I think a cruise is really what you make of it, and even though some things were not perfect, I loved the trip and have already booked on the 2012 Westbound TA.
The ship was new and clean and shiney, and nothing broken or worn. My cabin seemed very large - i could dance in it and the 3 deep drawers under the TV help all my non-hanging clothes. Lots of hangers in the closet. The tap over the bathroom sink needs a longer spout - you need to turn it on full, otherwise it actually dribbles down the outside of the basin and onto the bench. Very nice bathroom otherwise. No clothesline in the shower :(
The heart of the ship is the 12-deck high Atrium lobby with the 8 glass elevators. Thankyou to the couple I saw dry-humping in one of the elevators... that is burned onto my retina's. Lots of beautiful lounges - something for every taste and volume level. The Martini Bar seats 34 people and is standing room only before dinner and after the shows, but if you get there in-between it's deserted and you get a good seat. Nightly dance bands played very loudly down in the Lobby, so you could not talk very easily at the martini bar, but if you just wanted to sit with your drink and listen to the music and watch people dancing, that's fine. Quasar - the nightclub, was always empty. Bistro on 5 had great staff who always remembered which coffee, juice and crepes I liked for breakfast. Oceanview Buffet was often crowded, but the food was good. VERY grumpy Pizza guy and sad face pasta guy - what was that about?? Lawn Club Grill is fantastic - the staff were thrilled if you accepted their invitations to get up and help prepare food. The Fillet Mignon and the Lobster macaroni Cheese there were amazing. Do bring a sweater or jacket though - it's quite breezy there, even with the heaters on. The Hideaway was my favourite place. Lots of odd recesses to climb into and hide with your diary, iPod or a good book, while enjoying their coffee and getting all the natural light coming down from the atrium. Often people had afternoon naps there, while the pianist played down in the lobby. Also, an amazing selection of Teas served at Cafe Albacchio - either hot or iced. Ensemble Lounge is a very dark jazz lounge, shared by most of the speciality restaurants. Nice place to have an affair... Q'sine... HMM glad i tried it, but would not go again. Staff were great, and the food was very good, but SO much of it, and you kinda had to play with it to eat it. Sucking ice pea soup out of a chemistry set with a straw... Just not my idea of a dinner. The main dining room - things to really be warned about... If you go Select, you will be tucked away on the upper level. Only the Set dining people get the main level where all the action is. Also, if you go select and you don't pre-book, you will almost never get a window table. The longest we had to queue was 5 minutes, but they have a line for those with reservations and another line for the walk-ins and you just felt a little "naughty" if you had not reserved. The dining room was quite dark, hard to read the menus and the food was nice, but nothing spectacular. Gym was light, and well equipped. At 6am sharp all the treadmills were occupied. Note - the funnels do smoke alot, and we heard there was the smell of engine smoke from the aft balconys. Unlike the Gas turbine M class, this ship has four V16 Diesels. And with the two funnels always floodlit at night, we would go up to the lawn and see them absolutely pouring smoke.