Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Agent Carissa's 10 Favorite Things About Disney Cruising

This is where the excitement begins!
Welcome to my “10 favorite things about a Disney Cruise”.

The thing about Top 10 lists is that you have to limit yourself to 10.  The truth is, I could fill a book with everything I love about Disney cruises!  However, I’ll assume that you all have jobs, families, and regular lives to get back to- and limit myself to 10 (maybe 11).

In no particular order, here are some of my favorite parts of sailing on a Disney Cruise:


The ships' horns are music to my ears
10. Horns - These represent the very essence of Disney Cruising and give me chills every time.  From the traditional “When you wish upon a star” on the classic Magic and Wonder, to the larger 7 song repertoire on the Dream and the Fantasy, there’s something so magical about hearing these in person.  On my most recent cruise this summer, I'm pretty sure I set a new Olympic record sprinting up 6 flights of stairs to experience the beautiful sound of all 7 songs being played as we pulled away from Castaway Cay.

9. Disconnecting - You don't quite realize just how powerful this is until you sit down to the first night of dinner, and enjoy a complete meal without a phone in sight!  To me, vacation is a place to focus on your family, without the distractions of the outside world, and I'm very thankful for an excuse to throw my phone into airplane mode until disembarking.  Wifi is available for purchase for those who still need it, but if you have the opportunity, I definitely recommend turning your attention away from technology.  However, don't leave the phone back home!  While onboard, you can take advantage of a great tool called the Navigator app.  It has a chat feature so you can easily find one another on the ship, as well as a complete list of all activities, entertainment, and dining options so you don't miss a thing. 

The Walt Disney Theater on the Disney Dream
8.  Live Stage Shows - There’s never a shortage of entertainment on a Disney cruise!  I particularly enjoy the stage shows, which are Broadway-style and quality.  Each ship has a unique combination of shows, and while some shows overlap between ships, you’ll have to sail on all four to see them all!  I really love "Disney's Believe", found on the Dream and Fantasy.  It features characters and music from many of my favorite Disney movies, with some catchy original songs (which I often find myself humming at home!).

7. Nighttime Movies on Funnel Vision -  Imagine this: a clear night under the stars, sailing along, enjoying a movie on the jumbo Funnel Vision screen with a comfortable breeze in the air.  It’s absolute perfection, and has ruined me on traditional movie theaters!  You’ll find a large selection of movies playing day and night, both on the Funnel Vision screen and in the full size theater onboard.  However, my favorite way to watch is out in the air, and at night (I don't care what's playing- I'll make time to grab a lounge chair and enjoy the moment). 

Pirate night Deck Parties featuring our favorite characters
6. Pirate Night - This is an absolute must-do for my pirate-obsessed son (who currently only answers to the names “Jack Sparrow” or “Captain Hook”).  Pirate night is a spectacular sight to see!  Disney provides plenty of entertainment with deck parties, games, themed dinner menus, dance parties, and the incredible Buccaneer Blast fireworks at sea.  However, I find the guests equally entertaining!  I'm always impressed with how many people really get into the spirit of the pirate life, with incredibly detailed outfits and fun costumes.  It's this enthusiasm that makes Pirate Night one of my favorite things on a Disney cruise. 

Starting a cruise off right!
5. Drink Specials - What is a tropical vacation without delicious island drinks?  I’m a sucker for a mixed fruity drink, and Disney’s do not disappoint!  Each day has a featured special, and you’ll probably want to try them all (I know I do!).  Once you buy the first drink in a souvenir cup, you can keep refilling at a discounted price, making it easy to enjoy your favorite a few times.  I especially enjoy the classic Bahama Mama and Paradise Punch. 

4. Character Interaction - The character experience is on a whole new level when you cruise!  The scheduled meet and greets are frequent yet short, making it easy to find your favorites often, and in a variety of outfits.  However, what I really love are the spontaneous, unexpected encounters with roaming characters.  My absolute favorite memory was on my most recent cruise, when we turned the corner and bumped into Peter Pan.  He sat on the ground with my son, talking to him for several minutes about pirates (remember the obsession I mentioned above?), fully indulging every exciting detail my son had to tell him.  He even declared my son to be "in charge of the ship", a task he doesn't take lightly and STILL talks about, almost daily. 

I would live here if Disney would let me!
3. Castaway Cay - It’s cheating, but I’m claiming ALL of Castaway Cay as one of my favorite things.  The wonderful part about visiting Disney’s private island is having so many things to do; each guest will return to the ship having had a different experience!  You can make your day as adventurous or relaxing as you’d like.  I have to admit, I fall into the "relaxing" category.  I love to split my day between soaking my toes in the water, and dozing off in the perfect hammock under a palm tree.  Aaahhhh!  



A verandah gives you a peaceful spot to relax, day and night 
2. A Room with a View - To be honest, I don’t think there’s a wrong choice when it comes to picking a stateroom.  I’ve taken time to thoroughly explore various decks and try to choose my next room location and I think they’re all pretty fantastic.  That said, I really enjoy having a porthole or verandah to take in the gorgeous sights, both in port and at sea.  My son especially loved being able to claim the large porthole as his special spot on our most recent cruise- it was perfectly sized for him to lay back, relax, and watch the waves go by.  And the fresh air and serenity of an early morning on your private verandah will rejuvenate you!

1. Crew - My other selections are not in any order, but this one definitely deserves to be #1 on the list.  While everything else about a Disney cruise is amazing- the food, d├ęcor, deluxe accomodations, and perfect ‘Disney touches’- the highlight of my trip is always the wonderful service I receive from welcoming and attentive crew.  These people are incredibly passionate about what they do!  You can tell that for them, it's not just a job.  The ship is their home and they graciously welcome you as guests, working hard to ensure you have a magnificent and memorable stay. 

Your ship soon feels like home. 
Bonus: The indescribable feeling of being on a Disney cruise.  If you've been, you know what I'm talking about!  One of my favorite days on a cruise is embarkation day.  As you start to sail away, you can sense the wonderful energy in the air, and know that you're part of something special.  The magic becomes so real, you can almost reach out and grab it!  The excitement never fades and so many perfect moments quickly string together to form wonderful memories of an amazing vacation. 

Carissa

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