Walt Disney would never have considered me one of his #1 fans. With all due respect, I never wore “the” Mickey Mouse watch, refuse to collect pins and don’t have the urge to be photographed with every Disney character by the end of my lifetime. However, after returning from a 5 day cruise aboard the Disney Wonder, I can tell you I’ve had a sip of the Kool-Aid. A Disney Cruise is a fabulous vacation if you are traveling with kids or organizing a trip for multiple families.
This Spring Break getaway was very last minute and planned 5 days before the ship left; a nice surprise for the kids. We left from Miami, had 3 days at sea and visited Grand Cayman and Disney’s Castaway Cay. I was traveling with my mom, sister and our kids ranging from ages 4-8; two of them had food allergies. The crew was great, the ship was clean and there were activities for all ages throughout the day.
Considering a Disney Cruise? Here are some things we learned on our Disney voyage.
Castaway Cay (Key). Does your ship stop at Disney’s private island? Get off the boat early if you want to spend the day comfortably on a lounge chair. They go quickly at the second tram stop, a.k.a. “Pelican Plunge”, but it is a great central location for the kids. Don’t forget to take some time to explore the other nooks and crannies this island has to offer. You can rent bikes, charter a boat or even do a 5K run. The island is also a great place if you are looking for character photo ops.
The Kids Club. Take advantage of the Kids Club onboard. Personally, I like spending time with my kids on vacation (apparently not everyone feels this way) but the kids club is a fantastic way to kill some time while you are getting ready for dinner or have a day at sea. Each stateroom is equipped with a wave phone which you should keep on hand while your kids are at the club. It also comes in handy if your kids are old enough to let the staff know they are ready to be picked up. Worried about security? Each child is given a tracker bracelet and parents have a secret password they need to use before leaving the club with their child. My only issue with the club is I feel there should be more counselors supervising on the floor during busy times.
Adult Dining. Make reservations at the adult-only restaurant since it will most likely be your best meal. We ate at Palo aboard the Disney Wonder and it was fantastic. The chef was extremely accommodating when it came to my vegetarian pasta request and the service was outstanding. Don’t miss out.
Food Allergies. Got a kid with food allergies? Being out at sea can be frightening but the Disney Cruise Line takes this very seriously. We had two in our group with allergies to tree nuts, coconuts and shellfish but the restaurant staff was extremely knowledgeable about the ingredients in each menu item. Still need convincing? A special color is added to the kids club tracking bracelets if your child has an allergy.
Pirate Night. This is a fun night you’re not going to want to miss. Watch fireworks launch off the ship as crew members put on a great performance. Don’t forget to pack your pirate gear so you don’t have to buy it on the ship; just about everyone dresses up. For me, this was when I really felt the magic of Disney.
Do you have any pointers you would like to share? Would love to hear your thoughts.
Happy travels….Be Well.