(Continuation of Part I)
Without further adieu….Part 2!
1. What are some of the things that were not included on your cruise and you had to pay extra for? Is the spa included?
Here are some of the extras that have additional charges:
- Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
- Palo – fine dining, adults only restaurant where we celebrated Nana’s retirement
- Remy – fine dining adults only restaurant
- Phone calls to numbers off the ship
- Gratuities ($12/day per person). We chose to add additional funds to these because our servers and stateroom steward were exceptional!!
- Port Adventures/Excursions
- Excursion tips
- Professional Portraits
- Fruit smoothies
- Specialty coffees
- Mixology classes and wine tastings
- Bottled water
- Souvenir shopping
- Tips for room service
- Cabana rental on Castaway Cay
- Hair Braiding
- Spa services
- Nursery services for babies under 3 years of age
- Children’s MagicBands if you choose to take it home
- Virtual Sports Simulators
- Snacks and popcorn sold outside the theatres
- Welcome Aboard/Birthday packages
- Onboard/Castaway Cay wedding ceremonies
- Vow renewals
- Parking/port transportation
- Port Porters
- Deposit for next cruise
One thing Disney does include that I don’t believe any other cruise line does is complimentary soft drinks. There is a soda machine on the 11th deck that I believe is open 24 hours a day that has pop, iced tea, lemonade and more. There is also complimentary coffee and tea at the same location.
I know the list above is extensive but in reality there weren’t many of those that we chose to partake in and most of those that we did we planned for in advance and went prepared. Sharon and I both chose to take cash with us that we applied to our onboard accounts soon after boarding. Rather than having anything charged to our credit cards we were able to pay for everything before leaving the ship.
Aside from gratuities I’ve heard of some people paying as little as $50 in additional charges to others who pay thousands! Yikes!!! You truly can have a very enjoyable cruise without paying for many things that require additional charges. This year Nana and I treated Hannah to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, went to Palo for lunch, purchased a few professional photos and used a porter when we left the ship. We were happy with all of these choices!
Here are the professional portraits I chose to purchase. I have a frame for the first one and will hang it alongside a picture of Hannah with Mickey and the photo mat that was signed by all the characters.
There were many opportunities to have pictures taken by professional photographers and they took beautiful pictures! If you go on a cruise I highly recommend preparing for a family picture as they are beautiful keepsakes of your time together. (The photographers can also be booked for family sessions outside of the times that they are available for all. We saw many families doing this and it was a great way to gather many people into a beautiful photo!)
2. What did you enjoy most about the cruise?
Hands down I would say it was the time we spent together as a family! Hannah, Sharon and I travel really well together and sharing this time together was the best!! There was nothing else to take our time away from each other (eg. cooking, house work, work, etc.) so we focused on each other. Perfect!! Our preference was to eat in dining rooms for the majority of our meals which gave us quiet times together each day when we could talk in a quieter atmosphere, enjoy great food and discuss our upcoming plans.
Aside from that I think it would be the way the cruise allowed us to relax, and at the same time do a lot, all in the time frames that suited us best.
Here is a typical ‘at sea’ day for our family:
- wake up between 7 and 8 and prepare for the day
- breakfast in the dining room
- character greetings or clubs for Hannah. Sharon would often go for walk on the 4th floor walk/run track at this time.
- if Hannah chose not to go to clubs we would either play Midship Detective or go for a swim
- lunch in a dining room
- most afternoons we spent at the pool although a couple of afternoons went to a cooking display or galley tour
- photos and/or character greetings
- live show in the theatre
- AquaDuck and swim in the Mickey pool
- crash sometime between 11 and 12pm, excited to start again the next day!
3. How does the dinning with another family work? I never heard of this.
Dining with another family is optional and quite common on cruises. You can request a table on your own if you wish and Disney will do their best to fulfill your request. We chose to dine with other people and it worked out wonderfully for us! It was great to meet Tonya and her family and we continue to keep in touch.