Sailed 12/6-12/13/2012 with my husband and 2 young children ages 3 and 5 out of Fort Lauderdale with stops at Belize and Cozumel.
The worse part of the entire cruise was getting off the ship. We were group 15, it took 2 hours from when they called our number until we were thru customs and getting into a taxi. Not pleasant, even worse with a 3 and 5 year old. And there was no process for those of us needing to use the elevator because the line started on deck 3 and went down 2 flights of stairs. I had to wait off to the side after squeezing thru the crowd with my 2 young children and our carseats on wheels while my husband went to the end of the line and then we finally joined up with him. (We got the idea from a group of young women in their 80's) This line made us sort of glad to be getting onto a plane flying home. Luckily our flight wasn't until 2:35pm so we did not have the added pressure of rushing to make our flight. Getting on the boat at 11:45 took about an hour. I heard people getting there later took almost 2 hours to get aboard!
Onto the rest of our experience, which was mainly all positive.
Kids Program: Our kids really enjoyed the Adventure Ocean program, allowing us to not feel guilty dropping them off so we could have some adult only relaxation. The staff there were great and made sure the kids were having a good time. I love that this babysitting service is included for free, they even had some free lunch and dinners for kids only if you wanted to (we did not do this although my son was sad about that). We did do the dining option where we ate at the 6pm main dining room and got to drop our children off right outside the dining room door at 6:40 after they finished their main course, allowing us to eat our main course and dessert without our 3 year old climbing all over us and 5 year old telling us he's bored. And our waiter Gene was excellent with the kids, my daughter wanted "the funny man" to eat all her meals with her. There was also a blacklight puppet show that the kids loved, a nice friendship theme.
Food: We both enjoyed the main dining room for dinner, although I thought the entrees on the last night were not very appealing and instead I had multiple appetizers because they sounded much better. The entrees I had were Prime Rib, Garlic Tiger Shrimp(only 4, definitely not enough for most people, this was formal night), can't remember night 3, Lobster and Shrimp(our waiter did come around with more lobster tails for those who wanted them) and on the last night I had french onion soup, spanish tapas, baked feta and tomatoes, and shrimp cocktail. The desserts were fine, actually my favorite was the chocolate dish that is on the menu every night, unfortunately I didn't try it until the last night! We did the character breakfast both times it was offered (2 times), kids loved it. Ate in Windjammer for the rest of the breakfasts and 3 lunches. I found Windjammer not to be very good, I remembered it being much better when we sailed on Radiance of the Seas 7 years ago. I was disappointed for my 3 year old that there were not chicken strips offered anytime at Windjammer. She's not that picky when it comes to french fries but even she did not like them very much. I did need to go visit Cafe Promenade and Sorrento's most days to get a snack after not eating much in Windjammer for lunch. My son says the pizza in the main dining room was the best pizza out of Windjammer, Sorrento's and the dining room at dinner. I found the pizza to be pretty bad, not inedible but poor. I may be a pizza snob, we have good pizza in Chicago. We did have lunch in Johnny Rocket's one day. It was nice to get some better fries, onion rings were good, burgers were good, sundaes were good. It was annoying that the only "free" drink was water since we're paying a $5 upcharge, they could at least have the lemonade and iced tea and milk for the kids. My 3 year old was extremely unhappy she couldn't drink her chocolate milk with lunch. And it was a little too loud for my kids, although I personally thought it was a fun atmosphere and enjoyed it.
Activities: It seemed like the evenings were jammed pack full of activities and not much during the daytime. I am sure for most people that is great but we had 2 small children to put to bed so we didn't get to enjoy the evening activities after 9pm. I would have liked to see more during the daytime. The Dreamwork characters made my daughter's cruise, so I was glad to see them out so often. It was weird that there was one day where there wasn't a single appearance by anyone, try explaining that to a 3 year old. That was in Cozumel. Casino had a great selection of slots, tons of penny slot, wish it was open while were docked at Cozumel since we were on the ship most of that day. Husband did the flowrider, that looked extremely hard for most people, I didn't try it because it looked like it really hurt when you fell.
Excursions: We only did one, semi-submersible sub in Belize followed by a private island. It was fine, good for little kids but a little long in the sub part for them, they would have preferred the beach for long, sub for shorter. Seeing the coral reef was interesting. Didn't do one in Cozumel, the kids wanted to just be on the ship, which was fine with me.
Pools: Adult only pool was nice and peaceful, nice hot tubs hanging over the edge. Main pool was fine, hard to find lounge chairs after 10:30am on at sea days. The kids pool was so great for the kids, even the hot tubs in that area were not too hot for the kids but hot enough to keep me happy. I would have liked the pools to be 3-4 degrees warmer. The weather was sunny and in the mid 80's most of the time.
Drinks: We were able to bring 2 bottles of wine aboard easily. I was happy that they served Blue Moon beer. I had a mai tai that was good, also a drink of the day, Bahama Mamma, that was quite good and strong.
Room Attendant: was fine, got towel animals 2 nights out of the 5. The kids were thrilled, wish we got them more nights. Other than that the service was fine, room was just an inside room, it was fine, pillows were a little lumpy.