Hey Y’all! I am back from a short but very fun Disney Cruise. It was my family’s first time cruising with Disney so we were all pretty excited. We decided to drive down the day of (which made for a very early morning) since Port Canaveral is only about 8 hours from where we live. In doing some research, I read that parking at the actual Port is pretty costly. For our 3 night cruise it would have been around $60.00 and since we are budget travelers, I knew I could find something better. After doing some research, we decided to park 2 miles away at Park n Cruise. I’m sharing the link with you all because it was a fantastic experience. (BTW this is not a sponsored post, I just really like this company.) The rates are less expensive and if you pay online ahead of time, you can get an even better deal. We ended up paying $40.00 to park and ride the shuttle to and from the ship. This company has perfected the way they park you and get you to the ship in no time. It was the best parking experience I’ve ever had!
Getting on the boat was also pretty seamless. I had printed out all of the necessary documents and filled them out ahead of time so all we had to do was get our bags scanned and check in to show our identification and get our room key cards. The terminal area was really great and even had character meet and greets. We got in line to board the ship and was asked our family name. Right before you board the ship, an announcement is made welcoming each family with a round of applause. It was a cute touch that really put a smile on all of our faces.
Once we were on the ship, my first two priorities were changing our dining time to the early seating if possible and seeing if there were any ticketed meet and greets going on during the cruise. Our dining time was switched without a problem and I am so happy we did. Because we booked our cruise so last minute we were given the late dinner seating which is at 8:15p.m. In my opinion that is just too late to eat. I’d rather have dinner and then see the shows and walk around the ship burning off the meal. It was no trouble to make the switch, we were given a different dining ticket to present at the restaurant and we were all set. After that, we waiting in a long but fast moving line for activities. During our cruise, there were 2 ticketed meet and greets – one for the princesses which included Cinderella, Belle, Snow White and Rapunzel and the other for Elsa and Anna. I selected the next day for 10 am and 10:15 am, that way we’d have plenty of time to get off the ship at Nassau.
Our room wasn’t going to ready until around 1:30, so we decided to head to Cabanas (the buffet on the ship) for some lunch. The downside to this is we still had to carry our things with us which was kind of a hassle. Of course, I could have packed less in our carryons but I have a weird phobia about that. On top of that, the buffet area was super crowded making it hard to find seating. But, keeping in mind that no one’s room was ready yet and it was lunch time – I think it was pretty reasonable. The lunch buffet has lots of options and was kept clean despite there being lots of people eating from it. Option included a salad bar, wraps and sandwiches, different cuts of meat, mac and cheese, chicken fingers, french fries, rolls, fresh fruit, peel and eat shrimp, crab claws, pizza and many other items. I had a salad and a slice of pizza. Both were very tasty and much better than any other cruise I’d ever been on. My daughter quickly found the soft serve ice cream and loved the strawberry banana flavor option!
After lunch, our room was ready and we were finally able to drop our stuff off. We booked a veranda room and I was really impressed with it. The room is spacious with a queen size bed, seating area, desk with drawers and cabinets, a mini refrigerator. The bathroom area I loved. It was a split bathroom with a sink and a tub in one room and the other room had the toilet and a sink. It was perfect for getting multiple people ready in the morning. The balcony area was really spacious too. Enough room for 2 chairs a small table and standing room. This was by far the nicest cruise ship room I’ve ever stayed in.
Even though it was cold and very windy, I had promised my daughter that we could ride the AquaDuck when we got on the ship and I couldn’t disappoint her. So after we changed we headed up to the water slide area. Cold and Windy is a perfect time to ride the AquaDuck because during our cruise it did have long wait times. The AquaDuck is a water coaster on the Disney Dream. You need to be at least 42 inches tall to ride it and if you are under 54 inches kids must ride it with an adult. Also, during busier times single riders may not be allowed. This was the case when we first boarded the ship and the line was quite long. After a few trips down the AquaDuck, Addie also wanted to ride the other water slide on the ship. It was fun and the line moved much quicker. As you can see by the pictures, she was shocked by how cold the water was.
Dinner is rotational and we ate a different restaurants on the ship each night. Our first night we ate in the Enchanted Garden. This restaurant was my very favorite. It was just beautiful to look at. While I don’t love any cruise food, no matter what cruise line it is, I did enjoy my meal and didn’t have any complaints. I did love being able to order Mickey ice cream bars for dessert – win! Our server, Shawn, was from Barbados and I enjoyed getting to know him during the cruise. I love to talk to people from different parts of the world and cruising is a perfect opportunity for that. Since we switched to the early seating for dinner, we had sometime to wonder around before the nightly show. I highly recommend catching the show each night. They are an hour long but interactive enough to keep all of our attention. The productions were entertaining and well done, but I’d expect nothing less from Disney. Plus, you can purchase popcorn and other treats and it really feels like a night at the theater. It was one of our family’s favorite things.
One thing I think a Disney Cruise is perfect for is character interaction. Unlike at Walt Disney World, the characters and their handlers are much more laid back. We stumbled upon Pluto after the show and he was posing for pictures, high five-ing and playing with the kids with no particular line. Goofy even climbed to the top of the water slide while we were up there and gave everyone high fives before they took the plunge. It’s so fun to turn a corner and see a favorite character having as much fun cruising as you are.
This is where our first day ended. We wanted to catch a showing of Zootopia in the movie theater on board but after waking up at 2:30am. we were just too tired. Our first day was a lot of fun and gave us a good taste of what was yet to come.
Keep checking back for Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4 of our Disney Cruise vacation!