Posted December 10th, 2012, 10:06 PM
What are the ages of your children? That can make a big difference. Your budget could also make a difference.
All families are different, and depending on the desires and needs of the family, as well as the ages of the children, some ships might be a better fit than others. Your individual experience on any of these ships will also vary depending on the weather, who your shipmates are, your assigned waiter and cabin steward, counselors at the kids club, cruise director, etc.
I think that all of the ships you mentioned have a lot of family focused facilities and activities and could make for a good cruise. You might also want to consider the Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas - those are nice family-friendly ships, but a tad smaller than Oasis or Allure. Depending on your location you might also want to consider the classic Disney ships. However, I will say that you can also have good family cruises on some of the other lines, like Princess, Celebrity or even Holland America. Given that you like to relax and be mellow, maybe you don't need family deck parties, rock climbing walls, etc.? It's hard to know what would be a good fit for your family. You might want to check out the reviews on this site for each of the ships to get a better sense of what might work well for your family. For example, would the weird bathroom set-up and small cabin size (unless you get a suite) on Epic work for you? Will the large numbers of children and relentless Disney theming drive you crazy on the Disney ships? Do you want a really large ship with a lot going on all over the place?
Crusinmama06 recently did a semi-live review of her Epic cruise and the link is available here:
I recently posted my review of the Dream and a quick comparison to Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas, and it is here:
There are many people who have written comparisons between Oasis/Allure and the Disney ships, and so on. Maybe do some reading. I think just asking vaguely how people felt about the ships doesn't tell you much - you need to know who they are, and the experiences that fed into their impressions. For example, some of my best cruises have been on the crappiest ships. That is because I met some great people, or had friends along with me. That is what made those trips fun. And no matter how wonderful the ship, if you get norovirus, get robbed, get injured, hit a hurricane, etc. it can really ruin your cruise.
Good luck with your decision-making!