We just returned from a 7 night cruise to Alaska from Seattle, WA. Since we live in WA, it was nice to not have to worry about plane fare. We had Shuttle Express pick our party up from our house and drive us right to the Pier. We have never had such easy boarding before. You wheeled your luggage in, then went to the counter to turn in your cruise documents. What was nice was they had Mickey and Minnie come out for pictures, so this took up the time that you had before boarding.
Once you get on, they immediately direct you to the buffet in Parrot Cay or Beach Blanket. Parrot Cay is much nicer and is one of the restaurants you eat in during the cruise.
Our check in card said that rooms wouldn't be ready until after 2:00 p.m. This was correct. We went up earlier only to find a red strap across the cabin corridors saying that rooms weren't ready. Have your swimsuit handy so you can swim if you are waiting to get to your room.
Each night you eat in one of three different restaurants. We must say, we had the BEST SERVICE on this cruise. Our server, Vishal Seth and his assistant, Gigi, were top notch. They were efficient, funny, and really seemed to be enjoying their jobs. Vishal did riddles and tricks for us each evening and also made our group different hats made out of the dinner napkins. We usually don't tip above the rate already assigned to you each day, but for these two, we did. We noticed that on days you could eat lunch in Triton's, that not all the waiters were as friendly, so we were really happy to sit at Vishal and Gigi's table (table 66).
What we were most disappointed about with this cruise was the FOOD. Very bland and just average. Each night a different steak was listed, but they all tasted the same---no seasoning, overcooked, lukewarm, and with brown gravy underneath. We love a good steak, but after three nights of trying them, we moved on to other entrees. We asked the waiter about the seasonings and were told that because it is Disney and they cater to kids, the food is pretty much "standard" and nothing fancy. The only great meal we had was the lobster dinner on the 6th night (Pirate Night). We were actually surprised by the large size of the lobster. One nice thing about Disney cruises is your soft drinks are included. On Carnival we have had to buy the soft drink card/glass.
Our stateroom was really nice considering we went with an inside room. The bed was very comfortable, and it was very nice to have two bathrooms (one with sink/toilet and the other with sink/shower). We were in room 7505 which was a short hallway with only 10 rooms at the front of the ship. There were no kids (or adults) running up and down the hallway. We never heard any noise.
If you are wanting to see Disney characters, this is the cruise for you! In your nightly bulletin, you would get a time line of which character would be at while spot and what time. The lines were short (except for the princesses when they combined all the princesses into one line). What I liked was Disney would take 2-3 professional shots with their camera, but then let you take one with your own. This saved a TON of money as we could print our own pictures of the same pose.
The kids clubs were really great and had a lot for kids to do. Not so much for grown-ups, though, especially during the daytime. Most activities started at 10:30 p.m. By then, you are too tired to go out because you have been up all day with your kids. And who wants to put them into a kids club at 10:30 pm when they should be in bed? We found ourselves being on our kids time schedule.
Disappointing is there were just 2 silent art auctions of pieces picked by the cruise. Other pieces of art that were on the wall could be purchased at the set price. Of course, what we wanted wasn't ever up for auction and was more expensive than we wanted to pay.
Having cruised with Carnival 4 times, and Norwegian one time, we found that Disney really is a cruise geared towards kids. If you want finer dining and more to do, don't go on a Disney cruise. There is no casino, and the Disney Wonder ship was pretty small compared to other ships we have been on.
We are glad that we did the Disney cruise, but we probably will go with another cruise line in the future.