WOW! We're home from the 7/7 7-day cruise!! Cast: Myself, 35 yrs old,; DH, 36 yrs old; DS age 7; DS age 16 mos. I?m from Louisiana but live in Las Vegas. All of the above in cat 3 1-br suite (8546) Also travelling: Mother, age 66, shared cabin with Sister & Husband & their son age 5 (in cat 3 1-br suite 8534), from Louisiana Brother & Wife & their daughter age 7 and son age 4 (in cat 3 1-br suite 8532) from Louisiana Embarkation - personal disaster!! Wanted to leave Dolphin by 10am and be at terminal by 11am; left at 10:15. Between heavy traffic near WDW, back ups at toll plazas on Beeline Expressway and 1 stop to tank up rental car, made it to terminal by 11:35am. Plan was for DH to drop off me & children; then drive rental to National & take taxi back. I checked in with no problem & got in line. Boarding started at approx. 12:10, but still no DH. Line snaked through terminal; photogs started taking pics with Chip & Dale, Mickey, Goofy - still no DH. Got all the way to front of line, into the stanchions - still no DH. By 12:50 I was maybe 20 people away from door & had to get out of line to find him. By now the rest of my family showed up and I got in line AGAIN with them. DH showed up approx. 1pm (he made potty stop & also stopped at Eckerds & had to wait for taxi). Made it to cabin by 1:35 & immediately left to make Flounder's reservations for my little one. Requested & received all 7 nights of cruise + Thur afternoon for spa treatment. Luggage received by 3:30; so didn't really need swimsuits I had packed in DS age 7's knapsack - which was a good thing as a bottle of blue Gatorade had spilled in the knapsack! Also had packed a few cans of Diet Coke left over from the week at the Dolphin in DH's suitcase. I discovered that one can had come open and 3 pairs of shorts and almost all of DH's underwear were soaked with Diet Coke - so did load of laundry Sun morning. Porters at curbside can give you more luggage tags if you need them; we needed one for the carseat. We also had a unique piece of luggage - I taped three 12-packs of Diet Coke together, and taped a luggage tag to the top of all of it with clear packaging tape. It was delivered to our cabin with our luggage with no problem. Cat 3 1-br suite - big disappointment. We had 8546. The rest of my family had 8532 and 8534, a few doors down from us. I expected our room to look like the IPIX on the Disney Cruise website. It didn't. (The IPIX is actually of the 8532, 8534, 8032 and 8034 rooms.) IF YOU ARE GOING TO BOOK A 1-BR CAT 3 SUITE, IF THE 32 AND 34 ROOMS ARE TAKEN THEN CHOOSE ANOTHER SAIL DATE!!! Don't book a cat 3 suite if you can't get one of these four rooms. You will be disappointed in the other 1-br cabins; they are smaller and more crowded as they have the same amount of furnishings in less space. Our situation was further complicated by the pack & play that was provided for our DS age 16 mos; we also requested & got a highchair delivered to our room. IMHO we didn't have any more space than the average Motel 6 double room. The comments I've seen on these boards, regarding too much furniture in these suites, is quite valid. My mother (who paid for our cruise) was disappointed that we didn't have the same accommodations as my sister and brother. The 32 and 34 rooms are the cabins adjacent to the midship elevator lobby. They have triple-wide verandas; they have the pull-down bed in the sitting room and the bedrooms have more space. The only thing 8546 had, that the 32 and 34 cabins didn't, was more closet space in the closet near the door (adjoining door between 32 and 34 cabins used that space), and the section of the master bath with the potty and shower was about 3 feet wider. For what these suites cost, by all means, stay in 8532, 8534, 8032 or 8034. Stay away from the other 1br suites - just not worth it. (Perhaps these four suites should be a category by themselves & have different pricing than the other 1-br cabins.) Stereo equipment was so cool to have!! DH brought along personal DVD player, and plugged it into the VCR's input jacks and we were able to play the DVD's on the TV (rather than his laptop). Another perk was ordering hot breakfast via room service. (We could also order any entrée from any restaurant, but didn?t get the chance.) Room seemed to never be cold enough. Just opening the veranda door once would make all the air conditioning leave. Our steward Lyndon was excellent. The towel animals (seal, lobster, monkey, elephant, snake, dove) were excellent, esp. the monkey - it was hanging from a hanger and draped with the leis from Tropical night. Electrical outlets were very screwed up. I found the cabin?s hair dryer in a lower left hand drawer of the vanity, but it didn't work in the two plug-ins in the lavatory area. Neither did my own travel-size hair dryer. I went to the character breakfast on Sunday morning with sopping wet hair. My sister-in-law said they had to plug in their hair dryer into the outlet where the TV was plugged in. When I went back to my cabin for more film about 15 mins later, Lyndon our steward was there. I asked him what to do regarding the outlet situation, and I watched in amazement as he got down on his knees, removed the upper right hand drawer of the vanity, reached his hand into this piece of furniture and plugged in the hair dryer into a plug that was on the wall BEHIND this built-in piece of furniture!! The back of the drawer was cut out to accommodate the cord. How was I supposed to find it? I'm sure I'm not the first person that couldn't find this elusive plug-in. IMHO the stewards should have it set up properly, before you arrive in the cabin, on embarkation day. (later I plugged in the extension cord I brought with me, so I could use my curling iron and dryer at the vanity) Really wish someone had come to the room to explain everything to us, like a bell desk runner would do in a hotel or resort. I didn't discover until Friday night that there was a light switch for the lights on the veranda. And when I complained to my sister that two used diapers filled one of the tiny trash cans in the bathrooms, she told me their suite had another trash can under the wet bar. We had a chair pushed against that door-there was no other space for it. I wouldn't have known it was there. Concierge - mediocre. I asked someone on the concierge staff how many square feet each suite was, and when I added that my family was in the 32 and 34 suites she (Melissa) said 32 and 34 suites were bigger and that she would find out the exact sq footage. Well, all she did was leave a rack brochure in our suite with a post-it note on the page with the floor plan of the Cat 3 suite - it said 614 sq ft. Didn't get any info from her on how much bigger the other suites were, but she did admit to me the 32 and 34 cabins were bigger!! Another concierge faux pas was making a reservation for Palo's brunch for 10am when it didn't start until 10:30. Headwaiter at Palo's wanted to know who took the reservation, so he could have a word. Also, at concierge meeting in Sessions on embarkation day, I made reservation for floats for Castaway Cay; I didn't understand that you had to specify family beach or Serenity Bay; ticket was written up for Serenity Bay and at float pick up at family beach CM tried to direct me to Serenity Bay for the float!! They could have explained it better. The concierge staff did deliver a fruit basket 2x, cookies 1x, chocolate covered strawberries 1x and also Quartermasters game cards & Donald Duck refrigerator magnets. They also left voice mails each night about the next day's highlights. Also, on Wednesday night Melissa stopped by our room, and I pointed out two light bulbs that were burnt. They were fixed by Thurs evening. Flounder's Reef Nursery - don't hesitate to bring your kids here. The staff is quite professional. Keith, Ziggy and Shea (the manager) were all really great with the children. There were plenty of toys, swings, cribs, changing equipment - the works. DS age 16 mos really enjoyed himself here. I checked on him a few times while he was in, there's a window near their front desk that they can't see through and I could tell he was happy. Wish I could have charged their gratuities to our cabin. These people were good and deserved the cash gratuity I gave them. Oceaneer Club/Lab - check in on embarkation day was confusing. You'll need lots of patience. Appreciated pager working for both the Lab/Club and Flounder's. DS age 7 loved the Club; the Pirate program with Captain Hook was terrific and Goofy's PJ party was also great. (pillows were adorable; expected to see more kids in PJs). He enjoyed making flubber and the detective program on Monday was also a hit. The pirate ship play structure in the Lab was lots of fun and the computers were great. Biggest grip here was check in process for individual events. On the night of the PJ party the navigator said start time was 8:30. But there were some parents already inside the club when we got there at 8:20 that were already signing in, and everyone who walked up was told to wait until 8:30. Then at 8:30, one CM at the desk said to step inside the gate & form a line; and the CM working the gate said to wait at the desk!! They weren't listening to each other; and it didn't make sense that the parents already behind the gate could check in and the ones outside couldn't. Also check in process at Scuttle's Cove on Castaway Cay could have been better. When we checked in his age group was digging at Monstro's Point, but that area had a different check in area! CM at Scuttle's said to walk down the path, then around the first dining pavilion & bear right; but there wasn't a sign & we walked almost all the way to Cookies before I realized we had gone too far. Couldn't we just check in at Scuttles and walk straight back? The CMs said it was a security issue with one particular gate, but just have a CM watch it, if there is concern that the older ones will wander where they aren't supposed to be. Restaurants - we had first seating, APLAPLA, table 1. Our server was Vlado from Croatia, and asst server was Marika from South Africa. Rest of my family had table 3; after 1st night my mother requested that they combine us into table of 12 and they did. Expected more from Animators; the wallpaper change at the end was the best part. The soundtrack music was quite loud; if you have a table on the right near the entrance to this restaurant you'll be right under a speaker and it's difficult to have a conversation even with those at your table. Lumieres was beautiful; DH said it reminded him of the dining room in Titanic. Look for the roses in the ceiling light fixtures in the center of the room. Parrot Cay seemed sort of cheesy; the plastic palm fronds around the portholes were loose and the children in our party were wiggling them about on our first night there. With the exception of the tacos at Plutos Dog House, didn't have a bad meal the entire cruise. Sea Bass at Lumieres was excellent. Fried soft shell crab on international night in AP was excellent. Potato-leek soup at Palos brunch was terrific. Chocolate soufflé at Palos was also wonderful, but chocolate lava cake at Lumieres was also not to be missed. Only thing I wouldn't recommend in the restaurants was the braised artichoke appetizer in Parrot Key. Also DH was underwhelmed by prime rib on international night. Bratwurst & chicken tenders from Plutos were perfect for a quick lunch, but stay away from the tacos. Also didn't care for egg rolls at Asian lunch buffet in Parrot Key - too salty. Entertainment - Disney Dreams was better than I expected. Lighting could have been better on the Circle of Life sequence; the CMs signing for the hearing impaired were lighted better than the African-American soloist. Pixie dust lighting effect at the end was cool! If you're travelling with kids don't miss the piano players in Off Beat. The family show at 7:45 was great. They (Paul and Fideleo?) had all the kids on stage singing the Chicken Dance, B-I-N-G-O, Head-&-Shoulders-Knees-&-Toes and many others. It was a lot of fun! Buena Vista Movie Theatre was quite the classic movie theatre with elaborate curtains, etc. Movie selection could have been better. Mouseketeer show - DH was last contestant at 1st show . . . and made it to the last question and blew it for the free cruise!! Question he missed was about a movie set in Scotland that he had never heard of. And I missed the show due to trip to health center to deal with DS age 7's 102.3 degree temperature. If anyone was there, could you please post the question he missed; DH couldn't remember due to stress of being in the hot seat. Retail shops - all our charges for Mickeys Mates showed up on our final print-out as Treasure Ketch; was somewhat confusing to DH because he never set foot in Treasure Ketch yet there were several charges against his KTTW card on our bill. Also, the ESPN shop is no longer operating; all their merchandise is in Mickey's Mates; and on CC the Bahamian arts & crafts shop is no longer operating. Both of these are, however, still on maps of the ship received on embarkation day, and on maps of CC received with the Friday navigator. VERY confusing (and unprofessional), to see stores on a map, that don't exist. Health Center - quiet professional. Hours are limited; but they are on call 24 hours. About 6pm on Wed DS age 7 felt hot; got DS age 16 mos to Flounders, DH with niece age 7 off to Mousekeeteer show and rushed DS age 7 down to health center (it closed at 7pm). Saw doctor promptly; DS age 7 was slightly dehydrated and had an ear infection beginning to blossom. Charges were posted to our account; was approx. $74 and antibiotics were about $7. Ports of Call - why does the ship stay in St Maartin until 11pm? And why are we only at Castaway Cay for 6 hours? DH would like to see 2 nights in CC, with beach bonfires & fireworks over the water. St Thomas was much nicer than I expected. Ship's sailing from St Thomas was delayed approx 30 mins by passengers not back by 4:30; DH saw these people rushed to the ship via a golf cart but didn't make it in time. They loaded these people onto a pilot boat, put them on the roof of the boat with life jackets and were somehow hoisted into the tender lobby. What part of 4:30 did these people not understand? Don't miss the photo opp as you leave the ship at CC. IMHO it is the best picture you can buy. Also, they take pics with characters as you walk to the family beach. DS age 7 got terrific pic with Minnie with ship in background. On CC a passenger took ill; while waiting outside the Post Office I heard Code Bright Star or something to that effect announced over the PA system. Our neighbors in the next cabin said they saw medical personnel running down a hallway with "really big needles". This person was airlifted via helicopter to a hospital in Miami; my sister is a RN and she saw a heart monitor with the medical equipment this person had when they took him/her off the ship on a stretcher at approx. 9:15pm. The captain originally announced at about 5pm that we would leave by 8pm; but we didn't sail until about 9:30. I saw the helicopter flying in at about 9:15; I believe it landed on the CC airstrip but I couldn't be sure. They used the vehicle that pulls the trams to get this person to the helicopter. This episode pushed back everything on debarkation morning. Debarkation - Frustrating delays, due to medical situation previous night. Steward delivered revised instructions Fri evening; breakfast moved to 7:30 rather than 6:45. Well, we finished by 8:45, then the captain said the earliest we would disembark would be 10am!! They started a movie in the theater (Bambi); they opened the kids clubs and had a piano player in the Promenade Lounge. We waited there. They let us off the ship at about 10:30. I didn't hear any announcement; when it was obvious people were staring to leave everybody just jumped up and made for the hallways. Personnel in luggage terminal were quite helpful when one of my bags ended up in a different area. And if you use the airline check-in, watch what the skycaps do!! The skycap at the Delta counter who helped us checked our bags to Dallas rather than all the way to Las Vegas & I had to ask him to fix it. Then, a different skycap started to put someone else's tags on our bags!! I watched them until I saw for myself that every bag had our Las Vegas tags & was on the truck. I'm positive the 7/14 cruise was delayed; people were still leaving the ship as our bus pulled away at 11:15am. We were at airport by noon for 1:05 flight. Back home in Vegas by 5:30pm. My Do and Don't list: DO bring quarters with you for laundry!! Wash or dry is $1. There is a vending machine for laundry soap, but I didn't see dryer sheets, just Downey. Buy a roll of quarters from your bank, and put into a Ziploc bag with dryer sheets & Wisk tablets. This will save a trip to guest services for change. DO bring a quantity of $1 bills, for room service tips, etc. In the suites you can get more items delivered, and these CMs work hard and you can't charge their tips to your room. DON'T rush around on embarkation day for spa and Palo reservations. Just check for cancellations later in the week. On Thurs I was able to get appts for Friday's CC cabana massages at 12:30, and we made our Palo brunch reservations Wed evening for Thurs morning. (were we just lucky?) DO, however, rush to Flounder's nursery at 1:30pm on embarkation day for your requests, if your children are in this age group! I knew from other trip reports that the concierge could not do this for me. I was able to get all the times I requested. DO bring a magic marker with you to put names on bottom of refillable mugs. We had about five of them in my family and were constantly losing track of what belonged to who. DO let the guest services desk have the characters sign a T-shirt for you!! Just give them a shirt, tell them back or front for the signatures, and you can pick it up a day later. DO be flexible and DON'T try to do it all!! After our massages at CC we barely made it back to Cookies by 2pm for lunch, and we were too rushed to make it to the Banana boats by 3pm. DON'T book a flight home before 12 noon!! And last, DO wait for your children to be older (IMHO, 4 - 5 yrs) before taking this cruise!! My 7-yr old had a blast and didn't want to leave the ship. But travelling with a 16-mo old is a challenge, and a cruise wouldn't have been my first choice of a vacation. However, we were on the cruise at my mothers' request. My experience would have been quite different if Flounder's hadn't been so accommodating. DH and I were able to have some adult time with my family and with each other. I still have my sea legs and can feel the boat rocking under me. I'm sure I'll remember more . . . I'll post again or edit this if I need to add anything. Hope this helps your vacation!!