We have taken 3 other cruises before this one, each one on different cruise lines, and we've enjoyed each one. We have been huge Disney fans all of our lives. This was our first cruise on DCL, and was going to serve as an assessment of sorts to see if we would like to take a longer cruise with them in the future. The things that we enjoyed about the cruise: The food was good throughout the ship. Our dinners were in the Animator's Palate and the service and food was good (more on this below). The ship was clean and well-maintained. Our stateroom attendant did an excellent job of maintaining our cabin and was very friendly and courteous. We had an outside stateroom and liked the split bathroom with sink and toilet in one and the bathtub/shower and sink in the other. The sail-away party was fun for all. We loved the "When You Wish Upon a Star" ship's horn. The evening shows were outstanding and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing "Tangled" in 3D in the theatre.
Things that we were disappointed with or in our opinion, and are in need of improvements: The check-in process was the worst we have ever experienced. It appeared that DCL may have used this cruise to train new people and the line moved very slowly. The person we checked in with was not by any means cheerful or of the expected Disney-like personality that we would have expected and seemed confused on every aspect of check-in and needed to keep checking with a supervisor for each task. After check-in, I thought we were ready to board as on other cruise lines. Not so. We were issued a number of "10" and put into a "staging area" to wait for our number to be called for boarding. At that point, they were on number "2". This took another 30-45 minutes after already waiting in our check-in line for that long. During this, my adult daughter took advantage of the wait to check-in our grandchildren for the on-board activities. This was another very slow moving line and arduous process.
We were pleased that our dining preference was moved to the earlier time as we had requested and very pleased that our dining was in the Animator's Palate. Now, from everything I have read, other than the food, the most exciting part of eating in this dining area is the fascinating changing of colors of the entire restaurant. We ate there both nights with great anticipation, telling the children to keep their eyes on the walls. Nothing! Both nights everything remained black and white throughout the entire dinner! We asked the wait staff, and they claimed to know nothing about that part of the dining experience! Seemed they were only interested in the food process and serving.