We were traveling with 2 other families (12 people in all) and my kids are 13 and 8. One thing I will say is I am not sure if my kids would have had as great a time as they did if we traveled alone. It seemed to me that having other kids they knew helped tremendously in the fun that they had. My 13 yr old didnt like the Stack and mostly hung out at Oceaneers Quest and played basketball with his friend and other teens. My 8 yr old enjoyed the club, but hated the Lab, especially when they had activities that combined the age groups. The kids clubs were great though because it gave the adults time to have on their own without the kids. We stayed overnight at Residence Inn at Cape Canaveral very nice accommodation. They had just opened a new wing of the hotel so we were the first occupants. Aside from some delay in getting to our rooms (they were releasing them as they were cleared from inspection), it was a great hotel to stay at close to the port and most car rental offices. Also close to a lot of restaurants and shopping areas for last minute stuff like water bottles. They had a heated outdoor pool, full breakfast and great staff. We rented a car from Budget, and my DH dropped us off at the port, returned the car and made it back in time for boarding. Check in We were at Port Canaveral by 11:30am. There werent a lot of people yet, and check in was a breeze. Got a #5 boarding pass. We were castaway club members, so there was no line at the desks plus I did online check in so that helped a lot. Two other families that came with us needed some help with filling out forms they didnt get to do the online check in. One gentleman helped us filling in their forms and when we finished, gave all three families #1 boarding passes. Very lucky! He just handed them out. So we were able to board very early. Went straight to Palo to change our previous ressies (we had separate ressies but combined them into one so we can dine with our friends) and also made ressies for brunch. We went to Oceaneers club to get bracelets for the kids and beepers for the adults and went straight to Top siders buffet for lunch. After lunch, we went to our rooms and our luggage arrived shortly after. Had a quick swim and change before the sail-away party and got to meet other DISers Dining We had the APLAPLA rotation late dining. This worked out for us just fine because we didnt feel rushed especially during our days on the island. Food was great and service was terrific! We had requested a special breakfast for Thur morning and our head server gladly obliged. Our server said that if we felt like eating something special, we can make a request at least 1 day in advance. Pirate night was great! The food was appropriate but we were too stuffed to enjoy the midnight spread but the kids enjoyed the gold coin chocolates. The Thursday Midnight Dessert Buffet was absolutely amazing but it was impossible to eat that much desserts! At least they had no sugar added versions. Dining at Castaway Cay was as expected but the soda machines went out of commission by about 1pm so there were long lines at the only machine that was working. PALO dining was exquisite! The champagne brunch is not to be missed. I liked the fact that we were able to spend some time without the kids, and that we were able to take our time eating and enjoying the food. I seriously recommend making an effort to dine here for the brunch and dinner. The only thing I didnt like about PALO is the vibrations from being in the back of the ship. Easter Sunday Character breakfast day. The kids had fun waiting for the characters to visit the table although it was done VERY quick almost in a rush mode - just enough to sign autographs and take pictures. I guess they want to make sure that every table got visited. They gave away goodie bags for kids on the ship, and had an easter egg hunt activity in the clubs. It was also formal night, and everyone got dressed up. There were quite long lines to take formal pictures for formal portraits and also long lines to get character autographs but the kids got excited to see them so they didnt mind as much as we did. I felt we wasted a lot of time on these lines. Days at Sea were great I actually preferred these days because we were able to take our time doing what we felt like doing movies, dance lessons, taking naps on deck 4, very relaxing. St. Maarten I saw only the Magic docked at the port. We didnt book any excursions and did these on our own. After getting off the ship, we got on a cab (there were 12 of us so we didnt have to wait) and ventured on to Pinel Island. The cab charged $7pp one way, and took us to the place where we can get on a boat to Pinel. There were clear signs on the charges, so no worries about being over charged for the cab rides. The boat ride to Pinel was no more than 5 minutes, and the charge was $6pp round trip. The only downside is the boat only leaves once every hour on the hour, and we got there at 9:30 and had to wait but definitely worth it. The island was small and not crowded at all but we did see a lot of topless ladies. My daughter calls it naked land. Great beach!!! Aqua blue/green water and clear. My DD enjoyed feeding the fish with frosted flakes and the school of fish was just right on the shallow water. They were as big as my palm and the kids enjoyed it. My DH and DS went snorkeling, and they said they enjoyed that as well. There is a restaurant by the beach and a shop which sold swim gear, postcards and hand made jewelry. There was also massage offered for about $60 an hour. The food was quite expensive, quoted in Euros but they accepted US$. They were charging up to 19EURO for a platter. We took the 1pm boat back and actually arranged for our cab driver to pick us up to go back to the boat at 1pm. He was waiting for us when we got off the boat. We had lunch on the boat, then the adults went off on the island again for some shopping at Phillipsburg. Water taxis right off the port were $5 round trip and we headed for Front street for some shopping. This was also Pirate night and I must say Disney sure knows how to throw a party! Everyone was given pirate bandanas over dinner (so dont bother buying one) and the kids had fun. We had great weather and we were treated with fireworks during the party. St. Thomas We went through immigration procedures at the theatre (we were asked to go there at 7:00am). The kids were still in their pajamas, but it was fairly organized and quick, so it wasnt bad at all. There were 4 ships docked at St. Thomas. We took a cab from the port to Magens Bay. The guy charged us $8.00 per person, and didnt charge three of our kids who were under 8. He also arranged to come back for us and we all agreed for him to pick us up at 12pm. The beach was absolutely beautiful the ride was very scenic the roads were very small and quite scary especially at the turns and it doesnt help that they drive on the left side of the road either. The driver was kind enough to stop somewhere and allowed us to take scenic pictures of the beach and the port. The beach was very nice, chaise lounges were $11 (you get $5.00 back when you return them) and can be rented from the office. There was a restaurant there as well, but we didnt bother buying any food as we brought some snacks from the ship. Tip my friends had some Ziploc bags where they stored some bagels and Danish from breakfast for their kids to snack on. My kids were pretty ok with the cereals which were easy to bring because they were the individually packaged ones. We went back to the ship for lunch and again, the adults ventured out to shop after lunch. The shopping area is right at the port, so its a close walk to the ship. Castaway Cay There are lots to do on this island. My son and I did the treasure hunt, but some clues were difficult to get and it was very disappointing that there was no reward in the end. My DS expected at least some sort of recognition for finding the treasure but came to accept it and said I guess the reward is the satisfaction of a job well done. I think I was more disappointed for him that he was. Last day we were scheduled for a 7:45 breakfast and it was sad saying goodbye to our servers. We finished eating about 9:00 and got off the ship after picking up our luggage. My DH picked up the car rental from Budget, and came back to pick us up. Overall this was a really great cruise we had nice weather and great company and the service was first rate.