We arrived home today from our very first Disney cruise. Let me start by saying that we have never been on Disney so we have only the "others" to compare it to (Carnival and Royal). There were many things that Disney did better than the others but the food was NOT one of them (will write more about that later).
Embarkation was awesome in Port Canaveral. We basically parked, walked across the street, and entered the terminal. The cruise line employees were very pleasant, almost like they enjoyed their jobs. A far cry from the NYC terminal that Carnival uses. If I never see that terminal again, it will be too soon. The employees at the NYC terminal were miserable and rude. It is for that reason that we will NEVER cruise out of NYC again. This process was smooth, pleasant, and it was almost as though the Disney terminal employees were excited for us.
Cabanas is basically the buffet. This area is very clean and they keep it well stocked. It is almost as though the minute someone takes something, they restock it. The food barely looks touched. The dessert line is tended by staff and all desserts are behind a sneeze guard (praise Jesus). Cookies are out for the taking but this is all (praise Jesus, considering what I saw people do with those). I am happy that all desserts are by request, otherwise those of us conscientious people would decline based on what we see from other passengers.
Our only complaint, Disney PLEASE request people wear shirts when they enter food areas. At Pete's Boiler Bites (the poolside burger joint), many hairy chested men approached the counter. Hello, skin sloughing, hair dropping ... duh!
Now, more about Pete's Boiler Bites and the food ... We believed that Disney could have done much, much better with the quality of food. Pete's dry burgers, fries, and horrible fish sandwich need a little attention. Like I said, Disney does WONDERFUL things on this ship but sadly, the food is not one of them. There is an enormous amount of food but sad when the best food is in the buffet area. We never went to the formal dinners in the restaurants. The food on the menu was unappealing. Come on Disney, we expected so much better.
The shows are really quite impressive and amazing. Our 7 year old daughter absolutely loved them as did we. Jimmy, the Cruise Director is just the right amount of energy without being obnoxious. Carnival has some of the most obnoxious Cruise Directors and one major difference is that we did NOT see the merchandise push on Disney that we have seen on Carnival. On Carnival, all you hear about is the onboard shopping and the great jewelry deals. You will see very little of this on Disney ..... thank you Disney.
Castaway Cay: Wow is all I can say. We did not make it into that port on the original day due to high seas (a common problem, I have read) but if you can make it in, it is worth the wait. Weather was 70 degrees and the effort Disney Magic puts into making this possible is incredible. They offload the ship ... bring ice cream machines, soda machines, etc onto the island. It is unbelievable. These people truly do work very hard.
Stateroom: Our room was really great as was the room steward, Baloy. He kept our room incredibly clean day and night and was very pleasant. Our only complaint about Deck 2 is that from day one the hallway and elevator area smelled like a trash compactor (we likened it to the town dump ... it reminded us of filling the truck and taking the trash on Sunday mornings). Not sure why this was. Perhaps because we were low on the ship?
All in all, this was a great experience. Our only real complaint truly was the food. The menu was terrible. The one night we did sit down for dinner, I had the worst piece of steak I have ever eaten. Certainly NOT Disney quality.
They did play movies that are currently playing in theaters (the theater is a nice relaxation) when kids are in Oceaneers Club (which our daughter LOVED ... so much for the kids to do). My husband watched Thor, we all watched Frozen, and I watched Saving Mr. Banks (great movie). We will DEFINITELY do another Disney Cruise. We are hopeful the food menu gets better prior to.