When we first started planning our Disney cruise last summer, we had no idea what to expect. We had never been on any cruise, let alone a Disney cruise. To be honest, my main motivation of going on a cruise was to say that I’d done it. I thought that once we got home, my curiosity would be filled and I wouldn’t need to go on another. One and done, right?
Boy was I wrong. From the very first day on the Disney Wonder, we were all sold. Although D and I had to break out the sea bands the first night because of rough seas, we all had an amazing time. Fortunately, we didn’t have any problems with seasickness after the first night.
Now that we’re back, we realize that we are not one and done. Our eyes are opened to the world of Disney cruises. It is only a matter of time before we are embarking on our next one.
More detailed posts about our cruise are coming soon but for now, here is my photo recap of our Disney cruise vacation.
We arrived at Port Canaveral, Florida on Sunday, February 5th. The moment we saw the Disney Wonder, our anticipation started building and we couldn’t wait to get on the ship and hit the open seas.
Ladybug spent a lot of time exactly like this- staring out at the water through the glass of Deck 9. She loved sleeping on the “big ship” and was mesmerized by seeing water as far as the eyes could see. She actually cried the last night when we told her we would have to leave the ship in the morning. I didn’t tell her that I wanted to cry, too.
One of my favorite parts of the cruise was seeing the sunsets and sunrises on the water. We were assigned to the first dinner seating which was usually right at sunset. I’m glad I snapped this picture the first night during the only sunset we were able to see.
The Disney Wonder is a gorgeous ship. I was excited to be on the Wonder since it has recently gone through some much needed renovations to make it more up to par with the rest of the Disney fleet. There were so many little details around the ship, especially in the dining locations. There were three main restaurants, all with a different theme. The picture above is from Animator’s Palate where we ate the first night on ship. There was also Tiana’s Place, which had a very New Orleans feel, and Triton’s, modeled after the film The Little Mermaid.
I have to give a shout out to our stateroom host, I-Gusti. He was so nice and our stateroom was always immaculate. Every night when he turned down our beds, he made sure to leave some special treats and a new “friend” for Ladybug and Buddy to find. We often saw him in the hallway while we were coming a going from our room and he always greeted us with a friendly smile and questions about our day. I regret forgetting to get a picture with him before leaving the ship.
We spent hours on Deck 9 at the pool and sports deck. D taught Ladybug how to play ping pong. She’s no champion but a great time was had by both of them. Ladybug was thrilled there was a pool “her size.” I loved that she could touch the bottom and splash around without me having to hold her the whole time. She loved the little bit of freedom to play with the other kids in the pool.
While researching cruising with babies, I came across a few articles about why taking a baby on a cruise is a bad idea stating that there aren’t any places for them to get down and move. This is so far from the truth- especially on a Disney cruise. Buddy had ample room to crawl. He crawled everywhere- the pool and sports deck, up the staircases, around the inside decks and down the hallway from our stateroom. He was even joined on the floor by some pretty notable characters.
One of the many highlights for D and I was dining at Palo, the adult-only restaurant on Deck 10 of the Wonder. We put Buddy in the nursery for a few hours and bribed Ladybug with cookies and milk before bed to get her to go to the kids club so D and I could spend a few hours enjoying some fine dining and adult conversation.
I am not a morning person but I gladly woke up early to watch the sunrise almost every day. It was so peaceful spending some alone time-while the rest of the family slept- watching the dark sky lighten, ushering in a brand new day.
The weather was absolutely perfect the whole cruise but particularly on Tuesday when we spent all day relaxing on the white sand beach of Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. Before embarking on our cruise, I had every intention of exploring the island. I wanted to do more than just lay on the beach. But I guess this mama needed some relaxation time because once I parked my bottom in a beach chair with my legs in the ocean, I knew I wasn’t going to move. I was perfectly content to get some sun on my pasty white skin while watching the kids splash around in the water with D. And you know what, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.
Ladybug’s favorite part of the cruise was, of course, meeting all the characters. Her confidence has grown leaps and bounds since our last trip to Disney World. No longer is she the timid girl who won’t smile for the pictures. She had no problem running up to them and giving hugs. From Mickey and Minnie to the princesses, she was in heaven the whole cruise. I especially loved the impromptu encounters with characters– like when Stitch came outside on Deck 4 to get some air and we were the only ones there. It was so cool seeing the one on one attention he gave Ladybug and Buddy.
Buddy competed in the diaper dash on our last full day on the Wonder. He almost won his heat but the noise of the crowd proved to be too much for him, apparently. He decided that getting off the mat was more important than his desire to have my iPhone. But it was cute to see the babies in the spotlight. I had heard about the diaper dash from multiple people who had been on Disney cruises. But I had no idea how big of an event it was. A packed atrium was there to watch the event. The upper decks were also full of people cheering on the ship’s littlest cruisers.
I was really looking forward to the food. Not only had I heard good things about it, the idea that I wouldn’t have to cook anything for four days sounded wonderful. And it was! Don’t get me wrong, I like to cook. But I loved not having to figure out what to make, cook it and then have to clean up afterwards. I had a difficult time coming back home and realizing that if I wanted something, I had to make it.
Our servers were amazing and really went above and beyond to make our dining experience magical. Sheldon and Oscar were so friendly and great with the kids. Buddy was smitten with Sheldon the very first day and they were buds for the rest of the cruise. Even Ladybug warmed up to them enough to give Oscar a hug on our last morning on the boat. I love how Disney’s rotational dining allows the servers and guests to really get to know one another. We came to dinner every night with our drink of choice already on the table waiting for us. Buddy’s spot was ready with a high chair in place and Ladybug had crayons and paper out so she would be entertained before her food came. Major props to Oscar and Sheldon. I sincerely hope that our paths cross again in the future.
All good things must come to an end and on our final night, I attended the farewell ceremony in the atrium. The characters that joined us on our voyage came out one more time for last minute pictures and autographs. At the end, each one said goodnight. Last of all came Mickey, in true Disney fashion. And just like that, it was time to pack up our things for our departure the next morning.
Our first Disney cruise was pure magic. We are completely sold on sailing with Disney Cruise Line and can’t wait for our next one.
Have you been on a Disney cruise?
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