My husband and I are first-time cruisers and decided on RCL because it was one of the few cruise lines that offer in-cabin babysitting (as opposed to bringing your child to the nursery in the evening -- what's the point of that?!). Disney also offers in-cabin babysitting, but we felt it was too expensive and our son, who is 18 months old, wouldn't really appreciate the additional incentives. We also chose the 4 night cruise, just in case we hated it. And boy did we come close!!
The lines that were involved with this type of excursion were abominable and our poor son was in hysterics most of the trip. Our flight to Miami arrived at noon on Monday but we didn't get to eat lunch until nearly 2:30 and the lines at the Windjammer were atrocious. And the food there was awful -- it didn't improve at all during the trip. I ended up eating cold cereal every morning and my son would only eat some of the scrambled eggs and fruit. Our luggage didn't arrive until almost 5 and we had a 6pm dinner seating.
The dinner was better in terms of food quality but it was a long, 2-hour process and even the 5-year old at our table was tired and listless near the end. The kids menu is not toddler friendly and our son spent most of the time throwing the cutlery around. While the head waiter and assistant waiter were incredibly helpful, this did nothing to speed things up or improve the fare for our son.
The day on CocoCay was lovely except there was very little kid-friendly food (ribs and chicken didn't sit well with my son). No fries or chips etc. and my son hated the mac n cheese. But note this -- all parents -- don't bring your stroller -- they have beach wheelchairs near the pier and these were excellent for our son!!!
The Key West day was a nightmare -- you can't go ashore until every single person aboard goes through customs and we didn't get to Key West until almost lunch.
Disembarking was also a nightmare. We had to wait and wait and wait and we couldn't be in our room or anywhere where my son could play.
If you use a stroller on board, you have to wait for elevators, which take forever. Also, the cabins are much too small for a toddler and two parents (three or four calm and organized adults maybe, but not a toddler)!
On the plus side? Service was wonderful -- our stateroom attendant even provided garbage bags for stinky diapers. The evening entertainment was fun and provided some of the only gratifying moments of our trip.
I'm happy to be back and relieved it's over. I will never cruise RCL again, though. And probably never cruise at all after this horrible experience.