We have cruised Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian and Celebrity, a total of 14 cruises and we enjoyed all of them. But our 7 day cruise on the Disney Wonder tops every one. The service, attention to detail, entertainment, etc.were all impeccable.
To start, the embarking process wasn't the usual chaos I am used to. You choose your own boarding time, according to availability, so there are no long lines to get on the ship (bit of advice - do your online registration as soon as possible to get your 1st choice). As you enter the ship, your family name is called and the staff cheers for you! Great way to start a vacation.
Our room was very nice, about the same as we are used to on other cruise lines. We had a balcony on the 7th floor, great location. We had booked for a special price in which our room was assigned, we just knew the category would be navigator balcony or above. Our family booked three rooms, so my one concern was that we would not be together, but we ended up all next to each other; another example of the staff trying to do their best for you. My one complaint was the bathtub. We are used to small showers on other cruise lines, but somehow a really small tub is kind of claustrophobic. I know Disney is proud of their 2-half baths per room, but I prefer a walk in shower. Small point.
Food and service in the dining room were excellent. Our granddaughters are 6 and 4 years old, and the wait staff just doted on them, they really went the extra mile. Disney's system of rotating dining rooms kept your interest. We had read reviews saying the food on Disney wasn't as good as other cruises, but I disagree. If anything, the taste, presentation and creativity topped all other cruise lines. The only course that I would not rank as excellent was dessert. Desserts were still good, but think their goal was to cut the sugar content a little; wise decision with all those kiddos on board.
Speaking of all the kids, it occurred to us about half way through the week that the noise level in the dining rooms or theaters was not any louder than had it been all adults. I never saw a child acting up, nor did I see any parents at the "end of their rope." Maybe we were just lucky, but it was impressive. I think all was set up so well that everyone was content and enjoying their vacation.
Which leads me into the children's programs. Our granddaughters loved Oceaneers Club and Oceaneers Lab. There were so many different activities and programs. They were always ready to return for more fun.
What really sets Disney apart from other cruise lines is the entertainment, all shows were fantastic. But to enjoy them to you must like Disney! Our girls loved seeing the characters and princesses on stage as part of each show, and we enjoyed it also.
As to ports, our favorite by far was Castaway Cay. It was the perfect beach experience, with everything we needed easily available, beautiful setting, great food. Having a tram to take us from one beach to the other was such a great convenience. We all wished we could just spend a second day there.
As to Key West, I highly recommend the Butterfly Conservatory, very unique, fun for all ages. We have been to Key West 4 times, and have a tradition of stopping somewhere for Key Lime Pie; and taking a picture (silly, but a family thing). In the past we went to Truman's Little White House, very interesting. Also recommended is the Hemingway House, our son and his wife toured there as we took the little ones back to the ship.
Nassau is not impressive, unless you want to spend a lot of money to go to Paradise Island; unfortunately not in our budget. We took the girls on a horse and buggy ride, paid extra for a longer trip, and were not impressed with some of the seedy looking areas we were taken through.
I appreciated some things that were missing - like cocktail waiters were not constantly bugging you, or not being stopped getting off ship for pictures, etc., no constant announcements for bingo, etc. We just felt we were treated with more respect.
We wanted to take a Disney cruise before Disney leaves Galveston in January. Not having to pay air fare almost cuts your vacation cost in half. But now that our family has done Disney, it would be hard to go back to other cruise lines leaving out of Galveston. So we just might have to start saving our pennies for the next cruise. We will definitely do Disney again