Victoria and I went on our first ever Mother/Daughter cruise on the Disney Dream 2 weeks ago. While we have done family cruises together, we have never done one just the two of us. We had a great time!
We had to set one rule that we must have dinner together in the main dining rooms, but other than that, we had no plans. When we got into the Disney Cruise terminal we searched the Navigator for Bingo, because that was something we wanted to do, but didn't know when we would be do it. Well, Bingo was happening the first night before dinner. We decided that we would definitely go. Once we boarded the ship we went to Cabanas for lunch, and then found a place on deck 12 that we had all to ourselves. We sat by the wading pool until our stateroom was ready at 1:30. We unpacked, put magnets on our door, hung up our Fish Extender, and went back to the pool until it was time for our Facebook page meet up. I met new friends from the Facebook page that we had been chatting with before the cruise. It was great putting a face with a name. I met Gail, Darrin, Vicky, Amy, Perry, Matt, and Amy. Then off to the Muster Drill (lifeboat drill) at 4:00. After that, the Disney Dream left for our 4 night adventure.
Waving goodbye to everyone at Fish Lips on the webcam, we noticed the rough surf and dark clouds rolling in. The captain came on the announcement system and told us it may be rocky because of the tropical storm coming across Florida, but it would not be long lasting. We could feel the ship move a little, but it was not uncomfortable. Off to Bingo we went after we dressed for dinner. We were 2 numbers away from blackout on our Bingo card so we couldn't leave until the game was over. We didn't win, but we had fun. We went to dinner at Royal Palace, where we met our servers Pong and Marko and our head dining room waiter, Kendall. Our meal was excellent and at the end they celebrated Victoria's birthday by singing to her along with other servers. She was surprised! After dinner, Victoria went to Edge, the club for tweens, and I went to Evolutions to watch some adult entertainment (magic show, audience participation games, etc.). After getting back to the stateroom from our activities, we looked at the Navigator to see if there were any activities we wanted to do together the next day (we did this nightly).
The next day was our stop at Nassau. I knew that I was going to visit the Rainforest Room at the spa (only for 18 years and older) and then we were going into Nassau for Victoria to shop. We did both of these and upon boarding the ship decided, we needed pool time because it was so hot. Again, we had the wading pool to ourselves. Victoria had made plans with some people that she had met at Edge and I had a Mixology class to attend. We would meet up later to go to dinner together. This time we ate at Animator's Palate. Again, Victoria had nightly plans and so did I. I went back to Evolutions for the adult game show "Match Your Mate." I got back to our stateroom about midnight and Victoria came strolling in at 1:00 am.
We went to Castaway Cay the next day. Victoria and I went to the far side of the the family beach to relax. During that time, a friend of hers walked by and joined us. I ate lunch on the island and headed back to the ship, while she hung out at the beach, snorkeled, and rode the paddleboat. I met up with her later that afternoon. We decided to try our hand at Bingo again, but no winning cards for us. Tonight was Pirate Night and fireworks shot off from the ship. It was fun seeing everyone dressed in pirate gear, it's not required but a lot of people do it. We did not dress up as pirates, but celebrated.
Our day at sea started with me going to the Rainforest Room again. I met Victoria back in the room so that we could go to the Gold/Platinum Members' Reception. We met Captain Thord and had a private meet and greet with Captain Mickey Mouse. This was the first time we had attend one of the receptions, and we will definitely go again on our future cruises. Victoria went off to find her friends while I went to Palo Brunch. This is an adult only restaurant that offers brunch only on sea days. I went by myself and enjoyed the buffet and atmosphere. I saw Victoria in line at the towel folding class while I was on my way to the second Mixology class offered in Skyline. Jennifer, the bartender, was such fun during the first class that I decided to take a second one. Victoria and I met up to go see The Jungle Book movie before dinner. We really enjoyed it. We ate at Enchanted Garden tonight and had a window table. We said goodbye to Pong, Marko, and Kendall. We were given the "Magical Moments Award" for being the most "magical and memorable family in the dining room." We each had plans with new friends on our last night of our vacation and we were dreading disembarkation in the morning. "A 4 night cruise is too short," Victoria said. She was already planning when we could do this again. It was a great trip since we had mother/daughter time and alone time (with or without new friends). Unfortunately for Victoria, the next cruise for me is in October with my mom and sister (another first for me). We have already started looking at things to do on our family cruise next summer. Gary chimed in and asked, "We're playing Bingo, right?"
This year has had many firsts- Mother/daughter Disney World trip, Couples only no kids Disney Cruise, and now a Mother/daughter Disney Cruise. I never would have imagined taking a cruise with only my daughter, but when I asked her if she'd like to go, she yelled, "YES!" There is so much for her to do on the ship that when we go as a family, we don't see her much. I knew I needed to set one rule and that was she had to have supper with me every night. After that, she could do whatever she wanted and that meant I could do whatever I wanted.
When we started talking about different things to do onboard and she asked if I was going to play BINGO this time, I told her I was. Now, I know what you're thinking, BINGO is for old ladies and is boring! Well, not on a Disney Cruise. I even got my husband, sister, and brother-in-law hooked on it on our cruise in March. Now that she knew I was playing BINGO, she wanted in on that activity.
Planning for this vacation has been very easy. I know what I want to do-Rainforest Room, Palo Brunch, Mixology class (all for adults). Victoria will have things she'll want to do with her friends that she meets and I'll have things to do with the friends I have met on our cruise's Facebook page. The Facebook groups are a great way to meet new people before getting on the ship. I had posted on the page that it was only the 2 of us sailing and a very nice lady, Gail, invited us to eat with them at dinner. It was so thoughtful and kind of her to think of us. Unfortunately, we had different seating times, but we are going to meet up for lunch one day! The Facebook page can also bring up things to think about. This morning's post was about being worried about the tropical storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico. While we will probably have some weather from it, I'll be on a Disney Cruise. A day on a cruise with bad weather is better than a day at home with sun.
We are packing up the car in a few minutes to leave for Cape Canaveral. I'll be glad to get to the hotel! There are 3-4 other families from our cruise group staying at the same hotel, so we may run into them by the pool. Then one more sleep and onto the Disney Dream for 4 nights of fun and relaxation! I'll let you know how it goes with my daughter and I! And if we win BINGO, we're booking another cruise, this time I'll take my husband, too!
For most of us, a Disney vacation, whether it be a trip to the parks or on a cruise, is a large investment that needs a payment schedule. How can you get excited about a trip so far in the future? Well, if you're me, just the thought of a booked trip is excitement enough! But, there are a few things you can do to make your wait fun. I love the Disney Cruise Line app as it has a cruise countdown built into it, even down to the seconds. I also have found other countdown apps that you can put your own pictures in along with the date. This is great if you have already been to a Disney Destination and have a photo that you love! I love to be able to see them on my phone. For those of you with children, a visual countdown like chains that you can rip off each day or something similar to an advent calendar is fun, too. Even if it's changing the number on a chalkboard or whiteboard each day your children will practice the skills of counting backwards (yes, that's the teacher in me).
Countdowns are great, but planning with your family is fun, too! (This will not work if you are surprising your family with a trip.) Pull up the website for the Disney Destination in which you are traveling and look at the many options. You could get very overwhelmed at the amount of information, so plan on looking at a few things each time. Set aside a specific time during your busy schedules to look at things together. Disney offers free planning DVDs that you can request through their websites.
Thinking about a Disney Destination vacation? I can help plan your trip from start to finish! You just need a date for your trip so you can start counting down the days to making magical memories! Yes, this is my countdown!! I surprised my mom and sister for my Mom's 70th birthday by booking a cruise. They know now so they can help plan it!
Yes, my husband, Gary, and I did an adult only Disney Cruise over St. Patrick's Day weekend to celebrate our birthdays and anniversary (all of which fall within 15 days of each other). My sister, Jen, and brother-in-law, Mark, decided to join us. This surprised me as Mark had never cruised before, but he said, "Why not!" Well, after all of Mark's worrying about hurricanes, we sailed in March (haha), and if we were going to sink like the Titanic, he relaxed and had a great time! He was like a little kid in a candy store. There was always something new to see and try.
As soon as we stepped onto the ship we headed to lunch at Cabanas buffet. I made sure to get an awesome table outside so that Jen and Mark could enjoy the view. I think he saw the view as he devoured crab claws, shrimp, and oysters. After lunch, it was time to show Jen and Mark the adult only section of the ship. Gary and I have taken many cruises with our daughter, Victoria, but this was our first without her. We found 4 comfortable lounge chairs by the adult only pool and ordered our first adult beverages to toast our three night cruise sans children. I know what you're thinking, no kids on a Disney Cruise, ha! Well, we saw children, but they weren't ours and we had no cares in the world. We relaxed all afternoon until it was time for the Muster Drill, of course this brought up the fear of sinking in Mark's mind again, but he was prepared now just in case. It's Sail Away Time! We took our places on the starboard side of the ship so that the webcam at Fish Lips would catch us for the world to see. And, yes, our kids saw us and have screenshots of us standing on the ship waving back at them! We decided to get ready for supper and then wander around the ship watching different festivities. At one point, Gary and I were standing on deck 4 looking down at the Atrium. Gary feels a tap on his arm and hears, "Would you like to take a picture with me?" It was Cinderella! It certainly made his night! Supper was at Animator's Palate our first night. We celebrated Jen's birthday and Gary's and my anniversary. The wait staff sang happy birthday and happy anniversary to us as others were egging us on "kiss, kiss, french kiss."
Our second day was a Day at Sea, which is highly unusual for a three night cruise, but it started with brunch at the adult only restaurant, Palo. It buffet style, but hot dishes are made to order. Jen and Mark loved it. I think Gary and Mark had a contest as to who could eat the most hot sticky buns! After eating it was time to chill by the pool until Bingo time! I know what you're thinking, bingo, what are you 80? It is so much fun. Gary and I told Jen and Mark they had to join us. We laughed so much throughout the 4 games and we came close twice to winning, but no luck. Can't wait to play again! Shake it up Betty! B11, B, B11!!!
We were walking back to our staterooms to enjoy afternoon coffee and a cheese platter from room service. As we turned the corner, Belle appeared. Mark was flustered and asked if we could get a picture of him with her. The guys certainly made an impression on these princesses. After supper we went to the adults' only club to watch Match Your Mate! Jen and Mark wanted to be one of the couples, but Mark didn't want to audition by dancing, so... We watched the three couples that were chosen. We laughed so hard we were crying. Time for bed to get ready for Castaway Cay tomorrow.
The bad part of a short cruise, your mind still wants to get up early. The good part of this was I could watch the sunrise. Jen texted me and asked if I was up, and she joined me as we watched the sun rise and the ship dock at Castaway Cay. Once we disembarked the ship, we headed over to the bike rentals to ride around the island. It was great! Gary and I had never done this in the previous 6 times on the island. We also climbed the observation tower and got a great view of the entire island. After our bike ride, we sat on lounge chairs in the sand and relaxed with Java Juice, Paradise Punch, and a Tropical Depression (or 2). We headed back to the ship and enjoyed the quiet adult pool for a while, but decided we needed a little excitement. We all rode the AquaDunk! Wow, it was really fast and definitely not what I expected, but it was fun. We had reservations for Palo that night for supper. It was delicious! It was hard to believe our cruise would be over in the morning. So, Jen and I went to the future cruising desk and purchased a placeholder for another cruise, hopefully for next year. (This time we'll take kids.)
See you can have fun on a Disney Cruise without children. We never got bored and even participated in the Fish Extender Gift Exchange with other staterooms. If someone said that they would pay for me to go on another cruise tomorrow and I couldn't take my children, I'd jump at the chance and so would Gary, Jen and Mark. My daughter wouldn't be very happy. That's why we have one already booked with her! Disney Cruising is for everyone!!
Oh, no summer's coming and I need to plan something for the kids! What kind of vacation do you want? I can help you decide.
How many of you have looked at the calendar, saw it was April, and went into panic mode? What are we going to do with the kids for summer break? Yes, I'm in that same situation. If you can't make up your mind what you want to do with your children, think about what you would like to get from your vacation, too!
Sometimes you can't decide if you should take a quick trip now or plan something in the near future and have something to look forward to.
If you've got that "I have to get out of here now!" thought, look no further than Disney World. A great weekend getaway or you can stay a week, either way you can experience some of the new happenings being offered. Starting April 22, the Animal Kingdom will come to life at night with Rivers of Light and Tree of Life Awakenings. If you want garden inspiration, EPCOT is hosting the International Flower and Garden Festival until May 30, 2016. If Star Wars is your passion, look to visit Hollywood Studios. "Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away live show begins April 4th and when you combine that with Star Wars Launch Bay and Symphony in the Stars Fireworks Show featuring Star Wars music, you are guaranteed a day that is out of this world!
Some of us are planners, yes, I fall into that category. I like to plan something in which to look forward and build the anticipation. For me, it's a Disney Cruise! A Disney Cruise can be a great way to escape the reality of daily life. Not much planning is needed. You do have to make some decisions, like which itinerary you would like and maybe an excursion or two, but other than that, it's pure relaxation! Activities are planned for your children, if you decide to take them, adult activities are scheduled throughout the day, or you can sit by the pool and read a book or enjoy a massage at the spa. I know that when I'm on a Disney Cruise, I'm going to be pampered and treated like royalty and I don't have to do anything I don't want. It's not too late to book that 3, 4, or 7 night cruise for the summer. I wish I could do it, but my 7 night cruise is planned for November. If you are a planner like I am, you could always plan a Star Wars Day at Sea cruise that will begin January 2017 and go until April 2017. Wouldn't you like to cruise with your favorite Star Wars characters?
I do not have any travel plans for the summer this year seeing that I just took a 3 night cruise in March and have a 7 night one for November, but my daughter knows that there is something on the horizon! Do we have a countdown? Absolutely, 231 days and counting until we board the Fantasy, but planning to me is part of the adventure.
So, whether you're a drop everything and go person or a planner, there's plenty for you to experience. Contact me today and I can help you plan the vacation that is right for you!
A Disney Cruise? They're too expensive and full of kids! Why are you going on one without your daughter?
When looking at a cruise vacation, we always look at the price first! What the price doesn't tell you what is really included once you step onto that ship. If you have ever cruised before on any other cruise line, you know you're going to pay for the soda package, upscale restaurants, put a deposit down for a towel, and many more things. On a Disney Cruise there is no soda package, soda fountains are on the pool deck open 24 hours a day at no extra charge.
Need a towel for the pool? Go to the towel box and take as many as you need without having to show your cabin key to an attendant.
I have cruised other lines and I have compared my experiences with a Disney Cruise. The other cruises were fun and I'm sure I'll take another one with friends, but they did not give me the Disney experience I've grown to expect. Why am I telling you this? Well, I suggested we take a cruise to celebrate our anniversary. My husband said," Sure, but it has to be Disney." This coming from the man that NEVER wanted to cruise until 6 years ago I asked him to go one time for my 40th birthday. I showed him another cruise line and the price, which was cheaper than Disney, and he shot me down. I could not believe it! Then I asked him why Disney. He gave me a long list of reasons: adult only areas, activities, customer service, cleanliness, food quality and choices, movies, Castaway Cay, and the luxuriousness of the ships. I had to agree with all of his reasons!
When you think of a Disney Cruise you think of children, I know I did. After taking one Disney Cruise, I realized how wrong I was. Disney wants to cater to all ages young and old. The first thing that I noticed happened in the cruise terminal while reading The Navigator, the daily schedule of activities. They had listed activities throughout the day by age level, families, adults, and kids' club. I was surprised to see the variety of activities for adults only: mixology classes, how-to cooking classes, adult only evening shows, and the list continued. Many of these peeked my interest and I wanted to try them. After boarding the ship I went to the pool deck and saw an adult only pool and hot tubs (18+). I could hear quiet music playing and the atmosphere was tranquil. And a coffee shop catering to adults! Not on a Disney Cruise, I must be dreaming or wishing upon a star! I toured Senses Spa and was amazed at how relaxed I felt just walking through the door. I experienced more adult only sections or quiet areas throughout my cruise. Now, don't get me wrong, there is a family pool with loud music and movies being shown throughout the day, character meet and greets, and kids' games, but I was shocked at the way Disney met the needs of everyone.
Fast forward to today. We are getting ready to take our couples' cruise in a month, it will be my husband's 6th cruise. I can't wait to attend a mixology class, play Bingo (not only for old people), relax by the pool, hit the nightlife at the different themed clubs, and enjoy a long weekend with my husband. And if I want to stand in line to see Cinderella, I can, but I don't have to. I can even dress up like a pirate for Pirate Night complete with fireworks or I can watch others as I have my rum drink. You aren't forced to do anything, it's your vacation! There is so much to do and not enough time to do it. What will I do? Book another cruise while onboard! (My husband will be telling me which one he'd like to do.)
Mother/daughter weekend in Disney World was great! Victoria has wanted to stay in the Little Mermaid rooms at the Art of Animation Resort for a long time and I made it happen this past weekend. We have never stayed there before, so this was a new experience for us. We drove to Orlando Thursday afternoon to prepare for our 3 days of Disney fun, which included 2 days in the parks. Friday we went to 1900 Park Fare for a character breakfast buffet. It was fun and the food was very good. After breakfast we resort hopped on the monorail and looked around the resorts. Yes, Victoria was planning our next stay at the Polynesian Bungalows; she likes to dream! Then onto Disney Springs and shopping in the rain! When the weather doesn't cooperate, don't worry and enjoy every minute even if you have soaked tennis shoes from 2 inch puddles. The rain cleared up and the sun came out. It was a beautiful afternoon and we decided to take advantage of a few minutes of relaxation at the Boardwalk. It was a great time to talk about our next 2 very busy, but fun-filled days ahead. We had a plan and we were going for it!
Our first day in the parks started at Animal Kingdom and Expedition Everest roller coaster at 7:00 am. It was a great way to wake up and since once wasn't enough, the second time really jolted you awake. The Kilimanjaro Safari early in the morning was an awesome experience. We saw baby giraffe, many animals feeding, and a pack of lions (one male and about 3 females) on the rock resting. Once we completed the safari, we trekked to the bus to Magic Kingdom, where we put our second plan into motion. Fast Pass+ is an absolute must when planning your trip. It allows you to ride those rides that have long wait times. We had passes for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan's Flight, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. These passes with specific times gave us the opportunity to experience everything in Tomorrowland before moving onto Fantasyland. Having those attractions planned saved us from walking in circles. Our highlight of the day was our dinner reservation at Be Our Guest for supper. Highly recommend it, but getting a reservation is not easy the closer you get to your trip. After 17 hours in the parks on the first day, we decided to fall into our beds for a few hours of sleep before we hit day two in the parks.
Our second day started early again and it started with Rockin' Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios, twice! Again, the Fast Pass+ really made our morning go smooth. We tried 50s Prime Time Diner for lunch since we had never eaten there. I was surprised at the amount of food they gave you and how good it was. Victoria ordered the fried chicken, which was half a chicken, with mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob. She couldn't finish it, but then she saw the dessert menu and decided she needed to try the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake. It was amazing! We needed to walk off the food, so we went to EPCOT to walk around World Showcase. This was a great plan and we looked in many of the countries' shops. We thought we should take a break before hitting the third park in one day. We went back to the hotel for a couple of hours and rested since we were going back to Magic Kingdom. This was the way Victoria and I wanted to end our trip, by seeing the Wishes Fireworks Program. We were not disappointed!
It was a trip I had never thought about taking before, but when Victoria asked to go, just the two of us, I really thought about how she will only want to do this with me for a little while longer. It was one of the best decisions I've made. My husband told me this morning that he was so glad I took her because of the smile he saw in every picture we took. It was an awesome trip with magical memories. Let me create a trip like this for you and your loved ones!
We all get wrapped up in our everyday lives and we don't take time to enjoy the little things. When planning a Disney Destination Vacation you can enjoy those small moments even prior to your actual vacation. Most people plan a trip for later in the year or even longer. This gives you time to involve your family members in the planning process: what attractions or excursions do you want to experience, where would you like to eat, or what characters must you see. As your Disney Travel Planner, I like to hear what things you would like to experience, so that I can plan a memorable vacation for you.
When I surprised my daughter, Victoria, with a Mother/Daughter Disney World vacation, I had dining reservations set up because I knew that she loved those restaurants. But, after she learned about the trip, she had her own opinions about what we needed to try. I changed our reservations to her suggestions and now we are both counting down the days! The time spent talking about our upcoming trip has been fun!
Right now you can take advance of Walt Disney World's promotion for travel from now until June. Check out my Promotions tab for further information.
I have a hard time keeping a secret when it comes to Disney. I waited 8 weeks to tell my daughter about her surprise Mother/Daughter trip. I finally revealed the trip Christmas morning. I wrapped our MagicBand box and stuffed it inside of 5 other boxes. By the time, she opened the last box and saw Walt Disney World, she had a look of awe on her face. When she opened the box and saw the bands, she asked, "Are we going?" I told her we were in two weeks. She was screaming, "Really?"
I think it was a great surprise as she even cried a little, and that says a lot for a 13 year old. I"m so excited now that I can talk about it with her. We have some decisions to make for places to eat and FastPasses to reserve, but the best part of the trip is spending quality time with my daughter at a place we both LOVE! We can't wait!
I want to help you make magical memories, so contact me so I can help with your Disney travel dreams.
I have spent many hours thinking about becoming a Disney Travel agent, but never thought it would become a reality. After being asked if I would like to plan vacations for others from home for Disney, I decided to take the plunge. What made this dream a reality was realizing the amount of time I had spent on Disney property this year.
I have visited Disney World 3 times and have taken a 7-night Disney Cruise to the Eastern Caribbean in just the past year. I have shared 2 of these vacations with my family and 2 with my girlfriends. Each trip was wonderful in it's own way, but I have found that Walt Disney World with your girlfriends is amazing! No pressure to get everything done, whatever we felt like doing, we did. It still amazes me that I can experience something new each time I go to Disney World.
My husband, Gary, and daughter, Victoria, love going to Disney World and cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. They know how much I love going, so when they mention a trip, I jump into planning mode. I look forward to upcoming adventures with my family and the new opportunities my business venture will offer me.