Several years ago, my parents took my 3 kids on a week-long Disney Cruise. They're all teenagers now, but they still talk about that trip. It was an incredible experience.
Last month, my mother passed away unexpectedly. My dad called us this weekend and said he'd like us all to go together on another Disney Cruise (and this time my wife and I will get to join in the fun).
I've started doing a little research into deals and such, but the whole planning process is becoming a bit overwhelming. I was hoping some of you might help me think through a few questions that are coming up as we consider our options. (Even though the questions are about non-crusing stuff, they're all tied to our cruise planning so this seemed as good a place as any in the forums...)
First, we're planning on a 4-night cruise, and my dad said he'd like us to consider adjoining balconey rooms. I'm thinking we're better off going in May than September because of the hurricane season. Right?
Second, as long as we're in Florida, we're open to staying a couple of extra nights in Orlando and enjoying some of the parks there. A few years ago, we spent 11 days at Disneyworld -- it was really the trip of the lifetime, and we did a great job planning so we could enjoy all sorts of nifty extras. We really felt we saw nearly everything that interested us.
Certainly we'd enjoy going back to the parks. We particularly liked the back half of Epcot, and all of us would love to return to the Tower of Terror. And there are a couple of new attractions since we were last there -- the space adventure in Epcot and the Mt. Everest coaster over in Animal Kingdom.
So we're thinking about getting a couple days of park-hopping at Disney. Then again, we've never been to Universal or Islands of Adventure, and that's a possibility too. At least for most of us. However my son really hates roller-coasters. I mean, he hates them. He'd even be fine if we skipped a return to Disneyworld altogether (he passes on anything even remotely scary, like Splash Mountain and even the drop in Pirates, though he loved the Kali rapids for some reason). Will Universal or IoA be unbearable for him? I'd hate him to have a chunk of his vacation spent on a bench waiting for us to finish rides.
Third, perhaps there is some totally other option we're not considering. Would we be better off adding a few nights and going for a 7-night cruise? We can't go before mid-May, and if we go in the summer we're running into the busiest season for the parks back on land if we tried to add a day or two there.
Or maybe there's some other totally awesome family-oriented attraction in Florida we should consider attaching to our cruise -- something that would appeal to our thrill-seeking teenage daughters, our not-thrill-seeking teenage son, my wife (who grew up a couple of blocks from Disneyland and kind of gets saturated with Disney if she's around it too long), me (who would probably be happy if there was a way to live permanently in the parks), and my dad (who is just eager to be with family, building new memories, and still grieving the loss of his wife after 46 years)? I'm totally open to ideas.
I'm sure I'll have other questions as the planning continues, but let me say "thanks" in advance for your help. I benefitted tremendously from the input of others when we planned our last Disney adventure, and I'm truly grateful for your wisdom and creativity.