I’ve been on a number of Disney Cruises. Being a Castaway Club member definitely has its perks, but if there is one thing that I wish I could experience again and again, it’s the feeling and emotion of boarding a Disney boat for the very first time.
Every cruise, I design a shirt for our family for two reasons. 1. Show our family pride, and 2. Be able to spot all 19 of us at any given time. This was this years; a Mickey silhouette over the Icelandic flag.
Ask Andrea and she can vouch for the stress and turmoil that always seems to find us day 1 on a Disney Cruise. No matter how hard we plan and mentally prepare for embarkation, we always seems to get lost in the sea of people trying to figure out where to go, where to change reservations, where to make reservations, sign up kids, etc. etc. This year was no different. In fact, this year may have been slightly worse for one primary reason… there were a TON of Castaway Club members on this cruise, literally… 2000+ I want to say.
Back to the topic at hand though, boarding the ship really is a lot of fun no matter how stressful it is. You know you’re about to begin your vacation, but if you’re like me, you know you’re back home. From lunch up at Cabanas (formerly Topsider), to the Adventures Away party (Magic and Wonder), to your first dinner and ultimately, your first sleep, from 4PM on, after the required Muster drill, it’s a party.
A Few of Our Pictures
I’ll spare you the details of day 2 through debarkation, but here’s a glimpse of how our time on the Disney Magic transpired.
Recovering from the onboarding shenanigans. Of course we’re at the Mickey Pool. Tip: Pack your kid’s swimsuit in your carryon. You might not get your bags until right before dinner which for Xavier, is 5 hours in the pool he’s already missed out on.
As we approached Oslo, Andrea and I got our first of many runs in on the Deck 4 jogging track. Tip: Don’t schedule your runs while the boat is coming into port. They close off the bow section of the track when docking which will then require you to run walk through the Walt Disney Theater.
As soon as you come back as a Silver Castaway Club member, you’ll want to take pictures of your family in the same locations as you did on your last cruise. Tip: Make use of Formal Night for some fancy schmancy family photos. There will be a ton of professional photographers around the boat making use of backdrops as well as some of the ship’s more memorable locales (Captain Mickey). You may have to wait in a line though.
Date Night for Andrea and I. Tip: Go to Palo. Sometimes mom and dad need a date night and Palo is a great place to relax and enjoy some Northern Italian fare. Don’t worry; your kids are going to be fine.
Xavier finally getting to meet Captain America. Tip: Have kids? Attend the character meet and greets. Seriously, these characters have access to approx. 2500 visitors (adults included) over the span of a week, or two. Those are much better odds than what you might get at Disneyland or Walt Disney World where they may go through that many people in a couple of hours.
Sea days make for great run days. Tip: Find some quality personal time. As much as your Disney Cruise is about your family, you’re still on vacation. Do something that you and you alone will get enjoyment out of. This could be anything from working out, attending a cooking class or even watching the latest Disney flicks in the Buena Vista Theater. Pro Tip: Find a cruise that sails during opening weekend of a Disney Movie. You may get to watch it before anyone else!
Decided to let mom and Lex sleep while we enjoyed some quality Lego building time. Tip: Make up your own on-board experiences. Although Xavi’s ideal afternoon is us building Legos, for those of you with older kids, let them run loose with some of their new found friends. Although it might be 2am, I know those kids running around and exploring the ship are having a blast and making memories they’ll never forget.
I know that wasn’t an all-encompassing tour of the Disney Magic, but I hope you got a small taste of my family’s highlights this summer. There are seriously a ton of things to do while on the boats and you know they’ll be amazing, it’s Disney! To get the latest scoop on events, shows, classes and parties, check out your daily Navigator. Those are the pamphlets you get in your room every single night. Also, if you have the Disney Cruise Line app, you can now access them right on your smartphone; definitely a cool new feature to try out while on board.
My one last tip, and I’ve mentioned it above to a certain degree, go and experience your Disney Cruise for yourself. Do not rely on other people (like me!) to tell you what to do or what to see during your trip, especially if it’s your first.
Check out all of our posts from our Summer 2015 Disney Cruise!