Last November we took a Disney cruise with our family on the Disney dream ship and had such a great time. I truly think Disney offers the best cruising experience of all the brands you can sail because well…its Disney! They make everything magical and leave no detail unattended. Their service is top notch, the accommodations are exceptional and the entertainment is amazing.
We sailed out of Cape Canaveral on a Thursday evening and Sutty got her first glimpse of the characters at the Sail Away party on the deck and it was so cute! This was the first of the many tears I shed on this trip (I am SO pathetic when it comes to seeing my kids experience things that make them happy!) She was so giggly at each new character that came out and was waving with all of her might at them! It was so precious. We danced along and enjoyed all the festivity.
We had our first dinner at The Royal Palace which is the fanciest of the three dining rooms you rotate through during your sail. It has large windows so it provides a beautiful view of the water and if your lucky, you could catch an amazing sunset! Eating with the kids was pretty challenging (Quint was 9 months at the time and Sutton was 2.5 so it was pretty tough for them to sit for longer than 5-10 minutes at a time) so Dwight and I would take turns getting up and walking around with them. Thankfully this was a kid friendly boat so everyone was super understanding and kind. That night we saw their Broadway style show “Believe” and I cried some more! Seriously, I can’t handle the heartstrings they tug at! Sutton was in awe the entire time and could not get enough of seeing so many of the characters she loves.
The next morning we arrived in Nassau, Bahamas and took a tour of the aquarium on property at Atlantis. Most of the excursions options were a little more involved than we needed for our kids being the ages they were, so we basically had the option of the aquarium tour or access to Atlantis amazing pools. Its not cheap to swim on property there and again because our kids were so young, we didn’t find it to be worth the $$. The aquarium is amazing with so many fish (and sharks!) but in true toddler form, Sutton didn’t like most of the fish! There were quite a few tears and then an accident that resulted from not quite being fully potty trained so we had to replace her cute outfit with an Atlantis t-shirt but hey, memories were made, right?!
We were back on the boat around 2 PM and we attempted to have the kids take a nap but they were not having it! So we decided to not fight them and just enjoy the boat and all put our swimsuits on and go to the pool. They have an amazing Nemo themed splash pad for toddlers but Sutton wanted to get in the big pool with Daddy! Of course we took every advantage of the free soft serve ice cream and Sutton wanted to visit the gift shop any chance she got! (we also had a have a nice conversation about money and how she cant buy whatever she wants! Ha!) Dwight was the only one in our family who got to ride the Aquaduck (their incredible waterslide!) and he said it was so fun!
That evening we ate at Animaters Palate which is SUCH a cool place! The is by far the most kid friendly dining room as it is adorned with bright colors, neon lights and Crush the talking turtle who interacts with the guests! If you’ve experienced Turtle Talk at Epcot, this is the same experience. So fun! I honestly don’t remember what we did for entertainment that night…probably because we just went to bed as the kids were in melt down form from not napping that day!
Saturday was probably my favorite day of the trip- Castaway Cay! Disney owns their own island that they have “Disney-fied” and it is amazing. There is SO much to do there and everything is so well kept and clean. We were fortunate enough to have a coveted cabana (there are only 20 and they sell out almost immediately) because Dwight’s aunt is a Disney guru and was able to secure one. We were all laughing about how spoiled we were and would never be able to come back unless we had the cabana again! It was so nice to have our own space, bathroom and server. Not to mention just a place to escape the sun! They brought us a pack-n-play for Quint so he was contained and content. Sutton loved playing in the sand on the shoreline and was able to walk such a long way out into the water without getting in over her head which was a nice perk to ease my nerves when she wanted to adventure out on her own a little bit.
The sun really takes it out of you but thankfully Disney has an amazing tram that transports you through the island so you don’t have to walk in the heat as much. That evening was pirate themed party on the top deck and it was so fun for kids!
The final day was spent at sea and Sutton enjoyed getting to select two dresses from the Bippity Boppity Boutique (Belle and Ariel) there on board and meet SO many characters…including having a dance party! To me, this is what makes the Disney cruise so special. You can’t get this much up close and personal interaction for prolonged periods of time anywhere else. I will forever have the memory of her reaching her tiny hands up to Mickey in hopes that he would dance with her! So sweet! I really think for this reason alone, it is perfect for preschool aged kids.
We enjoyed our last dinner in the Enchanted Garden and later that evening there were fireworks launched off the boat but as you can imagine, we were already fast asleep by the time they occurred!
Traveling with small children can certainly be limiting at times, but make the most of each opportunity and don’t over do it. There is nothing worse than a cranky child who is overstimulated so prioritize nap times and don’t be afraid to take a break from the fun if need be. I hope this review is helpful and informative to you if you are considering a Disney cruise vacation with your family!
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