to get on the ship took all of maybe an hour. We were very pleased with our room. It was clean and very neat. We had a wonderful view with a 125ft balcony. As we left port around 2:00pm the sail off was quite peaceful, no issues and a smooth ride. We went to dinner that night at Dave's Steakhouse and it was great. The steak was cooked perfectly, the service was great, the waitresses were all very polite and friendly. Although the dinner did take at least two and half hours (I have never had a steak dinner that took that long), it was very formal but good (That night it was Cruise Causal). The shows were good as well, the entertainment kept you tapping your feet.
As for the food, Normandie was great, fine food with mediocre service. I noticed that there were some people that were not served within a timely fashion. I am not sure if that is a waiter deal or not. People were seated at the same time we were but we were served last, so I wasn't impressed with their service (it was the first time we went during the week we were on board). We went on the Friday night we left Freeport, Bahamas. Food on the Lido deck was not bad, selection was limited but you didn't go hungry. Now the trip was great in spite of the smaller issues, but during the last night of the cruise there were kids running up and down the 6th floor corridor without any adult supervision. When my husband opened the door to take a look, one of them apologized for waking us up and said that it wasn't him. Other than that it was nice, but I now know what I will do different if I go on another cruise.