I know you get what you pay for and this was a well discounted cruise but we went on this ship 10 months ago, in the same stateroom, and the ship has definitely gone downhill.
Embarkation was straightforward and efficient. The public areas clean and comfortable, though too much space is given to the casino (for a European market), the photo shop and jewellery store, the latter two being deserted during most parts of the day. The pool area was clean and bright and guests were valient in their attempts to sunbathe on quite cool days!. Finding a seat in the library, foyer - which was the hub of the ship - and other open areas on sea days was impossible.
Dining was dire. The food in the MDR was usually cold, stodgy, lacked flavour, often either over cooked (chicken) or under cooked (fish) and vegetables were scarce. The Freestyle dining meant waiting for 15-20 minutes every night for a table, unless you wanted to eat after nine, and even when sharing a table. This time was not sufficient for you to "relax in a bar" over a drink, as was suggested to you. In the Garden Cafe the situation was worse and guests joked that you could get anything you wanted besides a table and chair. Tea became scarse halfway through the cruise and the coffee was ghastly. The waiting staff, who were usually friendly, were often overworked and did not have time to clear tables yet alone help guests with drinks, etc. No trays in this buffet area meant you spent ages traipsing backward and forwards in order to collect what you needed for a meal. We went to two of the speciality restaurants, the Chinese was good but the Italian was of a lower standard than an average high street restaurant. The fee paying restaurnats were mainly deserted except for the Tempenyaki, which was full each night.
The mini-suite we had was comfortable but was showing its age. However, it was dirty. On embarkation we found a jumper, stiff with age/dirt between the sofa and the door curtain; there were quavers and a CD cover under the bed. Mirrors, wood laminate and horizontal surfaces all showed finger marks and other stains. The bed had two matress toppers and was still lumpy.
The entertainment is a positive feature of this ship, however, the main shows had not changed in 10 months, nor had the quizzes, lectures, etc.
The reputation this ship/cruise line has for nickle and diming was well deserved and a main topic of conversation between guests was in relation to how they were feeling ripped off.
For us, the highlight of the cruise was the itinerary and our fellow guests, a very international mix, who were overwhelmingly charming and friendly.