So, I really wanted to go to Costa Rica for Spring Break. Isabella really wanted to go on a Disney Cruise. Guess who won?
I had never been on a cruise before. I get motion sickness in the back seat of a car and I didn’t like the idea of being “stuck” on a ship for 7 days. Would I feel confined? How much of a destination can you really see when you only dock there for 1 day? But, even though I had my reservations we booked a 7 day cruise on The Disney Fantasy because my daughter was so unbelievably excited about it and, at 6 1/2. we felt she was the perfect age. Disney Cruise….Here we come!
The ship was beautiful-every detail was thought of. Upon actually realizing the size of the ship and everything on board, my reservations began to fade. One quick tip-have your phone’s set to video as you enter the ship-they announce your name and your family as you board.
Food is always an important factor for us when booking a vacation. So, how was the food? It was excellent! And, yes, your kids can eat chicken fingers and pizza 3 meals a day, but they don’t have to. There are healthy, yummy options on every children’s menu and they are also free to order off of the adult menu as well. Isabella did a combination of both depending on what she liked that night. Each restaurant has a different theme and keeps the kids entertained. The service is amazing. Your servers stay with you throughout the week. Day 2 we got to our dinner table and they knew exactly what each of us wanted to drink.
There are also 2 adult only restaurants on the ship. We ate at Palo and it was incredible. Being from NY, we are very spoiled when it comes to food. I also had one of the best bottles of wine I had in a long time. There is an additional $25.00/per person charge to dine at Palo, but it is definitely worth it. Feed the kids early, send them to kids club, and enjoy an adult dinner!
And, what would Disney be without character appearances and signings? There was a schedule every day of where and when they would be. Elsa and Anna needed tickets-they are free but you need to get them the day before for your scheduled time.
The state rooms are spacious-way more spacious than I had expected. We had a balcony, which I do highly recommend. Disney thinks of things families need like elevating the bed so you can put your luggage underneath and a split bath and shower. Our stateroom attendant was awesome and made sure we had everything we needed.
Our ports were St. Thomas (didn’t really love it, but the beaches are beautiful and if you want to buy a watch apparently that’s the place), San Juan (which we LOVED and are planning a vacation to), and Disney’s private Island Castaway Cay. We aren’t really excursion people, so we didn’t book any of the tours. We much prefer to walk around and explore on our own. But, if you prefer a tour or planned excursion, there are plenty to choose from. Some pictures from the ports!
Some additional tips:
-Book things like adult dinners, spa treatments, and excursions online way in advance. Like as soon as you book your trip. I waited too long and most of the dinner reservations and spa appointments were booked.
-By default you are booked for the main dinner seating, which is 5:30. I didn’t realize this until 2 days before we left. For us, this is too early so I called and thankfully was able to change it to the later seating, which is 8:15. The other great thing about the later seating-Dine and Play. Dine and Play is this wonderful program where the counselors from the Kids Clubs come to the dining rooms to pick up your kids and take them to the club. This gives you time to finish your dinner and go have a drink in one of the adult bars if you wish. We loved to sit outside at the adults only bar at night
-If your child really wants to see a particular character, get on line before the posted time. The lines do get long and they will cut them off at a certain point
-There is one formal night on the cruise, but suits for men are not mandatory. Besides that one night, dress is pretty casual. No pool attire, but more casual that I thought. Sundresses, capris, or even jeans and a nice top. My husband wore either khakis or jeans and a nice shirt every night. Dress up for the adult only restaurants.
-The Kids Club: This was one of the best amenities on the ship. Isabella begged to go every day and we literally had to drag her out every time. It is extremely safe and secure-your child wears a bracelet with a chip in it and they are scanned in and out. You have a password that you are required to give at pick up. And when you pick them up, they scan your card and no exactly what area of the club your child is in. We felt very safe leaving her there and she loved it. And we got to have some adult time. If you have a child that you know wouldn’t go to the kids club, I’m not sure this would be the right cruise.
-If your child has Princess, Character, or Pirate costumes bring them! Save the Bippity Boppity Boo Boutique for Pirate Night, a fun night of entertainment that happens on the Disney Cruise.
-Our one complaint was that the pool area was extremely crowded and the line for the Aqua Duck water slide can get quite long. On port days, get off the ship a little later or come back earlier to enjoy shorter lines and a calmer pool area.
The question everyone has asked is “Would you do it again?”. And, I honestly didn’t think I would say this, but YES. The quality and service of a Disney Cruise is unmatched. The week was a perfect balance of family time and Couple time. We had a fantastic vacation that I know Isabella will always remember.
Would love to hear what you did for Spring Break or what your upcoming vacation plans are!