We booked quite late and didn't have much time to review the comments on Cruise Critic etc but did manage to gather sufficient information together to have most things sorted before we boarded.
We booked two tours, which after great deliberation we booked directly through RCI, more for ease than anything else. I did look at booking through various recommended companies such as Ephesus Tours and was very happy with their response to my emails and the fact that they only wanted a small deposit upfront. I will certainly consider external tour companies next time we cruise.
We also took the soft drinks package option, since this had worked well for us previously.
7694 - Restricted view.Rear facing Junior Suite overlooking the rear triangular shape of the boat. It wasn't a deck area so there were no people and no noise. Just beyond that you could see what I presumed was the staff area, because we could see signs saying smoking and non-smoking. Again no noise and we very rarely saw anyone there, (you could only see the tops of their heads anyway).The view was obscured by the metal struts round the back of the boat, but it wasn't a problem unless you actually wanted to take scenic photos as you left port. They are not too wide and it wouldn't put us off booking again if this was the only cabin available (which it was on this occasion).Personally I prefer to look down onto the water, however, for cruisers with small children worried about them dropping things overboard this could prove a blessing.The cabin itself was clean and tidy and the bathroom was also fine. The throw for the bed had a big snag in it which I didn't think was acceptable (these are not part of fixtures and fittings, so should be replaced when worn - however, had I mentioned it I know they would have changed it), but the sheets were clean and fresh.There was plenty of storage, since the junior suites have a walk in wardrobe with shelves inside, as well as the drawers in the dressing table.The cabin steward was always helpful and very friendly, as were room service when we had to call them, and were happy to bring buckets of ice etc.The ship is due a refit and I was slightly worried what the cabins would be like, but I was very pleased.We were a family of 4 - 2 adults and two children of 7 & 11 Years. The children slept on the sofa bed and managed well. In some hotels they now struggle on some of the sofa beds, but this one seemed a good size and we had no squabbling.Since the cabin was at the back of the boat there was a lot of walking involved, however the dining room and kids club were also at the back and easily accessible. The majority of the entertainment goes on forward or mid-ship.