We have been on five previous cruises, all with Princess. Perhaps, if this was our first cruise, this review would be more favorable. After saying that, I have to admit that we did not cruise with children before. We cruised this time with our daughter and son in law, our two grand children, 5 and 9, and another couple with their two children of the same age.
The children loved the cruise and they loved the Oceaneers Club and Lab. When we were out on an excursion, they wanted to go back to the ship and join the Club. All the Characters were friendly and cuddly. The Princesses were always smiling and caring. They really enjoyed the pool and water slide regardless of the outside temperature.
The little wristbands they put on the kids and the mobile wave phones were a big plus. We always knew where the kids were and when they wanted to be picked up. We felt the children were completely safe on board.
The entertainment was superb, only as Disney could do it. Very magical and delightful. Always family oriented.
Now, for the negatives, and this is speaking from the adult point of view. There is very little for adults to do on board. There is the Spa, which is costly, the pool, and the gym. Of course there were a few lounges on board, and we did enjoy a nightly drink in The Cadillac Lounge. Our daughter and son in law felt the same way. Even though the kids were busy in the Clubs, there wasn't much for the adults to do. Our daughter did take in a movie at one time, and we went to a Naturalists lecture a couple of times, but that's about it. Even the so called adult entertainment was very tame.
The food was okay. The lobster that was served one night was so dry, I couldn't finish, and that's a first for me. Everything was edible, just not great. The desserts were not bad. We did go to the restaurant Palo one night, and that was superb.
The most annoying thing was the sound system. It was so loud that I shuddered every time an announcement would come on. Every evening at dinner, the Cruise Director would come on and I would want to cover my ears. Even in the theater, during live performances, the sound was so incredibly loud. Perhaps so we could hear over the screaming of the hundreds of kids. If I ever do a cruise like this again, I will definitely bring ear plugs.
Compared to Princess, the ship was not nearly as elegant, but then it's more designed for kids. The decks were narrower so when walking around Deck 4, there was little room for passing passengers. If you're jogging, you really had to be careful.
Our stateroom was fine, and I did like the double bathroom. Everyone on board was very friendly and helpful. We had a few problems, but they were promptly taken care of.
Bottom line, we thought this was wonderful for the children, but we would choose another cruise line for adult relaxation.