We sailed on this cruise departing on 02/29/2020 along with our son and his girlfriend. Embarkation was somewhat delayed. We were in the "A" group and embarked around 12;30 p.m. Once we arrived on the ship, we found ourselves on the 4th floor and worked ourselves up to the 11th floor AFT to the Mongolian Wok for lunch
We really enjoyed the new methodology with the elevators; you choose the floor you would like to reach and you are notified what elevator to approach. Overall, I found the ship to be extremely inviting. Although I missed the dramatic atrium as in other ships, the ever changing lighted tower was inspiring. It was easy to navigate through the ship as it mirrored other ships with regard to the activities etc on the 4th and 5th deck. Overall, the ship was very clean and I enjoyed the Havana Cabana theme throughout. They set up the Lido deck loungers in such a manner for all guests to enjoy. In past cruises, the littles would leave their towels laying around on chairs you thought were occupied. Not so on this cruise. We were able to enjoy a chair or lounger without the lIttles claiming it when they were only spending time at the pool.
Regarding the food. For breakfast, we had omelettes every morning on the Lido deck. The cooks were wonderful. I actually nicknamed one as our singing omelette maker. Within a couple days, he knew exactly what we wanted on our omelettes! It was definitely worth a healthy tip at the end of the cruise. For lunch, we ate at different venues. On sea days, the Mongolian Wok, Guy's Pig and Anchor and Capitano Cucina are available for free. Mongolian Wok is located in JiJI's Restaurant. It is nothing like the Mongolian Wok we had experienced in the past. Previously, you would fill your bowel with veggies and choice of noodle, ask for your protein and sauce and they would cook in front out of you. The Mongolian Wok on this ship is the complete opposite. Once you enter the restaurant, you are given a paper ticket to check off the vegetables, noodle, protein and sauce for your selection. They are heavy on the noodle and very little on sauce, vegetable, and protein. I missed being able to have more influence on my Asian stir fry. We did also try Guy's Pig and Anchor and thought it was very good. We did not eat at any of the other specialty restaurants. For lunch, we either ate at Guy Fieri's burger, the Deli or Blue Iguana. Did also taste some food at the lido marketplace. I found that all of the food we received was warm, so no issues with receiving cold food for us. We ate dinner at the main dining room and enjoyed it. Service was very good.
If you have anytime dining, a tip for you. Proceed to the Java Blue Cafe after you get on board and meet the maitre'd to have your table assigned. If you choose, they can guarantee a table and time throughout the cruise.
Regarding the entertainment. I have to agree with others that the productions in Liquid Lounge were not as good as on other ships. The only show I thought was worthwhile seeing was Celestial Strings. Liquid Lounge is too small for amount of guests on the ship too. We did, however, enjoy the comedians. I also enjoyed the DJ's and the trio of violins. Never got the band because we were caught up in other venues of entertainment.
The sports deck was a lot of FUN. It had a lot of activities!. Cornhole, pool, golf along with a lot of indoor games too. Skyride was fun too.
As far as disembarkation, we were on the ship that was held over for a day due to an ill passenger. We waited many hours standing around with our luggage until they finally announced the news it would take an additional 2-6 hours before they would receive the results as to whether or not the ill passenger had coronavirus. They reopened the rooms, set up activities, and opened up the food areas for lunch. They also opened WiFi and in-room movies were free. I actually felt sorry for the people waiting to get on the ship. We had the run of the ship when the prospective passengers were sitting outside waiting for hours to hear if they would embark. By the way, we were given an extra sea day on our account due to the remaining on the ship that extra day. It was also a nice bonus that the parking fee was waived.
As far as the cabin, we had an interior room on the 7th floor. It was relatively easy to navigate around the ship. Plus if you are hanging around the upper decks and want to avoid using the public restrooms, it was a quick walk up and down the stairs. The refrigerator is not cold, it is similar to a cooler (as noted by another reviewer). I just grabbed two cups of ice a day to keep our drinks cold. This seemed to work. I was somewhat disappointed in the cleanliness of our room. I'm glad I brought Clorox wipes. I think our steward had too many rooms to clean or he was burned out.
When we did disembark the following morning, it ran smoothly. I think we were able to get off so quickly because they started the process quite early and a lot of people were still on the Lido eating breakfast.
If you are looking to have fun, enjoy music and like a diverse group of passengers this is the ship for you. You will have an enjoyable, relaxing, fun time. I've already scheduled my next cruise :)