Disney Cruise Line, Cruising For The First Time

Written by Ari Merino. Posted in Disney, Disney Cruise Line, Features, MiceChat Articles, Vacationeering, Walt Disney World

Tagged: , , , ,

frontpagepic_KY

Published on June 20, 2013 at 2:30 am with 10 Comments

Are you an avid cruiser? If you are anything like I was, odds are you’ve never really considered Disney Cruise Line as an option to take before. In fact, I never thought about cruising with Disney until the Wonder came to port in Los Angeles a few years ago, and even then I almost shrugged it off. Weren’t Disney Cruises really expensive?

We had just come back from Walt Disney World for the first time, and I was itching to go back, so I requested materials to start planning a new trip. Included in the avalanche of brochures Disney sent was a small DVD for Disney Cruise Line. After one fateful viewing of it, I was HOOKED.

The timing was perfect, as MiceChat had just started advertising for their cruise on the brand new Disney Dream. We were already planning an October trip for our Honeymoon, and a luxurious few days on an oceanview verandah seemed like, well, a Dream! The months flew by, and before I knew it, we were standing in the parking garage waiting to go into the cruise terminal.

Untitled-1

Before we cruised, I was worried that I would get bored on a cruise. I was completely wrong! The ships are gigantic and filled with fun activities. There was never a dull moment: from the amazing spa to the top deck mini-golf, there was a ton to do. We even missed out on a few must-do activities (like the Midship Detective Agency!) because we ran out of time. We kept up with all the scheduled activities by checking the “Navigator” event schedule our room steward left for us (along with chocolates and cute towel animals!). The navigator was packed full of information, including what movies were showing in the theater to when the wine tasting was. We lost ours right away and had a hard time replacing it, so make sure you keep yours handy! We had no idea that the AquaDuck wasn’t running until late evening on the first day, and it turns out that information was in the navigator that we lost. A lot of the information in the navigator isn’t really advertised anywhere else, so if you don’t take the time to read it you may not know what is being offered. We happened to be walking by during the Diaper Dash (an insanely cute race for crawling babies) but would have never guessed that was an event held on board.

Untitled-2

If your idea of vacation is a leisurely read on the sun deck make sure you bring your own books, as Disney’s ships do not have an official library. The Cove Bar does have a small lending shelf but titles largely depend on the generosity of previous cruisers, whose tastes may not reflect your own. I flew through the two books I had downloaded before we left port and a library would have been much appreciated.

The room itself was gorgeous and the bed was nicer than the one I had at home! There was enough room for our luggage and we still had empty drawers after unpacking. You also have access to Disney movies on demand, as well as recorded versions of the live stage shows. We had an extended verandah which was nice until the people on the decks above us started throwing food down- instead of falling into the water it landed on our balcony. Unlike all of the other verandah categories, you’re also visible to everyone above you.

Untitled-3

We were impressed by all of the dining options. We never made it to breakfast in the restaurants, because our cabin was a few decks below Cabanas, the Dream’s delicious buffet. Instead, we enjoyed taking our plates out onto the giant verandah to enjoy breakfast with a view. We also ate dinner there once after the main dining room’s cuisine was not what we wanted. Cabanas is also a great option if you have small children who won’t sit still for a long meal. We found that dining in the main restaurants can take quite a while, especially if you get a team of slower servers.

Untitled-4

I also loved the fine dining room, Palo. It was one of the best meals I’ve ever enjoyed AND they let me order two desserts when I couldn’t choose which one I wanted. It’s amazing that it was only $20 extra.

Untitled-5

If you’re still hungry, there are a few quick service stands located on the pool deck, along with self-serve ice cream. It was amazing ice cream and I found myself grabbing a cone every time we walked by. Then there’s room service. We had never ordered it before, because it’s usually expensive and out of our budget. On the cruise it’s included, so we ordered a whole dinner (including a Mickey premium bar!)

I love the luxury of a Disney cruise. I spent hours in the spa lounging on warm tile chairs and a whole day in a hammock on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. There was even a barbeque buffet provided, so you didn’t have to go back onto the ship.

Untitled-6

Even with all of the amazing amenities that Disney offers, my favorite part of the cruise was being part of a large group. We had built-in dinner companions, extra friendly faces while walking the deck, and the absolute best spa partners. By the end of the cruise, we had made memories to last a lifetime. I realized that not only are Disney cruises affordable, but the experience itself is priceless. Where else can you sail with Captain Mickey and see fireworks on the high seas? It was one of the best vacations I’ve ever had and I can’t wait to cruise with Disney and MiceChat again on the new Fantasy this fall.

Oh, and did I mention that MiceChat is planning a Disney cruise through the Mediterranean with stops in Spain, France and Italy in June of 2014? With, wait for it . . .  a side trip to Disneyland Paris! There’s no use resisting. There are exotic seas to explore with my MicePals.

Are you a Disney cruiser? What was the highlight of your last cruise?

Join us for another magical MiceChat cruise on the new Disney Fantasy

Saturday, October 19 through Saturday, October 26, 2013

We invite you to join us on a very special MiceChat voyage to the Eastern Caribbean on the newest ship of the Disney Cruise Line, the Disney Fantasy.

This 7 night cruise will depart from Port Canaveral, Florida, and visit the islands of St. MaartenSt. Thomas/St. John and Disney’s Private Island Castaway Cay (our favorite port of call).

You’ll receive an on board credit from Fairy Godmother Travel in addition to all the wonderful travel planning services! Contact Fairy Godmother Travel today.

If you would like a no-obligation quote for a cruise, or any Disney vacation, feel free to email Ari at [email protected]

 

 

About Ari Merino

Browse Archived Articles by

10 Comments

Comments for Disney Cruise Line, Cruising For The First Time are now closed.

  1. That was an amazing trip and my first cruise too. I was expecting the ship to be swarming with kids. i was wrong. they were all happily in their kids clubs all day. A fantastic setup.

    The highlight of the cruise for me (other than having dinner and drinks with the MiceChatters every evening) was Castaway Cay. What an amazing and relaxing day. Can’t wait to cruise on the new Fantasy this October.

    Come join us folks! Write to Ari and she’ll send you all the info.

    • I completely agree! Castaway Cay was so amazing and I can’t wait to see it again. I think we might do the stingray feeding this go around since Fat Baby will be too small for almost everyyhing else.

    • It will be an amazing cruise AND Sip N Nibble at Epcot beforehand? You can’t go wrong!

  2. The Disney cruise line is generally pricier than other cruise lines, but you do get what you pay for. I did a Disney cruise and a non-Disney cruise in the past year and Disney did almost everything better.

    The kids areas are fully developed experiences, not just a place for them to hang out. On the Disney Wonder we attended an adults night in one of the areas for the flubber making activitiy. It was hosted by a scientist. This wasn’t just someone in a funny wig, this was a full-on professional performance that was theatrical and funny. I thought it was something kids would love. It’s no surprise that they tend to stay in their areas most of the time.

    I loved the Wonder and can’t wait to experience the latest ship this October.

    For more on what to expect on a Disney cruise I posted a six-part trip report from the Wonder last year: http://micechat.com/14795-disney-wonder/

    • I loved your report! I was sad we had to sit out the Wonder cruise because Fat Baby was too young, but I’m so glad you had a great time. See you in October. :)

  3. I am an avid cruiser, and I’ve been on many different lines, and Disney is definitely my favorite. It is absolutely, hands-down worth the price for a couple of reasons. The biggest difference to me is the shows. Most cruise lines shows are boring to me (don’t really enjoy Broadway musicals), but Disney’s are phenomenal and the best I’ve ever seen anywhere, including their theme parks. It’s been awhile since I’ve been on a Disney cruise, so I haven’t seen some of the newer shows, but Hercules was my absolute favorite. Golden Mickeys was also exceptionally good. The staff is wonderful but the staff is usually wonderful on most cruise lines. The cabins are very well laid out and the split bathroom is a GREAT idea and something other cruise lines need to copy. But the best part of the Disney cruise is Castaway Cay. After going to Nassau and being accosted by 500 people waiting for you right as you get off of the ship wanting to sell you something, it was so nice to go to a beautiful, immaculately clean, and tranquil island where there were no additional costs other then the bar that you had to take two different trams to get to. I loved parasailing there and Serenity Bay is one of my favorite beaches in the world. I’d love to take Disney to Alaska or the Mediterranean, but it would be a bummer to be on a Disney cruise and not go to Castaway Cay.

    • We find the cruises to be much more affordable than the parks. For one, you don’t have to buy theme park admission. You pay for your airfare and your cruise. The food is included and most of your entertainment. When you consider the high quality of the Disney ships, safety, great food, well trained staff, etc., it is a remarkable bargain.

      • Definitely agree. When I consider what I’d pay for a nice hotel and daily four course meals a cruise is a very good value. Unlike some cruise lines, pop is included as well. Disney also doesn’t try to up sell you things as often.

  4. A buffet isn’t a restaurant? I have not considered the buffet to not be a restaurant.

  5. I went on my first cruise in 2008 to the Mexican Riviera (from Long Beach, CA) and I’ve been itching so much to go once again on another adventure. Cruising with Disney (and fellow MiceChatters) would be such the incredible experience! I won’t be able to make the upcoming October sailing but if plans for 2014 are certain, I WILL be making that one! It’s a long way away but I’m sure it’ll be worth it. Until then, I’ll be living vicariously with the trip reports of those who are going this October. Can’t wait!!