My wife and I have been on at least 15 cruises, and are diamond level members on RCCL C&A. We were getting tired of RCCL and decided to take the kids (3 & 6) on our first Disney cruise. What a pleasant surprise and nice change from RCCL it was. This ship had the best service we have ever received. From the moment we boarded and walked to our cabin, our cabin steward was waiting by our door and already knew our first names. We had only one complaint and that was a banging sound from a deck below that could be heard in out cabin (#2616). When we complained to the front desk about the noise, without us even asking to be moved, they offered to upgrade our room to a balcony cabin for no extra charge. That evening, a customer service member even came to our dinner table, unannounced, and asked if we were satisfied with our new cabin. The overall experience on this ship was superior. Probably the best cruise we ever had.
Although we travelled on a holiday week, the ship never felt crowded. Even with the large amount of children on board, you never felt that the ship was overrun with kids. I've been on RCCL ships during holiday weeks, and there were kids everywhere. The big difference is Disney has much more designated space, crew and activities for the kids so you never see them just crowding around or hanging out.
The Disney Wonder is a well designed ship and has no bottlenecks. It reminds me of the Enchantment or Vision of the Seas. It has a large percentage of public space for the amount of cabins onboard. Compared to the new superliners out at sea, this ship was NOT designed to cram masses of people in small areas. The only time there was any line was at the lunch buffet on the first day. After that, it was a pleasure at every meal. At the buffets, the crew would wait at the end of the buffet line to help you carry your trays. Yes, trays! RCCL decided a few years back that diners do not need trays in their buffets. And free soft drinks!
The food wasn't always the best. But, it wasn't the worst food I've experienced on cruise ship. I found that the meals were either really good, or just ok. If you cruise just for the food, this may not be your ship. If you cruise to gamble, forget it. But, if you cruise for family activities and entertainment this is the ship.
The ship's oceanview cabin was amazing. Large and well designed. We took advantage of the bunk bed Pullman and worked out great for the kids. And the best lighting in any ship's cabin.
As far as private islands go, this one is the best. We don't bother getting off at Labadee, or Coco Cay when we travel on RCCL. They are just crammed with people, everything is nickled and dimed. But Castaway Cay, is like a premium WDW resort. Imagine a Typhoon Lagoon on a real beach. Its clean, it has paved sidewalks, a tram service, and is spread out and not crowded. There are no extra charges for things like chairs and umbrellas. And the food service was clean and good. It was a nice surprise to see your own waiter and head waiter walking around the BBQ restaurant helping you while you dined. You wouldn't see that on Labadee or Coco Cay in a million years.