Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cruising with Mickey Mouse!

Since we were unable to really take a vacation this summer, we decided to take advantage of darling daughter having half days (due to teacher conferences) and take a family vacation in October. We started out by flying into Orlando on Southwest Airlines, which worked out great for us because it was a direct, non-stop flight and for the most part cheaper than other airlines. We used on line check in 24 hours before and we able to snag group A 5-7 which meant we boarded in the first group after the wheelchair folks were put on the plane. Trip to Orlando was uneventful, we caught a complimentary shuttle to the Holiday Inn Express spent a comfortable night, got a better than continental breakfast (free) and caught the shuttle back to the airport.

We checked in with Disney and waited maybe 20 minutes before boarding a bus to Cape Canaveral. The trip is about 45 minutes long and they show a video (with captioning) during the trip so you are occupied with seeing the ship and knowing what to expect when you arrive at the port. Going through security at the port was painless, we had about an hour wait before we could board the ship but there were interesting things to see in the terminal. They had a mock up of the ship, they had Character greetings and photo opportunities, so the time went very quickly. You enter the ship in groups, we were in group 3. Once you pass though the giant Mouse Ears, you have your portrait made in front of a giant map with Hidden Mickeys in it. Then as you board the actual ship, they announce your family....Disney Cruiseline is proud to welcome aboard the xxxxxx family and everyone claps. Then you are greeted by another castmember (CM) who gives you information about where they are serving lunch and reminds you that you may not enter your cabin until 1:30.

We went to lunch at Parrot Cay (pronounced KEY), which is a brightly decorated Caribbean themed restaurant. For lunch it was a buffet but there were still waiters to seat you, take your drink order and pick up after you. Disney is big on sanitation, so at every meal you are greeted by CM's who hand you sanitizing wipes for your hands. There are also sanitizing gels available through out the ship. The buffet was good but not exceptional. They had lots of salads, cheese and deli meats, a few main dishes, a kids area with Mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, etc...
Then they had two dessert areas, one with cheesecakes, tarts, brownies, etc... and one where you could make your own ice cream sundaes. The food was the only real area that I don't think Disney excels at, it was good but I felt the food on the Royal Carribean Cruiseline was better.

After lunch we looked around the ship awhile before going to our cabin (after 1:30) The cabin was bigger than the one we had on Royal Carribean (RCCL) and had more closet space and drawers. I liked the bathroom set up, there were two rooms, one with a tub and sink and the other with a sink and toilet. The bathtub was small by household standards but huge compared to RCCL.

I unpacked while Darling Husband and Darling Daughter went swimming and then at 4 pm we had the Mandatory Evacuation Drill. All went smoothly, much faster than on RCCL. Then we all headed updeck for the Bon Voyage Party. Lots of music and dancing (and a little rain) We had dinner at 6 pm at Parrot Cay and then a show in the theater- Hurcules- The "Muse"ical. The production was great. Unfortunately, Hubby was suffering from seasickness by this point, so he went to bed, I let DD go to the Oceaneers Lab (Kids program) for a couple of hours and I just roamed around the ship seeing where everything was and getting oriented. So was the first day of our Disney Cruise!



TMK said...

That is too cool! I would love to take the boys on this trip. Someday!

jettybetty said...

That sounds so fun!!!
So glad you got to go!