This was our second cruise. Our first cruise was a few years ago on Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas. My wife and I traveled with our two boys, ages 7 and 4. We traveled to Orlando the day before and stayed at the Nick Hotel - it was great, give it a try. We rented a car at the airport and took the 45 minute drive to Avis and their shuttle took us to the ship - cheaper than a taxi or bus service - give it a try.
Embarkation was very organized. When we arrived in the terminal, there were many nice ladies stationed to help us prepare any paperwork that we had missed. We got to the counter and checking in was a snap. There were folks set up with computers at the terminal to set our kids up in the Ocean Club (kids program) and to distribute pagers before we got on the ship. It took 30 seconds. The ship loaded by numbers (my family was in group 6), the process took half an hour tops. A nice touch that my kids loved was when we boarded the ship into the main atrium, the crew announced our family name for all to hear - it was a nice touch.
We ate at Parrot Cay on the third (entry) deck upon arrival. There was no one trying to lead us to the buffet by the pool as indicated in previous posts. The food was awesome. The kids went to the pool, and by 1:30 our room was ready. The rooms are fantastic. Water closet (toilet room) with sink separate from bathroom with a mini bath tub was fantastic. Our inside cabin had a full sized bed, crown molding, lighted closet with real hangers, desk, couch and two pullout beds - far better than the oceanview on RC.
The ship was gorgeous and immaculate. I saw no areas that appeared to worn down. The attention to germ avoidance was impressive. Passengers, do not get their own plates and silverware at buffets, it is handed out by gloved staff - in order to avoid germ transmission. Antibacterial wipes and handed out at the entry to restaurants. Some previous posters complained about this - they must be nuts. If you've ever had a stomach virus, you'd appreciate it and it is an indication of concern for the passengers. The fitness center was well stocked and had towels, fruit and coffee conveniently available. Also, no stupid one pool towel rule like on RC. Towels were abundantly available without the threat of fines if towel is swiped by another passenger.
I could go on and on. The cruise was perfect - the shows, the food, palos, the staff, the characters, Castaway Cay - even the laundry facilities. As long as you go with the proper mindset and attitude - not expecting to love every dish and like every person you encounter - you cannot go wrong with Disney. I'm hooked.