Have been on 17 cruises with 7 different cruise lines
Embarkation: Spouse required wheelchair assistance. Had to wait for a long time before we received the assistance, then only taken to ramp to get on ship. We embarked after the mandatory safety drill. After we took showers & dressed the next morning I opened the door at 9:45, to find a note that the safety drill for those who missed would be at 9:30 – too late. We never received a notice for any other safety drill.
Dis-embarkation - Ship docked at 1:00 AM. Left ship at 9:30 AM but had to STAND in warehouse for an hour waiting for luggage to be made available.
Main Dining room - Fixed dinner time was inconvenient. Food in restaurant was limited and mediocre. First time in 17 cruises that I saw extra cost items on dining room menu (which would have normally been served on the other lines without cost). Beef and lamb was frequently tough and had much gristle. Food was often cold. Shrimp was served uncleaned as main course. It would have been difficult to find smaller shrimp for shrimp cocktail. Waiters were poorly trained and could not describe menu items. Did not offer tea or coffee. When requested and received, refills were not offered – had to constantly ask. Saw no attempt at training or mentoring waiters.
Buffet - limited selection, hot food mostly cold, Main buffet closed for dinner after third day leaving smaller buffet with even more limited selection. Condiments not available or hard to find. Buffet was closing down long before end of dining time. Dining hours shortened as cruise progressed. Ice and beverage machines frequently broken or empty. Juice mostly watered down.
Public Rooms – Ship was very glitzy. Lighted stair treads in atrium were distracting and dangerous. Many mirrors a problem with some really easy to walk into (People did). Most seating in public areas was uncomfortable. Elevators were frequently broken. Major plumbing problems – Public rest room toilets were frequently clogged and dirty water on floor. Ship does not have space suitable for lectures or meetings for moderate or large groups. Covered pool was nice. Dance floors small and limited. Billiard table in very small library area-Really?
Entertainment – Production shows were large and good. They ran 4 production shows during 21 day trip, repeating several of them. Guests were discouraged from seeing them twice. Other shows were OK, but there was no show at all on one night. Not enough variety, mostly opera. Entertainers in other venues were pretty good.
Fitness & Recreation – Lots of recreation possibilites for children and young adults – not for us.
Service – Had a billing error which took two tries to get corrected. Called desk to report toilet not flushing – line was busy and got a message that they would call back. Call never returned. Almost always a long line at reception. Personnel at desk not knowledgable. Received wrong information to questions.
Onboard Experience – TV stations offered were limited, with no real time TV during atlantic crossing. Port talks generally not re-broadcast. Promised live TV upon entering Caribbean, did not return for 3 more days. No ships camera. Information was very limited. Dining room menus were not posted. Newspapers were available in one lounge only. English language papers were limited to two British tabloids and sometimes the NY times. Only one copy was available. Disembarkation and embarkation at ports was very slow. Long lines developed frequently even in the middle of the day. Ramps were frequently VERY steep, a real problem for people with limited mobility. Line is trying to bring back classes which were eliminated by all the cruise lines long ago with "Yacht Club". When a person holding a “Yacht Club” sign leads people past the line of people who have been waiting a half hour (line barely moving) to get back on board, it breeds resentment. In general, the management attitude seemed to be that the passengers were a necessary evil for the re-positioning cruise. Only one enrichment program. For a ship this large and a cruise this long there should have been several more.
Generally OK Toilet occasionally didn’t flush. Should have more closet / storage space & hangers. Design flaw – Kleenex located right above toilet paper on side of toilet where it was not easy to see. People will grab kleenex by mistake when on toilet, possibly resulting in clogged plumbing.