April 10, 2005
FYI: we are in our 50's, 100,000+ yr income, been on 12 cruises on Princess, Oceania, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Carnival.
To sum it up, my husband said "I think we finally found what we've been looking for". We like lots of activities and entertainment in a more refined atmosphere, with really great dining and service. This ship was all of the above.
We were in a category 12 cabin (got a super bargain price, we couldn't resist), but even the bottom category was plenty spacious for 7 nights, lots of drawers and closet space, a bigger shower than most, and a refrigerator. We were in 2180 and the only downside was some engine noise from time to time.
The food in the dining room was excellent, and served by an efficient, friendly (but not TOO friendly) staff. The dinner at the Olympic Restaurant was to die for!!! Fabulous!!--but only if you like a very formal elegant dining experience. Most people dressed up a lot for this, even though it was casual night throughout the ship. We also enjoyed one night at "casual dining" which had a 2.00 service charge, a step between the big dining room and eating off the buffet. Very good menu (shrimp cocktail, steak, spaghetti, and the like) served by waiters. We ate a few lunches at the Spa Cafe which was light and healthy. Requested creme brulee on the first night and got it every night in the main dining room!!
The spa was wonderful, pricey, but I did a few treatments, and enjoyed the free amenities at the spa just as much (T pool, followed by a sauna, followed by a hot shower in the changing room, they have nicer lotion/shampoo, etc there).The gym was the biggest and best we've had.
Singers and dancers were good, the shows were pretty lavish with gorgeous costumes. A combo played several sets per night for dancing, mainly older people there. The disco was the only disappointing thing on the cruise, you could not see the DJ therefore, the audience participation was just not there. If the dance floor was empty, why play a song for 5 minutes?
We are grateful for every opportunity to cruise, and would recommend this ship to anyone seeking a more formal (at night), fine and relaxing cruise. After our last one on Carnival, it was refreshing to see most people behave in a mannerly way while still having fun.