This was my family's first cruise together. Overall we had a very good time, and I think everyone would be game to go again. Background: Husband and I have a 3 and 6 year old, are fairly well traveled and more inclined to cultural vacations vs beach. Despite my combing personal navigators, available port excursions, etc., we weren't sure what we'd do on a boat for 7 nights. As it turns out, there was plenty to do.
1. Cabin - was great with ample room and storage. We had a deluxe family verandah room, and the split bathrooms were key. Our attendant kept it very clean and was in our room multiple times a day. We all slept amazingly well.
2. Food - meh. Kids' meals were mac and cheese, pasta, chicken tenders and broccoli everyday. Discovering mid-cruise that the ship had peas onboard was a relief so the kids could at least eat some other green. Everything looked good and seemed fresh, but execution in MDR was about what you'd expect when you have thousands of people to serve. The lobster tail was overcooked and dry, for example. Lamb shank was mostly tender but unevenly cooked, enormous and a bit out of proportion with the rest of the meal. The buffets were very clean and items generally fresh - no real variety and taste wasn't exceptional. Overall, though, we ate well and quickly enough, which isn't easy to say when you've got young ones to feed and yourself. Still, if the MDR was a standalone restaurant in my hometown, I wouldn't necessarily put it on my list of go-to restaurants.
3. Entertainment - was really disappointing, surprisingly. I didn't know the cruise wouldn't feature Aladdin and had been looking forward to it. Believe was pretty good. Wishes was terrible and all about a guy trying to tell his best friend that he's interested. Not really what I want to watch with my 6 yo daughter. There was a clogging act (tap dance with a millennial twist), circus/juggling, and a magician. We went out of our way to attend these performances (with the exception of the magician) and although my kids generally enjoyed it, I wish we didn't bother and instead enjoyed the pool, spa or even Captain Marvel (which we tried to watch but never made) instead.
4. Port Excursions - we handled on our own. Went to Cane Garden Bay one day and Magen's Bay the other. They were relaxing but my kids weren't feeling so hot and very tired so we only stayed for a couple of hours. As travelers who enjoy learning about other cultures, my husband and I realized very quickly that the stops are fun experiences but not really a way to see or learn about a location. I suppose that'd be really hard to do in just a few hours.
5. Kids Club - both kids liked it when we toured and seemed interested and engaged. But on the second night, my daughter felt that one of the counselors had chided her and got turned off. My second was never as into it. They spent limited time in it after that, which I didn't mind because I wanted to spend time with them but it definitely thwarted our plans to have quality adult time together.
6. Service - exceptional.
We put down a placeholder and will see if we return - the experience was great enough that I know we'd like to go on a cruise again. But the question I've been asking myself since planning this cruise as to whether it's worth it to spring for Disney over RCCL or another cruise line still remains.
Beautiful, clean. Pretty much in between the midship and aft elevators but we didn't mind the walk. Very quiet and we slept like babes.