This was my first cruise and I can say I will certainly go again soon! I will try and be as detailed as I can and please keep in mind I'm new to cruising so some things may just be the norm on all cruises.
My wife and I arrived at about noon in Tampa on our day of departure. We parked right across the street from the ship. Cost was $15/day which I'm sure there were cheaper places, but this was pretty conveinent and seemed secure. We walked our bags across to the terminal and at first I thought things were moving quickly. Then we turned the corner once inside and were met by a huge crowd. Not sure how others got on the ship so quick, but we were about 45min,plus it got pretty muggy inside the terminal with all the people.
Once on the ship though we attempted to go to our room, but were told it would be a 20min wait. No big deal, we headed up to the Windjammer cafe for some lunch. This was where we would end up eating most of our meals. Buffet style with several stations and lots of variety. Food was decent for the most part. A few things that we would never try again, but that's what was good with a buffet. We just went on to something else.
Room was in a great location as it was close to both the entertainment and shops as well as the restaurants. No obstruction on the balcony which also was big enough for two chairs and a small table. Other than size (which is common with these rooms) we had no issue at all.