The beginning of 2011 was full of a couple of exciting times for my family and I. Of course, my baby boy was born a few weeks prior to the end of 2010, which made for a hectic, but lovely way to start the year. But, also, my daughter and I got to experience the awesomeness of a Disney cruise. Needless to say, 2011 has been a busy year so far, with much of it revolving around chasing baby boy and adapting to being a mother of two. This, primarily, is the reason that I am just now sharing with you about our Disney Dream cruise adventure.
In January, just a month after baby boy was born, my daughter and I embarked on what was the first cruise ever for both of us. And what a way to experience our first cruise ever than with a Disney cruise, right? If you’re going to go big, then you might as well go real big, no?
Sadly, baby boy was too young to come aboard, so my husband stayed behind with him in order to let my baby girl and I experience the cruise. We just couldn’t pass up on such an invitation, courtesy of our friends at Disney and Disney Cruise Line. My parents were going to come along with us, but unfortunately, my father fell ill the week before the cruise and doctors advised him not to travel. So, it ended up being a girls-only event!
We had a lot of much-needed mommy-daughter fun on the cruise. We enjoyed fun dining in what baby girl called “very fancy” restaurants, swimming in the pools (don’t forget about the AquaDuck slide!), a stop at Disney’s private island Castaway Cay, and late-night dancing (in the rain…with pirates!). Our cruise experience was the best and allowed my baby girl and I to escape for a little bit – something I know she appreciated since we were only one month into the big change in our family dynamic. She still talks about our cruise and will ask if we can go on a cruise again one day.
As are all things Disney, they pay lots of attention to details and really make your experience a great one. Since I have no other cruise experience to compare to, it’s a little hard for me to know what is standard for a cruise trip and what is exclusive to a Disney cruise. But, I can tell you that there are some major highlights to a Disney cruise, such as character greetings for the kids and themed evening parties. Here are some of the things my girl and I liked the most about our cruise trip on the Disney Dream.
Youth Clubs: Disney’s Oceaneer Club & Oceaneer Lab
When we checked out the youth club areas on the Disney Dream, my girl immediately wanted to stay and play. The Oceaneer Club & Oceaneer Lab had a dress-up area with plenty of costumes and accessories, a coloring area, computers, and themed play rooms, such as Andy’s Room from the Toy Story movie. Most importantly, these youth clubs are supervised with plenty of Disney employees on hand that are there not just to supervise the children, but also play along with them and engage them in organized games and activities. My girl absolutely loved her times in these play areas and it was very hard to get her to leave to enjoy some of the other activities of our trip.
Additionally, when we stopped at Castaway Cay for a day, they had a supervised play area there as well. We did take advantage of this, upon my girl’s request, which allowed me to have a little time to myself to enjoy the beach and relive my days from Puerto Rico on an hamaca (hammock).
Broadway-style Live Shows
There are a couple of live shows you can catch while aboard the Disney Dream, but my daughter and I particularly enjoyed Disney’s Believe. The story is a very cute one about a girl trying to get her very busy father to believe. I actually cried, along with several other women in the audience, including the one sitting next to me. There’s just something about a girl and her daddy that brings tears to my eyes, and this was no exception. If you ever go on the Disney Dream, you definitely don’t want to miss this show.
Pirate Party: Pirates IN the Caribbean Deck Party
Probably the most-talked about aspect of our cruise for both baby girl and I was the awesome pirate party we enjoyed one evening. Pirates come out to play games with the kids before a live show featuring Captain Jack Sparrow ensues on the deck. Then, after some fireworks, the pirates stick around to dance with the crowd! We even received pirate bandanas to dress up for the party. The night of our pirate party it rained. But, that didn’t stop baby girl and I from dancing with the pirates! I’m so glad I let her keep partying despite the rain and it being past her bedtime because it made for a great memory!
These are just some of the fun things my girl and I enjoyed while on our Disney Dream cruise. There’s so much to do on the ship that I truly wanted to stay a few more days and I know I didn’t get to explore all there is. If you want to experience a fun family vacation, then booking a Disney cruise might just be what you need since there’s something for everyone. I plan on taking our family on a Disney cruise in the future, hopefully once baby boy is older and can enjoy it more because it’s definitely something everyone should try at least once.
If you’ve ever been on a cruise, what do you enjoy the most about them? And, if you’ve ever been on a Disney cruise, share your experience with us!
Disclosure: My daughter and I were part of the inaugural Disney Dream voyage. All expenses were paid for me and a discounted rate was provided in order for my daughter to join me. Our experience, memories, and opinions are, as always, our own.