I really meant to get this review done much sooner, then I kind of forgot about it, and then I saw all the negative reviews of the Transatlantic cruise and, I must say, I am shocked--it hardly seems like these people were on the same ship I was on. So here goes:
Embarkation--things went very smoothly. The only disappointment I had was with the FTTF program not quite working out. I think there was a breakdown in communication at the airport with some very stressed out Carnival folks having to deal with our flight that came in 5 hours after it was supposed to arrive. They were very friendly and helpful, but I think they were more focused on getting everyone and our stuff to the ship than they were with making sure luggage all got processed correctly (e.g. FTTF delivered first, etc.). That being said, someone at customer service must have been aware of this because about four days into the cruise a credit showed up on my statement for the FTTF charge.
The ship--it's lovely. Is it perfect? I haven't been a cruise ship yet that's perfect. Many ships have decks that don't go all the way through and if you are sensitive to cigarette smoke there will always be areas to avoid, but having said that, it's certainly one of the nicer ships in the fleet. It is visually stunning from the Atrium to the Serenity Deck to the Havana Bar. Did it sometimes feel crowded? Sure, but I have had that experience on every ship I have ever been on. The Liquid Lounge is, in my opinion, a misstep. Sight lines are not good to the stage, the ventilation system is very noisy, and it's not big enough, but as a place to spend 45 minutes of my day--I was fine with it. I thought that the Playlist Production shows are well-intended but the cast didn't seem quite up to the task of performing them well. We never had a problem getting a chair on deck either in the Serenity area, around the pool, or wherever we wanted to be. The mini-golf was fun, the water slides are AMAZING, and the ropes course is worth doing. We loved the flow of the Lido buffet (although we typically only ate their for breakfast). More on the food and restaurants later. The Ocean Plaza was comfortable--it was nice to have a stage for the band where we could sit and enjoy them instead of having them in a hallway by the casino. We also enjoyed the space of the Alchemy Bar and the Shake Spot.
The room is light and airy and refreshing. Lots of room and a good amount of storage, there is a safe and a refrigerator in this cabin. The balcony door slides, giving much more room on the balcony. There were two chairs, a table, and a chaise lounge on this larger than normal balcony. The bed was very comfortable and everything in the cabin worked very well. Our steward, Petrus, was fantastic and thoroughly kept the cabin spotless every day.