We spent 4 nights in an All Star Vacation home prior to our cruise. We were close to the Disney Parks, and enjoyed the pool, hot tub, and wi-fi all in our own vacation home. We drove a rented Dollar minivan to Port Canaveral. DH dropped me and the kids and bags at the pier and went to return the van. We were Castaway Club Gold members, but couldnt check in until he showed up 30 minutes late, and were in the 8th boarding group. WE checked in fast and waited for our numbers, There are too many people in this cruise terminal for this process. There are not enough chairs and 1,000 children running about. Finally we are boarded 40 minutes later and head to the buffet. This is lovely with a huge variety and lovely free soda fountains. We enjoyed the crabs, shrimp, salads. Then we changed into our suits in the restrooms and rode the watercoaster and sampled the pools. WAtercoaster is fun, but lines are long, and the pools are tiny. The hot tubs are kid soup, we headed to the adult hot tub which was relatively empty, as well the adult pool. Stange that it is a through way to to kids side, but ok, no large plants, no decor, no scultures or art, all in all a very plain deck. We expected more theming and magic, it seemed to be built to take a beating.
There are few loungers at the family pools, just chairs. Many kids running about and moms screaming at them into my ear. Hmmm....
Dinner was fun in Animator Palate. Turtles were good. Food was good.
Next night we did the Remy, awesome food, large bill as we got the 75 dollar per person food plus 99 dollar wine pairing. We are a fan of Victoria and Alberts so wanted to repeat that experience. You cannot get a glass of wine, really, the wine list has wines for 13,000 dollars, we didnt want to spend that much. (Ha) The french sommelier is very proud of his list. So much wine and they start you off with a complimentary champagne cocktail, I was too tired to see the fireworks. The kids enjoyed the 3 hours to explore, we sat with them at the Royal Palace restraurant, they played on deck then say the Gnomeo movie in the Walt Disney Theatre. We saw 3 D Tron there as well, which was great, the theatre has an amazing sound system.
DS and DD enjoyed the 2 Disney shows we did see, the first night and the last (Believe) We missed Villains. The queueing was a drag for the shows, it was hot and the door opening was delayed 40 minutes the first night. Crowded and uncomfortable, and free sodas are on the top deck or else you can pay to have soda brought to you to cool you off. No thanks, after we scored our second row seats I went up to get free beverages and brough them down.
The elevators are way too small. The stairs turn into a playgroung after 8 pm, many tweens at the Tween club roaming around and hiding under stairs.
4,00 passengers on our cruise and 1,000 are children.
We didnt stay up late enough to check out the clubs, unfortunately.
3 nights is very short but the price was right for us ;)
We liked Castaway CAy, we did parasailing there, the pelican plunge slide, lunch, and snorkling. The water was too cold for me but DH and the kids enjoyed it. Headed back to the ship at 3 for more watercaoster and Serenity Pool time.
We liked all the goodies our Castaway Gold status gave up, bags, lanyards, rice krispie treats, passport holders, stationary. Cruisers had an offer to save 10 percent on a future cruise, but our dates for fall break were booked up at inside and outside, only balconies available for a large price. We passed.
We had connecting outside porthole cabins, the boy used a pull down bunk with a map of glowing stars above his bed, great Disney magical touch!
Movies on demand, view of the piers, second deck, we were near the Garden restaurant. They offered to get me eggs benedict from another restaurant when I asked about it. I passed, and got it the next day at the buffet.
Waitresses cut our son's meat for him, which is lovely, very family oriented. No prices for cocktail of the day on the dinner menu, our assistant server though 3 dollars but I thought that highly unlikely.
Summary, crowded terminal, too many wild kids. deck spaces uninspired, long lines, small elevators, shows that kids love.