Y’all, we got back last week from our first ever Disney Cruise and it was AMAZING!! We had the best time and the best part.. NO ONE got sea sick! Yay!! We had been waiting for this cruise since we booked it last Christmas. Talk about anticipation! We did all the research, we got the necessary documents and we made lists for things to pack. We are HUGE Disney fans and we visit the parks quite frequently especially during the holidays but this was going to be the first cruise for us as a family and to make it extra special it was a Disney Cruise.
The morning of our departure we got up early and took JJ to the pet resort for boarding and headed to the island so we could have a quick breakfast before we boarded the ship. Ok, before I go any further, have you ever heard the saying, “bad things happen in 3’s”? Remember this. So as we are driving to the island to have breakfast I was mentally going over everything we packed the night before and what we packed that morning before leaving the house. Mine and Mike’s gear – check! Kids gear – check! Travel Documents – check! Toiletries – check…wait!! I forgot to pack my toothbrush! So, we make a stop so I can purchase a toothbrush. As much as I love Disney, I really didn’t want to pay $10 for a toothbrush. First thing to go wrong, no toothbrush. Ok, so if this was the only thing to go wrong then we were golden.
We get to the restaurant for breakfast and Bella is crying. Why??? She was excited about the trip the day before now she is crying and saying she doesn’t want to go! She’s scared about the ship. She didn’t want to get on because she thought the ship was going to sink. Really?!? She was so anxious about the trip that she was constantly going to the bathroom. At one point I went with her to the bathroom and she said she felt sick. The girl was so scared she was upsetting herself. I finally had to be stern with her. The ship was fine, nothing was going to go wrong and she WAS getting on the ship! We went back to the table and I gave her a Dramamine pill to calm her stomach and had her eat some of her food.
What was Bubba doing during all of this? Singing and dancing in his seat! He was so excited about going to spend the next few days with Mickey and he was excited to see Ariel! He kept telling Bella that they were going to have fun. Well, at least he was excited about the trip!
After breakfast we made our way to the parking area and unloaded all of our luggage and made our way to the terminal. We dropped off our luggage and then headed to the security area to check in. We checked in and made our way to the youth activities desk to get the kids checked in for the on board kids club. As we are in line we see Captain Mickey is taking pictures with those standing in line. Remember how bad things happen in 3’s? It is right then and there that we realize that we don’t have our camera! Where was it? Still in our car at the parking lot! Yeah, not a good morning. We made our way through the line and got the kids squared away and I made my way back to the car to get the camera. Luckily we were only parked a block away from the terminal so I just hopped back on the shuttle bus and went to the van and got the camera. I double checked the van just to be sure that we weren’t forgetting anything else. NOPE.. nothing else was left behind.
I made it back to the terminal in time to make our boarding group. So we happily made our way onto the Disney ship and it was amazing! As you walk on board there are crew members standing there to greet you and they ask for your family name and then they announce you as you board. The ship was decked out in Christmas decorations and it was quite beautiful! The first thing we did was make our way to Guest Services to sign up for private meet & greet’s with Ana, Elsa & Olaf as well as Princess meet & greet, Gingerbread House making class for the family and finally I signed Mike and myself up for a Mixology class. If you ever get to take a cruise, I would highly recommend going to guest services as soon as you get on the ship. This way you can find out about the “ticketed” meet & greets and get your ticket because they go fast. You cannot just line up for those events they will not allow you in. I would also HIGHLY recommend doing a Mixology class for the adults! So much fun, you get to make the drinks and the Mixologist on board will give you the recipes to the drinks you like!
Since 0ur stateroom wasn’t going to be ready until 1:30 we made our way up to the top deck and looked around. As soon as you board there are restaurants open and ready to serve you. The pools are open and ready for you to take a dip. The movie theaters are open and showing the latest Disney releases. We decided to explore the ship a bit and grab a snack. As we were exploring we found a basketball court and a soccer area. This was great for Bella. She even had a chance to play some one-on-one soccer with another child before we left to go grab a snack.
The ship is huge and there is so much to see and do on board. The kids were a bit overwhelmed by the size of the ship but it also helped to ease Bella’s fear of the ship sinking to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. I think the ice cream they had also helped a bit too.
We were finally able to make our way to our room and get settled in. Like magic, our luggage was already outside our stateroom waiting for us! The stateroom was a good size for our family of 4. There was plenty of storage space and the double bathroom area was great. In one small room there is a bath tub and sink and in the other is the toilet and another sink. There isn’t much space in either room but you really aren’t in there to hang out. We decided to start unpacking and getting settled in our home away from home.
About a month ago we signed up to be part of a gift exchange on board know as a “Fish Extender” group. A Fish Extender is a small group of pockets that hang outside your stateroom and you hang it over the “fish hook” that is there for your stateroom host to leave messages for your family. I got our Fish Extender from an Etsy Shop called Stitches N’ Bows. The shop owner, Sharon, was so sweet!! Since we joined our group last minute that meant that we needed a Fish Extender ASAP and she was able to get it to me within a week! If you ever need one, I HIGHLY recommend her shop!
There were 12 families in our Fish Extender group including us so I made gifts for the each cabin (Adult gifts) as well as each child in our group (I’ll have a blog post about the gifts soon). While we waited for the safety drill and the Sail Away party I decided to start putting together the gifts so we could deliver them to the different families later that evening. I made some really cute gifts for the adults & children and Bella was going to help me put them all together. I opened the suitcase with all the adult gifts and started putting together the bags with all the goodies. I had some of the kid gifts in my carry-on bag so I asked Bella to get those out and start putting all the kid gifts in the gift bags as well.
Bad things happen in 3’s remember! As we were getting the bags ready I realized that we didn’t have the suitcase filled with the kids gifts! The night before Mike had moved the suitcase and didn’t remember that the gifts were in there! The suitcase didn’t have a tag so he assumed we weren’t going to use it. So all the gifts I had made for the kids and as well as other little things were at home in our daughter’s closet. I immediately posted a message on our Facebook group and let everyone know that I didn’t have all of the children’s gifts. I asked them to send me their mailing address and I would mail them the gifts when we returned. One lady left a really snarky comment about the situation and guess what…she was one of 3 families that we did not receive gifts from although we gave gifts to everyone on our group list. Oh well, nothing can be done about that. So, three bad things happened all on the first day. None of them were earth shattering, well, the camera would have been had I not been able to retrieve it from the car.
We did the safety drill and the deck party was great! Mickey and the Gang joined in the celebration and kicked off the cruise as only Disney can…with a BANG!! Streamers were flying everywhere! When the sail away party was over we made our way back to the cabin and Mike & Bella delivered half of our gifts while I got the others ready and then got the Bubba changed and ready for the first show of the night.
Since we had chosen the second dinner seating which started at 8:15 p.m. we went to see the first shows of the night. The first show was Toy Story: The Musical. It was cute but the ship was definitely bouncing around and you could feel it in the theater. After the show we went to watch the tree lighting ceremony and get ready for our dinner service. The tree lighting ceremony was wonderful. They had crew members reading Christmas stories and then the big introduction of Mickey & Minnie to light the tree. After the tree lighting we made our way down to our first restaurant in our dining rotation, Tritons. When we first walked in we were shown to our table and we noticed that they were sitting us at this long table for 8. Uh, was there a mistake in our seating assignments? We were a party of 4. Nope. We were going to be sitting with another family for our entire cruise.
I was a bit hesitant. What if the other couple didn’t like us? What if we didn’t have anything in common? What if we sat at dinner in total silence?!? I am an extraverted person but that’s usually after you get to know me and I am comfortable with you. Anyway, once the other couple arrived I was a bit more comfortable. They were really nice people (fellow Texans of course) and their girls were totally cute!! They had two daughters and they were the exact same ages as Bella & Bubba! The kids were kind of quite and shy at first but by the end of dinner they were the best of friends. They even went to the Oceaneers club together to play after dinner.
While the kids were having fun at the Oceaneers club, the hubby and I decided to turn in our 22 oz. beer mugs for a beer token. We found out before our trip that we could purchase these mugs and they worked great! You get a 22 oz. beer for the price of a 16 oz. beer. You can either keep the mugs with you and take them with you every time you go to a lounge on board or you could turn them in on your first visit to a lounge and get a token in return. We chose the latter. I did not want to carry those mugs around all day or have to run back to our cabin every time we wanted a beer. We spent our first evening at the sports bar and watched a bit of football and toasted to our first cruise!
When we finished our drinks, we collected the kids and made our way back to our stateroom. We noticed the turndown service, the towel animals on the beds as well as special gifts from Santa Mickey! There was even a announcement that the crew was making a special landing zone area for Santa to make his Christmas deliveries! The kids were exhausted from the long day and it didn’t take them or us for that matter to knock out for the night!
Day 1 of our Disney Cruise was in the books and it was great! Want to know more about the cruise? Come back next week for another post about our Day 2, Christmas Day!