We just got back from RCCL's Brilliance of the Seas with our 9 and 7 year olds and our 8 month old daughter. We have cruised 3 times before, but never with our kids. We loved it, but there were several things that we wished they had. My husband and I would have liked to be able to go down to some of the shore excursions. We missed snorkeling. Which is the best line for babysitting for our baby who will be 20 months next year when we hopefully cruise again. Also, which has the best staterooms (can't afford suites) for a family of 5. Someone told me about some cabins that connect without an exit for the other room? Any such configuration on any ships or just a rumor (some privacy in the room would have been nice)?
I know Carnival has connecting rooms, but I think you get charged for the two rooms even though just one family is staying in those two rooms. I don't think there are any rooms that connect where one doesn't have an exit. Disney had the best program when ours were little (seems like a million years ago). When we were in Nassau, we did an evening shore excursion and Disney had a program going on for the little ones and even put them to bed, but we had to pick them up by 2:00 a.m. I would just think the Disney ships would cater more to the little ones.........You can always call a travel agent to find out about special configurations on ships in different lines.
Our girls are old enough now to stay across the hall from us. Not old enough to be on a different floor though. We get the OV room, they get the inside room. We get privacy and two bathrooms!!!!!!!!!!
If by chance you can hang in there for 4 more months until your youngest is 2 years old. You'll be able to take advantage of the kids club and go on some shore excursions. I do believe that Carnival has some rooms that may accomodate 5. Disney sounds great too but it is quite a bit more pricey than Carnival, especially when you are paying for a family of 5 (forgive me if I am mistaken, but I remember being told that). Carnival and Disney is one of the few lines that will care for 2 year olds potty trained or not. You could also consider NCL, but they'll give you a beeper and when baby needs a diaper change, you are required to come asap and change them, so you would get to have some grown-up time, but its doubtful that you would get to go on an excursion with NCL though.