What a marvelous experience. The weather for the entire trip and all ports-of-call was absolutely perfect. This, being our first cruise ever, we really didn't know what to expect. The ship personnel seemed to go out of their way to make everything perfect.
Embarkation at San Diego didn't go well, but that is an issue with the port and not the cruise line. There were delays on boarding with lots of standing and waiting. The port people finally set up folding wooden chairs in a covered area between the terminal building and the ship. Debarkation at Ft. Lauderdale was a breeze in comparison.
There must be problems with communications between the shore customer services and the ship because the Amenities ordered before the cruise (flowers and birthday bash) were messed up, but the on-board staff made everything right to my satisfaction. I didn't even need to discuss the issues, once I explained the problems their first offer to resolve it was better than expected. With experiences like that, I could really enjoy the cruise without being frustrated during the cruise about something not done right.
Our cabin was an Ocean View Stateroom on the lowest level. It was on the left and forward from the front bank of elevators. It was easy to get to the elevators and didn't have much traffic in the hall as there were only a few cabins in that direction before it went to crew and staff quarters. In retrospect it was the best cabin on the ship (don't tell them because they might start charging more for it). When traversing the locks in the canal we were all over the ship to see everything and get the right pictures. Exhausting. However, during one short break in our cabin we were able to watch the side of the lock go up as the ship went down. The poor people in their upper level balconies certainly can't get that unique view.
The food in the dining room, buffet, and every other place that we visited was perfect, or pretty close to perfect. If we didn't see something, all we had to do was ask. Again, everyone seemed to go out of their way to cater to us. The cleanliness was impressive. Alcohol gel dispensers all over the ship plus, on entering the restaurant or buffet areas, there was someone there to offer you wipes or alcohol gel. We took a galley tour and was struck on how absolutely clean and new everything was. It certainly would be hard for any illness outbreak to happen on this ship.
Speaking of cleanliness, the food preparation and service areas isn't the only area. Hallways, walls, elevators, deck chairs, EVERYWHERE was constantly getting cleaned and wiped. I don't know how they managed it without inconveniencing the passengers, but they did.
Being first-time cruisers, we were not familiar with what to expect (despite all the great information here on the Cruise Critic site). However, whenever we seemed confused or lost, there was a crew member right there to get us going in the right direction. It didn't matter what the crew member was supposed to be doing or where we might be... housekeeping, maintenance, food service, other officers, or etc., they stopped and provided assistance like there wasn't anything else they had to do. Impressive!
I even think that our cabin steward got a handle on our routine after the first day. Whenever we were out for something (breakfast, shows, pool, shopping, or any event), our room was remade (bed, towels, water, etc.) when we returned. We seldom saw him, but he must have been watching us.
For someone like be that was pretty reluctant about cruising, this was a wonderful eye-opener.