For the first time we decided to splurge and upgrade from an inside stateroom to a Grand Suite with a balcony. The room was the size of a normal hotel room and was so wonderful. We had two twin beds that my mom and aunt used and I had the whole pullout couch to myself. There was a full size closet and plenty of drawer space. The room had a bar with additional drawers and a small fridge that was perfect for storing those late night snacks. You could purchase the chocolate bars, nuts, soda and candy that were in the fridge for a fee, but we managed to find treats elsewhere without paying extra.
The bathroom was such a pleasure with a double sink, huge mirrors and a full bathtub with shower. The cruise line provided gratuitous shampoo, conditioner, soaps, etc. Towels were changed every night as needed and the sheets and comforters on the beds were the most comfortable I have felt in a long time.
The suite had a television, stereo system and DVD player that we used a couple of time during the at-sea days. The balcony was the full length of the suite and housed a small table, two chairs and a full size lounge chair that we took advantage of many, many times during the cruise.
Our accommodations were so nice we starting calling ourselves "suite snobs", we spent so much time in our room. If you can afford it, definitely upgrade at least to a balcony room; it provides so much comfort, privacy and a wonderful view of the ocean and ports.
With a ship as large as this, your dining options are endless. For dinner, the most common choice is to eat in the main dining room at your assigned table. We had main seating at 6pm on the bottom floor of the three level dining room. The Captain’s table was right next to us, but we only saw him on the formal Captain’s dinner night. Dinners here are usually themed and can vary from Tex-Mex night to formal night to Caribbean night and the recommended dress is usually mentioned in your daily planner.
Another option is the Windjammer, which is a buffet style eating area. The variety is good and on this trip it included sushi, which made my day. If you would prefer a more laid back atmosphere for dinner, this is the place to go. Most of the meal options in the main dining room are carried over to the Windjammer and we chose to eat here many a night. The service is just a quick, the food just as good and the view out the back of the boat through the full-length windows was amazing.
On my last night onboard my mom and I chose to eat at the specialty Italian restaurant, Portofino. For a $20 surcharge you can enjoy a quiet and delicious meal with white glove service. The food here was so good and is a bit fancier than the meals served in the main dining areas. I had never tried it before and can’t wait to go back and try it again.
There is also Johnny Rockets the onboard version of the popular burger and fry diner chain; Café Promenade, a perfect place for cookies and coffee and of course room service that can be ordered right through your in-room television.