Embarkation/Check In process We drove to the port (and others in the party were transferred). We experienced some confusion on the part of the staff when we were checking in since we had some members of the party with us, and others checking in at a different time. They were unable to process check-ins for partial rooms without a lot of grief. It took a while, but we eventually got it straightened out, and we got onto the ship.
We proceeded to the ship to check the kids into the kids club, since there was a very long line to do this at the port. Still a very long line onboard the ship (over 30 minutes).
Up to the Beach Blanket Buffet for a very nice lunch.- the food was always excellent
We had dinner at Palo the first night (At least most of the adults in the Party did). It is an Italian themed restaurant and was excellent. Highly recommended. I had a fillet mignon that practically melted in my mouth.
Per Disney's plan, we rotated between the three regular dining rooms onboard, and they were all very nice. The food was consistently good for dinner, and we had lots of tasty meals. There seemed to almost always be a filet or tenderloin and a fish entree offered. I liked that there are always sugar free desert options for those in our party who had sugar restrictions. Our dining room waiter and assistant waiter were awesome with magic tricks, and quick service.
Lunches for us were experienced in a number of venues, and each was good.
Breakfast for us was at Beach Blanket every day, except departure, when we had breakfast at the Parrot Cay Restaurant.
Travelling with a Disabled Traveller:
We travelled with my dad in a wheelchair, and two caregivers- one for daytime, and one for night time. The stateroom he stayed in was very large and spacious. The bathroom was excellent, and had a fantastic roll-in shower. (Cabin 7638, and his caregiver was in 7636 which also was handicapped, and had a roll in shower). Our only nit was that the rooms did not interconnect, so she had to go out to the hall in the middle of the night, if she wanted to go to her room.
The ship is generally very accessible, and we experienced no difficulties there.
My father's stateroom steward was very helpful, and went above and beyond. We found that they really made it easy to travel with someone who can be quite needy.
Most of our party stayed in 6592, 6596, and 6598. The cabins were adequately sized with balconies. There is very little space at the end of the beds to get around , but it is manueverable. The bathrooms are a split layout- with toilet and sink on one side, and sink and shower on the other. There are two separate doors. I'm rather larger in size, so I found it somewhat difficult to actually enter the toilet part of the bathroom, because there was a stopper that stopped the door from opening fully. This necessitated a great deal of contortions.
Also, the cabin steward we had was not as good as we've had on other cruises, or on other cruise lines. I generally have the expectation that they'll service the room while we're out for the morning, and do the evening turn-down while we're at dinner. That didn't necessarily happen. We had a couple of evenings when it got to be very late, and I had to tell him to please come and do his thing, since I was headed to bed. The first day, he didn't manage to get into our stateroom, despite our being gone from 8:00 AM until almost 1:00 PM. Then he came knocking at 2:00 when we were down for a nap.
Cozumel: Is very pretty. We did a couple of different dolphin tours. the one my daughters and au-pair ended up on was better than ours(They went to Dolphinaris). We had dolphin discovery. We had to wait for almost an hour and a half in the sun, despite being on time. My son ended up getting a bit sick from being in the heat and sun during that time. He was crying and unhappy (and I can't say I blame him) at being left to stand there for so long. I did address it with them, and their response was just to let us get into the water with the manatees to pet them for a couple of minutes. IMO- too little- too late.
Castaway Cay: Stunning, and a real highlight of the trip. We fed the stingrays, and snorkeled with them. That was a lot of fun, and a great deal for the money. On Castaway, lunch is brought to the Cookies/Cookies too restaurants, and they serve a lovely Barbecue. There are also kids club activities, and many, many things to do. A lot of them are included in the cost. Very nice. I could honestly just go there a couple of times during a cruise, and be quite happy.
We had 6 kids, ranging in age from 6 to 14 with us, and they all had a good time. The two 14 year olds were almost aged out of the camp, so they spent more time with the adults, but the younger kids practically lived in the kids clubs.
Beautiful Spa. Great time. I had the seaweed wrap, a stone massage, facial, manicure and pedicure. The rest of the family visited as well. The teen/Tween girls in the party were very disappointed to find out that they could only get a mini nail 'do, and a mini facial. Not a full mani/pedi, and not a full facial. We've gotten those on other cruises, and routinely get them at home. (My Oldest gets facials regularly to help treat acne)