Later this year we will be jetting off halfway around the world on our super dooper Disney Extravaganza! Yippee!! One of the parts we are most looking forward to is our Disney Cruise in the Caribbean. I’m imagining watching the sun set while sipping a cocktail, laughing with the kids in the water and soaking up that gorgeous tropical warm weather. Basically Queensland with an American accent.
This crazy idea started last year when we were in Fiji. We loved it there, it was a perfect, relaxing holiday for the four years that we went while the kids were little. But now they are 7 and 5, holidaying with them is getting a lot easier and so we wondered whether it was time to stretch our wings.
A relaxing resort-style holiday
The reasons we kept going back to Fiji were –
- warm weather in the middle of the year when we wanted to go away,
- lots of opportunities for water play since that is what the kids love best, and
- great kids clubs to allow hubster and I to relax and reconnect on our own.
We still want all of these things, but we would like to explore a new part of the world.
I think a cruise is perfect for us! We can still have a relaxing resort-style holiday, but the resort will move around so that we don’t have to! But which cruise?
The best cruise line in the world
Disney Cruise Line has been voted the best cruise line in the world (large ship category) for the last 2 years in the Conde Nast readers’ choice cruise awards. (Runners up in 2014 were Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess and Cunard.) How convenient for us that the best cruise line in the world is so completely family-friendly!
On Cruise Critic (like Tripadvisor for cruises) 93% of reviewers love it. Here are some recent comments –
“From the moment you step aboard you feel like you are being looked after. Whatever you ask for they go the extra mile to achieve it for you.”
“A spacious room with a super-comfortable queen size bed. The kids loved that the couch turned into bunk beds.”
“Our kids, ages 8 and 10, loved the Oceaneer Lab (one of the kids’ clubs); it was difficult to get them to leave!”
“Character sightings were a huge hit! Must set up meet and greet with the princesses if you have any of your own princesses.”
“The shows were Broadway quality and worth watching! Entertainment was great and kids as well as the adults loved it.”
“We loved it so much we booked another cruise while onboard.”
Friends who have cruised on Disney have also raved about their experiences.
Ok I’m sold on Disney. Where do they cruise?
Disney operates in North America and Europe only. These are massive ships – Disney Fantasy can carry 4,000 passengers – so I assume these are the only locations with sufficient demand to fill them. But what better excuse for an epic journey?
Our kids are now the perfect age for Disney and fly very well, so now is the right time for us to turn our cruising idea into a Disney Extravaganza. We have chosen to go to Florida because the Caribbean is such a beautiful location for cruising. It is home to Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, which is one of the ports-of-call and receives glowing reviews from passengers. And, after crossing the notoriously rough Drake Passage to get to Antarctica (with the associated sea-sickness), I’m aiming to restrict my cruising to calm protected waters as much as possible.
Florida is a theme-park mecca with Legoland, SeaWorld, Universal Studios (incl The Wizarding World of Harry Potter), Islands of Adventure, Magic Kingdom (Disneyworld), Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and many more. It is also the home of the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral.
However, getting there means taking on the longest flight in the world! 16 hours non-stop from Sydney to Dallas Fort Worth (plus the extra few hours from Dallas to Orlando). Eeek!! Not quite what I had in mind when I thought we were ready to go further than the 5 hours to Fiji, but nonetheless it is a challenge we will quite happily take on.
The thing that gets me really excited about cruising with Disney is that it is clearly aimed at families. Kids are more than welcomed. They are completely catered to.
Look at these staterooms! They are all designed for families! No need for interconnecting rooms or having the kids share a double bed. These rooms have a queen-size bed, a sofa that converts to a lower bunk and a pull-down upper bunk. The kids will be in heaven! Bunk beds are their favourite! This is the room type that we have booked, but there are many other sizes and configurations.
Plenty of water play with pools and waterslides suitable for different ages. Big tick!
Kids clubs for all ages from babies to teens. These receive fantastic reviews and are all included in the cruise cost. Yay!The size of the ship means there’s endless food and entertainment options. There are Broadway-style kid-friendly shows like Aladdin, a Pirates in the Caribbean deck party (because you are actually in the Caribbean!), fireworks, outdoor movies, free room service, character meet and greets and the attention-to-detail and beautiful service for which Disney is famous.
The cost of a Disney Cruise is about the same as a Royal Caribbean cruise out of Sydney and includes everything from food and drinks (non-alcoholic) to kids clubs and entertainment.
So there you go. We can’t wait! I think the anticipation is half the fun of a holiday and we are VERY excited!
Website – Disney Cruise Line
* All photos are from the Disney Cruise Line website
* Not sponsored, just excited 🙂
Have you ever done a cruise?
Do you think you would enjoy cruising?