So I started blogging because I love to write, almost as much as I love to eat, and travel the world. But the day that I found out that I was pregnant with my second child, I lost all interest in writing, eating out, and traveling. For some reason, I just changed. I stopped coordinating events for my dinner club, stopped making travel plans, and gave up on my blog. Even after the shock of being a mother of two went away, I still could not get motivated to write. My husband and I would dine at an amazing restaurant and I would say ” wow this place really deserves to be discussed on the blog” but I would never take any action. Although I hoped that I would get back into it, I feared that Eat Breathe Travel was a thing of the past. That was until …our recent Disney Cruise!
A close friend was planning to go on the Disney cruise and I decided to join her. I thought that it would be the prefect gift for my oldest daughter’s fifth birthday. Well I was right!! It was the prefect gift. Going on the cruise was a great experience for my family.
There are so many websites dedicated to the Disney Cruise that I originally thought I had nothing to add, but let me just share a few things that I learned from my experience and touch on some highlights :
- Book early to a get a lower price: Disney can get pricey, so try to book as far out in advance as possible. Once you select a date, go ahead and book. The price increases about every two weeks so make a decision and put down the deposit like yesterday! I called one day and was quoted approx. $1,750 for my family of four ( 2 adults 2 kids under 5 years old) I called back less that two weeks later and the price had increased to approx. $2,000. I booked that day and kicked myself for a few weeks for losing $300.00 due to procrastination.
- Pay for you trip by the deadline or else: Disney is great about payment plans but... You can pay online and you can pay as much or as little as you like, you just have to have the trip paid off 60 days before your travel date. Oh but if you miss that deadline it is a done deal! Disney will not entertain extending the deadline for you or anyone else. If you miss the deadline, Disney will refund your money and cancel your reservation faster than you can say Mickey Mouse. Take as long as you want to pay… but pay before the deadline please!
- The three day trip is a beast: We had a ball but we had no time to rest. Everything is do or die. Because the trip is so short, plan accordingly. If you do the trip that goes to Nassau, Bahamas and you have been to Nassau before, stay on the boat and chill. If your trip goes to Castaway Cay the following day, save your energy for that. At Castaway Cay your food and transportation are included in the cruise price. The beach is great and there are enough lounge chairs and umbrellas to accommodate everyone …so spend your time there. Ok…back to Nassau…if you have been and can miss it, then take that time to do fun stuff with the kids on the boat like hang out at the pool and get great photos, and eat and drink all day. Doing so, helped us save our sanity and reboot from all of the craziness of travel and just being on a Disney Cruise ..lol
- The nightly performances are not to be missed: They are offered twice a night to accommodate both dinner seating times. The shows are Broadway quality and we enjoyed everyone of them. They are great and should not be missed for any reason!!! Don’t miss the shows ok?
- Kids Club.…super fun for the kids, super necessary for the parents, super safe ( get registered before you sail and include everyone in your party that is allowed to pick your child up…if you are with a big group you may want to allow a few people to collect your child) Just a note: there is kids club at Castaway Cay as well…that was a game changer for us.
Disney rocks!! Here are a few other examples:
- Hand washing stations at the buffet: I am so funny about buffet style eating largely due to the cleanness or lack thereof of the patrons. Well Disney addresses that issue head on. There are hand washing stations and hand sanitizer at each restaurant entrance..use them.
- Complimentary strollers: Can I also say that Disney provides complimentary strollers at Castaway Cay so you don’t have to take yours off the boat !!!!
- Healthy Food: Disney offers healthy food options. In addition to the all you can eat soft serve ice cream and endless soft drinks, you can also get fresh cut fruit, smoothies, salads, and wraps.
Everything else you need to know all the way down to which travel route is quicker can be found at: https://www.mousesavers.com
- Rental car companies run shuttles to Port Canaveral. If you are traveling by rental car you can drop it off at Orlando Intentional Airport and ride the shuttle to Port Canaveral instead of paying for a rental car to sit parked at the port and paying for parking. Parking at the port for the 3 night cruise is ($64.00).
- If you are traveling with a large party ensure that your rooms are linked so that you will be seated together for dinner. We had a party of 20 and although we made arrangements in advance, they did not get us seated together until the final night. It was a real bummer ..but that was the worst of it.
- Carry your own collapsible water bottles . We got these and they were a great purchase. The non-alcoholic beverages are unlimited on the ship, but going back and forth to get them can be a hassle. Make things easy by taking your own bottles.
- The gym is good too! Imagine getting your taking your daily run overlooking beautiful ocean views.
Above all else, have a really good time! Planning a Disney Cruise can seem intimidating. Print off a good check-list and do your research ….but by all means enjoy your family and have a ball !