This was my families first cruise and we absolutely loved it! My family that traveled with us has cruised before and they loved it as well.
Embarkation:We arrived at Port Canaveral around 12:50 and was thru customs and in our room by 2:00. We were told it usually goes a lil faster but there was a storm which seem to slow things down a bit. It was very smooth getting thru and getting on the ship.
Stateroom: We had a cove balcony and it was amazing! There was 9 of us and our rooms were all together and our balconies opened up to one big balcony. It was great sitting out there in the mornings and at night. We were on the port side which was great! It was so private. These rooms are on the 2nd floor right under the lifeboats which provide shade and privacy. You are close to the water which was great for the most part until we traveled thru a tropial storm. (more on that later). Rooms are more spacious than I thought and are decorated in very good taste. The pillows are wonderful!
Ship: The ship is invelievable! It is huge! I loved all the flashy decor. It has alot of comfy spaces to sit and relax. The inside is amazing and beautiful. Outside is great too. Plenty of chairs. We never had a problem getting lounge chairs for nine. The pools are small and we never got in them but the waterslides are great and make up for it. Our ship was sold out and holds 4,000 guests but there was never long lines for anyting. We got good seats at all the shows. Dining room are very nice. All lounges are clean and well kept. Some reviews talk about a smell. We only smelled this when we were at the ports of calls.
Food: We had anytime dining which was great. We had wonderful service in the Scarlet Dining Room. We loved Richardo and he knew our name by the second time we dined. The buffets are good, not excellent but good. My kids loved that you could eat all you wanted 24/7. The pizza and burgers were great and the deli sandwiches were good. The breakfast buffett is also good. Room service food is great!
Entertainment: There is ALWAYS something to do on this ship. The family and adult only comedy was good. The shows in the Encore Theatre were outstanding! Don't miss "Dancing in the Streets". All were good but this one was outstanding.
If you are bored it's your own fault.
Excursions: At the Bahamas we just got a taxi (Patrick) and went to the beach and it was nice. Don't miss out on shopping at the straw market. Great deals. Make an offer and most of the time you will name the price. St. Thomas we used Sunny Liston's Tours and it was fabulous! They are great! We toured the island and took a ferry over to St. John. That place is gorgeous! Go there if you can, you wont regret it. They give a great tour! At St. Maarten we toured with Bernard's Tours. They were great as well. We went toured the island and went to the beach and watchd the airplanes land right over our heads. Amazing! I would reccommend Sunny Liston's and Bernard's Tour groups. They are alot of fun!
Staff: The staff throughout the ship were so nice and helpful. Everyone always spoke and was smiling. I don't see how they do it. Always happy and friendly. We never experienced one unfriendly staff member.
Disembarkation: We went to the dining room and ate breakfast at 8:00am and was thru customs and had our luggage by 10:30. Again smooth getting off the ship.
Overall our cruise was wonderful. We made so many great memories and were sad to leave. We felt like we really got to know some of the staff and one of my daughters cried the last night at the farwell song they played in the dining room. The first night we went thru a tropical storm with 15 ft waves and 60 mph winds. Kinda crazy! The ship moved ALOT! Some of the staff said they have never experienced that kind of rocking before. There was alot of people sick the first two days. After that it was great. I don't get sick so it didn't bother me. My husband and sister-in-law was sick. The medical staff was great in helping me get the right meds for them and it helped them alot.
Even in calm sea's which we had the rest of the trip you can feel that your on a ship. If you get sick be prepared to take along your meds. I honestly have no complaints at all. The staff are at your beckon call at all times and it was wonderful!