This was our very first cruise, so I'm just gonna wing it here as far as reviews go! DH and I travelled with 6 other couples so I can tell you we all did different things onboard as well as in ports....and all of us had a fantastic time! I'm going to summarize by category our experience and keep this fairly short and to the point...well I'll try anyway!
No issues for us being newbies. We arrived about 10:30 and were in group 15. Started boarding pretty much at noon and it was pretty quick and smooth. Not much more to say on this.
We were in Aft Balcony 10318. We absolutely LOVED the location and balcony. We had plenty of room for a lounger. We didn't bother the steward and just grabbed one out of the secret staircase right outside our door. We had the lounger and 2 chairs & small table with room to spare. We spent lots of time out there enjoying the view and the wake.
O.K....gonna break rank here and say we actually liked the bathroom setup. For a couple married 25 years we had no issue with the "potty as art" toilet stall and separate shower, it made it easier to not be using the whole bathroom when you really only needed to be using half of it at one time!
Our cabin was clean and our steward was wonderful. Had everything we needed, plenty of storage, hangers, etc. Only negative for us was the bed itself. We did not find it very comfortable and the rounded corners shortened it. We never got around to asking about an egg crate topper which I'm sure would have helped.
We did not have UDP so we only ate at one specialty restaurant to celebrate our anniversary. That was Moderno and it was fantastic! The lamb chops were to die for! The salad bar was great, excellent service and we got such a kick out of the staff singing for us. It was an excellent dinner and would highly recommend the restaurant.
Garden Cafe offered quite a variety and we always found something very good there. Sure there were some misses but it's a buffet so if you don't like something just go get something else.
Great Outdoors had the BEST burgers. We each had different varieties and just loved them. They also had the quickest omelette station for breakfast and it was very good.
Taste ended up being our favorite after Moderno. The food was really good and the menu was different every time we went. Service was very good except one meal when dessert was a little slow but we also had 10 people at our table that night. We also had breakfast here a couple times and it was excellent.
O.K....so no vacation is completely perfect so here are our least favorite dining experiences:
Manhattan Room was our first dinner on the ship. We were seated near the dance floor and up close to the band. It was too loud for dinner conversation. We also did not like the dinner itself. We had four in our group that night and nobody cared for it...at all. Your experience may vary as they say.
This may surprise some folks who just love it (and we were really anticipating a great experience) but I was very disappointed with O'Sheans. Both food and service were lacking here. Waited forever if you just walked up to the bar for a drink. Went for all you can eat ribs...well, we got one serving and our waiter disappeared for the rest of the night, seriously never saw the guy again. And they served pork & beans in a cup the size of a thimble! Seriously??!! Another server heard us comment on wanting dessert and took over taking care of us but we never could get anybody to attend to more ribs. Also, listening to the clacking sound of the air hockey game behind us and the very loud music below us made us decide this wasn't a place to waste any more time of our vacation there.
Legends in Concert for this trip was Rod Stewart, Sting, and Gloria Estefan. The show was just O.K. for us. We did enjoy Rod Stewart. Sting didn't seem to hit the mark. Gloria was good. Overall, it was a free show and only an hour long.
Cirque Dreams....now we went back and forth as to whether we wanted to spend the money to see this. We had OBC so we went ahead and booked premium seats along with another couple in our group and were seated near the stage. Wow! We were so glad we went! The show was great, and our dinner was really good. Only negative....it was hard to eat and watch! You didn't dare look down at your plate and miss something!
As many know, BMG was gone and we had no idea what to expect for a replacement. Well, it ended up being Oh What a Night. We were happy with this choice and ended up being in the second row midstage. All I can say is Oh What a Show! Those guys were fantastic! They had the whole theater on their feet!
Again, based on what I'd read, I was concerned staff would be less than enthusiastic. Glad to say that was just not the case at all. We had great service and interaction with everybody onboard, save for the one venue. We were always greeted with a smile and treated very well. Our steward came to our room to introduce himself the first evening and whenever he was in the hall when we passed would greet us by name. He did a great job and left our towel animals every night. He also left us a note to remind us of the big events of the evening. Customer Service was also very friendly and accommodating. DH went to Guest Services for something and just mentioned our disappointment with iconcierge and he immediately took the charge off our bill.
We had no trouble, for the most part, getting drinks. Occasionally, or at a certain (O'Sheans) venue, it was slow. We never had anything that wasn't included and I tried all kinds of drinks. Sometimes staff would suggest a drink and it was always really good! The only thing I would say is a negative is the inconsistency in how the signature drinks are made at different bars. Other than that, we were pretty happy with the package. Just an FYI, we sailed out of Miami and while docked you are charged tax on the drinks. We drank several drinks before we left port and our tax charge total was just over $4.
So there it is....our first cruise....and first review. We had an absolutely fantastic time! And now DH is an AFT Balcony snob....says he has to be there when we cruise again! Yes, he said AGAIN!!!! I'll be happy to answer anything I can for anybody that cares to ask