We arrived at the Pier at 10:15am, gave our luggage to a porter and walked right through the security gates without a problem, we went through the Latitudes line in 5 minutes,checked in and were sitting in the lounge area at 10:35am waiting for the call to enter the ship..At 12 Noon we were called by numbers we had number 10 and boarded the ship. It was an easy process, no hassle, no worry quick and efficient.
We had lunch in the Grand Pacific Dining room which was not crowded and the food was very good. We then went upstairs to the pool area where there was a BBQ going on and guests were lining up to eat. It was chilly and not windy as it was about 1:30PM. We then decided to go see the Ying and Yang, Mandara Spa as we bought the couple's Spa Pass on the Pier after check in, it was $268 couples special for the 10 day cruise and let me tell you it was well worth it, as 5/10 days you couldn't use the pool area due to the cold weather. They sell only 60 couple passes so if you are interested check it out on the Pier before they sell out. The area is private no children permitted and there is a private ladies and Men's section, with lockers, sauna, and steam room Bathroom and showers plus a unisex section with lounge chairs and thermal heating therapeutic chairs, coffe, Tea, orange juice and cold water, towels, and bathrobes. My wife and I enjoyed it and showered there rather than our cabin as it was roomy and easier those cabin showers are tight,we spent hours there its open 8Am-10PM. We sailed exactly at 4PM as they wait for no one, as we found out later during the cruise, we went up the Hudson and the weather changed as now it was foggy and by the time we got to the Verrazzano Bridge it was snowing and visibility was poor.
The seas days were quiet there were many things to do and a number of shows and lounges with entertainment. We checked out bingo but its very expensive like $140 for daily games I'm not sure how many games you played but too expensive for us. There are Art Auctions, Trivia games, Library, card room etc..but we stayed in the lounges at the Spa and relaxed. One night we made reservations for La Cucina Italian Restaurant we ate too much and the food was very good well worth the $10 charge PP.
Aft balcony 10168, great location and views, it just a long walk to everything going on in the front of the ship. If your in for walking this is your cabin, if not stay mid ship, the cabin is no bigger, tight quarters showering and using toilet.