The reason for this cruise was to celebrate my daughter's 8th birthday. In total we were a traveling party of 5, with my daughter being the only child in our group. I had heard rave reviews from prior Disney cruisers and from some reviews, so I was expecting a totally magical experience. There were pros and cons to this cruise and overall, I feel Disney needs to work a little bit harder to Improve certain aspects of this cruise. I would consider myself an experienced cruiser and traveler and was expecting the same amazing experience we receive when traveling to Disney World, but just on a ship.
To begin, embarkation was complete chaos. The terminal was clean, but did not have enough space or seating to hold the passengers that were waiting. After completing online check in and being assigned a time of 1:30 for embarkation, I assumed we would be on the ship between 1:30 and 2 give or take. We waited and waited and waited, while lines were forming for photo ops with Minnie and lines to enroll children in the kids program, there wasn't a square inch to be had, and passengers waiting were in all of that mix. There were 2 vending machines to purchase snacks and by the time we arrived to purchase a quick something to hold us over until we were able to board, we were left with an empty vending machine. Standing in chaos without a place to sit with an anxious, hungry 8 year old, was not the way we anticipated starting our vacation.
Upon embarkation we were given antibacterial wipes, to cleanse our hands, and kudos to Disney, because throughout our cruise, the ship was spotless. The attention paid to maintaining a clean ship was impressive. From our stateroom to all public areas, it was spotless.
Our stateroom was ready when we boarded the ship and our luggage was delivered promptly, which was another pro. Our stateroom was like any other out there, but another pro, separate shower and toilet areas, which was super! Our stateroom attendant, Ederson, was out of this world!!! He is definitely one of the best ! He ensured that my daughter had the best towel creatures and surprises every day in our cabin. His warm and caring personality and attention to details made this part of our Disney cruise experience wonderful.
The food was equally wonderful. The rotational dining was a pleasure and the entertainment was typical of Disney. The quality was phenomenal and even my husband, who does not enjoy theatre, was impressed with the entertainment. Our server at dinner was outstanding as well. His name was Tumelo and like our stateroom, attendant, made sure we were well taken care of. Tumelo mad sure my daughter was able to order as much Mickey pasta and cream sauce as she wanted. His attention to detail and hard work was impressing.
While out at sea, plan on getting up early in order to get a good seat at the pool and in the proper spot to watch movies on the funnel vision, the mega screen on the pool deck. Again, it seems there needs improvement with this. Be prepared to have to wait to get into the pool, hot tub and Aquaduck. This space was extremely crowded and it seems as though the family pools were not large enough to accommodate all the families on board. The novelty of the Aquaduck was thrilling until our first ride. Carnival and NCL have much better watersides.
Our ports of call were great and if in St. Thomas definitely book the shoe excursion on the Champagne Cat to St. John. We have booked with them before and Captain Ocean, Captain Ryan and all the crew were great!! We will definitely be visiting them again.
We enjoyed the launderette and on board irons there. Be aware the machines are tricky to use and we ended up being charged for more uses than we actually used.
Lastly, debarkation was equally chaotic as embarkation and something that could be organized
Overall, our trip was enjoyable and thankfully the pros out weighed the cons.