October is National Plan a Cruise Month! If you are looking for a stress free vacation that takes you to different places without having to unpack and repack to move, cruising is the way to go!
There are many cruise lines to choose from with a variety of different itineraries and lengths. Never cruised before but want to try it? A 3 or 4 night cruise is the way to go to "get your feet wet." Most veteran cruisers tell you the minimum for them is a 7 night, myself being included! But that doesn't mean I won't go on a 3 or 4 night, I just prefer a 7 night. (Actually going on a 3 night in 2 1/2 weeks!)
Why do a cruise?
Planning a cruise vacation is a very easy process. You decide when and where you would like to cruise. The ship plans the activities and possible excursions for you to choose from. How's that for service?
For many people, it's for the relaxation. You can do as many activities as you feel like entertaining yourself with or just sitting in a lounge chair reading a book. They offer a variety of activities for all types and ages of people-family activities, spa times, specialty dining, games, themed specific cruises.
Another reason is to be able to experience different places without having to fly from one place to another. The ship takes you there! That's a big plus for those people that do not like to fly (my husband included as he will NOT get on an airplane). He's taken cruises to see Mexico, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Nassau, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Johns, Puerto Rico, and Castaway Cay(Disney's private island). We drive to Port Canaveral to have a larger choice of cruise lines to pick from.
What are the benefits of a cruise over another vacation?
The list is endless, but for those of you that like to try new food items, this is the place to do it. While in the main dining rooms, order 2 appetizers, or entrees to share with others or for yourself. I went on a cruise with my best friend and we both ordered the prime rib, but really wanted to try the duck, our server brought us the duck to split. So glad he did! My husband has a major sweet tooth! Whenever we cruise it is usually very difficult for him to choose one dessert. I told our server that on our first night because Gary couldn't decide. He finally did and the server brought the one he ordered and another to try. This did not only happen on the first night, but every night there after and we never asked for it.
As I mentioned before, there are many activities for all ages to do on a cruise at various times throughout the day. BINGO, movies, games, karaoke, towel folding lessons, and the list continues. One of our family cruises I asked my daughter to go play BINGO with me. She looked at me as if I had 6 heads and said, "BINGO is for old people!" When I told her that she could play and if she won I'd have to claim the prize money because I was over 18, but I'd give it to her, she came with me. Now it is a family activity that is a MUST do on our cruise!
A cruise can be a social event for making new lifelong friends. Now, I'm sure you are wondering how would you do that. On some cruise lines you sit with people other than your family at dinner. While this may seem nerve wrecking, it may surprise you at how you much you have in common with your table mates. Some cruise lines have Facebook pages for specific cruise dates that you can connect with prior to sailing and discuss your experiences or post questions that you may have. I am currently an administrator for 2 different cruise groups and I've made friends from all over our country and the world. My first experience with a Facebook cruising group happened for my June 2014 cruise. I joined the group and saw that the Administrator for the page was from the same town I lived in. I sent her a message and we found out we lived 5 miles from each other. Instant friends that have now been on 3 cruises together with our families.
Caribbean cruises are what many people like to do, but there are so many more to choose from-Mediterranean, Alaska, Asia, the Middle East, Panama Canal, and River Cruises.
So if you are looking for an enjoyable, less stress vacation for everyone in your family to enjoy, try a cruise! I'd love to help you plan one. Spotted Bow Travel Company not only specializes in Disney Cruises, but can book all cruise lines now! Winter getaway, Spring Break, graduation, hooray to Summer Vacation, or just to treat yourself to some relaxation- all good reasons for a cruise! Contact me today to help you book this amazing vacation!
As I sit here on this beautiful Labor Day weekend relaxing after cleaning house, picking up after Tropical Storm Hermine, and cleaning out stuff, I have done a lot of thinking about my childhood. Children today experience their childhood so much differently than I did growing up. We made our own games and had fun outside, we didn't have to be entertained by a "thing".
What do I mean? Well, most of my childhood memories revolve around going places with my family or playing outside with my friends. I remember having a few toys that I loved, (I will NEVER forgive my sister for tearing off the top part of my Baby Tender Love's head, sorry Jen), but, it's the experiences that have stayed with me. These experiences include traveling to visit my Grandparents each year in Florida during the winter, going to Holland, Michigan, visiting Niagara Falls, camping at Fair Haven/Indian Falls, and visiting Gettysburg and Hershey, Pennsylvania just to name a few. So, why is it that I remember these? I had the opportunity to be fully immersed in each location. My parents tried to do everything at each place all in one trip, but sometimes, we had to go back to continue our adventure. Those were some exciting vacations.
As I look back, I know I had birthday parties and great Christmases, especially the one my mom worked at Johnny Jo Toy Store, but I don't remember what I was given. I can guarantee at least once in my life I told my mother "I'll just die if I don't get...", but now I couldn't tell you what I threw that temper tantrum for.. However, I do remember asking my parents to travel to Spain one summer as an exchange student. I knew how expensive it was, but I volunteered to help raise the money. It was not a trip that my parents could just write a check and I was off to Europe, they had to work extra to send me. My parents could have said, "No, we don't have the money right now. Let's wait until we do." But, they knew that this trip would open up so many opportunities for me and they made sacrifices. Sometimes if we wait until the "right" time, that time never comes again.
I am guilty of buying the latest fashions or tech gizmo for my daughter, because she "HAS TO HAVE IT!" I remind her that the "it" thing right now will gone in a few months, if it takes that long. She's not going to remember when she got an iPhone, but she will remember the Mother/Daughter trips we have taken. We've made great memories and she continually asks, "When are we going to do that again?" See teenagers do like to hang out with their parents! I have learned that life is too short and we have to take advantage of the time we have together. We are not promised tomorrow! Too many people close to me have lost a loved one for one reason or another, I bet they wished to have one last trip or vacation with that person. I decided this year instead of getting my Mom presents for her 70th birthday and Christmas, I was taking her on a trip. Why? She really doesn't need one more thing to dust, and it's about spending quality time together, making those memories. Will she be sad not to open a present, maybe, but she will have those memories to cherish. That's a present that keeps on giving each and every day.
So, if you're thinking of buying something material for your child, ask yourself this, "I know he/she really wants it, but will this be a lasting memory?" Give a trip for a gift, not only will your child be excited to open it, but the excitement will continue to build as the trip approaches. And as for the material items, there are some things from your childhood that you will remember, but many you won't. Jen, don't worry, I found a Baby Tender Love on eBay right before V was born, so she got to play with her, even if it wasn't mine.
"Why do I need a Disney planner to plan my trip when everything is on the website?" There are many reasons to trust a Disney Vacation Planner when it comes to planning a Disney Destination vacation! First of all, it's FREE! Yes, you read correctly, FREE! My services are free of charge-from quoting, to booking, to making Advanced Dining Reservations, to helping coordinate Fast Passes, to helping you navigate through My Disney Experience, and planning your itinerary (if you so desire). I can see your wheels turning in your head, "Then WHY do you do this?" My answer is my love for all things Disney. Planning other people's vacations that include Disney makes me happy. It doesn't matter if it's a first or fiftieth trip, every trip is treated as if it was my own vacation!
Having a Disney Vacation Planner is very helpful from the beginning of your planning all the way to the actual vacation. I can listen to what you would like from your vacation and try to base my suggestions on those wants. I try to give as many options as possible based on those wants/needs of each family. This is ultimately your vacation and I want to make it the best vacation it can be!
Everyone has their favorite resorts, parks, staterooms on the cruise, and they do not hesitate to tell you their opinions, often confusing you. After visiting Disney World 49 times, taking 8 Disney Cruises (with number 9 coming up in October and number 10 next June) and staying in all types of resorts, I can help my clients make a smart educated decision with my firsthand experiences. After you have chosen your dates and length of stay, resort type/stateroom category, tickets, and dining, your trip is booked! YAY! But that's not it for me! I will keep an eye out for promotions that are released from Disney for discounts on your reservation. If your reservation applies, I will apply the discount saving you money! But my pixie dust doesn't stop there! I will figure out what days you can make Advanced Dining Reservations and Fast Pass+ selections, and even help you secure them. I can plan out personalized itineraries to help maximize your time in the parks and suggest activities on the cruise.
Every Disney Destination is different and can be customized to you and your family, but sometimes you don't know where to start! That's where I come in! I love what I do and would love to plan your next Disney Destination Vacation! All you need is faith, trust, and a little of my pixie dust to have your travel dreams turned into magical memories.
7/18/2016 1 Comment
Summertime in Disney World, your first thoughts-hot, humid, and down right miserable. Well, there are ways to enjoy the Happiest Place on Earth during the summer. I know what you're thinking, "There's NO WAY I'm heading there in that heat!" With a little planning, a Disney trip in the summer can be enjoyable!
This is actually the first summer in 5 years that I haven't been to Disney World. As everyone knows, Central Florida is hot in the summer and being on the black asphalt makes it feel even hotter. So, how can it be enjoyable? Planning to get up early and take advantage of the morning Extra Magic Hours is a definite must during the summer. You can hit those popular attractions during this time, as long as you are staying on Disney property. (Extra Magic Hours are different than Early Morning Magic, which is a ticketed special for Magic Kingdom. Extra Magic Hours are included in the price of your Magic Your Way Package.) Go to as many attractions as you can until lunch. You can plan on eating in the park or go back to your resort and enjoy a restaurant there. This break is a MUST if you want to maintain sanity during the summer months.
During the break you can enjoy the resort's pool(s), relax, or take a nap (maybe do all 3). You want to have your children do this as well. This helps to avoid meltdowns during the heat of the day! Plan on going back to the park around 6:00 pm. Some people are going back to their resorts to get ready for supper, so this gives you another opportunity to hit some attractions or catch supper in the park. Later on for example, if you have seen the Electrical Light Parade at Magic Kingdom, go on rides or see characters during the first parade and plan on watching it the second showing if you haven't.
You may also want to stay late for the Extra Magic Hours in the evening that is included in the Magic Your Way Package. The park may stay open up to 3 hours after it closes to the general public. Please see the park hour schedule available in your resort's lobby for a list of Extra Magic Hours for morning and evening.
If you are lucky enough to have a few days in Disney World, there is another way to beat the heat. This is a plan that my family has done in summers past and plan on doing next year. We plan on staying 4 nights. The first day/night we enjoy the resort and maybe Disney Springs. The second day we go to the parks in the morning, go to the resort at lunch, and then back to the parks about 6:00 pm. The third day we hit a waterpark and enjoy the resort. The fourth day we go back in the parks as stated on the first day. Putting a day between our 2 park days has been beneficial for my family. It provides an opportunity to slow down and not be exhausted from the heat and the rushing around.
A plan is essential during the summer. If you book a last minute trip, fast passes will already be spoken for most times, so you need to take advantage of given opportunities. This is why you book your Disney World vacation through a Disney travel planner like me. I will make those travel dreams into magical memories!
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!!
4/2/2016 0 Comments
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!
2/18/2016 2 Comments
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.)
I love traveling and planning vacations for people in addition to being a wife, mother, and teacher.