We are a family traveling with 7 and 9 year old girls. We did a Disney Cruise 3 years ago and had that experience with which to compare.
Day 1-Easy to get on the ship, we were on quite early. You get on, get the kids their wrist bands and head to the pool. Getting on the ship was a little anti-climactic compared to Disney. They don't "announce" your arrival on the ship. The H20 zone quickly made up for it. My kids were the first in the pools swimming around thoroughly enjoying themselves. I went around the ship getting to find my way around. Great ship, just like the pictures I had seen.
Dinner that night was a huge problem. The food was down right terrible. I sent the first entree back and asked for something else, the second entree was just above edible. Not enjoyable at all. Our service was lacking. Our glasses were empty freuquenlty, sauces were not brought to us etc.
Opening night show was fine. The quality of the entertainment did not touch Disney entertainment. First day a little disapointing.
Day 2 CoCo Cay. We tendered after a quick breakfast. Got snorkel vests and headed out. The 1st 2 beaches are really rocky and uncomforatble. The island is beautiful. We didn't see much. Just a few fish. Made it out to one of the closer platforms than swam back. We were too early for lunch. Went and asked for a drink. Was told to come back in 25 mins. I thought that ridiculous. A thirsty guest on an island should be given a cup of water at the least! Went back out and snorkeled some more. My family went out to the plane wreck and saw fish and Jelly Fish. Lunch was fine, BBQ type stuff.
Dinner again was ok. Food better than the first night but service was worse. We decided to ask for a new table for the rest of our trip.
Day 3 Sea Day-Lovely relaxing day around the ship. We really liked the sandwiches in the coffee shop and the pastries. Windjammer was just ok. Very crowded on Sea Day.
We had a new table for dinner. The head waiters and other dining room staff very very concerned about our first 2 nights experiences. They were very willing to move us and be sure the rest of our week was better and it was. From then on , our glasses were full, everything that should have been offered was. The food also got much better. I would say the next 5 nights the food was very good. Our kids were well treated in the dining room. On a side note, I was dismayed to see other families allowing children to watch portable DVD players and playing hand held games in the dining room. NEVER would I let my kids do this. If they can't sit and eat dinner with their families without electronics than there is a kids club! I was shocked.
Day 4 St. Thomas. We got off and went and did a little shopping at the close in shops. We met with our private excursion Island Girl right at the ship. We had a snorkel trip out to Buck island with just our family. The staff was great. The snorkeling just ok, we missed our stop at Turtle Cove b'c there were too many boats there already. It was expensive for what we got. Would do a beach day there and not this particular excursion. Although the staff was great.
Day 5 St. Martin- This was my favorite port. We did Capt. Alan's snorkel adventure. IT WAS AWESOME. I would do this and recommend everyone does it. You really see the island and so much. Great day. It poured rain at the end of the trip so we didn't do our 1 hour at Dawn beach like we had planned instead we went back to the ship.
Day 6 Sea Day- A bit of a rainy day. Didn't keep the kids from enjoying the pools, We sat under the deck and read our books, walked around the ship.
Day 7 Sea Day- Wished that the sea days and port days were better spaced, but RC can't help geography! Sunny sea day. The Promenade thing at noon was worth seeing. The kids Circus thing was not. Skip it!
Over all- The magic show was quite good, I recommend it. Good for all audiences. Beatles band also good, my kids did not enjoy it. 80's night was fun too. We missed a lot of the adults late night stuff cause we were too tired from our busy days. The entertainment was good, not great and didn't compare to the Disney Entertainment.
Ocean Adventure. My kids were in two different groups. My 7 year old didn't like it at all. She went a couple of times for brief stays just so we had a little alone time. My 9 year old loved it. Different personalities. They put the younger kids in with the 3-5 year olds on several occasions and I think this was the problem for my 7 year old. Hanging with 3 year olds when you are nearly 8 isn't so fun.
Our cabin was the smallest one 4 people could squeeze into. It was smaller than the smallest Disney cabin but quite a bit. DH and I were in separate single beds for a week which is a bummer. ON the Disney ship the couple got a queen size bed. The bunks were direclty over head. It was ok though, I wouldn't personally pay more for more cabin space because we were hardly ever in there except to shower and sleep and it provdided enough room for that.
The staff around the ship were ok. Not nearly as friendly as the staff on a Disney ship. That is all I have to compare to. Our room steward and wait staff once we moved were great. No complaints there.
We had a great week and the ship is a lot of fun. There was so much to do that we couldn't do it all.