Kiki and Mamps are 65 and 70 respectively....most think we are in our 50s. We took our boys 6 & 7 on this cruise. It was a first time for them, and they knew about it since Christmas. They were really excited. When they got the call from Mickey 2days prior, they said "Mickey is really excited to have us come on the cruise."
Since we live in Naples, Fl and the boys had come down for spring break with their Mom and later joined by their Dad, we had a 4 1/2hr drive to Port Canaveral on Sunday the 18th. Got to the Port as timed about 2:15pm. Unload the bags, park the car, Kiki and boys had already had us checked in before I got to the desk. Then quick registration for the Youth Activities and their arm bands which work great for droping and picking up the boys from Oceaneer Club. Probably our only disappointment was with the Oceaneer club, as we had the impression the counselors, at least at check-in to the club, seemed totally disinterested in seeing that the kids got to what they wanted to do. We had to direct the boys to Professor Make O Mess...which they loved. However the day we were at sea they wanted to do Make a Puppet, and they were never directed to the activity and needless to say were disappointed. Except for this criticism, if you can call it that, this cruise was everything and more we expected. Disney does it right!
Embarkation was very easy and Disembarkation likewise (altho breakfast is too early for 1st seating--but keep in mind most ships don't even offer sitdown breakfast.
The Staterooms (we had two)were connecting and perfect. Lots of room, and the under the bed for the luggage a fabulous idea. Lots of closet space, drawers, etc. Flat screen TV with everything you would want, including the ship's entertain shows were playing as well as almost any Disney movie you could demand.
The service both stateroom and dining rooms was first class. Attendants were very courteous, wait state very friendly and helpful, along with making sure you had more than you would ever need.
The ports of call were Nassau, which Kiki and Mamps have been to before, and felt there was really nothing for the boys there. We chose to stay on board, and it was a great idea. Many did the same thing. We were able to ride the "Aquaduck" which we loved! What a fabulous ride. There is also a small slide for kids up to say 10, and the boys loved it and probably as much as the "duck" because the wait time was minimal.
The other port of call is Disney's Island--Castaway Cay. It is everything you would think Disney would do, if they were going to do a tropical island. Well they did it! Beautiful and again loaded with more activities than you could hope to do in several cruises or I should say days on the Island. Here the kids had a ball with the Oceaneer Club, and specifically FIONA FOSSIL looking for Whale's teeth. Fiona was terrific, actually from England, cute and perky with great rapport with the kids. They loved it!
The island food was very good. Served from Cookie's BBQ, they had Mahi Mahi, BBQ Chicken, Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, corn on the cob, cole slaw, tomato salad, chips, etc. They also had the ice cream machine, self-serve, like on the ship and the boys loved being able to draw their own cones. This was in addition to the other desserts available cookies, etc.
The shows were first rate. The Golden Mickeys was the boys favorite, and loaded with music, color, high tempo, as were all the shows. The Villains Tonite was the least favorite, but still cleverly down, the character Evil Underground played the Genie in the last nite show, Disney Believe. This is the one that Kiki and I thought was the best, and we liked it the most, but then again the boys loved all three although a little less thrilled with the Villains Tonite. The fourth show as Peter Gossamer, Magic and Comedy. He did incredible illusions and his shrinking his wife, and then cutting her up was just amazing and the boys, as we, were amazed.
On Monday nite, they had Mickey's Pirates of the Carribean. What a high energy show. It was held on the poolside stsge,with a huge not to be believed screen so all can see the action. We got up close and it was just FABULOUS! The fireworks were impressive, only thing is they are 10:30pm and really too late for 6 & 7yr olds, but we managed to do it with a little hour rest after dinner and before the fireworks.
The most difficult part of the cruise is figuring out when to eat. that is because with the kids, who need to sleep by 7:30 or so, they will either miss the show or dinner...unless you pass on one or the other. We did not pass on the shows, and we went to Flo's V8 Cafe, Tow Maters Grill...chicken fingers, bratwurts, hot dogs, hamburgers, fries.... The great thing about the shows on Tuesday and Wednesday they provided a 4pm Tuesday after Castaway Cay and so that matched with dinner at 5:45; then on Weds, our day at sea, they had a 3pm show, which was full so you could see we were not the only ones looking for more convenient times when you have smaller kids. With the early show they were then able to get the autograph session with the characters, we managed to get pictures and autographs with everyone, Pluto, Goofy, Donald & Daisy Duck, Mickey & Minnie, Chip & Dale...kids loved it! Characters and staff all very very accommodating....they want everyone to have a chance, and it works inspite of the number of people.... We had a capacity ship 4,000...Funny but it just did not seem so, and we never felt crowded except perhaps around the two family pools which are really for splashing around but not really swimming.
I should mention, although we did not get to use the facilities, there is a whole separate section for Adults only, and there are adult only activities, etc. We saw the pool, bar areas, etc. Terrific. You could take the cruise as adult only and never have any real issues with children.
In all fairness to all the kids we saw, we never saw any that were out of line. Must be something in the water.
An activity we loved, was the Midship Detective Agency. It is a computer assisted clue game to find either missing paintings or puppies and the evil wrongdoers. It takes you all over the ship covers decks 2 to 10. Boys said this was their favorite activity.
In summary...we'd do it again in a heartbeat, and actually are looking to see when we can do the next one. Scott says he wants to go on the Fantasy next, and Mitch says the Magic...oh well, we'll see if we can come to consensus.