Dear first timer,
If I had to do it all over again, and they existed back in the day, I would jump onto the mega ships - Oasis and Allure by RCCL (220,000 tons). The only thing is I end up cruising twice a year in the caribbean with my teenagers and once per year in the mediterranean and I have to spread the wealth as they say. I am still waiting for a sale on those supernovas where a balcony can be had for less than $1000 per person so here I stay with the lesser dreams of Freedom of the Seas, Independence of the Seas or Liberty of the Seas, not too shabby at 160,000 tons each. Balconies are great for my husband and I enjoying a glass of bubbly but we stayed away from those when the kids were under 10 - just one less thing to have to worry about. Insides were great. Truly, you spend so little time in your cabin with little ones in tow. If you are planning a December vacation cruise wise over the holidays, a lot of the cheaper cabins are long gone. Good luck with your deliberations (I am also very partial to Princess's Ruby, Emerald and Crown at 110,000 each).