On Two on Tuesday last week I said my favorite holiday was to Ireland. Well. Scratch that. Disney Cruise hands down was the best vacation I have ever been on. The Disney Wonder Ship (yes, I’ve finally consented, it is not a boat like I kept calling it but a ship) it truly amazed me and we didn’t even see all of it. The pools, Mickey with the mouse ears and a twirly high water slide and the Goofy pool with Goofy on the bottom. Who wouldn’t smile after seeing that? There was also the Cove pool for adults only which we didn’t visit but I loved how there were designated adult only areas of the ship. A restaurant, a pool, a nightclub and a spa; all only for adults. The only place I visited was the spa (no massage just a haircut) and that was wonderful.
They joked with us, made us feel welcome and quite honestly when we left the dining room the last night and our drink steward hugged me I did feel a bit sad. And the food. As much of it as you want. Anytime you want. My downfall was the chicken fingers and fries at 3 pm from Pluto’s Doghouse. Everyday. The desserts after dinner. You try to resist Peanut Butter Pie, Creme Brulee or Creme Brulee Cheesecake. The food alone was worth the cost. I never even knew I liked sweet potatoes until I had a vegetable strudel over sweet potatoes. I’m going to move on because now all I’ve done is make myself hungry.
At every turn you met another character. Twice we came across Mickey strolling the ship. Not at a designated meet and greet but just wandering. He gladly posed for pictures, played it up for the kids and spent quite a lot of time with us. Even the meet and greets (and those at Disney World) the characters didn’t rush us to say a quick hi and move on. We chatted with Wendy from Peter Pan for quite awhile at the park and Goofy was hysterical. They really take the time to make the kids feel special.
My Top Tips for Disney would be:
Do the Disney Cruise. It is so worth the money and the littlest touches from the animal our room hostess left for us on our bed each night, from the friendliness of all the staff, the cleanliness of the ship and the variety of activities (We saw Toy Story the Musical on stage. On a ship. Very Cool.) Get the deluxe stateroom with verandah, it is worth the extra money to stand on your very own little balcony and watch the world sail by.
At Disney World stay on site. Even on site it’s a twenty minute trek by resort bus to the actual park. I hadn’t expected that only having been to Disneyland in California (years ago). So staying at an offsite hotel would have made the journey to the park very long. Plus by staying at the resort you could easily hop the inter-Disney busses to wherever you want to go. Downtown Disney (food and shops) was great. And the best part? You want dinner or that awesome souvenir but didn’t bring your wallet? No problem you can use your Disney Resort room card. It acts like a credit card (pretty much like the Key to the World card the ship gives you). For the most part it was a cashless trip and that was very nice.
Buy the Disney Meal plan at Disney World. It sounds stupid but it was again a nice cashless option and you get a ton of food! We used our two quick service meals for breakfast and lunch (and ate elsewhere for dinners). Plus two snacks a day per person. Snacks can be a bottled water or soda. A whole piece of fruit, soft pretzel or a small box of popcorn or an ice cream bar. At meals you get two drinks. You like orange juice and coffee for breakfast? No problem it’s included. What we found was even though we asked for small drinks at the park and such we got LARGE ones with using our meal plan. They just gave us them at no charge. Of course no one in their right mind is going to drink that much soda so I did feel it was a waste but it happened the entire time we were there. We kept getting extra for having the meal plan. For lunch we even had dessert included. It was too much food for me most days. Kids under three aren’t included but can eat off a parents plate and it worked out fine for us.
Pack more than two sweatshirts/pants for the kids. Florida in February was not nearly as warm as I figured on! Poor Chick wore the same ballerina sweatshirt (and embarrassingly even with a bit o’ spaghetti sauce on the sleeve) for three days. In a row.
Enjoy it. Stand in the lines, use fast pass (it is so your friend!) The best time (since we were up at the crack of dawn anyway with the time difference) was straight when the park opened. Hardly anyone was in the lines (comparatively anyway to later in the day) and we were able to walk straight onto things that normally have long lines.
Make sure to visit Buzz Lightyear (Boo’s favorite), Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor, Small World (come on you know you LOVE Small World!), Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Railroad and Jungle Cruise. You can’t go wrong with any of them.
It was such a good trip Boo has said he’s going to plan our next cruise as a surprise for us. Since we planned this last June and didn’t tell the kids until Christmas we were going. I’m thinking he’s going to need a much bigger piggy bank and an allowance to pull that one off but it is awfully cute anyway.
*just added a plethora of pictures can be found here Disney
Later in the week my favorite part of the trip – meeting Janalee and Miss Maya. It’s the story of two adoptive families, one in California and one in Germany, with two little girls who used to be crib mates in an orphanage in Taiwan and one huge chunk of fate that landed them on the same Disney Cruise.
Also, I’m curious, I see a lot of bloggers leave comments in their own comment box in reply to people who comment (did anyone even follow that?) Do you do this? I did in my last post but I never know if people come back and read the comments I left for them or not.