Overall, I really enjoyed this cruise. It provided a relaxing a fun 4 days in the sun. Since we literally walked off one cruise ship to another, there was a lot of comparisons made.
The embarkation process wasn't as smooth as the first cruise. The staff was not nearly as happy to be there as we were! Because the US Coast Guard was performing an inspection, we were held up for over an hour. When the time came to board, the photographers slowed everything down by trying to get photos of everyone boarding. Too many people were boarding at one time and the lunch process got jammed up with too many people. They did offer to hold carryon luggage in one of the bars until you were able to get in your state room. This was a nice option.
The pool was small, but the four hot tubs in the middle always had space for one more. I liked the hot tub in the front of the boat near the wading pool. Since there was a much older crowd on this cruise, the wading pool wasn't very busy. Getting a bartender to this part of the ship was almost non existent. (I think I saw one the whole time). Pool side bar service was definitely lacking on this cruise.
There was no serious hawking of products which I had seen on other cruises. With the exception of the wine steward who asked us constantly if we wanted a bottle instead of a glass, no one, including the photographers were harassing you to purchase something.
We had a stateroom with a balcony. It had a large round window and sliding glass door which offered a lot of light. I don't think we will ever cruise without a balcony again. This added a really nice aspect to the trip that we didn't have before. At the end of the day, I'd sit out on the balcony getting the last bit of sun. We definitely used our stateroom more as a result. Also left the door open during the night and was lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves. There were full privacy panels between stateroom balconies which gave a great degree of privacy.
The beds were comfortable, but the pillows were a problem. They give you one flat one and one large one. Sounds good, but both of us had a rough night sleep because of the pillows. Next time we will bring our own. The lights over the bed have a shade that make it difficult to prop up in bed. The linens were a good quality.
The bathroom had a round shower and the built in vanity had plenty of storage space. This was one of the nicer bathrooms and although small, I never felt cramped.
Both the door to the hall and the balcony door were difficult to close. The cruise line would leave messages and notes on the outside of the stateroom door. My preference would have been to put it under the door.
Food on this cruise was a mixed bag. I really did,not like the buffet. The foods did not change frequently, there were a lot of high carb comfort foods and processed foods. The set up made it difficult to get in and out of the buffet area. They do not provide trays,, so you have to go back numerous times for drinks, soup etc. After the first day, we ate all our meals in the dining room. With flex time dining, we could come and go as we pleased. As a result, we never had the same waiter and no one ever knew our name or our preferences. This was something I enjoyed on other cruises. The food in the dining room was excellent. Serving size was small, but more then adequate. On a few occasions we asked for more of something and never had a problem. Service was incredibly slow. The first night we ate there, dinner took two hours and we missed a show. At times it appeared that the staff was confused or "not ready" to serve.
One complaint my husband had was the lack of lemonade. He is not a tea drinker, so was left to drink water. The water tasted different depending on where you got it from. My complaint would be the soft serve ice cream was a poor quality, it was only available during certain hours and there was staff to serve it.
The entertainment was fun, cheesy at times, but fun. The comedian was excellent. Related to all age groups and seemed to really enjoy himself. The variety show and comedy routines were not Vegas quality, but fun none the less. The newlywed type game was great fun, although we were all holding our breath that the older couple would get hurt doing the physical stunts. Even their competitors were impressed and gave the cheap champagne prize to the older couple for their efforts.
This was a very relaxing cruise, and although I didn't particularly like the plexiglass wind screens on the decks, I could always go back to the balcony in my room.
The room had a small sofa, a mini bar which we didn't use, and a room safe in the large closet.