Extend Your Weekend with a Disney Cruise
Shaking up our usual routine with a long weekend getaway on a Disney Cruise was so easy.
Maximizing our vacation experiences has become more important to our family as our kids have grown and we discovered the Disney Cruise travel offers a bit of everything in one trip!
We flew from Philly to Orlando on a Thursday, staying overnight in a local hotel. Friday we boarded the ship at Port Canaveral — our first trip we squeezed in a visit to Kennedy Space Center in the morning — we set sail in the evening and arrived at Nassau in the morning. The Disney staff arranged our excursion in the Bahamas, you can go on a Glass Bottom Boat tour (good for rainy, cooler days like we had in January), spend the day enjoying the waterpark and beaches at Atlantis, go on a snorkeling adventure, and more. Back on board for another night of sailing to Disney’s Private Island, Castaway Cay. This is my favorite part of the trip — we rode bikes, snorkeled, and soaked up a day on the beach. The kids made some friends and we had the BEST time.
Tip: I highly recommend the Castaway Cay package with bikes, floats, rafts and snorkel/flippers gear.
Like any Disney experience, if you take my advice and book a Disney Cruise you can expect a focus on exceptional, personal service from the friendly and enthusiastic staff throughout your trip.
Both times we sailed with the Disney Dream, we chose a mid-ship room on an upper floor with a balcony. The sliding glass door to ocean views and breezes made our room a very comfortable space to unwind together. Bunk and murphy beds for the kids made the single room comfortable for our family of four and the sofa bed would have accommodated more for larger families too.
Tip: We looked on the ship deck plans when we booked our room and tried to be relatively close to the Cabanas buffet for easy breakfast and lunch and quick access to the main deck (the kids wanted to spend as much time in the pool as possible).
Food and Drink
For breakfast and lunch, we enjoyed the variety to pick and choose bites from the buffet at Cabanas (and we took advantage of the unlimited soft serve ice cream.) It was easy to nibble whenever we felt like it with the quick service chicken tenders and fries near the pool as well.
For dinner, the ship has three themed restaurants and your itinerary rotates you through each of them throughout the trip. Your waiter stays with you for full trip though, getting to know your family’s preferences and taking care to ensure the kids are as happy as the adults with their selections. Our waiter delighted the kids with magic tricks throughout the weekend. If you prefer to have a date night meal, your kids can even enjoy meals at the kids’ club.
Tip: If you order one of those fancy cocktails on the deck, hold onto your glass for discounted refills throughout your trip!
Each day offers a full itinerary of things to do for all ages from character meet and greets to 90’s trivia, movie theater shows, and more. And then we found out about kids’ clubs. Before our first cruise with the kids, we didn’t know about this magical part of our trip. The second time, it was the first place they couldn’t wait to check in. We scooted over to the Oceanear Lab, they scanned their wristbands to check in, we provided the staff with our ship phone numbers (a clever walkie talkie they arm you with), and INSTANT DATE! We didn’t expect this to be included and almost didn’t know what to do with ourselves! The best part of this arrangement for me was the secure freedom it gave my kids. When they had enough they just called me and we came back to pick them up, easy peasy!
Family vacations can be overwhelming and exhausting, but we discovered the long weekend Disney Cruise to the Bahamas was a great way to relax with our kids.