Once we arrived on the boat, we checked the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app I had downloaded ahead of time to find where food was. We were starving.
When we arrived on the ship, they asked our family name and henceforth announced our entry into the ship. It was adorable. Gabby clapped for each family announced the entire afternoon. Where was the food?
Let me take an aside to remind people like my sweet hubby TO DOWNLOAD THE APP BEFORE YOU GO ON A DISNEY CRUISE. If you do not, you have to rely on 2002-era style cell phones to carry around in your no-pockets in order to find each other on the tremendous ship. Let’s call this Fail #1. There’s no free WiFi except to run the onboard communication app. Just download it now and save yourself a headache later.
Anyway, we found lunch. There were plenty of tables. The food was buffet style. The kids had chicken fingers and Mac and cheese, I had some grilled chicken and roasted veggies. Delish. Hangry people were made into docile people.
The kids were itching to get into the pool, so we found a bathroom and changed them into the swimsuits we were super prepared to pack in the backpacks ahead of time. We were winning this vacation!
After pooltime, we decided to find our room and change into clothes for dinner. I will tell you right now, our cruise revolves around meals. We were tired and starving the whole time and my narrative is going to reflect that. When we boarded the ship, we received a card saying our room would be ready around 1:30 pm. We were super patient. We didn’t head down until at least 2pm.
We took the first elevator we found to the first floor to find our room. We took a half step out of the elevator and crew members directed us to go back up to 3, head to midship, and go back down to 1. Okay. The elevator doors open on 3. We take a step. No! We are working. Go down to 2, head to midship and go back down to 1. Okay. No! Go up to 4, head to midship and then back down to 1. Needless to say, just go ahead and wait until a little before dinner time and your room will be ready to rock.
To kill time, we headed to the kids club where the Avengers were holding some skill-building workshop for kids. They got to shoot arrows, identify villains, and crawl through lasers. I was a little annoyed I couldn’t go through the course. I would’ve killed it.
Before dinner, we finally headed back to the room. Remember when I said I had like zero time to pack? I opened the girls’ suitcase to change Lilly for dinner and found I had completely forgotten to put her clothes into the suitcase. All of Gabby’s clothes were there. Nothing for Lil. I was literally dry heaving. The ship was in motion. How does one screw up this colossally? The plan was to buy some undies and a nightgown in the ship’s store and make do.
We had dinner in the Animator’s Palate which was super cool. The screens around the outside had sketches of Disney characters that got colored in as the meal progressed. Spoiler alert: Mickey came in during dessert and danced his ass off!
We returned to the room to crash after spending surprisingly not that much money on some clothing for Lil. I did remember to pack some princess dresses and she and Gabby are close in sizes now so THANK GOD I am an extreme overpacker because I saved myself this time.
The next day was Castaway Cay day. We chose on this day to stay aboard the ship and enjoy the pool while everyone else enjoyed the crowded island. We had a great day, but when crew members asked about what we did that day, they all responded with some form of “Aw, you missed out!” comment. Uh, excuse me, but we had a wonderful day where I didn’t feel like stabbing anyone until now!
The show that night was Tangled. Basically, it was the entire movie Tangled onstage. We loved it, the kids loved it. Great show.
Day 3 we docked at the Nassau, Bahamas. We had an excursion planned to visit the aquarium at Atlantis and a day on the beach at the resort. The Dig, the aquarium, is a pretty short walkthrough, but I will warn you in advance, Atlantis is enormous. It seems like the only fun the staff there have is pointing in a vague direction when someone asks where something is. We literally had to ask a dozen people to find the beach.
Once we got to the beach, we were swarmed with locals peddling anything from hair braiding, to sarongs, to coconut drinks every 30 seconds. We met a very nice family from Nova Scotia on the beach who had a little girl a bit younger than Lilly, so they all buried each other in the sand.
The sand on this beach was weird. You can see in the above picture how large the grains of sand are. It was also super sticky. It was at least a week before I stopped seeing sand stuck to my kids’ scalps.
This night, back on the ship, was pirate night. I may do a whole post on pirate night. I thought I was going to think it was cheesy, but it was my favorite thing.
The final day of the cruise was a day at sea. This was my least favorite day because people are just assholes. The ship was so crowded. People just claim a chair on the pool deck, throw their stuff on it and disappear for the rest of the day until you try to sit there. I got into a fight with a family who took 4 chairs in addition to a table and claimed their kids were using the chairs. What kids? Where are they? When they show up, I’ll move. Guess who never magically appeared? Jerks.
We ended up just doing some shopping and we watched the movie Coco. Gabby ugly-cried in the theater, triggering a rash of other people crying. It was cute.
The final morning, they gave us breakfast at an ungodly hour and kicked us off the ship. I missed the cutoff to have our bags picked up the night before, so we had to drag our bags with us to breakfast. I don’t recoimmend doing that.
Overall, it was mostly a good time. We even got to enjoy an adult dinner. The kids went to the kids club a couple of times and we had some kid-free moments. I would definitely do another Disney cruise.
Verdict so far:
Stay tuned for Part 3: Cleanliness and Ship Diseases