After sailing several lines my husband finally agreed to take the Disney cruise as we traveled with my twin sister and her husband. She (a Disneyland Cast Member) and I have always been huge Disney fans, whereas my husband was saturated with Disneyland growing up and once every 10 yrs. is enough for him. His assessment of the cruise overall is that it met his expectation of Disney excellence in all areas from the moment of stepping on to leaving the ship. In fact, disembarking the ship was the low point as children crying and long lines to exit delayed the process.
Disney themeing is thoroughout in over 5,000 pieces of art everywhere you look, it tells the story. Soft Disney music plays in the background, and the Characters leave you alone and stay to designated areas. Adult only areas were frequented and the general atmosphere was one of relaxation if you wanted it, or excitement, have it your way! Dining was really good in the rotational restaurants, but the Animator's 2nd time where you draw on the placemat and your character is animated on the screens during dessert brought smiles and joy to every face as we recognized our handiwork on screen. We saw it 3 times, so were able to take a picture of it when it came around again, a huge plus, and we got our placemats back afterwards. Our dining servers rotated with us, and we felt a friendship with them as they seemed genuinely interested in getting to know us. Alla and Maria were wonderful! Our stateroom attendant Nicholae was almost a ghost, room cleaned twice a day with lots of chocolates and towel animals daily.
We also went to each of the Specialty dining opportunities, reservations only which we were lucky to obtain being first time Disney cruisers. My husband felt that the Remy Brunch and Remy dinner was the best dining he had ever experienced in his life, and that is saying a lot. And he discovered he prefers the French cooking influence over Italian at Palo. The ambience was subtle and tastefully created everywhere you look from china and crystal to furniture and wall coverings carrying out the themeing. We both felt the surcharge was worth the product, and would do it again.
Senses Rainforest Spa experience was a little pricey, but we did this as a first time experience also. Honestly, we were so busy around the ship even on days at sea that we found it difficult to schedule ourselves free time to partake!
Disney Pin Traders, everywhere! All the onboard shops have cast members with pin trading lanyards and several of the shops onboard have books to select from (rules apply, 2 trades per guest at a time). Also Officer's Pin Trading Night has 10 officers with lanyards giving guests delightful trading opportunity. There was also a family onboard with children who also traded with anyone who cared to, and the father had 3 huge books to select from, trading at his discretion. His children were "whatever you want"!
Pirate Night with fireworks and Halloween costume night were also opportunities for guests to dress up, and yes, some of the costumes were very elaborate! Disney Cruise Line provided each guest a pirate themed bandana to keep and make part of their costume.
Castaway Cay was the prettiest island we have experienced. Family snorkeling area had lots of fish, and Senenity Bay the Adult only area was peaceful and delightful. Who wanted to leave? BBQ lunch was typical and served in both areas. The trams took guests to different areas from the docked ship, and bicycle rentals were very popular.
I do agree that if you are a Disney fan, it adds to the overall experience. I loved it and would welcome a repeat on any DCL ship anytime in my future.