September was crazy busy in the best possible way.
We jumped from coast to coast starting with our first ever Disney Cruise! We were invited guests on the ship and I can't thank Disney enough for hosting us.
When we first shared we were going on a Disney Cruise Lines sailing, everyone told me that Disney cruises are like potato chips… you can never stop with just one. About 10 minutes into our cruise I knew exactly what they meant. It was amazing and we are already looking forward to our next one. I don't have it planned… yet… but I am seriously looking at Alaska and sailings out of Florida. Really, I would be thrilled with any of them. The service, entertainment, food, ship and all the family fun onboard made for an amazing time for everyone!
Our video from day one shows just how much fun we were able to pack into one day, and I'm sharing some other highlights below. For our first Disney Cruise, I still can't get over how perfect this cruise was. It was themed for Halloween and a two-night getaway, which gives you just enough of a taste for the magic onboard that you want to book another one right away.
The fun starts right when you board.
You are given a boarding number which makes the whole process so smooth. When you step foot onto the ship your entrance is announced to the whole ship and you are personally welcomed on board. What a way to start a vacation!
The first thing on our list was to take a tour of the ship, starting with the top deck.
There was food already being served so we also had our first meal at Cabanas where they were serving a delicious buffet. Emmy was thrilled that her favorite mac n' cheese was on the ship. Whenever we are at a Disney property it is her go-to meal.
The kid's clubs on board were having an open house so we all went to Disney's Oceaneer Club for Emmy to see and play. She loved it and was so excited to spend more time there during our cruise.
Soon our cabin was ready and we headed down to deck 8 to check it out. We were in love. The cabins are beautiful with wood and ocean blue accents.
It was quite spacious too.
Our favorite feature was that the toilet and shower are in separate areas that each have a sink. This was a big deal for us. We normally never travel in just one room, because with 4 girls and poor Pete, it can take hours for us to all get ready in the morning. This was a great solution for that and gave us more vacation time during our vacation.
We also had a fantastic veranda to relax on.
Verandas are my favorite parts of cruise cabins. I know some people don't use theirs much, but we do. From morning coffee to evening snacks, we love having a veranda to relax on.
Ash and Em went and watched a movie in the theater… they ended up seeing 5 of them on our trip. There is just something about having practically around the clock Disney movies being played in beautiful theaters to really help kids enjoy their time on the ship.
After that, we all met for dinner. Disney does the coolest thing ever. Your wait staff from the dining room is with you throughout the entire cruise, yet each night you move to a different dining room. This is a huge benefit that you can't even start to appreciate until you experience it. For us, it meant not having to explain our dietary restrictions to a new person each night. It meant having your drinks waiting for you before you even sit down. At the table next to us, the parents were outnumbered like we are, but their kids were a lot younger.
On the second night, the kid's food was already served in the way that the kids liked to enjoy it and the waiter and assistant waiter cut the food for the kids so that the parents didn't have to spend their whole meal helping the kids. It was little things like this that happened all throughout the cruise that really elevate the experience. I had read about this general feel before on a Disney Cruise, but then once you experience it, it clicks just how far everyone goes to make sure everything is perfect!
The dress code was cruise casual, Halloween or Pirate! Ha! Emmy combined them all with her Minnie Mouse dress and pirate bandana hair topper.
Yes, Mickey came with us almost everywhere!
The food was amazing!
This was a vegan bean cake dish that was so flavorful. As a vegan, I expected and would have been happy with steamed veggies, but to get a dish like this was such a pleasant surprise!
At the end of our meal, the walls changed from black and white to color! I'm not going to say anything more about Animator's Palate because it is more fun to experience it without knowing.
I will say that the dining experiences are just that, experiences. They are very much themed and are very reminiscent of what you would expect at a Disney Resort, but just a tad more formal. Still totally family friendly, but maybe a little more special?
After dinner, we strolled along the ship and watched the sunset.
Well a few of us did. Em was in relaxation mode!
We were really excited to see our cabin transform from day to night and it was everything we could have imagined! There is a curtain that you can draw between the kid area and the parent area and that made it feel even more spacious. With TV's in both areas the kids had on Disney kids movies and Pete and I watched other Disney movies. It was so much fun having that available all the time too!
That night was the famous Fireworks At Sea during the Pirates in the Caribbean party on the deck!
During the first day, there was also crafts for families to do, exemplary stage shows, trivia for adults, snacks galore and so much more. I went into this first day thinking we could do everything even if we didn't sleep. I really told the rest of my family that this was going to happen. That night I accepted the fact that there was absolutely no way to do even 25% of the fun that is available. I don't even think that if we were on a 2-week cruise we would be able to do it all, and that is okay. It just means we need to take more Disney Cruises, right?
Part two is coming soon!