Thursday, December 3, 2015

Our Disney Cruise ( Review and Tips)

For Thanksgiving this year we went on a Disney Cruise. We are so thankful to my friend +Marilyn Bell for talking us into it. Errrrrybody says how awesome a Disney cruise is and they were all right. I was reluctant because I am scared of water situations and getting sea sick and 100 other things but turns out all of that was OK.
We went on the Disney Magic to The Cayman Islands and the Disney Island Castaway Cay. 5 nights of awesomeness and SUCH.GOOD.FOOD.

So a few Bullet Points  of Randomness : 

1.) Boarding and De-boarding the ship was pretty quick and painless. I was expecting that to be a nightmare.

2. The Buffet was so awesome every day for every meal. 1 million choices and always a seafood bar too ( my fav.). One of my regrets was making reservations for adult only dinners. Not everyone would agree I am sure, but the regular dinners at night were pretty fancy on their on, I was too tired at the end of each day to go get all dressed up for a fancy cocktail style dinner. You can take the kids or take them to the kids club. 

3. There are a million photo ops on the boat. I regret not planning ahead and taking advantage of this. Our boat was all decked out for Christmas and even Santa was there for pics. I was so bummed I didn't pack their Christmas outfits for Santa pics or dressier clothes for Family pics. Pictures cost more too so it would have been worthwhile to take a bunch and pay the package rate. 

4. I was too busy with work to plan well in advance and wish I had planned excursions for us through the boat. I even could have done it on the boat but Erik wasn't feeling it.... then we got off the boat and were like.. dang what do we do. So we went with some of the locals on excursions which were about half as much money as the ones from the boat, however the boat ones were much nicer and a safer bet. Next time I will book Disney excursions.  Our boat was smaller and not as nice, then started smoking half way there .. and their "snacks" ended up being a gallon of water and a gallon of some mystery soda. With a Disney related excursion if the boat broke down or something they would know to look for us... ha just stuff that crossed my mind when we were riding out to swim with sting rays!
I also should have left sister in the nursery on the big boat for this day. :) She as too little to appreciate or enjoy this stuff.

5. Pirate Night! Everyone dresses up like pirates and i mean some folks go ALL OUT ! It is a good idea to bring pirate gear with you. They provide the mickey kerchiefs for you which was nice. 

6. Everyone decorates their stateroom doors with magnets. I will make us some cool ones next time! Here is one of our neighbors doors. You can download free designs and laminate them to make your own decor.

7. They have lots of dance parties. Sister LOVES a good dance party and was so excited. They shot confetti from the ceiling and played loud pop music and she was shaking and grooving and saying " OOOHHHH" She basically walked around that boat like she owned it and talked to everyone she encountered. 

We loved swimming with the stingrays. Well bubs wasn't sure about it but I thought it was awesome!

One night they had a bingo where you could win money and Fenn loved the Bingo game. He cried a time or 2 when he thought he was losing but it was still fun and funny.

Every day they put these print outs in your room. They look like a TV guide but show you all the events of the day making it easy to plan what you want to do. We loved them because there are SO many choices and activities and it is nice to plan day to day so you don't get overwhelmed. They also have an app you can download and use on the ship without paying for wifi when using the app. Within that app you can text message each others phones. I wish we had known that earlier in the trip! 

Disney's Castaway Cay island was one of our stops and it was pretty dang cool! It was like a beach with every activity you would want ( snorkeling, paddle boats, shops, food, cabana service, water slides, on and on... ) Beautiful and it has a kids club on the island so you can have both family time and adult time on the beach. Fenn played on the beach with us till after lunch then wanted to go to kids club to play basketball.  

So.. recap of the tips :

  • Food is awesome. Fancy night dinners are not necessary unless you are a foodie and really want to get all dolled up.
  • Bring a beach bag for excursions and all your usual beach stuff. Bringing your own masks and snorkels is a great idea and money saver if you have room for them in your suitcase. Grab some towels before leaving the boat when you go on excursions.
  • Choose the Disney excursions when you get to your ports. They cost more but you get what you pay for.
  • At the end of the trip they will charge your bill for tips for the various people who wait on you during the trip. I didn't know this, so make sure you budget for that, and bring cash if you want to add to it at the end of the week. 
  • Pack Pirate clothes, disney clothes, and picture worthy outfits for some nice family shots. I packed way too much and next time will literally take swimsuits and some casual dresses. 
  • WiFi is mega expensive so when you get off the boat, find some free wifi and get busy! But honestly that probably made for a better trip because it forces us to unplug.
  • Bring your own cup for yourself and kids that has a lid. Tervis is ideal so you can use it for coffee or cold drinks. 
  • The kids club is awesome. If you have kids under 3 they still have childcare but it costs about $9 an hour. It was incredible and totally worth it. The kids clubs are themed and so cute. The older kids club is very big with several themed areas, lots of activities and all kids get a magic band with a GPS tracker so they can tell you at any time where your child is and what they are doing.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions I didn't cover! 
We loved it.
The End.

PS... no one go sea sick :)

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