For a first time cruise, 5 nights was perfect. This ship has a lot of activities and it did take a while to figure out what was what and what each activity actually entailed. Unless you are familiar with this ship, expect to be stumbling around for a while figuring everything out. Food was good. There was plenty of variety and was mostly cooked well. This isn't a 5 star restaurant, so it's not reasonable to expect 5 star food. There was plenty of activities for children, but ages 9 and over were free to come and go as they pleased from the Kids Club. There were also plenty of younger children unsupervised. Personally I wouldn't let my children run all over the ship annoying others and getting into mischief, but each to his own I suppose. If you don't want to be annoyed by children, don't go on this ship. It is aimed at families. If you do choose this ship, don't complain about too many children. I was surprised at the number of grumbles I heard about "all the children". The shows in the evenings were fantastic! Mostly we really enjoyed ourselves. The negative points would be:
* There was no swimming pool a child could stand up in - they were too deep. So children used the spas like swimming pools, splashing around in them. Very hard to enjoy a spa like that. Not blaming the children at all. They had no choice!
* It is supposed to be a child friendly ship, yet the casino is in full view to the children. You have to walk through it to get to certain parts of the ship. I don't see why they couldn't make the casino a room with a door!
Very small cabin for 4 people, but you get what you pay for. We paid the cheapest possible, so we were expecting it. You don't spend too much time in there anyway. The beds were very comfortable and everything worked. It would have been handy to have some more drawers to put clothes in. If I was going on a longer cruise (ours was 5 nights) I would seriously consider a larger room for 4 people in order to accommodate the extra luggage. We only barely fit with what we had. We received the same level of service as those with balconies or more expensive cabins. It was always serviced professionally and cleaned well.
Hobart is a beautiful city and small enough to see much in a day. The Botanical Gardens are especially lovely and give small boys with energy to burn plenty of space to run around! (Bit hard to do that on a cruise ship). If you are going to book a tour on your own (not through the ship) or go around on your own, I suggest you book and organise everything beforehand. Queues can get quite long in the Visitor Information Centre and hire cars book out.