Why our family will take another Disney Cruise

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

Disney Cruise Tips: Disney Fantasy at Castaway Cay
The Disney Fantasy docked at Castaway Cay. Make sure to book an itinerary that includes this private island!

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.

Disney Shows

Aladdin aboard the Disney Fantasy was a hit with the entire family.
The shows aboard our Disney Cruise were really an unexpected delight. They were so well done that we returned home emulating favorite characters. Photo courtesy Disney.

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.

Pirate Night

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.

Our Disney Cruise tips include bringing costumes for the entire family for Pirate Night.
Dressed for fun at Pirate Night aboard the Disney Fantasy!

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.

Piloting the Millenium Falcon during Star Wars Day at Sea.
Other Star Wars fun at the Disney Cruise Oceaneers Club included piloting the Millenium Falcon. Photo: Liana Moore

Animator’s Palate

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.

Unlimited soft serve ice cream aboard the Disney Fantasy
The unlimited soft serve ice cream aboard your Disney Cruise does melt fast. It takes extreme concentration to consume before it melts.

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.

Family Time

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.

We saved and planned for our bucket list Disney Cruise. But it didn't fall off our list as bucket list items should. The entire family wants to take another Disney Cruise and really explore Castaway Cay this time. Here's why that Disney Cruise is still on our family travel bucket list! #disneycruise #dcl

Don’t miss out on our 12 Tips to Make the Most of Your Disney Cruise!

We saved and planned for our bucket list Disney Cruise. Though you are meant to cross items off your bucket list, the Disney Cruise didn't fall off our list. The entire family is ready to take another Disney Cruise. Here's why that Disney Cruise is still on our family travel bucket list! Hint: Castaway Cay is one of the reasons. #disneycruise #dcl
Why Our Family Will Take Another Disney Cruise

Liana Moore

Liana Moore is a third-culture kid with a hangover from those days that is a severe case of wanderlust. She is more comfortable driving the cliffs of Amalfi, Italy or the dirt roads of Costa Rica or attempting to decipher the street signs of Osaka, Japan than navigating the theme parks of Disney World. But she loves it all. She doesn't believe a vacation is complete without an adventure. Her husband and kids know well that "adventure" often is code for mishap or challenge and it usually results in a good story. They seek outdoor experiences whether in the mountains, on a beach or in the jungle of a tropical country. Her favorite vacation is... all the ones she hasn't yet taken, as well as those she plans on taking again. And, that list is so, so long. But she continues to extensively explore her home state of Colorado, spends lots of time wandering Texas, California, New Mexico, Costa Rica, Mexico, Norway and has even explored Kazakhstan.

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