Before booking our cruise, I conducted MONTHS of research to derive at the "perfect family vacation." Meaning, we needed: 1) a stateroom that gives us enough space/privacy for 2 adults + a toddler 2) entertainment for each of us and for the family 3) kids club that offers a safe and fun environment for us to even consider leaving my 3-year-old by himself 4) the variety/quality of food and dining venues to keep us interested 5) service to meet our very high expectations and 6) value for the entire package. We found it all and then some on our 7-night Western Caribbean cruise aboard the Disney Magic. Here's the breakdown:
1. Stateroom: Disney has the largest standard staterooms in its class. We originally booked a porthole stateroom because that was the least expensive category offering 2 baths and a full privacy curtain that placed our son in a pullout sofa on the inside of the stateroom so that we can enter/exit and order room service without waking him. When we arrived at the terminal, we elected to upgrade to a 1-Br Veranda Suite for a fraction of normal cost. Since it was an accessible room, the hall, the living area, the bedroom, the 2 full baths and the veranda were HUGE!! I don't mean huge by cruising standards. They're HUGE by 5-star resort standards! Plus, it was beautifully appointed and came with first-class concierge service.
2. Entertainment: Since we're early sleepers, we didn't catch the nightly shows, but what we experienced during the day (i.e., the gym, the pools, the family activities, etc.) were more than adequate. With the separation of adult/family/kid pools, we had both privacy and family fun at our discretion. There was always something going on, be it a dance party with Chip & Dale, scavenger hunt with Mickey, gingerbread building with the Head Chef or Tea with Alice to keep us duly entertained.
HUGE closets, hallway, living room, bedroom, bathrooms and veranda. Quiet location with ZERO hallway noise. Since it's all the way at the Aft of the ship, the furniture and ceiling can be very squeaky/creaky going through rough waters. When docking, the ship's docking equipment can be deafening and will make the entire room shake. Outstanding balcony views throughout. Excellent location to everything, esp. the 24-hr beverage station, fast eateries and pools. The bed and amenities are heavenly.