I love Disney and I love cruises, so I thought I was going to love this. We have a 10 year old who also loves Disney and cruises. But something about the combination left me cold. I should state that we got off to a very bad start and I found it difficult to recover. There was a two-hour line at the port, extending into the parking garage, because it was the first trip for them out of their new Ft. Lauderdale terminal and they couldn’t seem to get the process down. (I don’t really understand why the process was so different because the building had changed, but apparently they were unprepared). We had a 1:30 boarding time and didn’t get to our cabin until a little after 3. We were starving, so we didn’t unpack and left to go to the buffet. On our way there, they announced that all food outlets would now close for the safety drill which was to start at 4:00. We were directed to the fast food outlets by the pool, and we managed to grab the very last plate of chicken fingers before it closed. (We were told that many people were late for the safety drill because of the boarding issues ). After the drill was over, we went to the room to unpack, because we had not had time to do so earlier. We then rushed to the pool deck to watch the Sail Away show and party. But by the time we got there the show, which is apparently only a half-hour long, was over. That’s was it. There was no fun afternoon sailaway atmosphere with music like on other ships, just tons of kids splashing in the pool. By this time, I was considerably disillusioned with the whole thing.
I think it is exceptionally poor hospitality to cause a two hour delay and then provide little or no food for people once they are finally able to board. I believe the safety drill and the Sail-Away party should have been delayed, and the food outlets should have been kept open until everyone was onboard. As it was, the ship didn’t end up departing until after 8:00 p.m. because of difficulties with the new port. (Also, I think guests should be advised that no food will be available between 3:30 p.m. and dinner time on the first day because of the safety drill).
Late that night, there was a medical emergency which required the ship to go back to Fort Lauderdale. In the morning, they announced that because of this unexpected turn of events we would not arrive at our first port, Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island) until after lunch. I understand that these things can happen, and I am glad the cruise line was able to help the ill passenger and get them to safety. But by the time we finally got to Castaway Cay, after waiting in a huge line full of passengers determined to make the most of their limited time on the island, we had only about 2 hours there. The only accommodation made to the delay was to extend the time in port by 45 minutes. There was no food on offer, as Castaway Cay only serves a specific barbecue lunch scheduled for a certain specific hour, and the cruise line made no effort to alter this rigid schedule even under the extenuating circumstances presented. So, we sat on a beach for two hours and went back to the ship.
Clean, well decorated, comfortable, plenty of space for clothes and toiletries, split bath is great, privacy curtain is great.
We arrived too late to enjoy this port, owing to an unforeseen medical emergency. It probably should have been scrapped entirely. We did walk around the island, and it is beautiful and well-maintained.