We have been on 4 cruises. Disney Wonder 3x and Disney Dream last June. We missed the personal touch of Disney with intro of your family over the PA as you come aboard the ship(does make you feel special), the handling of suite guests by escorting you through check in, up to the ship and then again personally escorting you up to a concierge lounge to go over your itinerary for the cruise. All taken for granted until you don't receive it, like on this cruise, but really not many companies are Disney so I really didn't expect it. Keep your expectations reasonable, go with the flow and you will be fine.You do pay alot more for suites though so getting extra service and convienience is not unreasonable and frankly one of the main reasons for upgrading....
THE SHIP: POA was clean and attractive with a nice Americana theme. Seemed to rock abit more in Pacific than others in the Carribean, not too bad though. Slightly smaller than the Wonder but nice size. We were too busy for pools or shows but did see comedian Tim Kaminski who was energetic and good. How he can do that cruise after cruise was impressive. You always feel you're the first people seeing and doing all this stuff but you aren't. I commend the staff for keeping it fresh for each cruise. There seemed to have plenty of stuff to see or do if you wanted.
THE CABINS: We stayed on deck 10 Owners suite(OS) #10002 connnecting to Penthouse suite(PH) #10008 on starboard side. I think I would do #12500 and 12502 if could do over, better port view and higher deck but more stairs, if you use them. The suites connected but not the balconies which had a wall/partition separating them. Extra space in rooms was great to come back to after tiring touring days. OS has 2 round tables, one on balcony, both for @2-3 people, and a spa tub on balcony for @4 people. Have to look out plexiglass wall to see scenery which can get cloudy and fogged up. Also the bubble jets have to be on for it to stay full otherwise it fills and then slowly drains and you must let it drain completely before you can fill it again. Kind of annoying if you just wanted to sit and soak and enjoy the view quietly. One king bed in both suites and they were the BEST BEDS EVER!!!!!!!! Can't stress that enough.Simply wonderful.Why aren't others saying this? My 6'5" son slept on pull out sofa diagonally,was acceptable but nothing like the beds. Once my 2 older daughters slept in their king they wouldn't budge for nothing. My 15 year old daughter slept on pull out sofa and made a pillow fort which she liked. The pillow menu for suite guests was great and we all got a sample of each type, 3 each, very comfy as well.No problem with shower although functionality of it was really odd for turning on/off annd hot/cold. Not easy to operate and accidently sprayed myself several times turning it on to get it warm. Rooms were clean with polished wood. No bad smells anywhere. Going down the hall the PS doors are a bright pink fuchia. My kids were calling them the "Shag Rooms" like Austin Powers movie. PS had wilder decor colors, OS more subdued with forest green front door, wifey liked color scheme in OS. Our butler Matt was great, very calm and competent. Room steward Vilma(sp?) was always busy working on rooms. She was cheery and a very hard worker.We didn't run into anyone complaining or not ready to offer help or assistance. Thomas, the concierge also knew how to work a room, always asking how things at the Lazy-J Steakhouse where suites guests get breakfast and lunch at no charge there in a calmer and quieter setting. Only problem was it did take awhile to get your food so don't go there if you are under time constraints.Listening to the Hawaiian music station on TV while having in room breakfast at table in OS and table on balcony was enjoyabl. Menu not real extensive like Lazy-J but quicker. Views from starboard side are poor, especially on Kaui where port side sees lush hills/mountains and we saw rusted warehouses when in port. No lava to see from Hilo for us anyway on starboard. Did sit in balcony spa to catch flip side sailby of Na Pali Coast. Suite guests also can make dinner reservations before getting on ship. This in theory was great but make sure you check with butler once on board to confirm them. Our computor printout said one thing but the restaurants didn't have us listed. Did get turned away one night till we fixed it. Jefferson's Bistro was lovely, quiet, darker, and more romantic. Good food, extra $ for lobster but comes already out of shell,so much I could barley eat it all. Ate there 2x. Lazy-J good as well and again nice not to have hoards of people all around. Clamchowder Mmmmmmmm! Nice eggs benedict for breakfast but slow. Ate there 2x for dinner. Wished sodas included with meal like Disney but it's not good for you anyway ,right? OS frig was stocked with soda for us and we never tried to take any to a restaurant. Seemed tacky and they probably wouldn't allow it anyway. Teppannyaki was good food and show. Alittle different from previous experiences in similar stir fry restaurants and entertaining. Gave us nice cake for anniversary at no charge and it tasted great. Another cake we received in our suite was not good. Go figure? Liberty was nice, just big and busy. Wife's fish there was best she had all cruise she said. Nice bermuda shorts on son was a no no so he had to go back and change to long pants. Skyline I think would have been O.K. with it. Caddilac Diner was unimpressive, crowded,noisy, and brownie desert was HORRIBLE!! That was the main reason for us to eat there. "Friday's" brownie obcession desert was what I was expecting but this wasn't even close. All 6 of us got it and none of us could eat it, spoiled by "Friday's" I guess. Stale, dry brownie, barely any chocolate syrup, looked pretty but I noticed alot of deserts looked nice but didn't match in taste. I could go on and on about our excursions and such but I'm just too tired of typing. Oh , you also get priority boarding tender boat on Kona which helps get you off quicker if you have to be somewhere early. Priority checkin also, look for vertical sign to left of main line to check in. Easy to miss. We had a great time on this vacation and POA certainly was a big part of it. Enjoy your time together in Hawaii!