First of all my family (4 girls and 1 boy 24years old to 13 years old) cruised in 2007 on the Dawn to the Bahamas and Bermuda . On that cruise my 2 youngest kids signed up for the Kids Club (ages 8-12)and were well supervised and we had to force them to spend some time with us, they always wanted to be at the club. Our cruise left N.Y. 4 hours late because of engine trouble, but the Dawn credited our room with a 100.00 credit to make up for it.
On this cruise (2009) we signed our kids up for the Teen Club(13yrs.-17yrs.)Again they loved it didn't want to spend too much time with us.
About the food, maybe i'm not a picky eater, but i found the food in the Garden Cafe to be freshly cooked and tasty. There were different menus everyday and a nice variety of food. Whether it was breakfast, lunch or dinner. We ate at 2 restaurants that we had to pay extra for. Impressions italian restaurant was worth the money. Portions were nice sized and the waitress was friendly and competent. Cagney's Steakhouse is a little pricey 25 dollars each, but well worth it, the steaks are delicious and the appetizers are good. The portions are also good and filling. You won't leave here hungry, and the waitress we had was top shelf. Even if you don't eat any of the extra pay eateries there is still plenty of good food to be had. The Poolside Barbecues are good also, plenty of hot dogs and hamburgers to go around.
I have a handicapped daughter who i push in a wheelchair an all the staff were very attentive to our needs.Our adjoining rooms were staterooms with a picture window and 2 beds and a bunkbed in each room. they were both big enough for our family of 7.The room stewards cleaned our rooms great every day and left towel animals everyday.
On both cruises we arrived at 12pm. and went through a very orderly embarkation, all the staff was very friendly and respectful. All in all we had good experiences on both our cruises.The only downpoint is waiting for elevators with 2000 people on board. but overall we'd do it again. The entertainment is also a good deal and there are plenty of showtimes so you won't miss them. John our cruise director was great and always had something planned for us to do. Compared to a land vacation cruises give you the most value for the money you spend.