Back in October of 2015 we took our first ever family vacation for my daughters third birthday! We wanted to go somewhere that we trusted to be safe and of good quality, and of course we wanted to go somewhere that would be great for children. The first thought, of course, was Disney World! After considering how small my daughter was and realizing that she wouldn’t be able to get on many rides we decided to look elsewhere (we can’t wait to go to Disney world eventually)! Ultimately we decided to embark on a Disney Cruise Ship – we are so glad we did and cannot wait to go back again! We traveled aboard the “Disney Magic” in mid October. We flew in from Boston and left out of beautiful Miami! Our ship docked in Cozumel, Mexico and at Disney’s Castaway Cay (pronounced key – as we quickly learned!). We were on board a total of five days and I have to say those were five of the best days of my life.
I could go on and on about this Disney cruise and will probably do multiple posts about it! But here is a brief (or maybe not so brief?) breakdown of what the cruise was like:
- Getting to the boat: We booked are own plane tickets from Boston to Miami but were transported from the airport to the ship by Disney (I found that the plane tickets were a lot more affordable when we booked them separately from the cruise line. The people that work for Disney are incredibly easy to find in the busy and huge Miami airport. Once we found them we bought over to where the other cruisers (is that a word?) are waiting. At this point you can already begin to feel the Disney magic! A large coach bus picked us up – put our luggage on board and we headed to the ship! As we drove through Miami the bus driver pointed out landmarks and told a few jokes! The ride is very interactive and you can feel the excitement throughout the bus!
- The boat: ITS HUGE! Maybe I am just an amateur cruiser and I don’t have much to compare the boat to but in my opinion it is absolutely beautiful! Aside from the amazing view (an occasional motion sickness) you quickly forget that you are on a boat in the middle of the ocean and start to feel like you are on a luxury resort! Our room was a deluxe ocean view suite with a veranda (which is a balcony in cruise talk) there was plenty of room and the veranda was very spacious and allowed beautiful views and time for relaxation. We never once felt crammed or overcrowded on the boat – there is plenty of space for everyone to enjoy themselves!
- The food: The food was by far our favorite aspect of the cruise (hey foodies!) We ate at the second seating (late night dinner around 8 pm) and rotated to a different restaurant each night. You always have the same team of servers and sit with the same family at dinner (we LOVED our table mates and wish we could cruise together again). The food is top notch and you can almost get ANYTHING … ANYTHING you ask for. Dinner is not the only place where you can grab food. On the ship there is constant free-flow (ahem .. not free – but INCLUDED) of ice cream and soft drinks. There are sandwiches, chicken tenders (SO GOOD) and many other foods always available. The buffet “cabanas” is heavenly. They’ve got everything you could dream of for breakfast and the lunch spread (hello king crab legs) is beautiful! I can’t forget to mention that there is 24 hour unlimited room service – and all of these things are at no additional cost!
- The fun: I could write over a hundred post on this cruise alone and about 80 of those would be about the activities available. On board – some of the activities include game show like activities, movies, parties, kids clubs, pool activities, live shows, live music … I could go on and on. Off the boat – the activities vary by port. In Mexico, we did a dolphin interaction excursion, looked around Mexico a bit, and then went back on the ship (thanks a lot hurricane Jonas). Castaway Cay was the highlight of our trip! My goodness, what a beautiful island! The sand, the water, and the foliage were just beautiful. We planned to ride jet-skis but the water was a little turbulent so that excursion got canceled! Not to worry – there was plenty more to do! The beach is beautiful and you could spend an entire day there. Before heading to the beach with Zoe, we brought her to the very secure kids club where she built sand castles and played with the other kids, and we decided to venture out on a paddle boat! We had the time of our life!
- The last day: The last day of the cruise was sad – we just did not want to go! While you are on board you have the opportunity to book your next cruise at a 10% discount (YAY discounts!) and because we loved the cruise so much we went ahead and booked a trip for this year! If anyone is trying to decide on a fantastic family vacation – or have been considering DCL – take if from me, its worth every penny!
DISCLAIMER: These are my honest opinions regarding our personal trip on the Disney Cruise Line. Each individuals experience may vary. I am in no way – affiliated with Disney or being paid for this post. I truly do love all things Disney and love this option as an affordable, fun family vacation!