I hope everyone had a great family day long weekend and managed to get in some awesome quality family time.
I’ve been meaning to share some images and thoughts from a recent Disney Cruise vacation we took the kids on, but time has slipped away and I am just getting around to it now. I have had so many friends and clients asking me about our trip so I figured that Family Day = personal share….I guess. This will have to be a multi-part blog post. There is just way too much to post all at once, but I promise to try and get all the posts up fairly close together.
Last year we decided to take the kids on a Disney Cruise. We have always heard such amazing things about it and we thought it might be a good vacation for us as they really cater to families with kids of all ages (ALL AGES). When we started talking about it the biggest decision was when we would go. For me, that is a “no brainer”. In the middle of the freezing cold winter, duh!
First thing I did was contact Kimberly Hill over at Mouse Tails Travel (their facebook page) to get some info. I know nothing about booking a cruise and wanted to make sure we did it all right. Kim immediately got our info and went to work looking for the best cruise and dates for us. She recommended the Disney Fantasy, and suggested we take 2 Ocean View Veranda rooms, side by side. That would give us lots of room. With 3 kids, ages 4,11, and 13 lots of space is pretty necessary. These rooms were incredible and perfect! We decided on early January and thought this would make a pretty amazing Christmas gift for the kids.
Several months went by and it was SO hard to keep the secret. We were dying to tell the kids. For Christmas we got them each a new suitcase and filled them with summer things. New swimsuits, flip flops, clothes, and fun stuff for the long journey down to Florida. We timed out Christmas morning just right. Shortly after they opened their new suitcases our “Disney Character Call” came in. Mickey Mouse, on the phone with a special invitation for the kids to join him on this magical vacation. It was an exciting morning to say the least.
We left on January 4th (Friday) and traveled down to Port Canaveral Florida. On Friday night we stayed at The Four Points Sheraton in Cocoa Beach. This hotel was perfect. The restaurant served a huge variety of food (and the Pina Colada was AH-MAZING!!). Right in the restaurant there was a huge shark tank and the kids had a blast watching the fish through dinner. A big perk was the serf shop right in the hotel. We picked up a bunch of beach stuff before heading out. Another great thing about this hotel is that it’s only a block and a half to the beach. Saturday morning we got up and headed out to the beach for a nice long walk. The sunshine (after months of cold), put the kids in the best mood.
Getting through security and checking in at the ship was a little bit of a wait, but not as long as we were prepared for. All the staff were incredibly helpful and friendly (as we soon learned ALL Disney staff are). Making our way through the giant Mickey ears from the dock onto the ship was quite exciting for the kids. As soon as you step onto the ship your family is announced and the staff greeting you, all clap. The kids thought that was pretty cool.
We spent the next couple hours touring around and getting familiar with where our rooms were in relation to everything else. Kimberly did a fabulous job of choosing our cabins. We were on the 9th Deck, right near the main elevators. It was only 2 decks up to the pool and restaurant where we ate breakfast and lunch everyday. We found the kids club (ages 3-11), the “Edge Club” (ages 11-14), the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique, (where Etain was booked in for a princess experience – more on this later), the Dining Room we were scheduled for that night (The Royal Court). We also managed to book Scott and I into a tequila tasting and margarita making class for a couple days later. We then made our way up to Deck 11 to take part in the Sailing Away departure party. That was a really good time, I don’t know if I have ever seen all my kids as excited as they were then when the music started playing and various characters came out and danced. I still can’t help smiling when I think about the kids dancing around, even the older two let go of their pre-teen and teen “coolness” and let loose.
So for now, a few images from the trip down to Florida.
Thank goodness for modern technology on long trips!
And a few from our first sight of the ship and our first hours on the ship. We happened upon Princess Aurora while we were walking around the ship and Etain got to meet her. I feel my heart ready to burst right now just remembering it. Aurora bent down to greet Etain and Etain just flung her arms around Auroras neck and held on for dear life. They stayed like that for a good 5 minutes, and just chatted quietly. One of the staff standing next to me stopped to watch and declared “my heart just grew bigger”.
That drink made it to the collage because it was a chocolate martini and pretty much one of the BEST drinks I have ever had. Thanks to Andre (from Jamaica) for always remembering us and remembering what we liked! He also made a killer chai latte!
All iPhone photos by the way. I wanted to enjoy the holiday as a mom, not a photographer and left the pro camera at home.
More tomorrow….or the next day. ;)
Read part two (port adventures and kids clubs) HERE.