Our Disney Alaskan cruise experience was great. This was our 2nd cruise. We have only cruised Disney. Overall experience was far different than some of the reviews I've read here. The ship was very clean. Kids didn't run wild and unsupervised at the food bar. The food was not just good, but excellent and the presentation very clean. I don't think surgeons can have hands cleaner than the average passenger on the Wonder when they are done forcing anti-bacterial wipes on us. A little annoying, but necessary on a ship with so many kids.
The service on the ship was very good. So much so my kids cried when we left our server after 7 days (a young man we nicknamed "Sabi"). Every level of service was quality from the housekeeping to the wait staff to the cruise maintenance. If you have a problem, they solve it usually pretty fast. (note, we did know of a few folks who had plumbing issues on the boat in their staterooms). At dinner, they had an occasional hiccup in the kitchen with slow delivery of entrees, but Disney does a good job of getting the kids food out first so they can then be picked up late in the meal and taken to the Kids Club. Purchase the wine package. Its a better value than drinking wine per meal.
The cruise entertainment was memorable. The Medley (final show) was really good. Pocahontas had an outstanding voice. The Lion King lady dressed in African clothes was a belter - who sometimes belted a little out of tune, but all in all you walk away remembering old Walt and how you felt when you were a kid at Disney. Lots of options for kids and adults and both. I really enjoyed the comedian (whyche??). Guy was hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. Just don't say Roll Tide during his comedy show or he will absolutely nail the heckle. He had a family and an adult routine. Both had me rolling. May have had the best impersonator of an Elvis impersonator I've ever seen. The juggler was also impressive. I think your fam will enjoy these.
The food quality was outstanding, both the buffets and the sit downs. You can get pretty much anything you want but it does have an Alaskan seafood theme (shocking, I know). They have stuff for diabetics (low/no sugar), they have stuff for vegetarians, they probably have Kosher meals as well. You can get whatever you want within reason. We never ate the chicken fingers and hot dogs they have on the deck, so can't rate them. We always ate at the seating times. You absolutely MUST eat at Palo, the upscale restaurant on the 9th Floor. Its a $20 charge per person, but I'd pay far more. Well worth it.
On that note, I have thoroughly enjoyed both the wine and martini tastings. I would recommend spending a little extra money for both of these. I also heard the whiskey tasting got a great review.
Kids entertainment in both kids rooms was excellent. They came up with clever games for the kids and engaged them. The soap race-car game is a must see. My only complaint is that they don't take the kids as a group to the deck enough.
Staterooms were nice and clean. Perfect setup for family of 4. 5 would be a little much. Pay the extra money and get a porthole. What a view - looking out and seeing Alaska from the ship is amazing.
Passengers are good quality, for the most part. Not much riff-raff. Most folks are well behaved and don't get obnoxious. Disney does a good job with a culture of courtesy on the ship.
I'm not a spa guy, but I went to the gym and found it very much on par with a nice city gym. Equipment works and laid out nicely. Good workout facility.
Biggest disappointment was the satellite internet service we nicknamed the Commodore 64. Slow, bad, expensive, pretty much useless. Disney should just $***can the internet service and not pretend its an actual service, or get a real satellite internet service. I could have sent smoke signals of 1s and 0s to my office faster.
Second biggest disappointment was the quality of the coffee at the breakfasts. I'm a bit of a coffee snob and they should step it up over this Nescafe tasting mess they serve and move into something higher class. Or give me an option for premium coffee for a buck or two. This isn't Shoneys buffet.
Getting on the ship was organized. Getting off was a bit of a cluster. Don't arrange for Disney to transport you to the airport. Get a cab yourself. Its easier and cheaper. Also, try to book your excursions directly thru the vendor. Disney gets a little greedy on the markup.
All in all, a great value and a trip that I would repeat in a few years. I hear they are leaving from Seattle in 2012 which I find disappointing. I enjoyed Vancouver.