I am finally back and ready to share about our experience with Disney Cruise Line, and also have some fun photos from the trip to share! We were gone for one week, with the first leg of our trip starting in Disney’s Vero Beach Resort in Florida.
Vero Beach is a Disney Vacation Club property. Inside there is one restaurant and one quick service location, along with two lounges (one inside and one outside near the pool). The first night we got there we were tired from flying all day (we woke up at 3AM) and we didn’t arrive in Vero Beach until close to 8PM with the three hour time difference. We tried out the Wind and Waves Grill and then promptly went to bed. We were so tired we slept for eleven hours. This was also my first night sleeping without kids in six years. It was pretty amazing.
The next day we went to a Publix to buy wine and beer for our cruise (this will be important later I promise). We ate lunch and then headed back to the resort where we ended up playing Scrabble because it was pouring rain outside. We didn’t see much of the beach lined coast of the resort unfortunately because it rained both days we were there. It was beautiful though.
We made our way to Port Canaveral to board our cruise ship the Disney Dream. This was the most fun and exciting part of the entire vacation for me because I have never been on a cruise. Before you board the ship, you drop off your luggage with crew members who will make sure it makes it to your room later. You are allowed to bring a six pack of beer or two bottles of wine onto the ship, however, if you pack it in your luggage, then it will be confiscated until the end of the cruise. You MUST bring alcohol in your carry on luggage onto the ship with you. Just a little fun tip for you.
Everything about the cruise was amazing. Every day there is a whole itinerary of things to choose from including different tours, movies, shows, mixology events, character meet and greets, games for kids, adult only events, and so on. At each port stop there are also extra packages and activities you can book ahead of time like exploring Atlantis at Nassau or snorkeling at Castaway Cay. Every day was jam packed.
Since we didn’t have the kids with us on the cruise, the first night we were there we went to the adults only area called “The District”. This area is filled with differently themed lounges, including a sports pub, and a champagne bar called ‘Pink’. If I remember correctly there were five or six different lounges in this one part of the ship alone. There were also some entertaining games at night like ‘Match Your Mate’, which was equivalent to ‘The Newlywed Game’.
The next day we docked in Nassau. This was my least favorite stop. I really wanted to like it, but I was disappointed we didn’t have more options of an area to explore without paying extra that included a beach. We were able to walk around a little shopping district, but most of the vendors were very pushy and it ended up making me feel more anxious than relaxed. We ended up going back to the ship early and we saw Disney’s ‘Beauty and The Beast’ before going to dinner. The singing was superb. It was a great show.
Dinners on the ship were another favorite part of the cruise. There were three different restaurants and every night we were assigned a different one, but with the same table number and same server. This is meant to make your dining experience more personable. Each meal we were able to choose anything we wanted off the menu. We tried escargot, lobster ravioli, soups, prime rib, duck, and a number of delectable desserts. I enjoyed almost all of the food they served. Another perk is being able to order room service 24 hours a day from your room. The only additional cost to your cruise is if you order any specialty drinks or alcohol.
The last stop on our cruise was at Disney’s Castaway Cay and this was by far my favorite day. We woke up early to run a 5K on the island. I haven’t ran in years so this was no easy feat. I am so happy I did it though and it got us up nice and early to enjoy the rest of our day.
The package we paid for on the island included feeding and swimming with stingrays, snorkeling, and bike rentals. I loved the sting rays. There are over 60 of them in an enclosed part of the island and they are very docile. They are soft to the touch, and also feel like sandpaper on some parts of their skin. I loved feeling them brush up against my legs. I opted out of snorkeling as I had a panic attack after I put on my snorkeling gear. I am afraid of drowning and suffocation in general. Next we rode bikes around the island and explored some of the bike trails. I really enjoyed this. We checked out the adults only beach area called Serenity Bay for about a half hour and then left. It definitely was not as nice as the family beach area.
The next morning we woke up and prepared to disembark the ship. I was so sore from running and biking. The three days we were on the ship felt well paced and like we fit so many activities into a short amount of time. At the same time we wouldn’t have minded staying on the ship for another few days and even experiencing one day with no port stop, simply being at sea. We finished our vacation for two days at Walt Disney World Resort. We stayed at Coronado Springs Resort and visited Magic Kingdom and Epcot. I believe this would be our fourth trip to Disney World, but sans children.
WHAT I LOVED ABOUT THE CRUISE:
-The food (amazing choices, flexibility of dinner times, servers are generally kind)
-The entertainment staff (all extremely friendly, high energy)
-Castaway Cay activities (sting rays, biking, the beach atmosphere, BBQ lunch)
-The Shows (three different shows, one for each night of your cruise in the Walt Disney Theatre)
WHAT I DIDN’T LOVE:
-Port stop at Nassau (so disappointed in the lack of scenic views and no beach to explore, pushy shopping vendors)
-Knowing the staff are working day and night (because they are contracted for months at a time) and the awkwardness that comes with seeing them working literally EVERYWHERE constantly and wondering how they are not burnt out
If you have never been on a Disney Cruise I would highly recommend it. It is an expensive endeavor, but well worth the cost. What I love about Disney is how family friendly they are. They cater to the needs and desires of all ages and ensure that there is something for everyone aboard the ship. I cannot wait to take my kids next time and share in the magic with them.