Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Disney Cruising Q&A ~ Part I

Thanks for your questions!  It’s fun to hear them and share from my experience.

I want to begin with a disclaimer that I am posting from my own point of view.  I have experienced 1 cruise in my life and it was a Disney cruise.  Hannah and I are HUGE Disney fans which also influences my thoughts and opinions.  That being said….let’s get on with the questions! 

1.  (From Lisa N)  “I wanted to ask you if you thought the cruise was worth the extra expense as compared to a regular Disney vacation and/or other cruises?”

In one word, ‘YES!’ 

I will say that I agree with you, Disney cruises are pricey!  Some may say they’re not but to the general public and in comparison to a regular WDW vacation or other cruise lines, the cost of a Disney cruise is more.

But, that being said, the extra cost is worth it to me.  Personally I would choose to cruise less often and go with Disney than to pay less and choose a different cruise line.  Hannah is 5.  She loves Disney!  She loves Disney characters and I love the way Disney treats people.   I loved the fact that we could go to any show on the cruise and know that it would be good, clean fun and geared to family entertainment.  I didn’t need to worry about inappropriate jokes or material being presented to my child.  I am very cautious at home about what she watches on TV, etc. so our vacation is just an extension of this. 

The ship was filled with children and adults.  This was huge as it was a family atmosphere and children and families were celebrated!  We say many family reunions onboard ship and it was precious to see so many families sailing together! 

One thing Sharon and I both noticed during our trip was that onboard the ship neither of us heard any swearing.  I’m not saying it wasn’t there, it just wasn’t prevalent and it was a nice treat.  Also, Disney is very restrictive about smoking areas.  They are available for those who need them but away from the general public and with so many children onboard, I appreciate this.

I also love the children’s programs offered.  Hannah went to clubs 4 times (outside of the open house when the 3 of us went together) and she loved it each and every time.  One night she went to Pluto’s pyjama party and had so much fun she didn’t want to leave even though it was after 10pm!   The kids could choose to go in their pj’s and many chose to do this, including Hannah.  when I dropped her off there were over 106 kids at the pyjama party (their magicbands can give stats in an area to cast members at any given moment)  and they were having a blast!  When the clubs are not in open house we can see a bit of what they’re doing from outside but are not allowed to enter nor to take any pictures.  I desperately wanted to as they looked adorable and were having such fun but I respected the rules.  Hannah said Pluto was there for the party and played games with them and more.  I could hear them playing, ‘What Time is it Pluto?’ a version of ‘What Time is it Mr. Wolf?’  Pluto tapped his paw to tell them how many steps to take.  Shrieks of delight could be heard from outside the club and it made me smile!  She also coloured this sweet pillow case.  Another wonderful keepsake of our trip!IMG_3146

One way we found to save money was we chose an inside cabin.  I know that doesn’t suit everyone’s taste but for us we were in our room so little that I could not justify the cost for a room with either a port hole or a veranda.   The virtual port hole also made such a difference as it gave a more open feeling to the room.  If I could afford it I would love an exterior room but as with all our Disney trips, cutting back in small ways = more Disney travel which wins out for us every single time!IMG_2689

As for the cost of Disney Cruise Line vacation vs. a Walt Disney World vacation, that’s a good question.  Many have asked me that since we got home and my answer normally is something like, ‘I like they both the same, they’re just so different from one another that they can’t be compared.’  We can enjoy more days in the park for the same price as a shorter cruise.  For Hannah and I we really like them both so as we’re able, we’ll do both.  If I had to choose only one right now it would be WDW for us.  We tend to visit WDW during ‘off season’ which lowers the price of our room and I always go during a Free Dining offer which makes a big difference in the price of our trip.  At WDW we stay at value resorts and for the amount of time we’re in the room this works perfectly for us.

2.  (from Jenna)  Do you know if there were any make a wish kids on your cruise?

Hi Jenna,  Although I’ve seen many ‘Make a Wish’ kids at WDW, I was not aware of any on our cruise.  What a wonderful wish that would be to receive!! 

I wonder if the length of our cruise and/or distance to medical care makes any difference on the cruises awarded by Make a Wish?  Just thinking out loud. Winking smile

I’ll post this for now and answer more questions in my next post.  Keep them coming!  This is fun and helping me relive the memories one more time!!

9 comments:

  1. I love all the Disney info! Keep it coming! I had friends who went on a Disney Caribbean cruise in February and didn't like it! They said it was loud and chaotic, and there were way too many kids, etc. My question is, can you imagine anyone not liking the cruise? Your experience was so magical! And your pictures look so fun, and not crowded. I love your enthusiasm!

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    1. I'll add this question to an upcoming Q&A.

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  2. That's what I was going to ask! The bit about choosing between WDW & the cruise if you could only choose 1.

    I also had a reply for Circe that asked about someone not liking the cruise. I would say that some people indeed may not like it, if they aren't into the Disney experience. I would think that it would be a lot like WDW which is loud & chaotic, but it is always a happy loud & chaotic! WDW is definitely not a quiet, relaxing vacation. But, it sure is a blast for the kids! I wasn't really "into" WDW before we took my son (5 this month) but now I tear up just thinking of what a special place it is. He's been 4 times now & asks to go back at least weekly! I can't imagine him not liking the cruise! But, I do know people who do not enjoy WDW because of the crowds & noise. I don't think it's because Disney doesn't do things right. I'm thinking it is a lot like someone saying they don't like New York City because it is loud & chaotic. Since you can't change NYC, you just have to change your expectations. I'm also a huge Disney fan & a bit biased! Ha!

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    1. Or choose not to go. Over the years I have become more overwhelmed by large crowds and have just changed what I do and where and that may be the same for people who initially love Disney and then decide other venues are more suited to them.

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  3. Why aren't parents allowed to take photos of their kids during clubs?

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  4. You did a great job answering the questions of everyone and the Disney cruise is something to see at least once. You are right about the free soft drinks on other cruises, there is a cost for them so if this is important your kids could make out better on a Disney cruise as far as soda drinking is concerned. We have sailed on many lines (Disney once when my son was maybe 6? he is 11 now and Disney cruise wont cut it any longer I'm afraid, WDW yes but not the cruise) and the kid clubs run pretty much the same on all (security, 2 way radios, after 10:00 babysitting in the clubs, no pix allowed of the kids in the clubs, only signed up persons can sign them out, the activities etc.), the restaurants are run much the same, you will pay for the extra nice restaurants outside the cruise costs, smoking is same on other lines, shows are family friendly up until 10:00pm and then you only see what you choose to see, outside cabins and balcony's way to go for sure (nothing like sitting on the balcony first thing in the morning drinking that first cup of coffee that room service just delivered watching the sun rise). Our son absolutely loves the cruise experience period so as he has become older we cruise a little more often as you can get great deals and wonderful ships and great itineraries for the whole family. Plus we live in NC and can easily drive to most of the ports on the east coast in 8 hrs or less so it is truly a great way to go and experience many exotic places in one trip! Cruising is a great vacation for all and you only unpack once but wake up in a different place every couple of days!

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  5. Thanks so much for answering my question! After reading about your experince I could already see why it was such a special vacation (even compared to WDW and other cruises) but it was great to read your direct point of view! Can't wait for my son (Who is only 2,5 yrs old) to get a little older and we can try out the Disney Experience for ourselves! Thanks Again.

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    1. Hi Lisa! One thing I thought of while we were on the ship was about traveling with babies on a Disney cruise. As we were on the cruise the one thing I noticed that would not have worked well for our family when Hannah was a baby is that children who are not yet potty trained are not allowed in the pools on the ship, even with swim diapers on. There is a great splash area for these children but in my opinion, it would be hard to spend too much time there without the babies getting cold since it is covered. It's great that it keeps the little ones out of the direct sunlight but the small negative is that the kids appeared to get cool too. Hannah played in there for about 15 minutes (and you know my girl moves quickly!) and even she was cool and asking to go back into the pool.

      If you're a family that likes to swim with your baby, please take this into considering when deciding a good time to go on a Disney cruise.

      I hope you have a great time at Disney when you decide to take your son! I'm sure you will!!

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  6. Love reading your cruise stories :) There was several Make a Wish Kids on our cruise, mainly from Autism on the Seas. I have never been on a Disney Cruise but would love to go, suppose i'll have to have kids first so I have a reason to go :P

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