Disclosure: We were invited to Disney Social Media Moms, we paid a nominal fee to attend this conference and learn more from industry leaders at Disney.
So, pretty much since we got back everyone maghas been eager to hear about our trip and I have been just as eager to divulge every single detail. It was truly a special trip. I have a confession though, I did have a favorite part. I absolutely loved the cruise component. I was a bit nervous about going on a cruise, to be frank. I had some questions: “Would I get sea sick?” “Would I like the food?” “Would I feel cramped?” Well, I’m pleased to report my nerves were settled pretty easily once we got aboard the Disney Dream!
You’ll see in my video below that our room was very spacious and because of its layout, fit our family of four very well. The boys slept in bunk beds and thought that so impressive! Immediately, I was impressed by the room’s layout, because they were smart enough to put the shower and the toilet in two separate micro-rooms. Across from that, was a giant closet for storing your bags. So, that left the room’s floor clear and easy to walk around in.
As for motion sickness, I didn’t feel any! No one in my family did actually, which was great. I was truly so nervous about this.
The food, you ask? My Good Lord O’ Mighty– the food. So, you pay for your cruise and aside from alcoholic drinks and eating at the two adults only restaurants Remy & Palo – all of your food is included. This includes buffet dining at cabanas, and the incredible dinners at Animator’s Palate, Enchanted Garden, and Royal Palace. These three restaurants are sit down meals as part of their dinner rotation. How that works: you are assigned either a 5:45 dinner or an 8:00 second seating dinner. A lot of people base this choice on the age of their traveling companions. For us, that was a three and five year old so the 5:45 was our preferred time. The meals were outstanding, the quality of food far surpassed my expectations. My favorite dinner I had was at Royal Palace, it was their scallop meal. Do yourself a favor and try it if you go on a Disney cruise! One unique, really magical, component of eating on board the Disney Cruise Line is the way your servers rotate through the restaurants with you. So, every night you have the same wait staff! They learn your family’s preferences and create really magical experiences around meal times on board. Our server, Ravi, was so thoughtful. He would draw ketchup pictures and do magic tricks, he made meals so fun for my young sons.
Of course, Disney Cruise Line thought of every single kid component, too. They the Oceaneer’s Club, which is on board childcare for kids 3-12. (they’ve also got a tween and teen space, which I’ll talk more about it in a subsequent post. Since this is just our recap post right now I’m just chatting about our experience) Between the Oceaneer’s Club and the Oceaneer’s Lab, our kids could have been entertained every moment of our trip. They offer the kids really neat character experiences, themed rooms (like Star Wars – a favorite for my kids!) and Andy’s room. The kids would ASK to go to the Oceaneer’s club, and I know we went a few times only for them to ask to stay. Once, Sawyer wanted to leave and go to our room for a nap so they just sent me an on board text through their free on board messaging service.
Personally, I loved being poolside. I think I showed up to all our conference events with wet hair. I love the water and the sunshine we hadn’t seen in 3/4 months since fall started in Oregon. Liam & I went on this giannttttttttttttt water tube/slide thing. It was scary to me, but Liam was having a ball. I loved it, and I’m so sad I couldn’t take my camera on it to make a video. It was really fun.
Of course, the highlight of our trip was when we got to Castaway Cay. (Disney’s private island) so, the water was absolutely crystal clear and amazing. There are two restaurants on the island, both serving BBQ items. (May I suggest the ribs?) Let me tell you right now, my kids were THRILLED with the never ending supply of soft serve ice cream on the ship and on the island. My three year old was channeling some serious Bubba vibes on Facetime with his grandparents describing all the flavor varieties he had. “You’ve got your strawberry, your banana, you can do a swirl of strawberry and banana, I ate vanilla, I ate chocolate, I mixed chocolate with strawberry. ” If you were curious, my dessert preferences were definitely on board at the sit down restaurants.
My husband utilized one of the excursion offerings abroad the Disney Cruise Line, and went on a three hour deep sea fishing trip in the morning. He said it was incredible, and he even caught 18 fish that morning. He enjoyed it that much that when he came back, he was looking into other fishing trips that he could go on in different locations. I think he mentioned something about FKF Offshore charters in Key West that looked interesting. I think our friends went on one like that and they said it was amazing. So we’ll have to see what happens when we get home. On the island, they think of everything for you! Wagons, strollers, towels, the only thing you simply cannot forget from home is your sunscreen.
It is really worth noting that on the island there is childcare! So, you can utilize one of the adult only areas of the island or participate in an excursion your kids might be too young for. I put my kids in childcare to do the 5k, and when I went to pick them up they asked me to come back and get them later. Since my husband was fishing and they were there, would you believe I spent an hour ocean side with a book?
I could go on and on about our trip, but I have decided to break it down over a couple posts to avoid reader overwhelm (also, my kids want breakfast.)
I will end this post by saying, Disney Cruise Line has thought of every single detail to curate a once in lifetime vacation for your family. It was authentically, deeply, relaxing and family oriented. My kids are still talking about the time they spent in the millennium falcon, we call childcare. There is something special and unique for each member of the family, for the interests of everyone, and there is plenty of space for date nights (like all the bingo my husband and I played on board.) and even more space for family relationship building. It is a trip, I’d love to do year after year. I can’t wait to tell you more in the coming weeks!