If you ever have the chance to go cruising on the Disney Cruise Line, you should 100% absolutely, positively take it!
Is that enough of a ringing endorsement? Because, if not, then you should definitely keep reading.
Our family just got back from a totally thrilling adventure on the high seas with Captain Mickey and his crew. And, I’ve got to tell you, we had a fantastic time! This was the second time we were lucky enough to cruise as a family, so our kids like to fancy themselves sort of “cruise experts” by now.
While we we’ve been looking over photos and rehashing stories about all the fun we had, I’ve been taking some notes. What were their favorite parts of the trip? What would they want other kids to know about cruising? Is there anything they wish they had clued in on before we set sail? Let’s see what they had to say.
These are a Few of Their Favorite Things
Adam (16) really enjoyed experiencing all of the various ports of call. Our particular cruise visited Cozumel, Jamaica, and Grand Cayman. We didn’t have excursions planned at each port, though. In Grand Cayman, our guys just took the opportunity to get off the ship and explore a little on their own! They saw roosters just walking around and drank from a fresh-cut coconut. As far as life on the ship, he said that with the neverending activities, there was always something to do!
Josh (13) was a big fan of the wide variety of food on board! He said that the french fries were awesome pretty much anywhere on board, but especially at Flo’s Cafe, the Cars-themed quick service dining area on the pool deck. Add to that the fact that they have rotational dining for dinner (meaning that you go to a different restaurant on ship each night), and there was always something new to try! Josh also enjoyed the sports deck with mini golf and basketball courts. Lots of friendly competition led to Josh becoming the self-proclaimed Mini-Golf Champion for the week!
Leah (10) took complete advantage of all of the myriad activities offered to kids. She loved the family talent show, family-centered karaoke, the cooking and animation classes…all of it! The “dive-in movies” were also a real bonus for her. All day long, there would be different Disney movies playing on a giant screen on the pool deck. Everything from Lady & The Tramp to Moana so that there was a little something for everyone. Leah also thought that the whole staff and crew were super nice and really helpful.
Lucy (7) was a huge fan of the AquaDuck! The last time we went on a Disney cruise, girlfriend was only 15 months old, so there were no water slides for her on that trip. This time, however, she made full use of her arm band that said she was big enough to ride! She also said that her bunk bed was super comfy every night and that the Character Dance Party in the atrium of the ship was amazing!
Tips from Teens
One thing Greg and I really loved about being on a Disney ship was how safe we felt with our teenagers. If they wanted to go off and explore on their own, there was ample opportunity for them to find fun things to do, but they really weren’t going to be able to get themselves into too much trouble. The teen clubs on the ship were a great place to cool off and hang out on hot days. Otherwise, they were swimming, playing basketball, or eating ice cream. Not a bad way to go for a couple teenage boys, if you ask me!
Here are some things they don’t want other kids to miss out on:
New Experiences! – Don’t be afraid to try new things off the menu at dinner. If you don’t like it, they’ll bring you something different. Try to activities, too! Climb a waterfall, drink from a coconut, whatever floats your boat!
Wear shoes on the pool deck – No. For real. It gets hot!
Pack a lot of underwear – Again, not kidding. You change your clothes a lot on a cruise ship. You want to make sure you’re prepared for anything and that your mom doesn’t have to do laundry while she’s on vacation. (Even though there are decent laundry facilities on board)
Close the curtains in your stateroom at night! – The sun rises earlier and brighter on the ocean than it does on land. If you want to sleep in, take our advice!
Be prepared to rock-n-roll – And no, we don’t mean musically. It takes a day or so to adjust the motion of the ocean. Motion-sickness pills or acupressure arm bands help a lot, so pack them ahead of time.
And last but not least, make friends with your servers at dinner! These people work extremely hard for you for the entire length of your cruise. And not only will you see them at dinner, but they’ll pop up at breakfast and lunch, too! Our servers were Massiel and Ryan who were from the Dominican Republic and South Africa, respectively. They were amazingly helpful and even encouraged us to send our kids to the dining room to eat on a night when we grown-ups had made other plans! They really take good care of you, so making friends early on makes your trip that much more enjoyable.
Advice from the 10 & Under Crowd
To say our girls were in Disney heaven on this trip wouldn’t be an exaggeration in the slightest. Here are a few of their best helpful hints for kids of all ages.
Be part of the show whenever you can! Sign up for the talent show. Get up and do karaoke. Play the games that they lead on the pool deck. It’s super fun and the people leading these activities are really nice. And it’s fun when they recognize you around the ship!
Don’t think the kid clubs are going to be boring. There is always more to do than you think, and even more than they advertise in the daily schedule! Moms and dads should also note that the Oceaneer Lab and Oceaneer Club are incredibly clean and safe, as well.
Keep your eyes peeled for characters! Unlike at Disney World, where the wait to meet characters can be insanely overwhelming, it’s a breeze on the ship! We ran into Mickey, Pluto, Jake the Neverland Pirate, and Belle when they were just wandering around! It’s so great for impromptu photo ops!
Pack a carry-on bag with the essentials! Of course, kid essentials would be things like a bathing suit, goggles, an extra pair of flip-flops, and sunscreen. First things first, don’t ya know! That extra pool and AquaDuck time is crucial!
See ya real soon!
Well, at least, I sure hope we can go cruising with Disney again sometime soon! These cruises are truly trips of a lifetime! The quality days spent with our kids while they were totally unplugged from screens and plugged into family life are priceless treasures. If you have the opportunity to go, let this be my encouragement for you to take the plunge.
And, if you have any questions about cruising with Disney from an adult perspective, let me know! I’d be happy to answer whatever I can.
Until next time, Captain Mickey!!