Last year my family went to Destin, Florida for our vacation. The year before that we went to Disney World (BEST PLACE EVER). This year we went on a Disney Cruise. Next year we’ll go back to Destin. Are you sensing a trend? Disney World, Destin, Disney Cruise, Destin, repeat.
I am so grateful to my parents for taking us all on these adventures together. According to my dad, we’ll continue our annual summer vacations for another 10 ish year, which is when they’ll divide up the Destin Condo between the three kids. Their Disney membership, however, will have expired so Neil and I will buy our own membership for our little family. Aw, sweet.
So yea, back to this year’s vacation on Disney’s brand new ship, the Disney Dream.
The family (Dad, Mom, Brent, Amanda, and Hannah (John is abroad, remember?)) picked Neil and myself up at the lake house (cuz we hadn’t moved yet) that Monday morning and headed to Valdosta, Georgia where we stopped for the night. Tuesday morning we drove on down to Port Canaveral Florida and boarded the ship around 2 pm.
Dad, Mom, myself, and John have been on two Disney cruises on another ship called the Disney Magic. I thought I knew what this cruise would be like, and I guess for the most part I was right but at the same time, the Disney Dream is a totally different ball game. There was a Sailing Away party on one of the decks on boarding day and a huge fireworks party the second to last night of the cruise. Which, by the way, Disney is THE ONLY cruise line allowed to shoot off fireworks. Did you know that? Yea. Disney makes everything better. Anyhoo.
Breakfast and lunch was offered at Cabanas, the biggest, most elaborate buffet I’ve ever seen. You could also eat at any time throughout the day at the grill, which offered pizzas, burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches. And ice cream and soda at any time, all the time (if you’re Neil)! Every night you either go to early dinner (5:45pm) or late dinner (8:15pm). There are three restaurants that you rotate through: Royal Palace, Animator’s Palette, and Enchanted Garden, and you have two servers that follow you to each restaurant every night. Our servers’ names were Marisa and Adrien and they were fabulous to say the least; I actually really miss them! At dinner you chose of one appetizer, one soup or salad, one entree, two sides, and one dessert. And it wasn’t your average, run of the mill cuisine but that didn’t bother me! I love trying new things! And if you don’t like what you ordered, they’ll bring you another dish until you do find something you life! Oh yes, and some type of bread and an unlimited variety of beverages were always available. Every night’s menu was different and absolutely fantastic.
We had late dinner, so at 6:30 pm we went to the show. Each night’s show was different. The first night was a comedy routine by a duo called Alfred and Seymour, the second, third, and fifth night was a Broadway like Disney show and the fourth night was a screening of the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie in Disney 3D. After dinner, Tuesday night we toured the ship, Wednesday night we enjoyed a couples massage (aside: holy moly if you EVER get a chance to get one on a Disney Cruise, freakin DO IT. Best $250 ever spent. Maybe? Definitely.), Thursday night we watched the NBA finals in one of the Adults Only sport’s bar, Friday night was Pirates’ night which included the fireworks show, and Saturday night we saw an Adults Only comedy show at one of the nightclubs. We had planned to go dancing at one of the nightclubs at least once but by the end of the night we were both too tired to do anything other than relax in the Adults Only HOT TUB!
Wednesday were we docked at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. Thursday we were at sea. Friday we were docked at Nassau and Saturday, another day at Castaway Cay. Both days on the private island were wonderful. Neil and I had a lot of time to ourselves, while most of the time spent on the ship was with the family. On the island we rode bikes the entire freakin day (it seemed), laid out and swam at the Adults Only beach, snorkeled for two hours, played basketball (well, Neil did anyhow), and ate free delicious food. The day at sea was nice and relaxing. There was a ton of stuff to do so we set out to do it all! Played mini-golf, Neil did the virtual golf simulator (of course he did!), swam in the Adult Only pool, shopped, and slept in! We didn’t actually get around the riding the Aqua Duck until the last day but we did ride it and we loved it! So much fun!
While on Nassau, we visited several jewelry shops in search of my surprise 4th anniversary present 🙂 and then toured around Atlantis with the family. Atlantis, btw, is WAY overrated. Just sayin. Sure, it looks cool but unless you’re a guest there (which is at least $1,500 a night) you won’t get to see half of it up close. Day passes were $35 a person but we didn’t come early enough to warrant spending that amount. Remember, there was 7 of us. And the only thing a day pass got you was access to view the rest of the resort, not access to DO anything at the resort. We heard the aquarium itself cost $65 a person and it didn’t sound that impressing.
All I have to say is, BEST VACATION EVER. I’m debating, with myself, whether the Disney Cruise was better than Disney World itself. I’ll let you know what I decide. Until then, please enjoy all the pictures. I intended to take more pictures than I did (only 100 something) but in the end, I wanted to ENJOY the cruise more than anything. And I am not sorry about that 🙂