We throughly enjoyed our balcony room and felt it was very worth it. We Booked our children on an inside cabin right across the hall from our room and it worked out very nicely. My husband and I loved to sit out on the balcony in the mornings and late afternoons. The sunsets were fabulous when we sat out and watched them- very relaxing and romantic. We also really enjoyed opening the sliding door at night and listening to the ocean. This was the second cruise that we have had with a balcony room and would not do it any other way. Our children also loved to come to our room and sit out on the balcony, especially when we were docking or taking off at the islands. It was nice to have some place quite to come to and enjoy the ocean. The top decks get rather loud and there is no privacy to enjoy the sea.
Shore excursions- At St Thomas we scheduled a fantastic snorkeling tour over the internet with New Horizons. It was a full day sail that took us around to St Johns to snorkel at a private area. The crew was wonderful and the food was very good. My three children loved this day. The only draw back was that we did not get to shop in St Thomas because this was a full day sail, but it was a very memorable day. In St Martin, we did not schedule any tours. We went shopping for part of the day then rented a car and went to the French side to some of the beaches. Beware in St Martin of the nudity on the beaches. My teenage boys really got their eyes full that day! The beaches were very beautiful and it was fun to relax and swim and snorkel. Also, beware of the restaurants on the French side. We went to a beach front outdoors restaurant where the menu was in Francs and we had not paid attention to the Francs currency rate, we ended up spending $90.00 for the 5 of us to have hamburgers and drinks. The shopping in St Martin is very good and wonderful prices.
Hope you have a fun trip. Its a great ship for families. I was amazed on how smoothly Disney runs that ship. The activities were great, very organized. I don't ever remember feeling crowded or frustrated. This kids will have a ball.