First off, let me say that we have only been on one cruise before, it was a Carnival cruise back in the day when we were party animals. We hated that cruise, so many kids and families everywhere, swore never to go on a cruise again. Well, once we had a child of our own our attitude changed quickly, we wanted to take him somewhere more than just the beach, but we needed an all inclusive type deal. Let me tell you, the Disney Cruise Line was the way to go.
We left from Galveston in a one bedroom suite. We had enough room for my 15 month old's toys, crib, and all that other baby stuff you have to take with you. (Remember, there is no such thing as over packing for a toddler) Every morning we had milk and coffee delivered to our stateroom around 7, then we would go eat breakfast at the buffet. Now, keep in mind that the Disney programs they have are for children 3 and older, however, they have many activity opportunities for younger children. We would always go to an open house every morning, and let him play on all the big kid equipment, then we would head off to the splash zone around 10:00 am. Sometimes they would have organized activities for him to participate in, sometimes they didn't, either way, water shooting up in all directions in a 600 sq. foot area was enough to entertain my child and us while we sat at table right next to the splash zone, and had cold beverages ;). It was never too crowded in the pool area. The food in the pool area was average. The chicken strips were pretty good as was the sandwiches/ fresh fruit they offered. We usually had to put down our boy around 12 to avoid meltdowns, so we always headed back to the cabin around then to put him down for a nap. After he fell asleep, one of us would go to the buffet and grab some lunch plates and bring them back to the room to eat on our balcony, very peaceful. Once he woke up, there was usually toddler time somewhere on the ship with lots of toys/coloring for him to do with our supervision. We did use the Flounders reef nursery everyday for about an hour tops, just so we could go enjoy some adult time in the adult part of the pool. Honestly, the adult side of the ship wasn't near as fun as the kid side (go to the Goofy Pool). Our supper was every night at 5:45, they always had my son's milk ready and we and a private table. Food was ok, not great, but worked for us. We stood in line for all the characters, they were a bit long, but it never bothered us. The shows were pretty neat, especially Toy Story the musical. My son sat through some of them, some we had to leave early. Our room was pretty quiet, except when they were moving furniture chairs around the pool area at night.
I don't really have a lot to say about the ports, mainly because we didn't really leave the ship, we had been to Jamaica, and Cozumel before so there wasn't a lot we wanted to do. The cool thing was that everyone would rush off the ship in the morning and we basically had the whole ship to ourselves until everyone returned. We did do some shopping in each port but returned right back to the ship within two hours, to enjoy it!
Disembarkation was awesome. They called our Ariel tag and we were off the ship, in our car, headed home by 9:00 am, so so easy.
The last thing I wanted to mention was to the parents questioning if they should take a young child (under 3) on a Disney Cruise. Do it. Ignore all these reviews of people saying its a waste of money and leave your kid at home with a sitter. I read them before I left and wish I hadn't because I really thought it would be horrible. Now, don't expect it to be completely peaceful with no meltdowns, or that you will get to do every little thing they offer. We did so so much together as a family and I felt it really was worth it.
Sadly, Disney Cruise has left Galveston for good :( but hopefully they will return one day and we will be able to go again. We are going to try to a Royal Caribbean next!