First off, if you don't love Disney, then this probably will be a little too much wholesome fun for you. However, being Disney lovers who also wanted a couple friendly/romantic type of vacation, we wondered when we decided to spend our anniversary on if we really could have the best of both worlds. Let me just say that DCL delivers!
We chose the second seating for dinner and hardly even noticed other kids around, but then, that could've been because we were seated with another great couple and had almost nonstop conversation the whole time. On our second night, we ate at Palo, which was a very reasonable surcharge of $20 per person. Our waiter was amazing and provided both excellent service and fun personal interaction. He was very knowledgeable about the food, which was phenomenal. That said, with three dining rooms that are included in the regular rotation, the need for paying extra for variety in dining just isn't there. We only ate a late breakfast at the buffet, which we loved (I'm a smoked salmon addict, and they had THREE KINDS of it!) and a bit of a snack at the poolside counter service spots in the late afternoon. The food on Castaway Cay was great for lunch, especially all of the fresh fruit that they offered. Also, another plus for us on this cruise was that soda was included in the price. I have seen beverage packages on other cruise lines that cost around $17/person per night. While DCL is certainly pricier than many other cruise lines, just taking into account and extra $34 per day you'd pay elsewhere for equivalent beverage packages, the value of free non-alcoholic beverages adds up a lot on longer cruises.
Our stateroom was roomy with lots of storage for our belongings. We had a family room with a verandah that was also handicap accessible, making it lacking in the standard tub, but also having more square footage than a standard room. Bed was comfortable, LOVED the Disney Spa toiletries! If they weren't so darned expensive to buy from Disney, I would be shelling out for that at home. Of course, the hidden Mickeys in the room were not so hidden for the most part, but we just loved how the room had a classy, elegant feel, yet had the whimsy of the Mickeys tastefully sprinkled here and there.
Bar service was always excellent for us, with little wait to get our drinks. The housekeeping was excellent and always provided cute towel animals with each turn down service. Our servers/waiters were solid for dinner. They were personable and were familiar with the dishes. At both the regular dining rooms and Palo, we received a special treat for our anniversary, which was a lovely extra. Sometimes the dining room waitstaff were a bit slow, but that would be my only critique. Embarkation involved a long-ish line that moved fairly quickly, and debarkation was an absolute breeze! Get up, eat breakfast, and go! We opted to keep our luggage, as it was just the two of us and we didn't have but a suitcase on wheels each to maneuver.
The nightly shows and deck parties that we attended were truly magical. The talent level was up to Disney standard. We laughed. I cried, and we both enjoyed all three nights at the shows. We were glad that there were plenty of places for a couple in their 30's, such as us, to get away from the crazy family crowds and enjoy some quieter, more romantic times. The adults only pool was shallow and not super roomy, but having the bar there and a place to dip my feet without worries of getting splashed by a 10 year old perfecting his cannonball was really nice. We spent some time in the bar that is on the top deck, forward. Standing up there with the wind blowing in my hair and a drink in my hand after dinner at night was certainly enjoyable. Speaking of drinks, the Mr. bought a DCL beer mug and got discounts on draft beer plus a souvenir to take home, which was a great value. We also bought a wine package to have three bottles during our cruise from the standard selections, which we drank with dinner. This was, in my opinion, also a great deal, as we enjoy having wine with meals and aren't too fussy about which kind goes with what foods. Castaway Cay's serenity bay was a wonderful beach escape for adults only. After the stingray experience, we relaxed and enjoyed the quiet peace and the beautiful views. The only thing missing from this ship was nightlife. It just wasn't there, which is not surprising. Not only that, but a late night game similar to the newlywed game was still so wholesome it ventured into cheesy territory. Come on, it's a bar. We're all over 21. You don't have to use phrases like "the magic happen" (air quotes included) for euphemisms. I know it's Disney, but sheesh!
All in all, if you're a couple and you love Disney, this ship can be a real Dream!