Thursday, 17 May 2012
Back from our Disney cruise!
We're back at Animal Kingdom Villas today after our four-night cruise aboard the Disney Dream. What an amazing first experience on the Disney Cruise Line! I didn't have Internet on the ship, so I can't provide as much detail now as I would have liked. Here are my highlights:
-The ship (Dream) is absolutely gorgeous! Every space is perfectly appointed, every detail well planned out.
-Joining a Fish Extender group was a great idea! A fish extender resembles an organizer you would find in a locker or closet (see photo). It gets its name because it literally extends from a fish hanger outside the stateroom. As a member of a group, you leave small tokens (gifts) for other members in their Fish Extenders and they do the same for you. Claire loved coming back to the stateroom each day and checking to see if there were any new surprises.
-We loved our balcony! It was our first cruise with a balcony and we all enjoyed it. It was nice having a little retreat once the kids went to bed.
-The Atlantis Aquaventure Port Adventure in Nassau was a lot of fun but over-priced. I don't think we would do it again.
-Castaway Cay is a piece of Heaven right here on Earth! Disney thought of everything! It is absolutely gorgeous naturally, but everything Disney added was thoughtful. Having food on the island so we didn't have to return to the ship was great. Cookie's BBQ was delicious and efficient. The bike riding option was a great touch for people who wanted something that didn't involve swimming. If people are really ambitious, they can even partake in a 5km run! The kids loved the Spring A Leak splash zone - and it was completely shaded! A perfect place for little ones to get out of the sun. We loved the character appearances ashore, too. Fun and great photo opportunities. Everything was paved (aside from the sand on the beach), so it was easy to use our strollers.
-Pirate night onboard was a big hit! Claire was looking forward to it all cruise long. Disney did a good job of getting everyone involved. There was a pirate party for the little ones, pirate fireworks later at night for the older kids and then late-night activities for the older set. Dinner, and the servers were pirate themed. They even played pirate songs throughout the ship all evening. Everyone was also given "Mickey's Pirates in the Caribbean" bandanas to wear. There were not as many people dressed in pirate garb as I would have thought, though.
-I loved the rotating restaurant schedule. It was nice eating at a different restaurant each night because they were each unique and beautiful in their own way. My favourite would have to be Enchanted Garden where the night's sky in the restaurant starts at dusk but turns to a starry night by the end of your meal. Max's favourite was definitely Animator's Palate. He was completely obsessed with locating all the fish swimming across the restaurant's walls. He also loved when Crush would speak, too.
-Babies in diapers are not allowed in the pools (public health rules across all cruise line). This is usually a major drag - but not with Disney. They have created a whole splash zone dedicated to little ones called Nemo's Reef. It's also completely shaded. Both kids had a blast there!
-We chose not to put the kids in the It's A Small World Nursery or the Oceaneer's Club, although we have only heard good things about the kids programming.
We went into this cruise not knowing what to expect with the kids. We were totally blown away by how easy Disney made the cruise experience for families. I mean, come on, they even give you Diaper Genies in the staterooms! They think of everything. We even had servers helping us cut up our son's food for him. What else could a parent want, but a place to have fun, feel comfortable, and welcome, with your babies? Thank you Disney!
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