This was the first cruise for my wife and me, though we're generally seasoned world travelers and we've been to the Caribbean several times before (and whether it counts or not, we've stayed aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach). We're people who feel like we know what we're doing when we travel, and what to expect. We'd done a lot of research on this cruise before embarkation, and had seen some of the negative reviews of this ship after its recent drydock.
Thankfully, we had no real complaints. Oh sure, if we had to nitpick every little thing, we might say the in-cabin water was a little warm for toothbrushing, the photographs too expensive or the shows were a little short. But come on - is that really going to affect your enjoyment of your vacation? Do you *want* to be miserable?
We had a great time, and that was despite some less-than-ideal weather. The ship was rocking and rolling the first night, but we loved our food in the Da Vinci dining room and were happy to see we'd have a table for two for the duration of our cruise. The food was fantastic every night, with the notable exception of the desserts, which were visually beautiful but lacked flavor. I did enjoy the creme brulee (though it was always cold), but most desserts tasted like something you'd get out of the freezer case at the supermarket. We were usually too full by then to care, though, and the other courses were always really tasty and varied every night. Never once did we think it was worth springing for one of the extra fee restaurants.
Decor in the cabin is a little basic, but there is plenty of space. Separate seating and sleeping areas, though no partition between them. Two separate TV's but you probably won't be watching them on separate channels because there's no soundproofing between them. Balcony is uncovered, but don't let this scare you unless you're planning on some topless sunbathing or something. Otherwise, it's a public ship anyway and everyone can see everyone, so just think of it the same as being by the pool and don't worry about it. Bathroom is a decent size, like a normal hotel room, though the shower is still "short" and tall people might have some trouble standing up straight. All cabins have new mattresses after the drydock and they are very comfortable.
Strenuous walk up the mountain and then ziplining back down. You need to be in good shape! It's a lot of fun, though. The last zipline is really long and really fast!
On your way back to the ship, be sure to stop at Ocean's 11 for some real Jamaican food! Our ship only stopped for a few hours so this was our only opportunity and we're glad we took it. You can probably get better Jamaican jerk elsewhere on the island, but it was still really good and it's in the port.
Kind of like a dingy old airport. No way to walk around the ship or take decent pictures before boarding.