Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Disney Cruise Review

Disney Wonder.jpg
Disney Wonder

For our honeymoon this past December, we went on a Disney Cruise. Now I had never been on a cruise before but when it came to pick a honeymoon this just seemed the best option. I was really hesitant, which is why we picked a Disney cruise. As a former Disney employee, I trust that Disney is going to take care of it's guests, whereas I don't necessarily trust say Carnival. From my experience, Disney is going to do everything in their power to make my honeymoon freaking magical, and boy, they certainly did.

We got married in Galveston, TX and therefore, we wanted a cruise that departed from there. This led us to the Disney Wonder and it's Bahamas cruise. It was a seven night cruise, so pretty long especially for a first cruise. And it was Christmas themed, which was AWESOME. I don't know if you've ever been to a Disney park at Christmas, but they tend to go all out. And the cruise ship was no exception. 

The Christmas tree in the lobby!
So what made the Disney cruise so awesome? I'm going to highlight five specific points, because I don't want to write up a long rambly post. 

5. Kids? What Kids?

The first question I get from everyone is always, "You went on a Disney Cruise? But you don't have kids! Surely the kids got annoying!?!?!" And honestly, on the Disney Cruise, as a person without kids, I barely noticed there were kids. Disney had several places on the boat that were specifically for 18+ only. There was an entire pool that only adults could be in, and kids weren't even allowed to sit around it. 

One of the clubs
There were "clubs" on the boats, some which were for families and some which were for adults only. And I feel like I say "adults only" and people assume everyone in that area is sloshed or something, but that is not the case. Most of the adults only area were filled with adults who just needed a break form the kiddo chaos! During the day the "adult club" would have trivia competitions and other games, where only adults could compete with adults (so no kids crying because they lost)! 

For people who had kids, it seemed like there was basically day care for kids of different ages. You could check your kid in and leave them from morning til dinner and hang out in the adult areas free of kids! Which I'm sure a lot of them enjoyed. And for my husband and me it was nice not to have to deal with the crying and screaming that comes with little kids running around everywhere!

4. Castaway Cay

Look how clear the water is!
Basically Disney owns it's own island in the Bahamas called "Castaway Cay" and I cannot express to you how truly beautiful this island was. And related to the last point, there was an entire beach on this island that was for adults only. It was as far away as it could be from the parts of the beach where kids were and only accessible by tram, so kids couldn't "mistakenly" show up. 

The beach was so peaceful and quiet, as most of the adults chose past times like we did--which was reading on the beach with our feet in the water, or on one of the many hammocks. The water was ridiculously clear and even though it was the middle of December it was definitely warm enough to swim in.

For people with kids, the kid-friendly sections of the beach were also amazing. There were water slides and beach toys you could check out (or maybe rent, not sure since we didn't get one). And it seemed like everyone was having a blast!

Kid Beach Area with Water Slide!
3. The Live Shows

Pirate Party!
A staple of Disney is live shows. If you go to the parks, they have live shows based on movies like the Lion King and Finding Nemo, but also live shows that are completely original like Fantasmic. The cruise was no different. There was a live show almost every night, like hour-long Broadway musical style shows. While they were all fantastic, the Toy Story show was AMAZING. It was a musical with all original songs. (And the young woman playing Sid was COMPLETELY AMAZING. She stole the show, it was fantastic.)

They also had shows on the deck starring everyone's favorite Mouse and his friends. From a Welcome Aboard party to a Pirate Party, there was plenty of Micky and Crew to keep kids and me happy. 

2. The Service

I can't talk about Disney without talking about the amazing service, and the service on the cruise was EXCEPTIONAL. I'm going to cheat a little though and break it up into two categories: "The Wait Staff" and "The Room Staff."

A. The Wait Staff

Disney Cruises have this thing they call "rotational dining." Basically they have three different restaurants on the ship, and they want to make sure you experience all of them. However, they also want you to have an exceptional experience of having a waiter and staff who know you, so even though you change restaurants, your wait staff moves restaurants with you. So we had the same server, assistant server, and head server every night. 

Our Table!
Our staff was amazing. They quickly learned our quirks and preferences, like how my husband tended to prefer vegetarian options for dinner (though he's not a vegetarian, our dinner time was just really late and he didn't want a lot of meat before bed), or like how I want a Coke every night and it should be refilled any time it seems empty.  And the one time I ordered a meal I didn't like, they instantly had another option there for me to try.

And OMG the food. I can't even begin to express how good the food was. We got an appetizer, meal, and dessert every night and on the nights where nothing on the desert list was appetizing they would bring me ice cream instead. 

But really it was the staff and how they learned about you that really just made the whole thing awesome.

B. The Room Staff

If you've ever heard anything about Disney Cruises it's probably their towel creations they leave in rooms, and I have to say. Those towel creations are AMAZING. 

Our room host was a magician with towels. He was also really nice and kept our room ship-shape despite the fact that I just tend to leave my crap everywhere. But what in particular made this make the list was this little tidbit of a story. I'm gonna quote my husband here (from what he wrote in our scrapbook):
I came back to the room to lay down after a dinner in 8 - 10 ft seas and saw a 'man' reading in bed. "Oh excuse me, sir," I told the man shaped pillow. "I must be in the wrong room!" Did I mention I was sea-sick?
The room host used my hat and my husband's glasses to create this, and it was amazing and hilarious. 
The Mysterious "Man" in Our Room

Our cruise conflicted with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in the sense that we were coming back on Dec. 18 and wouldn't be able to see it until Dec. 19. I'm the type of person who likes to see movies on the Thursday they came out and waiting til the 19th, while a sacrifice I was willing to make, was still a sacrifice. 

Turned out, it was a sacrifice I didn't have to make.

You see Disney owns Star Wars now. Which means, we got Star Wars on it's opening night. We saw it at 6:00 pm December 17th. 

They teased it all week but wouldn't confirm it. The cruise director kept saying things like "The Force is strong on this cruise." However, they were showing Return of the Jedi all week so he could have just meant that. But the day before, they announced that we were actually going to get to see TFA. Everyone got tickets that corresponded to their normal "live show" time. There was a 2D and a 3D theater. We saw it in 2D, since we were already a little sea sick to begin with. And if we had wanted to see it again, there was a midnight and 3 am showing we could have gone to. (We didn't. We went to sleep. Plus we still had our tickets for the 19th for a second viewing.)

This absolutely made the cruise. It took something already awesome and made it better, basically letting me have my cake and eat it too!

In Summary:

The Disney Cruise was awesome. I highly recommend it. It's worth the price. It makes the time on the ship an absolute pleasure, and Disney also arranges some awesome shore activities, which I didn't even go into here but trust me were awesome. So if you're thinking about a cruise and can spring for the price, I highly recommend a Disney cruise for your next vacation. 

No comments:

Post a Comment