I recently experienced my first cruise and I was not disappointed. We chose the Disney Cruise Line and sailed on the Disney Magic for the 7-night Western Caribbean sailing on October 6, 2007. We were going as a large group to celebrate my in-law's anniversary. Our travel party included six adults and three children (5, 1, 1).
We stayed in the Category 11 stateroom, which is an inside cabin. While it was a little cramped, it was not as uncomfortable as I had expected. Being that we had a 1-year old with us, our stateroom hostess helped set us up with a pack & play and Diaper Genie in our room. The Diaper Genie was a lifesaver because who wants to smell stinky diapers all week?!?!?!
Disney Cruise Line has created an innovative dining experience called rotational dining. They have three main dining rooms to experience. Each night you are assigned to one but your servers and table mates travel with you. So you can expect the same service and get to know the same people with each day while the environment and setting changes. The food was good but not excellent. I was pleased with the amount of choices each place offered. I loved every dessert I tried!
To me, Disney is the height of quality and entertainment and the Cruise Line does not disappoint! Of course, they do cater to families and the young at heart. The kids' program is amazing. They provide a multitude of activities and have well-trained staff and security measures in place. Truly, you could leave your kids there from morning until midnight! Not sure I would want to, but it is a possibility. They do give you a pager should your child need you for any reason. To participate in the main children's program, the child must be at least three and fully potty trained. As our daughter was only one, we were free to use Flounder's Reef Nursery. Each stateroom could only book a 10 hours guaranteed and then waitlist for any additional time. The cost to use it is $6/hour and worth every penny. Again, the staff is well-trained and they keep the staff to child ratio very low. This service allowed us the freedom to experience more of the adult activities on board.
There is a pool area dedicated to adults only---there is also one for families and one for kids. They have a coffee shop also for adults only, which also offers internet access and reading materials. The Vista Spa is located in the same area as the coffe shop and pool. There is an area with adult bars and clubs called Beat Street. Up on deck 10 you can find the only adult dining experience: Palo. This is the only place on board where one can experience a quiet, cozy, table for two. There is a $10 surcharge for dinnner and brunch, and they offer high tea for $5. It is well worth the cost! The food is excellent, better than any on board and the service is top notch.
Disney Cruise Line also offers entertainment in the form of deck parties, activities for all ages, movies, and live theater. Everything is high quality and suitable for all ages. One could go crazy filling the day with these activities or take advantage of the lounge chairs and relax each day.
I could go on and on but the bottom line is that Disney Cruise Line offers a bit of the "magic" associated with it's name. It might not be for all people, especially if one wants to completely avoid children. There are adult areas but there is no way to avoid the number of kids or families vacationing.