It’s time for another Tuesday’s Tip from a Dream Makers Travel Agency vacation planner! This week Christine Maritz is discusses the perks of a Disney cruise.
Christine travels to Disney World often. She’s also done multiple runDisney events. She’s run the Wine & Dine, multiple races during Marathon Weekend, and even completed the Coast to Coast Challenge with the Dumbo Double Dare.
Without further ado, here is Christine’s tip for this week!
Why Disney Cruise Line May Be the Best Disney Vacation For You
Let’s face it. Not everyone is excited to stand in lines, sweat in the heat, and face the crowds that can come with visiting Walt Disney World. I have heard many people say they would NEVER go with their children because of these reasons. Well, I have an alternative for you.
Disney Cruise Line is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. In comparison, it has a very small fleet, with just four ships in all. The Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream, and Disney Fantasy are the four ships in Disney’s fleet. However, Disney is in the process of building 3 brand new ships. Their names remain a mystery, as a ships name is never revealed until its christening. Disney is also working on purchasing another private island in addition to the current Castaway Cay, which is located in the Bahamas. Their expansion has been a slow one. This to me lets me know that they want to get it right. Disney did not try to over expand the cruise line portion of their company. You could say they want quality over quantity.
I recently set sail on the Disney Fantasy on a 7 Night Eastern Caribbean cruise. This was my very first cruise. I have been going to Disney World for over a decade and know it like the back of my hand. This was new territory for me and I was apprehensive, yet excited.
In preparing for this cruise, I have spoken to many people who have sailed various cruise lines. One thing I heard over and over, was that once you sail Disney, you will never sail another cruise line again. I was excited to see what all of the hype was about.
We flew in the night before our cruise and booked a room at Disney’s All Star Sports. We were able to make sure we were there in ample time, as if your same day flight is delayed, or cancelled, you may miss your entire vacation! Disney offers bus transportation to Port Canaveral from both the airport and the resorts. It is an extra cost, but was well worth it. We were picked up at our resort around 11:45 am. They came to our room before that, around 8:30 am to collect our luggage. We packed a day bag with anything we would need for the day before our luggage was delivered to our cabins around 3:00 pm.
It is about an hour drive to Port Canaveral. Once we arrived, we simply checked in and walked on the ship. The ship was bustling with energy. Cabanas was the place to be. It is their buffet and it was amazing. All you can eat shrimp, stone crabs, pizza, salads, chicken fingers, mac and cheese etc.. There was an option for everyone. One thing that stood out to us right away was the fact that they asked you to wash your hands upon entering the restaurant. Cast Members stood there with hand sanitizing wipes, or you could use the sink stations on the side which provided soap and towels.
Soon after, we headed to the Senses Spa where they had a raffle. You could win jewelry, spa treatments and other various items. This is offered on Day 1 of any Disney Cruise. We did not win but were excited to just be there. After this we were able to get into our cabins. Our luggage arrived and we got settled in. The entire ship had to participate in a practice emergency drill. It was run very smoothly. Even though we were not familiar with the ship, cast members made it very easy for you to find where you needed to be. This was no joke as they took attendance at your station. If you were not there, they would find you.
We were scheduled for the early dining which started at 5:45 nightly. There are 3 main restaurants on the Disney Fantasy. They are Royal Court, Animator’s Palate, and Enchanted Gardens. Each has a different style and design. You will rotate nightly, and eat in your first restaurant 3 times on a 7 night cruise. You also have the same servers. Ours were amazing. They get to know what you like and what you don’t like. If they know you like an iced tea with your dinner, there will be an iced tea waiting for you when you sit down.
The meals were out of this world incredible. You can order anything or as many things as you want. Can’t decide between the pasta or the steak? They will bring you both! The menus are divided into four courses. Appetizers, soup and salads, entrees, and desserts. We did not eat anything we did not like! One night I said how much I loved the soup from the night before, and 3 minutes later, it was in front of me! On the last night, one entree choice was lobster. They brought me 3! The service and amount that you get was an incredible experience. Room service is also available 24/7 and is included in your package. You are able to have Mickey Bars delivered directly to your Room morning, noon, and night!
On the first day, each kids club offers an open house. This allows families to go check them out together. The Fantasy has a room for everyone! It’s a Small World Nursery is for children ages 6 months to 3 years. The Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab allows for children ages 3-12. Edge is for ages 11-14 and Vibe ages 14-17. They also offer 1820 socials for guests who are ages, well, 18-20. Kids clubs are themed like no other.
There are daily and nightly activities constantly. Characters participate in the activities throughout the day. They can even eat their meals in the clubs if they choose to. Children must wear a wristband at all times for safety reasons and cannot leave the club without a parent unless the parent allows them to do so. Parents can also receive messages from the clubs via the DCL app on their phone in case of emergency. Adults are able to enjoy their time in Europa, which is an adults only area with multiple themed bars, live entertainment and great cocktails!
Another great thing is that the children really get to make friends and know their counselors. I witnessed a little girl crying on Castaway Cay because she had to eat lunch with her family and couldn’t go and eat at the club!
By the last day the adults pool was pretty crowded compared to the first day. You could tell that the parents and children were all more comfortable with the system and were able to enjoy themselves!
There were so many activities it was hard to keep up some days. Guests can access activities via the daily Navigator which is left in your cabin the night before, or through the DCL app. One day, we have 260 activities to choose from for all ages! There was entertainment nightly. On our 7 night cruise, we had 3 Broadway style shows, Aladdin, Wishes and Believe. We also had Pirate Night with live shows, character meet and greets and fireworks! Comedians, musicians and magicians filled in the other nightly entertainment spaces.
Characters were EVERYWHERE all day long! You can easily access their times and locations on your app or simply, just run into them like I did one morning on the running track with Captain Hook!
I have been to Walt Disney World more times than I can count. I found the service of the cruise line to be top notch. It was a more intimate experience. You really got to know the cast members and build relationships with them. We were so sad to say goodbye to everyone.
Needless to say, Disney Cruise Line, we will most definitely be back!
Thanks Christine! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to book a cruise for me and my family now! You can’t go wrong when booking a Disney cruise, there’s so much to experience.
Have you ever stayed at Art of Animation?
Thanks for reading!