It has been about a year since we took our much awaited Disney Cruise. We saved, and then splurged on a 7-night itinerary aboard the Disney Fantasy with a Star Wars Day at Sea. We did this thinking that we would check this item off of our bucket list and then move on to the next item. But somehow it didn’t ever leave the bucket list. Our family has since been dreaming of taking another Disney Cruise. Here’s why.
Disney’s Private Island, Castaway Cay
Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island. It is a tiny oasis in the Bahamas with pristine white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. There is so much to do here. We barely scratched the surface. I ran the Castaway Cay 5K. Then we played on the beach. The kids built sand castles and splashed in the water and floated on tubes. But there’s a kids club and an adults only beach that we didn’t even see. And, there are all kinds of water activities from parasailing and riding wave runners to kayaking. You can even get a massage! So, we need to go back.
The Broadway-style shows were not one of our top reasons for booking our Disney Cruise. But, it was certainly one of our favorite parts of the cruise. Almost every night there was a full blown Disney show. These were amazing! Aladdin was so good. The Genie was hilarious. Our son returned from the cruise repeating over and over, “I’m baaaack!” in Genie’s voice.
Insider Tip: Buy the refillable popcorn bucket your first night and refills are cheap. We would swing by the soda fountain and grab a lemonade for the kids on the way down and then get our popcorn refill.
The Aqua Duck
When we took our Disney Cruise last year our son had not yet learned to swim. So, he was still timid about water slides. But that didn’t stop him from enjoying the Aqua Duck. I think the fact that you are on a raft and a parent could go with him made him feel confident. We’d find any possible low line time to just loop the Aqua Duck.
This might have been one of the things I was least looking forward to. The idea of a bunch of people, adults included, dressed up as pirates just sounded silly. But I never would have said that to my children. We found pirate costumes for them well in advance. But it was only the day prior to our departure that I walked over to a neighbor’s house, who I knew had previously taken a Disney Cruise and had pirate costumes. They just happened to have two adult costumes that were pretty much one-size-fits all. So, those costumes got backed into our luggage. It was so much fun to get dressed up with the kiddos and really enjoy the party. It was a party.
Oceaneer’s Club = Date Night
Our kids didn’t immediately embrace the kids club. It wasn’t until that last couple of days that they discovered how much fun it was. That gave us just enough time for a coffee date at Meridian and a date night out at Palo. Next Disney Cruise we’ll make sure to get them in the kids club early. They make friends, have fun and you and your significant other can have such much needed couple time.
Okay, before our cruise we heard just how great the food is on a Disney Cruise. And, I will admit I didn’t believe it. I couldn’t see how you could cook for 3,000 people, or 1,500 at a time and do it well. But as Disney does, they do it well. That doesn’t mean that you won’t find a better experience at your local five star restaurant. But I wasn’t ever disappointed.
And, there was one experience that stood out. That was Animator’s Palate. I am not going to give it all away, but just say that it is an interactive experience. You won’t want to miss that evening of your dining rotation.
Insider Tip: We found Cabana’s for dinner to be a delight. I speculate that is where the main kitchen is located. And, you order off of a larger menu for dinner. It really tasted freshly prepared. All of the dining was good, but that was the night we got the kids out of their mac and cheese rut. We ordered multiple items ranging from seared tuna to a prosciutto plate. This is more of what our kids typically eat than mac and cheese. They just fell into that habit at the main restaurants.
Candy & Ice Cream
I am required to add this one in for my six-year-old. He has the ultimate sweet tooth. When he talks about going on another Disney Cruise he remembers the donuts at the breakfast buffet and the unlimited soft serve ice cream. But most of all he remembers the candy store and the chocolates left on the beds with turn down service.
Ultimately why is it important that we take vacations? I do believe that a part of it is experiencing the world and other cultures. But, also, a part of it is getting away from the rat race. It is about spending time together as a family without stress, without needing to check your phone every couple of minutes. On a family vacation you should be able to get away and just enjoy being with each other. We certainly achieved that on our Disney Cruise and look forward to doing so again.
Don’t miss out on our 12 Tips to Make the Most of Your Disney Cruise!