Notes from a first time family of 3 - We are 33 year old parents with a 4 year old son.
Pre Cruise - Coast Hotel is awesome - we enjoyed their park, stay and cruise package - Rooms are huge, shuttle is efficient, location is perfect and breakfast was better than anticipated. The $20 for a view is highly recommended. We checked in early on our own at around 9:30 at the Queen Mary. After this we returned to hotel to relax and eat breakfast before taking the shuttle over to the terminal around noon. We were onboard the ship with in 30 minutes despite being the last people in line from the early check ins.
Cabin - Bigger then expected - extended balcony was awesome - panoramic deck (8) is a great location - no issue with noise
Food - Buffet was OK - typical middle of the road buffet food - Cook to order stations like the Deli, Omelette's, Carving Station, and Stir Fry were great. My 4 year old ate grilled cheese from the deli every day. Dinner at Normandy had it's moments. The service was unbelievable. Our waiter Srdan was the highlight of our trip for my 4 year old. Highlights were the lobster, New York Steak, and Prime Rib. I can not say how impressed we were with the service. Srdan would even find our son Zach during lunch to talk with him. We did David's one night as well. Food was not Ruth Chris but was quite good. We thought the meal was excellent but not worth the additional $75 we paid.
Kid's Club - 2-5 year old's had a blast. We left our son screaming the first day - By the end of the trip he was begging to go - I will admit we let him go to the arcade after every visit but that is not why he had a good time. They played games, watched movies, did projects and generally catered to every child. My only complaint is that their schedule and activities did not necessarily jive so my wife and I missed some activities we would have liked to have done. Note - the kid's club is not included in your pre arranged tips - Don't forget these wonderful women.
Overall - We will probably not cruise again - we all got sick from a virus my son got the 2nd day in the kids club - Apparently several of the small kids got something that made them sick. There were also 10 ft swells on the return to LA that left people vomiting everywhere. We had the unfortunate pleasure of getting in to an elevator that had been decorated. The real kicker for us was that after driving home after the cruise both my wife and I were extremely motion sick once we got out of the car. It lasted about 24 hours but was miserable
I give the Pride high marks for service, decor (ignore the complaints about their choice of art) , itinerary , cabins and entertainment. Unfortunately, I think we are just landlovers.
Feel free to email me with any questions