Welcome to Cruise Chat. I will attempt to answer some of your questions, but will qualify it with saying I've only cruised on the Sea, Sun and Dawn. The Golden is a larger ship than the Sea, Sun and Dawn. The mini-suite should be fine for 4 with children that young. There are plenty of clubs on board for partying as well as plenty of activities on board for all ages. The drinks range from $3 - $9 depending on what you are consuming, beer being the least expensive. The casinos on the Sea, Sun and Dawn were not huge, but enough room and machines to be able to move around. The Grand is probably a little larger. It depends on what time you go down for anytime dining. I was told the latest I could make reservations was 6:15, which was fine with us. Once you're on board, check with the Maitre d', you may be able to reserve the same table every night, especially since you're bringing a complete table every night. The longest I've heard for wait time from the people I spoke with on board was around 30 minutes. For formal nights, I would strongly encourage at least a sports jacket for the men and a nice pants suit for the women. Most people on board do tend to observe formal nights, the ones that don't usually go to the buffet. It is a great opportunity for a special picture and you can tell them after dinner is over, they can go and change into something more comfortable. Hope this helps a little and have a marvelous cruise!