This was my 25th cruise but my first on a ship this large. There was more diversity among the passengers on this ship then anything I’ve even seen. We saw people from all over the world, heard more languages, more gay couples and really large people then I’ve even seen in one place before. We were told that there were 6200 passengers onboard and many times we found ourselves in very crowded situations with more rude people than I’ve ever seen. The ship itself is truly magnificent just to walk around and be amazed by. It’s hard to believe something so big can be a ship. We were very impressed by it. As big as it is, with that many passengers, we found wherever we wanted to be is where everybody else seemed to want to be. I’ve read other reviews say this ship is too big and maybe best for young people, I can’t disagree. If you have any mobility issues, I’d recommend another ship. The staff on the ship were very friendly and seemed to be trying to do a good job but were just overwhelmed by all the passengers. Although the ship seemed to be really clean, there seemed to be a number of maintenance issues that needed attention and likely were the result of short staffing. Several staff members told us they were very understaffed since Covid.
The food in the MDR was much better than we expected, maybe not great but we were never unhappy with what we had. The desserts not so much, pretty much standard for on a cruise. Some nights we had very good service and others rather poor, depending on who was waiting on us. We had “Your time dining” at 8pm seating, late for us but what we ended up with. There was always a wait to be seated, sometimes a pretty long wait. You could ask to be seated in a particular area if you liked the waitstaff who served you on an earlier night but that really extends your wait time, so we decided it was better to just take our chances rather than investing that much time to ensure good service.
Windjammer food was far less impressive. We could always find something to eat and sometimes it was pretty good. They seem to be trying to make the best budget dishes that they can, like meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy but there was lots of Indian food and such, if you like that kind of thing. The bread pudding and oatmeal cookies were their best desserts. The biggest challenge here was trying to find a seat, far worse than any cruise I’ve ever been on.