This week I am going to talk about my experience as far a preparing and going on my first cruise. I have never been on a cruise before so when my cousin suggested that we take a family cruise, I was like why not. We didn’t have a cruise line or date in mind at the time but my cousin found that a Disney cruise was happening at the same time as our children’s fall break. So we all decided that we would book the Disney Cruise.
Now when we decided to book this cruise the sticker shock as far as the price was surprising. I have only heard great things about this cruise so I was like okay if we all believe we can afford it lets go for it. I can say that the earlier you book the better. This gives you time to pay for the cruise. We didn’t book our cruise until 10 months beforehand which gave us only 7 months to pay off our cruise balance after the initial 10% deposit since the cruise will have to be paid in full 3 months before the sail date. Also be aware that both you and your children will pretty much pay the same price as far as the cruise as well.
So after we got our cruise booked and paid for, we were able to select what port activities that we would be interested in. We also decided in advance that we would arrive in Orlando two days before the cruise because we didn’t want to take any chances with delayed flights or lost luggage. I highly suggest that you do this. If something did go wrong we had two days to deal with the issues plus spending 2 days in Orlando wasn’t bad at all. I haven’t been to Orlando since I was a little girl and it was nice to see how the city has changed over the years.
The day of the cruise we all took a Lyft from our Orlando hotel near the airport to Port Canaveral. The ride was about 40 minutes which wasn’t too bad. The excitement arriving Port Canaveral and seeing these big cruise ships was pretty awesome. I pre-scheduled our port arrival time for 12:00pm which I would highly suggest you do. The option is available during your cruise online check-in.
We arrived around our check-in time and handed our luggage to the porter. You will get your cruise luggage tags with your cruise booklet about a couple weeks before departure. You have to make sure that you tag your luggage which will ensure that your luggage is delivered to your stateroom. Before you board the ship, I highly suggest you pack a day bag which should include your ID, a change of clothing and a swimwear because it will be around 5pm before your luggage is delivered to your stateroom.
Internet package on the ship was not that great. Disney does offer 50MB for free the first day which that was gone in like 5 minutes. The lowest package was $19.99 in which I used that up in like a day. I decided to go with the pay as you go internet plan and set my budget at $60.00. I mainly used the internet to check my financial accounts and also check in with my mom and my boyfriend while I was away. I waited until we reach our different port stops to use my cell phone to do my social media updates. In the end, I think I ended up spending about $100.00 for internet usage on the ship. I know for our next cruise, I will do more better and just try to disconnect more while we are at sea.
Our first day was pretty mind-blowing. From seeing our family and all other families getting introduced when first walking on the ship, seeing our beautiful stateroom, to actually taking in how large the ship was a lot. Our luggage arrived to our room around 3pm which wasn’t bad at all. I pretty much unpacked and pretty much set up our stateroom like home for the week on the ship.
Video of State Room
Once we spent a little time to learn about the ship, it was time for dinner. The Disney Fantasy has a number of restaurants on the ship and you and your family will eat at different restaurants each night. On our first night, we were introduced to our dinner staff in which you will keep the same dinner staff the whole time on the ship which I thought was pretty cool. My 1st meal was heaven and I posted a couple of pics below.
During the day and afternoons on the ship, there were main eating spots on the ship for breakfast and lunch and for the most part, all of your meals and drinks are included in what you pay for the cruise. Alcoholics beverages and specialty drinks are not included. The ship also had a number of adult-only restaurants in which you were given the option of making reservations during your activity selection about 3 months before the cruise. The adults in our group did choose this option in which the restaurant and food were great as well while the kids did their own thing on the ship.
Days At Sea
Our days at sea was pretty nice. There were so many activities to do around the ship for the kids as well as us adults. My daughter pretty much stayed at the pool all day and I did some ship tours and chilled out at the different adult sections of the ship. I really loved that the ship had movie theaters in them which played Disney/Marvel movies throughout the day so I was able to catch up and re-watch a few movies as well. We also went to a few Disney Show productions that were absolutely awesome. We were not allowed to take any photos but the productions were one of the highlights of the cruise.
Kids clubs on the ship
On the ship, there were a number of kids clubs in which based on your child’s age could attend. Most of the time the clubs would open around 9am and not close down until midnight. For the older kids, their clubs would not close until 2am. My daughter and her cousin went to the clubs pretty much daily for some sort of activity.
Port Stops and Activities
The port stops included in our cruise were Cozumel, Mexico, Georgetown, Grand Cayman, Falmouth, Jamaica and Castaway Cay, Bahamas. I had chosen to do a few activities during a couple of the stops. My daughter and I had a great experience with the activities that I had arranged for us to do so here is a breakdown
Blue Water Sea Trek Helmet Dive and Snorkel – Cozumel, Mexico
I have always wanted to do the Helmet Dive and Snorkel. This particular activity had been on my bucket list for many years. I was so happy that we were able to experience this activity. When we arrived to the facility we pretty much got a basic breakdown on what and what not to do and were introduced to the safety divers that would be accompanying us down to the bottom of the ocean. We pretty much were only in about 30 feet deep of water so we were not out in the middle of the ocean. When I got my helmet on and went down the ladder I was in awe at what I saw. The ocean is so beautiful below and I was able to see first hand with both of my eyes open sea life. What was a plus was that the helmets we had on generated air, so to experience this with my eyes open and being able to breathe at the same time were pretty awesome. I felt pretty safe under the water. The dive team was there with us the whole time to make sure we all felt safe and if we had any issues it was assured that they would get your out of the water pretty fast. Here are a few pics of our experience.
Adventure To The Stingray City Sandbar – Georgetown, Grand Cayman
The next day at our 2nd stop was Georgetown, Grand Cayman and during our stop, we decided to go to Stingray City Sandbar to snorkel and check out some stingrays. When we arrived to the facility we pretty much got on a boat and did about a 30-40 minute ride to Stingray City which is pretty much in the middle of the ocean. The Sandbar is about 3-ft-4ft deep and the water was beautiful. Our tour guides pretty much allowed us to touch the stingrays and we were able to snorkel and pretty much swim with them. This experience was another one on my bucket list.
Adventure Falls and River Tubing – Falmouth, Jamaica
On the next day, we stopped over in Falmouth, Jamaica. Our group chose to do the Adventure Falls and River Tubing. The river tubing was okay. My only dislike was the mosquitos. I also have never really been a fan of being in or on a river. We were basically on tubes which were tied together and we took a trip down the river. After the river tubing, we took a swim at the pool and I did like the waterfall. I pretty much dived off of the waterfall a few times. All in all, it was pretty cool but not my overall favorite activity.
Castaway Cay, Bahamas (Disney Island)
Now our last full day of the cruise was spent at the Disney Castaway Cay. Te his island is so beautiful. I didn’t schedule any extra activities while on the island. My daughter and I pretty much spent the whole day at the beach. For lunch, Disney provided us with a BBQ lunch which was very good. The water was so clear and beautiful and overall we had a great day on the island.
Pirate Night & Halloween Night
While on the ship, there were two nights which was really special on the ship. We were told beforehand that there would be a Pirate and also a Halloween night. I decided that I would buy costumes for Halloween night and just dress pretty nicely for Pirate night. Both nights I can truly say were amazing. The Disney Crew and characters put on a great pirate and firework show. Halloween night was even more amazing. Seeing everyone dressed up in there Halloween costume was a true highlight of our night. Overall we had a lot of fun on both nights.
Day of Departure
On the morning of departure, by the time you wake up the ship has already arrived back to Port Canaveral. I woke up at around 6am that day. The day before departure you are given an option to have your luggage delivered to the terminal or directly to the airport if you booked your flight with an official partner with Disney. You also have an option to just take off your luggage by yourself. I decided to take my own luggage because trying to find my luggage at the terminal I felt would have been a nightmare and I was correct. We left the ship around 9am and heading back to the airport.
Overall with this cruise being me and my daughter’s first cruise ever, I can say I was overly impressed. I will surely look at booking another Disney cruise within the next year or so. I would highly recommend Disney Cruise lines if you have children. Now Disney cruises are pretty pricey so I would advise that you save save save. With me only having to pay for me and my daughter it was pricey on its own so if you do have more than one child, this cruise will be the more memorable one for them. There are not too many cruise lines out there that cater to both children and adults.
Well I know that was a long post but I really hope you enjoyed reading about our fabulous time.