I just got home from such a great vacation, and I wanted to share it with you! A lot of people ask me why we like the Disney Cruises better then the parks, or why we decided to even take a cruise, so I decided to answer all that here. This is a pic of Disney’s Private Island, Castaway Cay.
We took our first cruise in 2016, we did a 4 night Bahamian from Port Canaveral, Florida. We walked onto that ship completely blind, we had no idea what to expect or do. I didn’t look into anything, I didn’t book any excursions we literally just went and ended up having an amazing time.
I love to travel, and I guess I love to torture myself because traveling with little ones isn’t easy but it’s possible. Currently, my kids are 5 and a few weeks shy of turning 3. The first time I took them to Disney we went for Ethan’s 3rd birthday and Reid was 8 months old. I know, they don’t remember a minute of that trip, but I do and I have some awesome smiling faces in pictures that I’ll cherish forever. That’s what is important to me, they might not remember the actual experience but they will remember the feelings and that happiness is going to help shape them as adults. I believe that anyway. So, no, I don’t believe there is a perfect age to start traveling with your kids if you can do it, do it and do it as often as possible.
When we went to the parks in 2015 we had a good time, but it was work. When traveling with littles there is no such thing as traveling light. You need snacks, you need diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, formula, bottles, depending on the ages of course, and the list goes on and on. No matter what once you leave your hotel you are going to be a bus, boat or monorail ride away if you have to go back. So, pack that bag and pack all that “just in case” stuff because you don’t want to have to go back. That was a downfall for us for the parks, it made it less enjoyable, more work.
On the cruises, your vacation is an elevator ride away from your home base. I didn’t need to pack all of that extra stuff when we left the room, sure a little poolside bag with sunscreen and the kid essentials but everything else can be left in the room and we ran right back up there if we needed to. Here is a picture of Ethan riding the water slide on the Disney Fantasy.
In the Mickey Pool on the Disney Fantasy
Of course, if you choose to do an excursion you’ll need to pack a day bag but some are only a few hours, when we go to the parks it’s all day/evening… in a park…with lines…and lots of people… I don’t consider any of that a vacation. I am a huge Disney fan and definitely think the parks are worth going to but not for a week straight with little kids. I like sitting on the beach or by a pool with them way better. So, the cruises just work for us. A little secret, staying on the ship and hanging out by the pool on a port day is really nice. Most families are off doing excursions so the boat and pools are not as crowded.
Dancing away at the Sail Away Party
Another reason I love the cruises is the food! I’m such a foodie, and I really enjoy going to dinner each night and having a good meal. Sure, you can get a good meal at some restaurants in the parks or hotels but most likely it’s another bus, boat or monorail ride away. The quick meal stuff in the parks I get sick of really fast. The coolest part about dining on the cruises is that you never have to wait for your table, you get a time either early or late dining and when you get there you sit down right away and you begin getting served! Early dining is around 6pm and late is around 8pm. I like to go early for a few reasons; my kids are not going to wait until 8pm to eat, they are normally hungry around 6. Also, I need time to digest all the food I eat before I go to bed! Ha Ha Seriously though, I over do it every night on the cruises! We actually have another cruise booked for next winter and when we booked it early dining was already taken. We put ourselves on a list to be able to switch but it is not guaranteed. My kids will be a bit older, so I’m a little curious to see how late dining would work for us. I will have to let you know. I do know the kids club comes in and will take your kids to the club to play so the adults can enjoy dinner alone… might not be a bad thing.
I also love how you randomly run into Disney characters. At the parks, you need to use a fast pass or wait in a ridiculously long line to see the character you want. On the cruises, sure there are lines that you will wait in because they schedule the times the characters come out. However, there are many times walking around the ship that you just run into a character and they are more than willing to say cheese for a photo.
Here we were walking back onto the boat and ran into Stitch. No lines, the boys ran right up to him.
We were going to the elevator and just happened to bump into Aladdin.
My son has a little sidekick, his name is Little Puppy.
Some really magical stuff happens when you’re in Disney, especially for your kids. The moral of this post isn’t to say the cruises are better than the parks or that a Disney vacation is the best vacation. Sure, the post is what we prefer to do but my point is, go travel. Take your kids somewhere, it can be a road trip one state away or on a 7 night Disney Cruise, but don’t not go do something because “your kids are too young”. They are only “too young” for so long.
Here are a few more pics from our trip…
This is in Mexico, we spent the day at the beach for our excursion. It was called Beach Break. There was also a mini little water park for the kids. Highly recommend this excursion for families with young kids. Yes, this photo should also be the next Coppertone ad. Haha!
Pirate Night T- Shirts. We also had a Star Wars Day at Sea!
Coconut Juice in the Caymen Islands
I can’t forget to include Mickey…
Last one, of the boys on Star Wars Day at Sea…
On that note, may the force be with you! If you have any questions about the cruises feel free to email me!
I hope you’re off to go plan a family vacation now, no matter where it is!