My father-in-law decided to take the entire family on a cruise. This consisted of him and his wife, my brother-in-law, his wife, and their baby (who was about 1.5 years old), and my husband and myself. We opted for a cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona. Although I've only been on a couple of cruises prior, both my husband and his father have been on considerable more. This was, however, the first Oceania cruise for all of us. We were especially interested in Oceania's (admittedly self-applied) designation of being a cruise line for foodies. My husband is a graduate of the San Francisco Culinary Academy and has worked as a chef in a Michelin-starred restaurant before he joined the corporate world. My mother- and father-in-laws own two restaurants. And the rest of us just like good food!
Before we set off, I had done some research about Oceania and had read the advisories that there were no official resources for parents traveling with small children, like day-care. I noted that some of the passengers were very critical of the idea of bringing a child on a cruise, and that questions like, "are there high chairs / baby seats in the restaurants" were met with derision on the various forums. Thankfully, my family experienced none of the problems or poor attitude that was evident in the forums. There were a few other children on-board, but my young niece was dubbed, "The Queen" by both passengers and cruise staff, and there were absolutely no issues with her presence. Granted, she was very well-behaved, but even on her days when she was a bit difficult, no one seemed concerned or disturbed. And yes, there were baby seats in all the restaurants.
If I had one complaint about the experience it would be that, although nearly everyone we dealt with on the staff was exceedingly friendly, there were definitely issues regarding the competence, experience, and attention to detail of the various staff members. In talking to many of the cruise staff, I learned that the majority fell into two categories: those who had been doing this for years, and those for whom this was their first cruise. This severe grouping between well-seasoned and brand-new had a detrimental effect. A few examples: