I cannot deny it, I love everything Disney – and travel is no exception. And in January 2011 I was able to make a great work meeting a wonderful Girls Getaway with my mom and my daughter Maggi.
We met up in Florida on Friday the 21st of January and then spent Saturday the 22nd exploring Epcot and the Magic Kingdom. And then on Sunday January 23rd we left our beautiful room at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and boarded Disney’s transportation to Port Canaveral.
If you have ever traveled with Disney you’ll know they have things down to a science – easy and smooth – things fall into place beautifully because they take care of all the details…right from the start. Boarding a Disney ship is no exception.
After getting off the bus we went through a small security area at the port and then headed into what only can be called a lounge, completely different from any other cruise line’s check in area I have ever seen. They had nice benches/sofas’, TV’s to entertain kids of all ages, Disney art to look at and we even met up with a few Disney Characters!
You board in groups so when it was our turn to board we had our photo taken for our boarding passes and headed onto the beautiful lobby of the ship, a spectacular sight to behold…Maggi was blown away by the size; I suppose it’s a bit overwhelming for a 5 year old!
Our stateroom was a beautiful Deluxe Ocean-view Stateroom with Veranda A comfortable Queen size bed was perfect for little Maggi and myself and mom slept on the fold down sofa. I have to say the split bathroom design is genius. One room has the toilet and a sink and the other room has a sink and a bathtub/shower combination. Even with 3 “women” in the room we had plenty of privacy and space to get ready. The bed is raised off the ground high enough you can store your luggage – love this – and we had more than enough drawer and closet space for all our things. The sitting/sofa area with TV is well appointed and the wave-phones are great…brilliant idea by Disney for keeping in touch with family member’s and other guests on board the ship. The veranda had a few chairs and a small table and we loved the view and sound of the ocean.
Disney does Disney really well – land or sea – they have an amazing cast and keep you as busy or give you as much free time on the ship as you want. There is always something to do. They have adults only areas, kids clubs for all ages, family pools, and always something going on. While on board you can do a scavenger hunt, meet with characters, hang out by the pools, and so much more. While I attended some meetings for a few hours each day we were on board Maggi and her Grandma wandered the ship and enjoyed exploring. Maggi’s favorite part of the ship…the pool area and of course, the kids club! She spent as much time in the kids club as she possible.
With our short 3 night cruise we set sail from Port Canaveral and then spent our first day docked at Nassau, Bahamas. As both Mom and I have been to Nassau before we decided to just walk into town quickly and look around. Then we headed back to the ship where Maggi enjoyed an afternoon in the pool? Well, not really, she spent the entire time sliding down the Mickey Hand slide and hanging out in the hot tub. Worked out great, I relaxed and watched her (took a lot of pictures of course) and Mom enjoyed reading and watching Maggi play.
We spent the next day at Castaway Key – Disney private island – an amazing day. The kids club is available, if the kids want, while on land, and they have adult only areas as well as family areas. Maggi and I did some very COLD swimming in the ocean in the Bahamas in January (I do no recommend, but she loved it…) but her favorite part was playing on the beach.
Each night we were treated to a great show in the theater Disney style. Maggi even took part in a pre-show experience with Snow White as one of the dwarfs – she loved it. The shows are great and I highly suggest not skipping them. We had second seating for dinner so each night we would head down to the theater and watch the show then head to the lobby for picture time with Disney characters and then off to dinner. Disney has a wonderful Pirate Party with games, dancing, and music, and of course no party is complete without Captain Jack Sparrow showing up! And what could make an awesome pirate party even better? How about fireworks at sea…only on Disney!
Dining on board Disney ships is quite an experience. The rotational dining idea is brilliant. Each night you eat in a different dining room but your waitstaff and your table mates move with you each night. We had dinner in three different restaurants. We spent 3 nights on board the ship so we experienced each of the included dining rooms one time. Animator’s Palate is a wonderfully fun dining room where the room comes to life with drawings and colors of Disney. Enchanted Garden is a inspired by the luxurious gardens of Versailles and is a truly beautiful setting. Royal Palace is a magical dining room inspired by classic Disney films like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. For lunch and breakfast we at Cabanas, an indoor/outdoor dining area on deck 11 near the family pool area. Regardless of where we at we had wonderful food. I have to say that the change between the first Disney cruise I took back in 1999 and this one was amazing when it came to food. The first time we sailed we felt the food was just okay – Disney has made marked improvements. This trip, nobody ever left the table hungry, everything was top notch.
I have to say, if I had my vote, I would sail with Disney for a minimum of 7 nights, 3 is just too short…we were all so sad to have to head home. But once again Disney made the process of disembarkation easy and getting our luggage, getting on the bus to the airport, and getting to the airport was a smooth ride.
Great Memories…Great Times…Thank You Disney!.
Specialities:Disney, Small Ship/Un-Cruise, Islands of Hawaii, Universal Studios, Las Vegas
Professional Certification:CTA, Travel Leaders – Leisure Travel Specialist
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