First let me say this was our first cruise with kids (ages 7,2 & 1). We opted to book the family ocean view cabin based on RC recommendations. It was not the vacation we expected... Some due to RC and some because of the weather. My three points I wish I knew before I cruised and booked the family room:
1- the family state rooms are either at the very front of the ship or the very rear. Our stateroom, 6200, was at the very front. We left out if jersey on may 11th ( my now 7 year olds birthday). We hit a pretty bad storm going out. Our first night going into the second day-till about 4pm- was horrible. We couldn't even stand up because the rocking was so bad. Two of my children were committing plus my husband. Obviously, it's a risk you take when cruising but my warning to anyone looking at booking a family room is DO NOT DO IT. Spend the extra money to have a connecting room in the middle incase you hit a storm.
2- the in room child care service for children under 3 ( since they cannot take part in the adventure ocean kids program). The in room service is not guaranteed! At no point did any representative from RC tell me this when I asked and called a million times about this. How the service works is you go to deck 5 at the customer service area or whatever you call it and give them the times and dates you want childcare. THEN-here's the good part- you are put on a list! If a crew member wants to pick up extra hours or make extra money they sign up for childcare services. So the in room childcare is not provided by "childcare" providers.. As it was explained to me when I called. Needless to say we never utilized the I room child care service because I was not comfortable leaving my two you get ones with just anyone who wanted to pick up extra hours. I can say my oldest did participate in the adventure ocean program. She went three night from about 7-10pm. She liked it but said it was boring because they played the same games every night. Their programs make it sound as if there were themes for each night and that was not the case.
3-the food in the windjammer cafe was the same crap day after day. Now we used it for breakfast and lunch daily and dinner once. We were not impressed.
Last bit of info- our days at sea were rather boring. They didn't have much activities going on between 10am till dinner. Granted if we had warmer weather we could face spent our time at the pool but they should have activities going on all day! We were bored! Unless you like bingo or getting Botox.
Overall it was a decent experience but I would have definitely stayed in center ship more and maybe tried a different ship like the ones with the dream works experience.
The port was fairly easy to navigate. Wait time to get up to where you unload was long but once we unloaded we were on ship with in a half hour. The process was simple even with three kids under 7