Last month, my family and I were invited to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, held on land and sea in Disney World. Missing out on last year’s gathering, I can’t tell you how exciting it was to be invited back again, especially this year, which included their first offer to experience a Disney Cruise!
Going on a Disney Cruise with the family has been high on the priority list for sometime, since hearing rave reviews from tons of friends and family. We flew to Orlando two days prior to setting sail. This time was spent hopping from park to park in Disney World, and experiencing the latest shows offered including a new Star Wars firework show at Hollywood Studios, and the Festival of Light show at Animal Kingdom, but more to come about these shows soon, in my a follow up post.
After our two day romp in the Disney Parks, we drove 40 minutes to the Port Canaveral cruise port. Having flown all over with the family, we have experienced nightmare security lines at airports, but check in at the port was an absolute breeze. From check in, we walked into the main entryway on deck 4, where the cruise ship director announced our family’s name, to kick off our magical experience. Naturally, the kids wanted to check out the slide and pool first, so we quickly changed and headed upstairs for the Set Sail Dock Party. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy all danced on stage on on the deck, interacting with the kids, while the music blasted.
Disney Cruises offer the option to select your dinner time when you book your trip. Since we wanted to leave time to hang out after dinner, we opted for the earlier dinner slot at 5:30pm. Later diners have the option to see the shows prior to their dinner. Each night our restaurants were preselected, which was nice to have one less thing to think about. At first, I was concerned being locked into a dinner time, but we always had the option to eat in the buffet-style restaurant.
Our first night, we enjoyed Tiana’s Restaurant, which has live entertainment, resulting in the kids basically dancing around the entire time. Our second restaurant we really enjoyed was Animator’s Cafe, where guests can create their own animations, and watch then come to life as they are uploaded and broadcast on wall monitors around the dining room. And no meal was complete without dessert. Tiana’s is known for their delicious Benigns mini donuts, which we requested every night, and the kids were obsessed with the Mickey Ice Cream bars!
On previous vacations, the kids have tried going to the kids clubs, but they tended to spend limited time there, because they were uninterested or wanted to spend more time with Jason and I. That was the exact opposite on the this cruise. The Disney’s Explorers Club had super fun entertainment, so the kids wanted to spend morning, noon and night there. One night, I remember walking in, to find a staff member dressed like Einstein, with all kids donning lab coats and goggles, because they were making volcanoes!
Sunsets at sea!
Let’s talk pirate night! All my friends that have taken Disney Cruises told us that this night is a big deal, so I happened to borrow a few costume items to be prepared. A tip if you are planning a cruise, go all out and dress up. Jason and I felt like we missed out because we only wore bandanas the ship provided, where plenty of adults were decked out in full costume, which was pretty awesome!
It was dinner and a show, before heading to the pool the deck for the Pirate Party. The singing and dancing was a blast, and the celebration was capped off with fireworks, something exclusive to Disney Cruise ships.
It was pretty awesome to be in the middle of sea, with the moon shining down, and fireworks bursting into the air! The kids were enamored!
Our favorite day on the ship was ironically off the ship at Cataway Cay, an island owned by Disney, and available only to Disney cruise passengers. Yep, its own private island, with a sparkling lagoon, featuring play areas for the kids, scenic walking trails, open-air BBQ dining, shopping, kayaking, snorkeling and tons more!
We wanted to maximize the most of our time on Castaway Cay, so we disembarked super early to explore these crystal blue waters, and all the island had to offer!
The character’s were lined up along the way to the beaches, which happen to have an adult only part as well. And there is also a kids club on the island for children three and up!
This jungle gym in the water was only half of the play area they have for the kiddies! The other side of the island offered water slides that let out right into the lagoon!
Most of the day was spent on the sand and in the water, but the kids wanted to check out the kids club on the island, complete with spray grounds and build sand castles. I’m telling you, it was incredible. The only drag was that we couldn’t spend more than one day at Castaway Cay!
Finally, it was back to the ship for dinner and a show. Now, we’ve seen plenty of live shows and broadway performances in our day, and I have the say, the on board entrainment was fantastic. I can say that some of the performances can rival those seen in the theatre district in NYC! Most of the cast appeared in more than one show, but they were all extremely entertaining. The Frozen Musical on day three was something that we will never forget. The girls were so into all of the songs, and totally surprised when it started to “snow” in the theater, during the final act.
Yep, we totally drank the Disney Kool Aid, having had so much fun on our four day cruise. Ryder, Siella, and Gemma are already asking to go back next year! I’ve had some people tell me they would never cruise, but fresh off this cruise, I can tell you, Disney rewrites the script when it comes to cruising. So when are you booking your Disney Cruise!
Huge thank you to Disney Social Media Moms Celebration for this incredible experience!