Okay, here goes....I will not go through all the other review information like embark and debark. It was just as people have described already.
Tip #1 - You will save yourself time, money and major headaches if you bring your very own big beach towel. We had two excursions where towels were promised and not delivered! Also, you have to scan in and out for towels and risk a $25 charge if you forget to return their towels.
Tip #2 - Extension cord is invaluable. The plug placement is ridiculous and you have to get down on your hands and knees to find it under the desk.
Tip #3 - Book your own excursions when you get off in port. Both excursions through the ship were AWFUL. Blackbeard Beach Cay was a joke, shabby, mildewed lounge chairs, no towels (see above) BUT there were some for sale - a recurrent theme through our cruise. St. Thomas (St. John on your own)was also a joke. The ferry designed to hold 86 held at least 300 people...jammed together. Instead try More
and take Island Venture (Clyde) not crowded and free rum punches....fun!! The third excursion we did on our own and it was great, cheaper and much nicer.
Tip #4 - Avoid the Windjammer if at all possible. Room service breakfast is quite nice and prompt, most venues are crowded for breakfast. Solarium is a nice peaceful lunch spot.
Tip #5 - Skip the restaurants that charge extra!! We spent $30 to get into Chops and it was our WORST dinner of the cruise. Tastelesss filets, slow to non existent service and I had an upset stomach the whole next day. The MDR is very good food and service, honestly! Also good for breakfast and lunch as not too many go there.
Tip #6 - If you dont sign up ahead for shows, you will be in triple lines around the block as 'standby' to get in to any of them. They are good shows, especially Hairspray! Comedy Club also very funny.
Tip #7 - Check your bill constantly on TV. I was doublebilled right off the bat and am still dealing with another double billing.
The Royal Promenade is what our group called "The Mall" - no water views, strictly retail opportunities. Noisy and unappealing. Like your local mall at home, who needs it!
Central Park was beautiful and we tried to walk through here on our way everywhere, it was quite spectacular. Cabins are small and poorly designed in my opinion. We could barely get in our closet and the shower is tiny. For the money we spent on the balcony room, I was disappointed compared with other lines balcony rooms. Balcony was okay though, decent size with two chairs and a table and we did move (per another review) the coffee table out there to get more space.
In summation, I would say that there are some nice things about this ship, but it is not an experience I will do again. Give me a nice Freedom class (3000) ship any day. So far, of all my cruises, I prefer Carnival line for good and reasonable excursions, roomy cabins and good food.