Having been on over ten cruises, this is probably the second smallest ship I have been on. However, I was pleasantly surprised. I needed something affordable because I was taking my aunt for her birthday. If you keep your expectations realistic, you will not be disappointed. I would not splurge on an expensive room on this cruise- I would save a splurge for a more elaborate ship.
Our inside room was on floor 6, the upper deck. It is across from the penthouse suites (the only balconies on the whole ship) and some say the high rent district gets better service. After a 2015 update, I thought the ship was really pretty. Our room was roomier than others I have been in. Two closets. A huge mirror. All the major channels on TV plus 2 full length movies playing at all times. We got a towel animal the first night and on my aunts birthday (in addition to a huge colorful message on the mirror and some freebies).
The decks were proportionately smaller but never really overcrowded. The adult Serenity deck was small but quiet and had two hot tubs, umbrellas and a shaded overhang. We really liked it. The we found another high deck above the Lido deck where the basketball court was. It was quiet also but was larger and had two hot tubs and a small pool. We liked that even better. The kids were there once in a while but they liked the pool with the The Mongolian BBQ on the Lido deck is really good. The pizza in the Paris restaurant is good-I liked the spinach-mushroom-farmers cheese one.
The dining room food was a B+ I would say. Hit and miss. Some not hot enough. The French Onion soup was "lawsuit scalding" however. Ask the staff opinion of what is good because they will know. The staff started out enthused but by the last night they were bored and almost emotionless. I guess this is due to the fact that tips were already paid for. I brought money to tip extra but passed after the lukewarm reception. I did tip my head waiter an extra ten dollars the next morning. I tipped my cabin steward an extra $20.
My only real complaint was the entertainment. My aunt didnt really notice because it was her first cruise. I thought it was horrendous. I am not a prude by any stretch but the 18+ piano guy and the 18+ comedy shows were pretty obnoxious. I didnt mind the piano guy so much- lots of f-bombs but at least he was funny. The comedians were just raunchy for shocks sake. People were enjoying it but we left. I would recommend finding a way to visit the non 18+ version of those. Karaoke was fun especially the host- he was a comedian himself! The biggest tip for you is catch as many Casino bar shows as you can. The band Whiplash is great with a changing theme each night. Every band member is uniquely talented. Dont focus on the theme- just GO! You can dance right there. My favorite however was Alex on acoustic guitar. Listen to a few of his songs and you will be hooked! Great for before and after dinner.
We attended the art auction but unlike MANY other times I have attended we were served only one glass of lukewarm champagne. And yes that is why many and go and they also really push that. We did enjoy the art however. I recommend Paradise Beach in Cozumel. The Paradise staff is overall very friendly and helpful. Everything ran smoothly. So for an inexpensive cruise- it is very worth the money. Keep an open mind and roll with it. If you want to be treated like royalty, plan on paying 2-3 times the price. You get what you pay for.
I cannot stand driving in Tampa. I Pricelined the LeMeridian hotel for the night before.
I got a good price and it is an elegant and historic hotel. The pool does not get sun and was not real warm. Not a lot to do nearby but a good pizza place and a CVS which also sells liquor. The hotel restaurant is very expensive.
I do not get a feel for Grand Cayman as far as the people and their culture. We went to the "seven mile beach" - the public beach area. The beach is just okay. Does not hold a candle to Seven Mile Beach in Negril, Jamaica or Clearwater Beach in Florida for that matter. But coming from upstate New York (snow!) I am thankful to even see a beach. It is very typical and touristy. Pretty clean though but the beach dropped off just a few feet out to a deeper area with rocks. Beach chairs are $10 each. But no one bothers you on the public beach. You can bring a cooler.