2 rooms for sure. You know your family. I know mine. We like 2 rooms for extra space and my teenage boys like to be alone in their own room. My 10 year old bunks with us. We get a balcony -they are across the hall. They love it. We use walkie -talkies to find each other and have meet times through out the day. We also use sticky notes to communicate if we miss each other. I can see not putting younger kids across the hall- but if you want/need to save a few bucks- the interior across the way is great.
I considered the family room on RCI - 8012- and I can see why families would love it but - that cubbie hole for a bedroom lost its allure on my boys when they turned 12. Now they want their own space and Im good with that.
Connecting balcony rooms sounds awesome- especially when you can open the walls outside. Had I booked that on my next cruise Id be paying about twice as much for the 2nd room. Id rather spend it on board. Some people dont need to think twice about room cost and what they spend, some of us do. Once upon a time ago I talked both Carnival and NCL into putting 5 of us in a quad and giving us a roll away- We made it work when they were very little. Now 2 rooms all the way.