A friend and I flew to London to see the west end premiere of a Sondheim show and decided to return to America via ship. This brand new cruise liner was about to make it's maiden voyage, taking a leisurely 10 days to transit from Southampton to New York. The route took us south across the Atlantic to the Sargasso Sea roughly even with the Florida/Georgia border before cutting up and passing wast of Bermuda into New York. The ship will be stationed in the Caribbean and is designed for that sort of tropical climate with vast outdoor areas that include swimming pools, exercise areas, climbing wall and an oddly intimidating rope course that takes up a significant amount of high deck space. Since the passenger count was approximately 30% of what the ship can accommodate, there were no lines or crowds for boarding or buffets.
Our cabin was a rear facing stateroom designed for disabled access. It was roomy but oddly poorly decorated. The bathroom had almost non-existent counter space but a roomy shower. This stateroom featured a large veranda, fitted with two smalls chairs and a table. When we arrived, it had an overflowing ashtray on it which inferred that the crew had used this space for a break area. Really unappealing. The beds are exceedingly comfortable, but only one chair was provided so two people could not sit and enjoy the view at the same time. I hope that they take another look at this particular stateroom, as it was an upgrade but seemed almost like crew quarters.
The ship's pluses: 1. Great dining options, all of which we tried during the cruise. 2. Great food almost uniformly. 3. English speaking staff were delightful. 4. Lovely spa (treatment area) 5. Excellent room service with limited options. 6. Good entertainment in lounges, particularly. 7. Wonderful flat screen TV with terrific movies and show options for an additional fee like in most hotels.
Large cabin designed for disabled access. Poorly decorated and quite limited in bathroom counter space and with only one large chair when there is plenty of space for most adequate seating. Great closet and storage. Large balcony kind of a waste with same two small chairs and table provided that you'd get in the smaller verandahs. Interesting to have a rear view but less appealing that I had anticipated. Good lighting, A/C, video screen and entertainment options. From what I saw of the less expensive cabins, though, I have to say that this upgrade was not worth the money.