This cruise had all generations represented for our family and all first-time cruisers except for me; we had 70 somethings, 60 somethings, 40 something couple with 2 girls, ages 6 and 7, 20 something, and 30 something couple with a 6-month old infant. We all had a blast! This cruise was great, and frankly, too short. I think we needed another day on the ship. Everyone had something to do, and there was an activity designed for each member of our party - so much to do, so much to eat, and the service was spectacular!! Disney Parks are one thing, but they just hold nothing back on their cruise line and the service matches the Disney style.
We really loved our servers each night at dinner, and they are consistent throughout. Like I said they accommodated all our separate dietary needs. Just tell them at boarding that you have special dining requests and you will meet with specialized staff who will work with your party. The 6-month old got different pureed foods each night, the vegetarians got special meals each night (Indian vegetarian meals complete with rice and naan), and the meat eters could order off the menu, and of course there are sugar free desserts for diabetics too. The options are endless for food. The motto was "if you see it, eat it." and Disney was not kidding. Our favorite place to eat was Cabanas for the variety, and how everyone could get a snack or breakfast items that they wanted. When we first boarded the ship, we ate at the Enchanted Garden and it was a decent buffet, but cabanas always worked best for us. You can eat at Castaway Cay but the food on the boat I think is best. Some folks in our party ate at Royal Garden for lunch and loved the food- it is sit down and order. I thought the food was tasty and well-prepared and did not have a problem. In my opinion, all the options were great! The ice cream on deck 11 near the pools was a great touch, Disney. Disney has two beverage bars on Deck 11 to fill up water bottles and get late night tea/coffee. Room service is included (not gratuity) so please tip your folks! Room service was fabulous and kept you from overeating which is good. So I learned this the third night - whoops! If you are main seating, you are also first seating (0730) for breakfast and you go to the same place you went the night before. Whoops... we did not do that. But you can. 0730 is too early for those of us on mountain time. We just ate at cabanas and liked it. Or you can order room service.
Do not miss the shows- we loved each one and the adult humor is built in. We wish the movie times were better. Showing Cinderella at 1030 for kids is tough, and then we do not want miss Castaway Cay or the shows either to see a movie so, be prepared to pick and choose. We couldn't see the movies which is a bummer. But on a longer cruise, you can do it all. I think having second seating is actually better- allows you to do more. If you have older kids, try second seating for dining. Plus here is something else I learned by day 3 - too late. They serve the kids super quickly so you can take them to the Oceaneer Lab. You must do the Oceaneer Club for your kids (ages 4 and up) because it is basically free child care and you can then have a quiet dinner with your spouse or family. So, on day 1 go register them at the Oceaneer club and get them these bracelets ($12.95 deposit each) and then you can check them in and out. They do all sorts of activities and have a great time. I wish we could have used it more but didn't have time.
The rooms, I think, are a little small for four people (2 adults, 2 kids, ages 6 and 7) but the balcony made it seem bigger. I think the bigger rooms midship are better for families of 4 or more. If you have 3 kids, you may want to consider adjoining staterooms but that is pricier. You could do 1 adult, 2 kids per stateroom and do joining staterooms to spread out a little more. We were forward starboard and the views of Castaway Cay were amazing - gorgeous. But when docked in Nassau, The Norwegian peered into our room :-) There are ships on all side when we dock at Nassau, so no escaping it. But at Castaway Cay, you want to be starboard side for sure. The views are amazing, and I got some great pictures. They come and make up your room twice a day- now that's service! We loved the guy we had and he made towel animals for the girls, adn left chocolates each night. The animals are amazing! You do not need to take your towels from the room with you on Nassau or Castaway as they provide you beach towels. Our wave phones sometimes worked and did not work on Castaway cay at all. Bring walkie talkies and change channels often. I found the room a bit noisy - when people close drawers/dressers and their stateroom doors. When kids run up and down the halls, it is loud in the rooms. We brought a sound machine but that did not help the noise. Beware of this. Deck 8 is nice and easy climb to 11 and down to 5, etc. The stairs are the way to go! Elevators get nuts and exercising is good, right? If you can find a room away from elevators/stairs and main entry ways, that may be quieter. You will feel the waves no matter where you are but the lower we got, the more we felt it with deck 2 and 3 being the rockiest. Bring dramamine because you will sleep like a baby. Enjoy!
Bring bug spray to Castaway Cay and plenty of sunblock - woh! We burned out there, and I got bitten alike. But we loved the private island and beach. You will need water shoes because the rocks hurt in some places. OUCH! But Castaway Cay is awesome! We loved loved it. We rented boats but the waves are strong and I could not even properly row the kayak. The stingray experience is supposed to be awesome, but we did not have time with all the family activities. What is disappointing in the Cay is how they are only open for lunch from 11-2 - the island shuts down by 3pm but all aboard time is 445pm so it is annoying. I wish they shut things down at 330 ish. Anyway, the island was empty after 2pm... I recommend getting out after 1pm and then shutting the beach down. Get your lunch on board the ship. The food on the island is OKAY - the best part is the fruit bar and ice cream bar. That is it! The BBQ/burgers are not all that. Enjoy the Aqua Duck (completely empty on Castaway Cay morning) and pool areas, then head off the ship AFTER lunch and enjoy Castaway Cay from 1pm to 4pm - you will beat all the crowds on both ends. The Aqua Duck is awesome but the lines the first day are insane. Always hit it first thing (10am open time) and later in the day before shutting down or at night. I think it would be fun to do it at night and kinda scary.If you can, snag an umbrella area right near the food first beach area, but then go all the way down to the end and do the water slide, and check out the 5K area - what a great island - small, but plenty to do. Have a great time!!!!