Hi - Since I don't have time yet to write a review, following are some of my thoughts, opinions, etc., FYI:
First of all, this was my 1st cruise, so I don't have anything to compare it to! Ship sailed on time & getting on was a breeze with Express Check-In. We carried on a 6-pack of H2O, 12-pack of Dr. Pepper & 5 bottles of wine without any problem at all! Stuff was put through X-ray, but that was the extent of the carry-on "search."
I enjoyed the staff very much & the spa services. There was absolutely NO pressure to buy spa products, which was delightful!
We were in Aloha 439, an inside cabin about 1/3 back from the bow, 5 doors from laundromat & 10 doors from elevators. Good location, no seasickness & quiet, except on the night they had a late dance party at the pool (Riviera deck). We were quite comfy in our room (for 3) with plenty of storage, hangers, etc. There could have been more variety in the movies during the week - it was basically 5-6 fairly new movies (Chocolat, Legally Blonde, Memento, Bridget Jones' Diary, Finding Forrester, etc.) recycling. I'm not into the musical shows, so didn't go, but our table mates said some were "lame." Impressionist did not get good reviews, but everyone LOVED the comedic juggler (people went more than once!) & the hypnotist was fun.
We had Early Seating, which we kept because the time worked & we liked our table mates. Usually ate breakfast & lunch at Horizon or on Riviera deck. The food was basically very good - there seemed to be a lot of my personal favorites on the same nights, with other nights having less exciting choices (of course, that is all subjective).
My sons (20 & 16) went to Sterling Steakhouse 1 night & were very disappointed. We were told that you picked your own steak, but actually you just point to the cut you want. 1 son's filet was seriously undercooked & the other's T-bone was very grisly. They also said that the service "sucked" compared to the dining area, perhaps because they were "just kids."
Everyone we spoke with was disappointed re ice cream availability. Haagen Daz at pool (which you pay for) was only open from 11-6, with no self serve at Horizon Buffet or elsewhere. Only available as a dessert with your meals!
I did not find the art auctions or ship announcements intrusive or overwhelming as other posts have stated. Some irritation that the non-smoking side of the ship was not really enforced. Biggest personal annoyance to me were some passengers - I've never seen such rude, overbearing or pushy people as on this cruise. It appears that many wealthy people (an assumption based on the size of diamonds & other gems worn by so many?!) feel they can treat others like their personal slaves & generally be inconsiderate (even to other passengers).
We did not do any tour excursions this time. We were scheduled to do Randi's Horses, but had to cancel due to migraine! Bummer!! The "city summaries" available at the Tour Excursions desk are very helpful re: taxi costs, street map, post office location, activities, etc. Port times (Puerto Vallarta & Mazatlan) were good, except that Cabo is too short after waiting for the tenders. Beautiful weather (80s & not too humid) & easy cruising, except for winds on the evening out of Cabo back to LA.
Let me know any other Qs you may have! Sheila