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  1. #1

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    My First Disney Cruise, or "Disaster at Sea!" (complete with pictures)

    My family and I went on our first Disney cruise a week or so ago. It was our 20th anniversary and we decided to live large. We booked a four day cruise to start with and then finished our vacation at WDW. I want to first say that we had a wonderful time and the disaster parts of the trip had nothing to do with Disney, you will have to read on to see what I mean.

    We (me, my husband and our two boys, seven and eleven) flew into Orlando Saturday and stayed at the Radison at Port Canaveral. The Radison is a nice hotel with a fun pool. They let you park your car in their lot for free and offer a free shuttle to and from the cruise port. What a deal.

    We entered the cruise check in around 10:30AM. I did all the paperwork at home, so all we had to do is check in. They let people on board starting at 11:45AM and we were in group 3 to board.


    We had the whole boat to ourselves, at least it seemed that way. I wanted to get our picture taken in front of this incredible Ariel statue before the crowds came in. (Later, for our anniversary, my husband bought a replica of this statue at the gift shop.)


    After announcing your name as you enter the ship, they send you off to begin your non-stop eating. They directed us to Parrot Cay for a lunch buffet. I'm telling you, the food never stops! Every evening you eat at a different restaurant, but keep the same waitstaff. Each restaurant was wonderful. You get an appetiser, a soup or salad, your main entree and then dessert. If for any reason you get hungry while on board, there is always sandwiches, pizza, fruit, dessers and usually a breakfast and lunch buffet that lasts for hours.

    The Parrot Cay


    The Animator's Palet


    Triton's


    Our rooms would not be ready until after 1:30PM. We brought along our swimsuits, but we decided to explore the ship while it was empty. The Walt Disney Theater is in the front of the ship, and we came across this lovely mural.


    When it's time to sailaway, there is a party on the top deck. Lots of singing and dancing and of course, characters. Here is a shop of all the people.


    After getting familure with our home for the next four days, we checked the time and saw that our room was ready. We were on deck 7, with a balcony. Very nice room, sorry no pictures though. The bed was queen sized and one boy slept on the couch that turned into a bed, and the other boy slept on the bed that folded down from the ceiling. That worked out great for us since they do not like to sleep together. The bathrooms were great in that one room had a sink and toilet and the other room had a sink and shower, so both my husband and I could get ready at the same time.

    Dinner time for us was at 5:45PM. Our waiters were great. About 90% of the CMs were from a foreign country. The pay is not that great on cruise ships, but with the exchange rate and tips, they can make a decent wage (but you better not mind being gone from home for eight months).


    Now this is when the "disaster" part of the story comes into play. We started our meal out fine, but when we ended it and started to walk away, we noticed the boat was really tipping from side to side. I figured this is how it was going to be and tried not to notice it. We headed toward the front of the ship to take a look at the gift shop and to be close to the theater, the entertainment that night being a magic show. We ran into Captain Jack Sparrow and got our picture taken.


    People in front of us were taking Dramamine because of the rocking. I asked my husband to get me some as well. Sitting down seemed like a good idea as well. The crew had placed "barf bags" everywhere, never a good sign. At this point I new that this could not be your normal sailing weather. I had better get back to the room quick. My husband, being a pilot, had no ill effects, either did the kids, thank goodness. But me on the otherhand, was turning a fine shade of green. We made it back to the cabin and I urged them to go and see the show. I kept telling myself, "I'm not going to be sick. I'm not going to throw up." But I didn't listen to myself and revisited my dinner not to much later. (Thankfully, no pictures of that.) I felt better after that, like you always do, but that was going to be the end of the evening for me. Later, my husband told me that the captain talked before the magic show and explained that we were in the middle of a tropical storm and we should be out by 11:00PM. Sure enough, by 11 it was smooth sailing. At breakfast we found out that have the crew were in their cabins revisiting their dinners as well.

    The next disaster happened to my seven year old. We decided that we would not use the elevators while on board and just use the stairs, maybe burn a few calories that way. Well, that morning, he jumped down some stairs on our way to a day in Nassau and twisted his ankle. We spend the next few hours in our cabin with an ice pack on his ankle. We weren't too keen on Nassau anyway, so it was not big deal that we missed it. The older one got some homework done, then we rested pooldside. My son was real good about it and didn't complain too much. We put a ace bandage around his ankle and borrowed a stroller from the ship for the rest of the cruise. We ended up taking the elevator from that moment on, whether we liked it or not.

    The shows were great. This photo is from the "Dream" show. It was cute and featured a lot of the classics and new movies. It had a Peter Pan type theme.


    Golden Mickey was another show. Not my favorite, but the singing and dancing were good.


    Our favorite show was the Hercules show. The Hades character was so funny that our stomachs hurt after watching it. We could hardly breathe! And once again, the singing and dancing were great.



    The third day saw us at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. First I had to stop and have a visit with Captain Jack. The family didn't want to wait in line to say hi, but I will wait, no matter what the line!




    I do not have any photos to show you of the island. I took a disposable, waterproof camera with me that day. I didn't want my digital to get anywhere near the sand. I also used that camera for shots around the deck, so I can't show you any pool shots either. Anyway, back to the island, Disney knows how to rule their own island. The sand was beautiful, plenty of chairs and since there were only cruise people there, plenty of room as well. We hung out at the family beach, but there is also a teen only beach and an adult only beach. The lunch that day was a BBQ buffet, again it was all you can eat and it was very tasty.

    The highlight for my eleven year old was snorkeling for the first time. My husband took him and they discovered a Mickey statue underwater and a ride vehicle from 20,000 leagues under the sea ride. I discovered a sunburn! My husband picked out a yellow umbrella to sit under because he liked the color. I put sunscreen on the boys and on him, but not on me because I was going to sit in the shade. Aparently, shade in the Bahamas and shade in your own backyard are two differant things. Ouch!

    That night was Pirate night with a party and fireworks on deck 9.


    We actually didn't stay long since the boys were tired from their day in the sun, but I heard it was fun.

    The next day was a day at sea. Time for some shuffleboard.


    A photoshot with the captain.


    A movie at the movie theater, Ratatouille.


    We just relaxed the whole day, read a bit and drank lots of fruity type drinks. It was pretty hot though, 98 degrees with high humidity. We stuck to the shady side of the boat. The boys complained that the pool was like a hot tub.

    I had to have my picture taken with Alice. She was great!


    That night was our anniversary, and we dinned at Palo, without the kids. They went to the Oceaneers Lab and had a great time. Our meal was absolutly incredible. I wish we could have eaten there every night. The meal was mostly seafood or Italian. I had the lobster ravioli and my husband had broccoli/pumpkin gnocchi. For dessert I had a chocolate soufle and he had some sort of dark chocolate cake. So delicious!


    That was our last night. We had to put our luggage out in the hall where they could collect it and it would be waiting for us after we disembarked (which it was). One last wonderful breakfast and we simply walked off the boat.

    It was so wonderful. It was everything we hoped for. The CMs were so nice and pleasant. Everyone we ran into always made eye contact and said hi. Anything you needed, they got for you. The woman taking care of our stateroom was top notch. The towel animals were fun to look forward to, and she was super sweet. Our waiters were excellent, the entertain thrilling and the overall condition of the ship was first class. We all agreed that we will be doing this again. Next time it will be for a seven day cruise.

    The morning of our disembarkment was not the end of our vacation. We were to spend the next four days at WDW. But that trip report is for another thread. Thanks for reading.

  2. #2

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    Re: My First Disney Cruise, or "Disaster at Sea!" (complete with pictures)

    The TR and photos were great! I once saw a special on the Disney Cruise Line on the Travel Channel and it made me want to reconsider my thoughts on ever going on a cruise line. Glad to hear you guys had fun and that it was great service. Sorry to hear about your sea sickness and your son's injury though!

  3. #3

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    Re: My First Disney Cruise, or "Disaster at Sea!" (complete with pictures)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nancywitt View Post
    The highlight for my eleven year old was snorkeling for the first time. My husband took him and they discovered a Mickey statue underwater and a ride vehicle from 20,000 leagues under the sea ride. I discovered a sunburn! My husband picked out a yellow umbrella to sit under because he liked the color. I put sunscreen on the boys and on him, but not on me because I was going to sit in the shade. Aparently, shade in the Bahamas and shade in your own backyard are two differant things. Ouch!
    It wasn't the shade, it was the sun and the water. You can actually even get a sunburn on a cloudy day, at the beach. Glad you guys had fun despite a few setbacks!
    Good morning, son
    In twenty years from now
    Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
    And I can tell you 'bout today
    And how I picked you up and everything changed
    It was pain
    Sunny days and rain
    I knew you'd feel the same things...





  4. #4

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    Re: My First Disney Cruise, or "Disaster at Sea!" (complete with pictures)

    Yes. It seems you had a good time even though there were a couple of bumps here and there. I suppose it could have been a lot worse.

    Just because it is a Disney Cruise does not mean it is for everybody. Some people just aren't into cruising as far as vacations go. I know that my mother absolutely hates going on cruises. But as they say, some people like chocolate, others like vanilla.

  5. #5

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    Re: My First Disney Cruise, or "Disaster at Sea!" (complete with pictures)

    Thanks for the TR!

    We are going on our first Disney cruise this spring...
    DVC Member - My Home Resorts: Bay Lake Tower, Boardwalk Villas, and Villas at the Grand Floridian



  6. #6

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    Re: My First Disney Cruise, or "Disaster at Sea!" (complete with pictures)

    Nancy, wonderful trip report!! I can not wait to har about WDW !! Great pics, and you and hubby beautiful!!

  7. #7

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    Re: My First Disney Cruise, or "Disaster at Sea!" (complete with pictures)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeverNeverland View Post
    Glad you guys had fun despite a few setbacks!
    You know, even with all the "problems" we had, we didn't let it get us down. We told ourselves, "We are on this lovely boat with wonderful people surrounding us, le't make the most of it." I know in the future we will look back at this trip and laugh, "Remember the cruise when Mom threw up and Jack sprained his ankle?" Heck, we're laughing about it now!

  8. #8

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    Re: My First Disney Cruise, or "Disaster at Sea!" (complete with pictures)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeverNeverland View Post
    It wasn't the shade, it was the sun and the water. You can actually even get a sunburn on a cloudy day, at the beach. Glad you guys had fun despite a few setbacks!
    Well...clouds are heavily made up of water, so it adds to the reflecting of the sun's rays.


    Looks like you guys had a great time! I'm so jealous! Sorry about the sea sickness and ankle. At least you didn't let it ruin your trip

    Thanks for sharing.

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    Re: My First Disney Cruise, or "Disaster at Sea!" (complete with pictures)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nancywitt View Post
    You know, even with all the "problems" we had, we didn't let it get us down. We told ourselves, "We are on this lovely boat with wonderful people surrounding us, le't make the most of it." I know in the future we will look back at this trip and laugh, "Remember the cruise when Mom threw up and Jack sprained his ankle?" Heck, we're laughing about it now!
    do not worry, some of the people here can remember me throwing up near the paradise hotel after a corn dog and a few runs on california screaming it will always be somethin g to remember about that trip !

  10. #10

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    Re: My First Disney Cruise, or "Disaster at Sea!" (complete with pictures)

    Quote Originally Posted by DVC Mike View Post
    We are going on our first Disney cruise this spring...
    I hope you like the cruise and have a great time Mike. My advice to you would be to read up on it. Go to Disney's site, it has great pictures. Also, The Passporter is a good book to read before the cruise. She has so many good tips included.

    And then, share with us when you get back!

  11. #11

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    Re: My First Disney Cruise, or "Disaster at Sea!" (complete with pictures)

    Great pictures, you have such a beautiful family.
    Looking for the truth about giraffes? http://www.menacinggiraffes.blogspot.com/

  12. #12

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    Re: My First Disney Cruise, or "Disaster at Sea!" (complete with pictures)

    Besides a couple of glitches, it sounds like you had a great time! It makes me want to go on a Disney Cruise even more now!
    <o>

  13. #13

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    Re: My First Disney Cruise, or "Disaster at Sea!" (complete with pictures)

    Quote Originally Posted by sunnygirl View Post
    Great pictures, you have such a beautiful family.
    Aww, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by pixie chick View Post
    Besides a couple of glitches, it sounds like you had a great time! It makes me want to go on a Disney Cruise even more now!
    We got a great deal because my husband is in the travel industry, but I would even pay full price, it was that worth it! You can get some good deals at the last minute if you are that type of traveler.

    After reading books about the cruise, I was a bit apprehensive. I've never done it before and it was quite different then just heading to WDW. But the Disney crew members had it all under control and it was one of the easiest and relaxing vacations we ever had!

  14. #14

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    Re: My First Disney Cruise, or "Disaster at Sea!" (complete with pictures)

    Great report Nancy.

    Going on a Disney Cruise is on my list of things to do. My husband has sort of promised my grandson a Disney Cruise when he graduates from high school. I know that that is 4 years away, but I am holding him to it. That is unless we decide to go sooner.

  15. #15

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    Re: My First Disney Cruise, or "Disaster at Sea!" (complete with pictures)

    Great report.

    But many times when I hear Disney Cruise Lines I recall the commerical about the "little souvenir"

    (sorry, couldn't help it)

    Glad you had a good trip.

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