OK - 1st off, I was skeptical on what was so "Magical" about a Disney Cruise and went with a "Okay, don't tell me; show me!" - after all, this was costing 3 times as much as the VOS I did 2 months ago in a suite!
We were a party of 7 with 4 adults and 3 children (ages 4-almost 8) in 2 cabins. We had a balcony room and a navigators balcony room on the 6th floor. I did a lot of research before hand to make sure I "got my money's worth" so I knew to try and get to the dock around 10 ish so I would get an early boarding #. It worked and we were in group 4 to board. San Pedro Port did a great job in exciting the group with a live band, the Disney Channel on TV and lots of cast members around to answer questions. After standing in line of for 30 minutes, the kids club counter opened up and we checked in the kids and got our beepers. Right after that our # was called and we went through security, got the obligatory embarkation shot and boarded the ship! What a surprise to have our names announced as we entered the atrium! Went straight to Parrot's Cay for a buffet lunch. You could also go to the buffet at Topsiders but Parrot's Cay had waiters to seat you instead of you trying to find a table by yourself with all your carry on luggage. After lunch, headed over to Beat Street to get our Palo Brunch, Tea and Dinner reservations. We had tried to do it on line but none was available. Had no problem on board to get what we wanted! By the time we finished with lunch (DELICIOUS), our rooms were ready. Loved the split bath and there was more than enough room for the 4 our us. Our luggage arrived soon after and we had everything put away before Muster drill at 3p! I won't go into daily detail but want to make sure that whoever is reading this understands that we LOVED the ship and cruise and would not hesitate to book a Disney Cruise again soon!
DINING AND SHOWS: The rotational dining was "scary" to me since I had never experienced it before. By the end of the cruise, I loved it! Most cruise lines have an early and late seating so half of the passengers are herded in early and the other half late. With the rotational dining, there is also the early and late seating but each "half" is broken into 3 dining rooms with staggered start times so there is rarely a wait to get into your assigned dining room. It made for a much more intimate dining experience and most tables were for smaller parties so for those who don't like to eat with strangers, you usually ate with your family. I also loved the timing of the FANTASTIC shows on board. There is usually an early afternoon matinee and then the other 2 times that coincide with the early and late diners. The shows lived up to the hype and then some! I wish I had gone to more matinees. We usually went to the earlier show (we had late seating which was great) and then wished I could have seen the show again ~ yes, they were that good!! I would sit in the 3rd row from the front. There are special effects and may scare some younger kids and the smoke/fog from the shows can be a bit heavy.