Eastern Caribbean cruise with my wife and 3 sons age 2.5, 5 and 7. Cruise prior to this was on the Sovereign in 1989 before kids entered the picture. Prior to that I cruised almost every summer from ages 6-18 on Holland America since I was lucky enough to have a father who worked for the line. I've also been on various other cruises and spent one summer working on Sitmar's Fairwind. I'm writing this because I enjoyed reading through all of the other member reviews.
The ship: Very nice although carpets and furnishings are starting to show wear. The size was intimate enough to run into the people you wanted to yet large enough that you never felt crowded. We had connecting category N cabins which worked out great. Our 2 year old could nap while one of us could read in the other cabin. The children's program was excellent for our older kids. This was a family vacation so we didn't drop them off for the entire day. They would spend most mornings there and a couple times they went from 2-4pm. They loved it. I will say however, there were only 75 kids of all age groups on our cruise. Our vacation was between winter and spring breaks and from what I was told, there would be 400+ kids starting in mid-March. This limited the number of friends they could meet but also insured very small age groupings and more attention from the staff. In my 7 year olds group, for example, I never saw more then 7 other kids with him.
The food: Good. Not great and certainly not poor. I will say that times have changed this. From what I remember on my prior cruises, food was excellent. Oh well. I still gained 5 lbs. Dressing up and going to dinner as a family is wonderful. We sat at table #130 which right in the middle of the lower level. Kids always could get something they wanted from either the kid's or regular menu. I can't tell you how proud my wife and I were when people approached us and told us how well behaved our kids were. At least 20 people. We even had people from the balcony come up to us and tell us this. I can't say the boy's were angels but I think it was a great experience for them.
Service and Staff: Excellent! I could go on and on about how nice everyone. I'll leave it at that.
Islands: I'll mention one highlight especially if you're bringing your kids. In St. Martin, go to Le Galleon Beach. Lots of rough road to get there but if you want a beach where you can wade out 200 yards and have water up to your waist, this is the place to go. It is quiet, there is food and drink, bottle of beer $2, umbrellas and chairs, and para and windsurfing for excitement. I talked to some people who were snorkeling and they said there wasn't much to see except lots of small fish so you're out of luck there.
Overall: We had a fantastic time. It is a great family vacation and we'll be doing it again.