This was our 6th cruise but our first since having our daughter who had just turned 3 years. We hoped that a boat like HOTS would give us the cruise experience we wanted but would cater sufficient for her and we weren't disappointed.
We flew and transferred under RC umbrella and it made embarkation so easy. We checked in at the airport with the reps then jumped on a bus to the boat where we walked straight on. Debarkation was equally well managed.
Our cabin was an oceanview and one of the best cabins we've ever had. It wasn't the biggest but it was designed by someone who understands that people need drawers and places to put stuff. There was so much storage it felt a lot bigger. Immaculately clean.
Having sailed with RC before we weren't excited about the windjammer but on HOTS it is outstanding. We never struggled for a table and the staff were active in helping with this. They brought complimentary drinks to the table and the food! The food was amazing. We even ate there twice in the evening. Unheard of on any other boat we've been on. We also ate in the main restaurant which was good and Jamie's Italian. However what is a currently underrated place is Sabor the Mexican restaurant and bar. The food was amazing and reasonably priced. (Tip: For a more relaxed breakfast head up to Mini Bites. They do cereal, fruit and the usual hot stuff like bacon and eggs etc and its empty and you're guaranteed a sea view!)
As we had our 3 year old with us we spent a lot of time at the splash pool and this is great for little ones. Its always staffed as well which I was impressed with and they had swim vests available at the other pools.
The vast majority of the staff were happy and gave great service. They were especially attentive to our daughter.
There's so much to do on this boat its impossible to comment on everything but I will say 7 nights isn't enough to really experience everything.
One aspect I was concerned about was the sea day following other reviews saying it was very busy. I'm not a fan as a general rule of this day however it was the best sea day we have ever spent. At no point did the boat feel crowded not did we have to queue for anything excessively.
With HOTS RC has dropped some of the more annoying aspects of cruising. the announcements are minimal and there is no where near as much focus on shopping or upselling as on other boats. Without a shadow of a doubt we would sail again.
Excellent cabin. Clean and well designed. Mid-ship so a little wander from the lifts but its not actually that far at the end of the day.