Arrived at Port of Miami at 10:30am. We parked in a garage at the port - $20 a day, but for our peace of mind, it was worth it. Somewhat of a hike from the garage -- I saw signs for a shuttle, but never saw an actual shuttle. Went through security, and they made sure the wine that I packed in my carry-on was actually wine. My husband walked straight through without them asking him to open his suitcase. I saw them taking away alcohol from some -- not throwing it away, but labeling it to return to them on the last night of the cruise. There was no check to see if we had only two bottles of wine or the size of each bottle (we had two large ones). We showed our passports, filled out our health forms, and boarded the ship at 11:10am! Very fast! Had lunch at the Ocean Cafe -- not as crazy as I thought it would be. Cabins were ready about 1:30pm.
We had a balcony cabin, midship, on deck seven. Cabin was wonderful! Comfortable beds. Beautifully appointed with a lot of storage. Closet has two doors that open for hanging clothes plus a shelf on top. One door opens and has six drawers, a shelf, the safe, and a shelf on top. Each nightstand has two drawers. There is a unit that holds the refrigerator, a drawer, the flat screen TV, and then a cabinet above with two shelves. The desk/vanity doesn't have a middle drawer. Has storage on one side for additional glasses; open storage on the other side. I emptied the refrigerator out for our cokes, wine, coffee creamer, etc. and stored the mini bar items right next to the refrigerator in the cabinet (my room attendant suggested this). We stored all of our suitcases under the bed. Our daughter slept on a small pull out sofa next to the glass sliding door and said it was comfortable. Nothing needs updating in these cabins besides the lamps - rusting. There does need to be additional bedside reading lights added. Bathroom was very small, but fine. Has two corner shelves plus plenty of storage below sink. Tile floor/mirror needs updating. Great shower.
Ship looks great!! Very little looks like it needs updating besides the public bathrooms -- not bad at all, but that is really the only thing I could find! The Metropolitan dining room is beautiful as is the Olympic. We loved deck five -- wonderful Cova Cafe plus lots of great seating areas. Theatre is beautiful. We missed the wrap around deck for walking/afternoon reading. Back deck on ten is very nice. Three sets of elevators -- never had to wait long at all. The crew is amazing!
Overall very good! Most delicious treats ever at the Cova Cafe! Almond croissants in the morning; incredible salmon sandwiches in the afternoon. Holland America seems to have more variety at lunch and less lines in the Ocean Cafe (Lido). Dinner was always great as were the desserts. We did Select Dining -- usually around 8pm - and never had to wait.
Evening shows were at 7 and 9pm, and we very much enjoyed them. James Stephens III, the comic, was hilarious. Loved the music around the ship before and after dinner.
FUN FACTORY/CHILDREN'S PROGRAM:
Wonderful! Our nine year old daughter spent every single moment that she could in the Fun Factory. Made so many new friends -- really had a great time. The counselors were terrific. I really cannot speak highly enough about how great this program was. It was Spring Break, and there were almost 300 kids on board. They all seemed to be having a wonderful time.
Always love Key West!! Wish we could have stayed longer. Not a big fan of Cozumel, but we loved staying on the ship that day as it emptied out.
A wonderful vacation! Would definitely recommend, and ship will even become more beautiful after she is overhauled in a few weeks. If people can come up with complaints about this ship, they are really trying hard or are extremely difficult to please! Celebrity and Holland America definitely remain our favorites!!