Reading Cruise Critic, I always find it amusing at the things some people complain about. This ship is no different as some people really must hunt for things to be dissatisfied about. In one post made on 1/15, one says it is the “Our Worst Cruise Ever” because the internet didn’t work properly. REALLY? Have you seen that cruise ship being tossed around by 60 foot waves on YouTube people? THAT is a worst cruise ever. And if you’re going to “review” a trip, do so in a manner that doesn’t sound like whining rich people problems – ie you had to go get your special luggage tags at guest services yourself.
As for my cruise, it was restful, fun and what I needed.
The ship is a beautiful one albeit a bit worn in some minor areas- carpet, railings, and our cabin had a piece of wood facing missing on a cabinet- most unnoticeable unless you were looking for something to not like. The colors were not the garish 80’s style like many cruise ships, ie most of Royal Caribbean ships. It is just annoying that they build new ships and they look like a Golden Girls TV set. Not here, colors were muted and pleasing to the eyes.
Dining – We chose to eat in the main dining room and buffet foregoing the extra costs with the premium restaurants. Food in the main dining room was very good, comparing only to Royal Caribbean which I’ve sailed on 10 previous times. Service was great- wine arriving to the table within mere minutes of ordering. Very attentive staff- never waited long for the food to arrive. Food was always cooked to order and tasty. The NY steak was a bit grisly but good. In other reviews, many complained that they had to wait in the buffet lines and/or for tables there- I never once saw anyone having to line up for food. However, I will say I chose to have my breakfast delivered to my room each morning – and what an amazing breakfast it was. Tons of food and the coffee was delicious.
Public Rooms – The ship was clean and the decor was pleasing. There was no garish colors from the 80’s I’m so used to. Plenty of seating in the lounges. The banisters on deck and artwork outside need attention. The highlight for most was the Martini Bar that always seemed to be packed.
Cabin – 2119 outside cabin with very large porthole. Roomy (for a cruise ship) cabin with plenty of storage space and closet. Bathroom standard but unlike the bubble showers on Royal, this shower was large enough to actually move around and wash areas not so easy to get to in the bubble shower stalls. Love that this line provides individual soaps and shampoos and lotions. Nice touch. Always had clean towels and a tidy room with a full ice bucket.
Entertainment – Eh! what can I say. It was ok. This ship caters to an older crowd for most stuff. What I liked: stringed trio in the lounge, Guest singer , and comedian. The standout here really is this beautiful theater. One of the best I’ve seen on a cruise ship. “Tables” to place your drinks on with beautiful uplighting instead of cut-out holes in the armrest that never fit the ship’s glasses. I never felt as if I was being shuffled from one end of the ship to the other when going to activities. Fun in the front, food in the back- easy peasy.
I know this is ship with an “older clientele” but some deck-side activities would be nice. Livelier activities for those wishing not to partake in trivia contests would be nice- there’s one of the largest basketball courts on the sea that wasn’t used at all here. The cruise director needs to pick it up a notch. With as many elderly folks on this ship, they could use this area as a “Ballroom” after the formal dinner.
What I didn’t like: I’ve never been on a cruise that didn’t utilize the top deck area at night. NOTHING! Pools and hot tubs actually close at 10pm. No midnight buffet, no evening dances on deck; it was just useless space. The daytime use wasn’t a ton better- one line dance class (not sure when they were supposed to use those new skills as they never had any other dances on deck), a female band (who were very good) that played for about an hour one day in port. A “DJ” that played for about an hour… Really it was sad. If there’s anything this ship needs to work on is entertainment. But then it really made me relax (which is what I needed). The main show was just OK (but good singers and dancers) as it looked more like a high school production. And REALLY unfortunate was the “ventriloquist” from UK’s Got Talent – I’m not going to be mean but people walked out. This is nitpicking but one should know what to expect so it doesn’t wind up being “the worst cruise of your life” .
Value for Money – This was a great value since we got a good last minute deal. I’d do it again.
Service – As stated before, simply amazing from the captain down.