I planned this trip 18 months in advance, booked it and planned like a crazy person. I was pretty disappointed when the price went down for a similar cabin by 1K after my paid in full date. Even though it was a holiday cruise it didn't sell out and they put it on sale. I never really got that right in my head.
Embarkation was fine, we got to the port about 10:40 am. All went well, we had to wait maybe 20 minutes before they called boarding group 7. We met up with our group at the bar on 3 next to the lobby. Kids changed into their swimming suits, we went up and got lunch. I would skip the pizza and burgers and go for cabanas. We didn't and weren't thrilled with the outdoor food options. Kids were fine with them of course.
Made our plans for the week with tastings etc. The line for tasting scheduling was long and not well organized. They had 2 sets of print outs and only one computer. They need a new system for that.
Sail away is very fun. Disney does a terrific job.
Our servers were very friendly but dinner service was a bit slow for our taste. 2 hours is a long time. We mentioned one night that we needed to move quicker and they did pick up the pace, but I think you need to mention it every night if you don't want a 2 hour dinner.
We were in cabin 2504, this cabin had some extreme noise from above on the 2nd night. We reported it to them and they said they would fix it while we were in port. We didn't hear the noise again until 2 nights later. We called about it and they immediately moved us to a new cabin. If you hear noise in your cabin, move the first time they offer, the noise will be back. They were very good about it, I suspect they have had problems. Our new cabin was 7530. Both cabins had door for connection, I'll tell you that you can hear everything between the connecting doors. I used ear plus which worked.
Food was really good, not excellent but quite good. Cabanas was good, dinner good too. The salmon was the only bad dish, I sent it back and of course got a new meal. I would go with the recommendation of your servers.
Shows were top notch, entertainment terrific. Don't miss the shows. The adult shows could be a bit more adult. There was nothing in them that my 12 year old hasn't already heard.
The Mixology was absolutely the best thing on the ship. It's in Skyline Lounge with adults only and the best time every. Don' t miss it. What a bargain for $15.
We used the Rainforest room, even though the first day they wouldn't sell me day passes. When I called back on day 2 they miraculously had found some availability. They were hoping to sell full week passes. 2 days was just perfect and I recommend it.
My kids were"aged" up to Edge. They practically refused my 12 year old ( just a few weeks shy of 13) entrance into Lab. Said she was too old, wouldn't enjoy it etc. Really talked us out of it. My second daughter is almost 11 and they let her in Edge. So that's where they went, but they mostly just did their own thing together with friends they met. They went to movies, dancing, karaoke etc. They had a great time.
We did a few character greetings, but it wasn't the main thing for our trip at their ages.
We did Palo on the last night. It was a mixed bag The service was so slow. We had a 7:30 reservation and wanted to make a show and pack by 10:15. We finally had to ask them to pick up the pace so we could do all of that. Seemed like plenty of time to us, but they had to move us along. We were so pleased with appetizers, pasta etc. Out of 5 entrees only 1 person was pleased. The tuna was flavorless, and the steak was really just ok (not even as good as a typical steak house on land). They offered to get us new entrees but we were full and out of time.
We had a few very windy days and 2 of our excursions were cancelled. Both Cozumel and grand Cayman had unusually windy weather. It was disappointing to have 2 excursion days cancelled. Disney can do nothing about the weather. Castaway Cay was a bit cool but we made the most of it. Costa Maya was really great.
I thought Debarkation was a mess. The line was terribly long backing up into the lobby. I would not let them push you earlier than 8:30 because you just stand and wait. Enjoy and relax a bit.
I'm glad we did the cruise, we loved it made some great friends and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I do not think I would jump back into a Disney cruise due to the cost. It's just so much more than a similar cruise on Royal Caribbean (we've been on 3 cruises with them including the Oasis). To me it' s a once in a life time cruise. If I found a great deal, I jump at it, I just wouldn't pay the premium price again. I know people on our sailing did find great deals. Wait for those.