This was my 6th cruise as a family of four and over 10 for my husband and I. We went with another family so there were 8 of us total. This is the first time flying so far to start the cruise. We had to catch a 5:40am flight to make it to Puerto Rico in time. I will enter specifics about each port below.
The ship itself is really nice and clean. We rarely use our balcony when we have them and aren't in the room much so we decided to go with two inside rooms. Our boys are 8 and 10 and it was really nice having all their "stuff" in their own room and wasn't much extra money. I highly recommend two inside rooms over one balcony room for four people. The showers on this ship are a bit larger than other ships we've been on which is really nice since my husband is 6'3" and a bigger guy. Our room Steward, John, did a fantastic job of taking care of our room. The common areas are well taken care of. Our kids weren't impressed with the kid's club. They wouldn't let my 8yr old(few months from being 9) move up to be with the 9-11yr olds and the younger group he said did "babyish" things. So they only participated in the club one night and one other time during the day. They do various scavenger hunts on this cruise but not nearly as good as Princess where you spend the entire week collecting signatures and items. The short 45min hunts are just not as fun.
We chose to do anytime dining (I think it's called select dining on this ship). We knew we would be getting on late from some ports so it was a better option for us and we never had to wait for a table even though we had 8 in our party. I have seen reviews about the food not being great but I thought it was very good. Our server on 3 nights (Surri) was fantastic. He would do magic tricks for the kids each night and they loved it. The only thing that bothers me in the dining room is that if you have someone who wants a bar drink and someone who wants wine you have to track down two different people. They should combine the sommeliers and bar staff to make it more efficient and save some money. We did go to the Normandy restaurant one night without the kids and it was fantastic. I highly recommend going there at least once. The sushi is at the buffet every day at 5pm and I recommend. It's yummy. The buffet at breakfast is really good. The waffle station and poached eggs are all the way to the very back past the buffet and that was my favorite almost every day.
The singers/dancers on this ship might be the best we have ever seen. They did a fantastic job.
The only thing I wish would have been different on this cruise is that there should be a sea day at the beginning. We had all five stops right in a row starting with the first day so by the time we got to Antigua (stop 4) we got off only to shop for an hour and then hopped back on the ship because we were exhausted and really wanted to have time to explore the ship.
I highly recommend these excursions which we booked ourselves online. Will give more detail in the port section but not sure if you can see that so here's a quick run down: Sailing with Captain Hollywood on his private sailboat in St. Thomas http://sailingvirginislands.com/?gclid=CKvS2Jvb0aACFRUSswod-0Wk0A. ATV tour on St. Croix with Gecko tours http://www.geckosislandadventures.com/,taxi to Cockleshell beach on St. Kitts and go to the Spice Mill, St Lucia rain forest zip line tour was fantastic and a favorite for all 4 kids in our party.http://www.serenitytvl.com/Zipline.html This is the only company that allows kids 8 and up to zip-line. Ask for Dave. He was the BEST driver ever. After our zip line tour he took us to a local market so we could eat local food and shop. Overall we loved being on a smaller ship (1900 people as opposed to over 3,000) and enjoyed every minute of the beautiful Caribbean. Email if you have specific questions.