We selected this cruise 18 months prior because of the marketing of it and the new ship. It was billed as a gorgeous ship and it didn't disappoint. After we had it booked and paid for we were seeing some bad reviews and were a bit ... Read More
We selected this cruise 18 months prior because of the marketing of it and the new ship. It was billed as a gorgeous ship and it didn't disappoint. After we had it booked and paid for we were seeing some bad reviews and were a bit worried but in our experiences, those were just not the case. We did purchase the Aurea experience which included a balcony room with the use of robes/slippers, exclusive top floor solarium unlimited use with a dedicated bar and hot tubs, UNLIMITED drinks- including soft drinks, bottled water, cocktails, wine, beer, milkshakes, gelato ice cream, hot chocolate (even at Venchis) and mock-tails, just from a card scan (no signatures). It also included a 50 minute message for myself and my husband, two sun tanning bed sessions, unlimited use of the thermal spa that comprised of two saunas, indoor and outdoor whirlpool tubs, two aromatic steam baths, multiple aromatic showers (warm/cool combos) a Himalayan salt room and warming beds. It also included priority boarding, which went smoothly and quickly as well as anytime dining which we found very helpful.
The ship was remarkably large and we never struggled to find a seat even at peak times for the buffet and the cruise was sold out. The crystal stairways were beautiful, the decor very elegant. It was lovely. The balcony on our cabin was good size and the cabin size adequate but could have used more/better storage for clothes.
Or wait staff in the dining room was above and beyond, particularly catering to our 13 year old daughter. We had read complaints about the food but it was delicious and if we didn't like something or worried we wouldn't, we just ordered two different entrees. They were extremely friendly and worked very hard to keep us happy.
The shows were the best we had seen anywhere, and were not interrupted and your view blocked constantly by waiters taking and delivering drink orders. You could bring drinks in but not order inside the theater.
We never encountered any rude or disrespectful staff (or other passengers for that matter) which we had heard was a problem. We did do two excursions and the process was very organized and timely. They gave you a time to show up, they gave you a number, called your number after all had checked in and then left soon. If you showed up too early then you did have to wait as that was not your scheduled time. The excursions were very good and we enjoyed them except for the transfer when a couple was 35 minutes late getting back on the bus.
Our teenage daughter absolutely loved it. They had several water slides, a zip line, full arcade with a race car simulator including a bowling ally.
Not only would we go again, we booked a future cruise while on board. Highly recommend. Read Less