I have become a research junkie too, but I'll tell you after you read a few sour reviews from folks who didn't do their homework ahead of time, it made a believer out of me. I just keep reading and asking lots of questions. It always pays off to know what to expect ahead of time. This will be our fourth cruise with the kids, on the first our daughter was 2 years old, strangely enough she had a ball in the kids clubs, but if big brother had not have been right there with her I am sure she would have said no way!
We are from Indiana and will be flying into Islip then taking the Long Island Railroad into the city. We got a killer deal on airfare and d/s loves trains so we figured why not. We found a place to stay near Rockefeller Center and the kids cannot wait to go.
On our other cruises we did the "formal thing" and it made for some wonderful evenings and great photo opps with the kids, but to be honest as much as I like all that I am kind of looking forward to a little more relaxed atmosphere, where the kids can eat their favorite kid stuff early in the evening at the casual eatery and then allow them to go play with their new friends at the kids club while d/h and I duck out and have a nice quiet peaceful dinner for two later.
D/s is a little disappointed he won't get to wear his tux on this trip, but he is very excited by all the other neat stuff this ship has. Let me know if you stumble across any other info you think might be helpful and I will do the same.