Okie dokie, guess it's time to write down my thoughts & experiences from our cruise.
Overall, we had a great time, the ship was beautiful, the CD Emma was great (I've never noticed a CD before), and our room was amazing. Would we do it again? Probably not.
Lets start at the beginning. We got to the cruise terminal area around 8am after an early flight, and had a lovely (if too large and expensive) breakfast at the Hotel Maya down the road (BTW: it's a little over $2 more expensive to take a taxi there rather than the terminal). Then we walked over to tour the Queen Mary (where one of the bell hops broke a wheel on our large luggage while storing it). Had a nice time there too. Upon leaving, I noticed people entering the bid dome; it's about 10 am at this point, so I encourage my SO to hurry over to see what's up. We have a A01 12:30 arrival appointment but getting in early is always intriguing. By 10:12 we are entering the dome, by 10:20 (after chatting with the check in lady and asking a question of another worker) we are seated as close as we can get to the doors that'll take you up the ramp and onto the ship. At 11:22 the specialty groups, frequent fliers, and FTTF people are walking in, and by 11:34 my SO and I are past the gangway and entering deck 4! Which, as others have reported is just a hallway between the Hero's bar and the casino. We head straight to guest services to be first on the waiting list for the Behind the Fun tour then head up to lido to get our first drink and find somewhere to relax.
Our room was ready right at 1:30 and it was nice! We had a corner 4J (#7207) which meant it had a bit more room
It also meant it was right under the bridge and at the end of the hallway so we rarely heard any noise besides the creaking of the new ship. Our room steward was always super friendly, and after I himmed and hawed over morning or evening room service she offered both.
After getting settled in, we headed back up to lido to grab a bite since we had late dining (which I prefer). Can't remember what I had, but SO had a Guys burger. I only remember this as later in the evening he wasn't feeling well and it was the only thing we didn't essentially share.
The next day we got to try the ropes course (the line for the sky bikes was longer than we were interested in). The course was fun and challenging, but we both agreed that once was enough for us.
That night my SO got to dine in the MDR for the first time. And while he's usually quite reserved and shy, he seemed to really enjoy both our table mates' company (a sweet young couple from CO celebrating her 21st) and the singing and dancing of the waiters.
We both agreed that the food in the dinning room was pretty good, but the offerings in the lido were super limited (especially compared to my past cruises).
The next day was Cabo and we didn't have anything planned so just got off when our tender group was called and wandered around town. In hind site, I wish we had planned an excursion or did some research about the town, but this also allowed us to get back to the ship before most to enjoy the quiet. We never did feel crowded nor did we experience many long lines/waits even with a full ship. When we got back to the room we found a lovely gift from John Heald! It came with 2 of the charms(?) one I attached to my lanyard and the other we will engrave and make into a Christmas tree ornament
That night was also our first elegant night :-D
Next was Mazatlan. That town is waaaayyy bigger than I remember from my Spirit cruise 8 years ago! Granted, now you dock in a different spot... Here we took an excursion though carnival for zip lining (it ended up being the Huana Coa company) and we really enjoyed it. Bought a beautiful wooden bowl there (that was half price on the pier in PV) and sampled some delicious tequila (that you can also buy just before steping back on the ship, though I'm not sure of the price difference). After watching Aladdin on the big screen, I had a Guy's and ended up having to call it a night. While we can't say that either of us got sick because of the burgers... it was a common denominator. Luckily both instances passed quickly :-D
The next morning was Puerto Vallarta and the invasion of the town animals on lido
We were just here for a family vacation over the summer so we mostly stayed on the ship, though got off twice to visit the Walmart across the street. Also got to spend a little quiet time on Serenity (it's too windy for my tastes up there when the ship is sailing)
We also took advantage of the short lines for the sky bikes; they are fun but the track is short! We also took in the Rock Revolution show. The lounge is so much smaller than the other ships I've been on and while the show was pretty good, I was totally distracted by the lip syncing and pretend instrument playing. That night at dinner we were surprised with a small cake for our anniversary we had missed the night before! Actually, it wasn't our anniversary but when entering our details we thought it might be fun to put that down, then promptly forgot all about it. February 10th will now always be a special day for us :-D
The next day we tried our luck on the quarter push machine in the casino and several trivia games, but luck was not on our side that day. It was also the 2nd formal night. We didn't get ready in time to take pictures before dinner and the ones we took after just didn't have the magic that the 1st night ones did.
The last sea day we were up bright and early for the Behind the Fun tour! Love it just a bit more than the one I took on the Spirit since my SO was with me this time. We got to go to all sorts of fun places an got some swag too. Got our pictures with the captain and the brew master :-D Afterward, we went back to Pig & Anchor for lunch (we'd tried earlier in the cruise but they weren't open even though they were supposed to be). Lunch wasn't very good there; the meats were fine, but the sides were flavorless. I ended up wandering up to lido to look for a snack there, but remember what I said earlier - the pickings were slim. Today was also Valentine's Day and at dinner all couples were presented with a little strawberry cake that wasn't too bad. Oh, earlier in the day someone sent us a wonderful snack plate, but we never found out who :-(
Back in port on Saturday, we wandered around the ship for as long as we could stand while trying to stay out of the crew's way. Eventually, we got off and found a bench near the water to people watch before heading back to LGB for a looonnnngggg wait (made longer by morning fog throwing everything off the entire day). Originally we had planned to spend time with his family who live sorta close by, but I had a cold and his mother isn't to be around sick people yet so we spent almost 9 hours hanging in LGB
Other thoughts: the people on the next cruise didn't start getting on until 11:45 so early boarding is hit or miss. If you book an obstructed view room on deck 3 behind the 5th lifeboat (the right side of the ship facing forward - so odd numbered) you may find that it isn't obstructed after all as they have to leave that lifeboat behind to make room for the gangway. We tried Cheers for the first time and probably came out ahead, but drank more alcohol and coffee than we would have otherwise; we both agree that we probably won't get it in the future. The magnifying mirror sucks; as someone who uses one every day due to "old eyes" (says my eye doctor) it was far from adequate; next time I'll bring my 10x one from home.
Think that's about it. Hope you enjoyed :-D