I have a five year old and a nine year old. We booked our cruise and received an excellent price. Must of been lucky because we received an Ocean View Stateroom with a Veranda. My advuce is to go to different travel agencies and shop around. It may have been the timing of my going through ours however I got a good deal.
I would tell everyone that although Disney is more expensive that the other cruise lines, you really get a tremendous amount of value. If you have small children you are going to have a great vacation experience. Disney makes everything easy for moms and dads.
Online registration, online excursion registration, online billing, make it a cash free environment for you while on board. The only cash you will need is for spending if you choose an excursion that is off the Disney owned island of Castaway Cay. (for buying in the shops in Nassau or Atlantis).
They also have a tip system where they will automatically deduct the minimum tip More
amount from your account. I opted to pay my cabin stewart and servers cash.
The rotation dining was great. I was able to experience all of the restaurants and our servers travelled with us to each dining room throughout the week.
Our waiter and assistant server really went out of there way to make our dinning experience special. It does pay to be nice to them. I am saying this because you will see them even in Castaway Cay and if you have a good rapport with them, they will really help you and go out of there way.
Disney is famous for the child care services. There is a day care center for toddlers. There is also an Ocean Club for kids 4 to tweens.
I felt very comfortable with the counselors. However my kids wanted to enjoy the ship with us and they did not want to be apart from my wife and I.
If you have a work out routine already, do not miss the Spa on the ship. It was so easy to get up early and run a mile on the treadmill and workout.
The ships White Cap shop has childrens advil and some other basic remedies. There is also a pediatrician on board. When you dock into castaway cay there is a mini first aid clinic with a pediatrician. So do not worry about being in a small health care emergency with your child.
I had two negatives.
Althogh the famous Aqua Duck was all it was hyped to be (no dissapointments). The two pools were small and there were no life guards in each pool.
My kids were very comfortable and the kids in the pool were well behaved. understand it is a parents responsibility to look after there own children.
However, I found it odd that Disney who has a reputation for safety did not have one of there young ambassaors supervising each pool.
They did have staff members supervising the Aqua Duck and a small water slide on deck.
Internet and Communications:
The other negative was the internet service. It was not worth even logging into. Since it is a satelitte service, it was expensive. The speed was worse than dial up. For those of you who can remember the early days of AOL wich offered 14k dial up service back in 1994, the service offered on the ship was WORSE. This is a negative for those moms and dads who needed to keep in touch with business matters. Also, cell providers charge $5.00 per minute for using a cell phone while at sea. I brought a majic jack which works perfectly on my laptop when I use my local DSL hookup. However it did not work at all using the ships internet service.
This is a dissapointment that I will be addressing with Disney directly. In addition, there is so little time that is spent in Nassau that there was no time to call on shore from a payonline.
The fact that I wss incommunicado for most of my trip was good for a workaholic like myself. Vacations were meant to be with family and not to worry about work or the outside world
Overall I will choose Disney again for sailing. Less