Of all the things I have heard about Disney Cruises, the one I hear the most is that it is definitely worth the extra cost for Disney. In a few areas I agree with this.
The ship is beautiful and the Disney touches make it very special. However it is missing some of the expected essentials of today's ships such as a library. The TV in the cabin was extremely small. No interactive services are available on the TV such as checking your onboard account or ordering room service. The fitness center is nearly impossible to find and is very tiny. The family and children's pool areas are small and always crowded, while the adult area is virtually unused.
I booked an inside guarantee category 12 cabin for my daughter (age 12) and me. We were upgraded to a larger inside cabin, category 10. The cabin was a good size for the 2 of us. Having 4 people in this cabin would be very difficult as the storage space was quite limited, especially in the bathroom. The split bathroom is a nice feature, but the 2 rooms are very small and you can hardly move around in them (we are skinny people!). Having a bathtub was convenient but glass doors, rather than a shower curtain, would be a better choice. Unless you want adjoining cabins I would recommend not booking an adjoining cabin as it was very noisy on the side of the cabin with the door. The cabin in general was fairly soundproof, although you could hear the music playing in the hallway when it was on, children running, and babies crying at night. The safe in the room was located in the closet which is convenient, BUT only ONE card's magnetic strip could be used to open it. This was a major inconvenience for the 2 of us using the safe when we were not both in the cabin.
The food overall was fair. The only food we liked at the welcome aboard lunch in Parrot cagy were the shrimp and the kids' selections of chicken strips and mac 'n cheese. The best food we had on the whole cruise came from room service - soup, sandwiches, cookies, pizza, etc. The evening rotational dining is a nice touch. The downside is having to wait in line every night to be seated for dinner. Dinner menus were routine, nothing creative. The food was average to good, but sometimes served cold. Breakfast in Triton's was good but the food was lukewarm to cold both mornings we ate there. Breakfast on the last day in Parrot cagy had limited choices and was average. No hot breakfast is offered via room service. Choices are very limited for all meals at the Beach Blanket Buffet. The desserts at the deck party were exceptionally good, the best we had on the cruise.
The service on the ship, for the most part was typical Disney, like you find at the parks. The only problem we had with the service was our room steward who was the worst we have experienced in more than 10 cruises! The other areas where service could be improved somewhat are the gift shops and the photo gallery - lines were long and very slow moving. Bar service was average, but very limited in the theater to the point where it was best to get your drink yourself before being seated. The good thing about the bar service was that they were not at all pushy about serving you a drink which I appreciate.
The shows were Disney quality and very entertaining. We both enjoyed them thoroughly.
One major inconvenience is having to tote your photo ID with you, along with your Key to the World card, when in port. They do not take your photo and store it like other cruise lines do.
Castaway cagy is extremely pleasant and we enjoyed our day there very much. Again, the family beach was very crowded with almost no one on the adult beach.
Overall we enjoyed our time together, mother and daughter. I doubt we would pay extra for Disney again.