Well first off, if you don't really get along with some family members, don't go.
My problem was that I really didn't know some family members until this cruise.
I'll just make a list of the HIGHS and LOWS of our trip. Just my opinions.
1. Embarkation was a mess right from the get go. It was raining that day. Parking garage was not organized. People were doing exactly what the porters were telling them not to. Had to go to one place and stand in line for a long while. Then we checked-in and had to go into a huge room with thousands of other people and wait. The employees that were trying to tell people what to do and where to go didn't have mega-phones, so nobody could hear them. Everyone was trying to tell everyone else what they were saying. Then we had to follow an employee outside and then to another place inside where we had to stand in line again for awhile. We got our first picture taken when we were grouchy and wet. Then we stood in line again to actually get on the gang plank to get on the ship. We had our picture taken again right before getting on the gang plank. Then it was raining harder and we had to run with our carry-on luggage across the gang plank to get on the ship. It was so crowded when we got into the Lobby of the Splendor. I did notice how PINK everything was. I absolutely HATE PINK. We got our unlimited soda card for $103 for the week. It says $6/day and my husband thought it was $6 for the week. That was the beginning of the GRRRRR.
2. The food was mediocre at best, though the burrito bar on the buffet was pretty good. Everyone wanted to sit by the windows in the buffet seating areas.
It was very crowded and people were not very friendly. Now I have to say that most of the staff on the ship were very friendly, some weren't, but only a few.
3. Finding your way around the ship was difficult. I had researched this ship months before our cruise and thought I knew how to get around. I was wrong. It took me until the 5th day of the cruise to finally figure out how to get around.
4. The dinner in the Gold Pearl restaurant was really good the first few nights, then it wasn't so much after that. I was really disappointed with their Thanksgiving meal. All we got was turkey with cranberry sauce on it and some really gross dressing. I don't like cranberry sauce. I had to ask for mashed potatoes and gravy separately. Where was the green bean casserole and the yams with marshmallows on top? Didn't get any of that. No eggnog either.
5. Even with stabalizers the ship rocked back and forth quite a bit. One night at dinner it was rocking back and forth so much that the wait staff were having a hard time keeping their balance. Stuff on the table was sliding around too.
Especially DO NOT DRINK A LOT OF ALCOHOL and then try to go to sleep, you will be spending a lot of time in your cabin bathroom. Luckily it's not real small.
6. The entertainment was not very good. Mostly for children, but some adult stuff too. You HAD to be a bit drunk to enjoy the comedians I thought. The only time I really had a good time was after I'd had 3 Long Island Ice Teas and went to the casino. The first dealer at the roulette table was very nice, but the second dealer was not very nice. He seemed like he really didn't want to be there. I wanted to tip the fist dealer, but I had reached my limit of 4 Long Island Ice Teas and couldn't really see well anymore, so I couldn't find him.
I was glad I only lost $40 and you have to start out with $100 on the table.
7. The contests they had for the guests were dumb to me, but others liked them.
8. The elevator areas were always crowded and people were standing in the stairwells when it was the dinner times.
9. The music was way too loud on the Lido deck and the entertainment for dinner.
10. During pictures of the whole family on the stairs in the Lobby area, people were waiting around for their pictures to be taken and they were very rude. I heard one lady say "Well just because we were 15 mins. late getting here, doesn't mean that THEY should cut in front of us like that", as she started to push me aside. I pushed back and looked at her like "Don't even try it." She then got behind me and whispered something to someone next to her. Rude people.
11. Then debarkation was a bit better than embarkation, but people don't listen.
It was said over the intercom to everyone NOT to gather in the Lobby area. They were to wait in the Spectacular, Spectacular room, or the waiting areas on the 5th deck, or on the Lido deck. Some people did wait in those areas, but some people didn't listen and waited in the Lobby area. It was so crowded in there.
I don't like crowds much and I get rather mean when people push, step on, trip, or are mean to me. So, I push, step on and are mean to them back. I don't trip.
Now the HIGHS
1. Being on a huge ship for the first time was cool. Looking out at the water.
2. The housekeeping staff and our steward were absolutely fantastic. I LOVED my towel animals. I got a puppy, an elephant (that my husband broke accidentally), a frog, and a monkey. On the last night we got a huge heart with chocolates in it.
3. Our wait staff at dinner were phenomenal. Very nice and tried to get us all that we desired. I absolutely loved Cha-Cha. She's a very nice person and an excellent waitress. Our drink guy, Janet' ?, was awesome too. It only took him the first night to know what we wanted to drink for dinner and then he just brought it to us from then on.
4. The water slide was fun too. I went up the stairs and down the slide maybe 15 times or more with my great niece and great nephew in-laws. Then we went to the Lido pool and raced until I couldn't do it anymore. Trying to be 10 years old in a 49 year old body kind of hurts when you're not in shape. Plus, I burned my knee on the water slide because I wanted to go faster and slid sideways so that my knee scraped against the area of the slide that had no water. But, it was so much fun I forgot all about the pain.
5. Hanging out with family members that I really enjoyed being around.
That's about it.
It comes down to I'm not really a cruise person. I like driving vacations better.