BON VOYAGE MICKEY!

From the moment you walk on the Disney Cruise you know this is going to be a special experience. Crew members stand on each side and announce your arrival..
 “Now presenting… The Cross family!!!”
And everyone claps and cheers.
 My husband and I went on a Disney Cruise for our honeymoon 13 years ago… And we knew, when we had kids, we wanted to take them on this amazing adventure.
 So, a few months ago, we booked a 3 night cruise on the Disney Dream. We brought our 7 year old son, Cameron, and our nearly 3 year old daughter, Audrey. We decided not to bring our 1 year old daughter – And that ended up being a good decision… More about that later…
But for now, I have broken our cruise experience up into a list of pro and cons – But, as you’ll see, there are very few cons.
kidsmickey
Pro #1 – The friendly and special service.
OH MY GOSH. Everyone was SO nice and accommodating. You go to a different restaurant every night and the wait staff follows you from restaurant to restaurant. So they really get to know you. We showed up that first night and they already had cups set out with my kids names on them!
Every time you head back to your room it is spotless. There are candies for the kids.. rose petals for your bed… the room is organized for everything you need. We went back to our room in the evening, thinking we had to pull the couch out for the kids’ bed… But nope! The amazing crew had turned the couch into bunk beds… And even put my daughter’s stuffed animal under the covers waiting for her!
Pro #2 – The kids area. It’s called The Ocean Ears Club. It’s for kids ages 3 and up… And my son LOVED it. I admit, I felt slightly guilty ditching the kids one afternoon so my husband and I could have some alone time… But when I went to pick Cameron up from the club… He told me he didn’t want to go! He was having too much fun with all the activities! I was stunned! And it’s free!
Moderate Pro – It’s a Small World Nursery. This is for kids under the age of 3. Audrey will be 3 next month. So, she was a little old for this area. But it was still pretty great. She had a good time, but my husband and I did not leave her in there long. Even though the nursery area was nice and the people were awesome, at her age, I feel like she would have way more fun with us. Besides, the nursery costs $9 an hour.
Pro #3 – The adult area! Granted, my husband and I did not take much time away from the kids on this vacation, but for a couple hours one afternoon we decided to take advantage of the “adult only” part of the ship.
Ahhh!
It was nice!
The adult only pool is very chill and you can take adult beverages into the pool while you relax. They even have a bar in the pool! We met some really nice people while hanging out there. They told us that there are also adult only clubs and restaurants on the top two levels of the ship.
Pro #4 – The shows. If you take a Disney cruise do NOT miss a show. Not a single one. They are beyond fantastic. The first night, my daughter was fading fast, but we decided to go to the show anyway. We figured if she started getting too sleepy we’d just walk out.
Didn’t happen!
My kids were fascinated by the shows! The characters and the costumes and the lights were all beyond amazing. We saw “The Golden Mickeys”, “Villains” and “Believe”.
“The Golden Mickeys” was our favorite… But each show was incredible.
Pro #5 – Castaway Cay. This is Disney’s private island and it is spectacular. We spent the entire day off the ship and on this beach. My daughter refused to leave the water! My husband and I went on a snorkeling excursion which was beautiful and then when we got back to shore, my husband and son went snorkeling again. The reefs are beautiful.
They have a family beach and an adult only beach on Castaway Cay. We only spent time at the family beach… But everyone was very nice and respectful. My kids met some wonderful friends here, too! Disney also has some of the characters wander around the beach. Cameron and Audrey had a dance party with Goofy and Mickey… And Audrey got her picture taken with Olaf!
I like warm hugs!

I like warm hugs!

Now for the Cons.
There are only 2.
Con #1 – Nassau.
On the 3 night cruise there are only 2 stops… Nassau and Castaway Cay.
We got off the boat in Nassau… And got back on 30 minutes later. We did not book an excursion in Nassau and I was very underwhelmed. It’s all stores… And, in my opinion, there was nothing special at the stores. You could book an excursion here to Atlantis (which looked amazing), but it costs $200 a person and my family decided it was not worth it for one day. So, we walked right back on the ship and spent the day surrounded by Disney!
Con #2 – The price. This isn’t even really a con. I mean, it’s Disney. You know before you even step on the ship you’ll be filing for bankruptcy before the adventure is over. The food and sodas are all included in the cost of the trip – But any adult beverages or pictures you buy are extra.
A LOT extra.
They take pictures all over the ship and they are exquisite. But we bought 5 prints and it came to $100. Also, the cost of tipping your wait staff and the people who take care of your room are added in… And it came to almost $200 extra. And then, since we loved our wait staff so much, we added an extra tip onto that.
It’s worth it – But it’s expensive.
Now for a few helpful hints.
If you’re going to go on a Disney Cruise soon.. Here are a few things I learned…
Hint # 1 – Pack bathing suits in your carry-on bag. When you first get on the ship – your luggage may not be at your room yet. So, if you want to enjoy the pool on that very first day, make sure you have your gear on you.
Hint # 2 – If you have a child that wants to meet the princesses, go straight up to deck 5 when you get on the ship and buy a Princess ticket. This gives you access to ALL of the princesses for the next morning. Just show up at the time on your ticket and you get to go from princess to princess with no line!
Get the Princess ticket immediately!

Get the Princess ticket immediately!

Hint # 3 – If you want to buy pictures – do NOT wait until the evening before your cruise is over. It was PACKED! The line to buy pictures was nearly around the ship! Either do it early… Or, they open up very early the morning the ship docks. Take advantage of it then.
And one last thing – I don’t think I’d ever bring a baby on the ship. This is just a personal preference. It was very tough for me to leave my 1 year old at home… But I’m very glad we did. There’s not much for a baby to do on the ship and I’m not sure they would get any enjoyment out of it. Besides, it gave my husband and I plenty of time to focus completely on Cameron and Audrey and make sure they got an incredible vacation!
Our Disney Dream vacation

Our Disney Dream vacation

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2 Responses to BON VOYAGE MICKEY!

  1. Sandy October 8, 2014 at 9:10 am #

    We just came off our first Disney dream cruise! It was amazing. We are frequent cruisers and this was top notch!!!! The ship was exquisite, the food was the best I’ve ever had (I mean really- stone crap and peel and eat shrimp on the Buffett) and the service was the best I’ve ever experienced on any cruise!!!! It’s very expensive but just like Disney parks, if you go the right time of the year, you can save a bundle. They made us feel like our three year old son was the only child on the ship. Every where we went he was loved and doted upon. I agree with the article on everything. Don’t waste your time getting off in Nassau. Most of the shops were under construction. We were happier hanging out in the pools which were less crowded on port days! One very important tip….do not forget a birth certificate for your child if you don’t have a passport. We did and almost couldn’t go on the ship. It took our neighbor getting into our house for us to be able to go!!!!

  2. Liz Hill October 10, 2014 at 6:03 am #

    We love the DIsney Cruise and have one booked for spring break in March 🙂