tiesandstilletos

Disney Cruise – Part 2

In Family, Kids, Travel on June 9, 2012 at 3:27 PM

 

 

Wow!  We’ve gotten quite a response from our blog regarding the Disney cruise.  Seriously, several people have taken us up on the offer of cruising with us next year.  That’s even more exciting!  We thought the cruise was awesome with just our family but it will be even better with some of our friends and extended family joining in!  We can’t wait.

Over the course of talking with those friends and family, it came to mind that many of the questions and answers discussed weren’t included in the last post.  So, we wanted to share some of that information.

A very unique bonus to cruising with Disney is that you can bring your own alcohol.  Yes.  You read that right.  We know this may not be the deciding factor for some but for others who like to sip on their favorite wine at dinner, this could be a valuable feature.  And, this is definitely unique to the Disney cruise.  There are no limits.  Basically, as much as you can carry, you can bring.  There were plenty of people carrying cases of beer, wine, and yes, water.  (By the way, cases of bottled water – highly recommended!)  There is a refrigerator in the staterooms so keeping beverages cold is not a problem.  And, if you forget that favorite bottle of scotch, there is a very reasonable duty-free store on board so that you can purchase alcohol or even perfume and cosmetics.

We also recommend packing a small cooler tote bag to take waters (or other cold beverages) to the beach.  They offer water and a cooler for sale on board but that could run you $35. 

Another question that came up regarding kids was whether there was a time limit to how long the kids could stay in the playroom.  That would be up to you and your child.  The playroom was open from 9a-1a so if your child is content staying there the entire time, then, I guess, there you go.  We don’t recommend it considering you’re on vacation together as a family and, so, we’d think that you would see your child at least a few times during the day.  Well, that is if they want to see you! 😛  The children are given “Mickey Bands” that are placed on their arms.  It provides GPS to determine where your child is within the playroom. (Yes, the playroom is large enough that when you go to pick them up, it’s nice to not have to walk around and around looking for them).  If your child is 8 and older, you can grant them privileges to check themselves in and out of the playroom by themselves.  If you have multiple children and one child is 13 and older, they can check the younger kids out of the playroom if you grant them such permission.

Two cell phones are provided on the ship that work both on the ship and on Castaway Cay so that you can keep up with family while on board or on the beach.  This also gives you peace of mind while your younger children (who can’t check themselves in and out) are in the playroom.  If they are ready to leave or need to just be with you for any reason, the staff can give you a call to come to the playroom to check on them or to let you know your free time is over.

The ship is pretty cool (during the summer travels, at least).  So it is recommended that a light jacket and a pair of jeans are brought for walking around the ship.  And, speaking of clothing, unlike many cruise lines, there is no captain’s dinner.  So, ball gowns and tuxedos are not required at anytime on the cruise.  There are two upscale, adult only restaurants, Remy (French cuisine) and Palo (Italian cuisine) that are on board (additional fees will be charged for dining).  Although it is recommended that you are dressed well for dining, full formal is not required.  For main dining, Kenya and the girls wore cute summer dresses and “prettied up” for the evening.  Dennis wore Polos and nice jeans, khakis or shorts.  That was just our style.  Dining dress for others varied from shorts and t-shirts to suits.  Of course, many princesses were on board so you could find sparkle and tutus all around.  You’re pretty much in swimwear during the day so as far as packing goes, you really only need clothes to dine and/or walk around the ship at night.  After dinner, the girls would go play and we would go into the 687 lounge to enjoy the NBA playoffs on the 150+ inch screen while sitting in recliners.  Again, however you want to dress is fine.  Some days, we would go straight from dinner.  Other days we would go change and would be in jeans or sweats and a t-shirt.  Just come as you are.

If your kids (or you) are into pin trading, there is a pin trading night where the captains bring their lanyards full of swanky pins to trade with you.  This is a great way to get some unique pins for your collection!

We also had a pirate theme night while on board. Our theme was a pirate party.  When you book your cruise, ask about the theme night.  I have a feeling that the theme is always a pirate party mainly because the graphics and scenery are equipped and designed for it.  (But, then again, this is Disney so scenery can change in an instant if they wanted it to).  For the most part, this was basically a costume party night on the ship.  Most people brought their pirate “gear” and wore it for the party night.  The party night also included a display of fireworks directly from the ship.  This is also a unique feature to the Disney cruise.  Because, after all, what’s Disney without fireworks! 🙂

There were 3 main dining restaurants on board and each night we rotated through the restaurants.  The menus also changed each night but I believe every night the menu was generally the same for each restaurant, it was just a matter of where you ate that night.  The Royal Palace was enchanting as the name suggests.  It was like being in, well…a royal palace.  The Enchanted Garden was like being in Tinker Bell’s garden.  And, Animator’s Palate was very cool as you get to see various sketches of your favorite Disney characters.  It also offers interactive animation where the characters that surround you throughout the screens of the restaurant actually start talking to the dinner guests.  The turtle on the screen called out our oldest daughter and she was able to share her name with him and what she liked most about being on the ship.  They had about a 5-minute conversation that brought nothing but big smiles.  The girls really got a kick out of that.  That was pretty cool.  That Disney.  I tell ya!

Besides all of the tangible aspects of the cruise, what was best about our trip were all of the intangibles and the memories that will last a lifetime.  This is a VACATION!  Many times when we go on “vacation” these days, we don’t get the opportunity to really vacate and leave everything behind.  We still have our laptops, cell phones, iPads, and the like.  We’re still connected to people outside of the family whom we’re on vacation to connect to.  On a cruise, you have to disconnect from the “wide world” and connect only to the people who are there with you.  Hey, you may even meet real people by having face to face conversations like back in the day before Facebook!  You have no cellular or internet data so all of those electronic media devices become obsolete.  It is the ultimate “No Tech Thursday”!!!  It’s the greatest way to reconnect with your family and make memorable moments that you may not always get to do when you’re at home.  You all get to sit together at the dinner table without someone running around to make plates or making sure the table is cleared and the dishes are cleaned afterward.  EVERYONE gets served and can relax and just enjoy.  You and your children (if you brought them) are treated like royalty.  There is an endless supply of food, drinks and….did we mention ICE-CREAM!!! 🙂  In this day and age, we can all use a few days to pull the plug and just play! (Of course, this makes coming back to work the next week a 200 e-mail dig but, it is well worth it!)

Hopefully this follow up blog answered many of your questions.  We’re glad we got such a great response from the blog.  Hey, Disney!  Did you hear that?!?  We’re bringing you business!  Can the Pierre’s get a park pass or a room credit? 😛

Regardless, we will be so happy you joined us and you will too.

Disney Cruise. See Ya Real Soon! That’s What’s Up!

 

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  1. we loved our Disney cruise, but it was 7 years ago. it’s definitely time to do it again. you’ve motivated me to get to planning!

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