My First Time Cruising With Disney Cruise Line
February 5th I landed back in Orlando in the early morning from my magical 4 days in Disneyland. I spent the morning in the outlets (as one does), did my laundry and repacked my bags ready to set sail on the Disney Dream Cruise the following day.
I must confess: I originally said no to this cruise because I had no money. Well that was a lie, I could afford it but after Savannah, Hilton Head Island and Disneyland, I figured I should start saving, But this was for my friend Chloe’s Birthday, and when she said “Are you sure” I simply said “No, of course I’m coming” It took all of five seconds to convince me.
First Time Cruiser
I never knew how cruises worked or what to expect. I had no idea what a stateroom even was. Now I know it’s basically your floating hotel room. We had a veranda room and I would recommend upgrading to one if you are wondering if the cost is worth it. I loved opening the door at night, hearing the waves and watching as the blue lights shone beneath the boat.
After checking in at the terminal we made our way onto the ship. As we entered the lobby we gave our “family” name to the crew member to welcome us on-board. So for four nights we were “The Rose & Crown Family!”
Walking into the grand lobby was something I’d dreamt of for a long time. It really is as beautiful as it looks in photos. Food was immediately on our mind, as it would be the next four days. So we made our way over to Cabana’s, the buffet style restaurant. I was stunned that this was all… included? I ate til I could eat no more. And I was sold. Cruise life had me.
After lunch we wandered the ship briefly, eyeing up the spirit jerseys and finally made our way to our staterooms. As a first time cruiser, they were small. But I knew this; we were on a boat after all. There is only so much space. As far as staterooms go, I think ours was one of the bigger ones. I loved it; it was cute and cosy, with lots of Character.
Bye Bye Florida, Bye Bye Instagram
While we were still docked and had access to data, we downloaded the Disney Cruise Line app, which I’d highly recommend. As there is no wifi on board, unless you pay $$$. The DCL app will allow you to find out what events are on each day, as well as connect with other people in your party via a messaging service.
It was time to attend the sailing away party. We waved goodbye to the shores of Cape Canaveral. Tomorrow we would wake up in the Bahamas.
Day 1: Living The Dream
We headed over to the Walt Disney Theatre to see the first of three shows during our cruise. “The Golden Mickeys” is an awards style theatre show, like the Oscars but for Disney! During the shows you can order cocktails while you watch.
Each day the cruise will have a different “Cocktail of the day” and is a set price of around $5.50. Gratuity is already included on your bill for alcoholic beverages but you can opt to leave more if you wish.
The first night we were scheduled to eat at the Enchanted Garden restaurant. It really was enchanting. We met our servers for the entirety of the cruise. Both were great, our server assistant was from Manchester. She gave us some great insight into what it’s like to work on a cruise.
This night was the beginning of the downfall. And by that I mean, this was the night our server told us “We could order as much as we like”. Well, we were ordering two of everything. The food was so good, and with such hard decisions to make, we each got a main then shared a second. This was a recurring theme each night. I love food, as did the girls who were cruising with me. I’ve never been in so much pain from eating. A constant bloat. But I had no regrets!
A Great Nights Sleep
Each night when we returned to our rooms, our room attendant Byron had left us a new towel animal. I slept amazingly on this cruise. The best night’s sleep I’ve ever had. So good in fact that I ended up sleepwalking. Kind of a scary thought, I made sure that our balcony door was locked from then on.
Day 2: Nassau
The next morning we awoke to the Cruise Ship pulling into the dock. We were greeted with bright Blue skies, and turquoise seas. Just like magic, we were in the Bahamas.
Nassau was an interesting place. The buildings were so colourful. There are lots of common chain restaurants and shops close to the port. I made once purchase on the Island, an Alex & Ani Bahamas Bracelet. Shopping is tax free to visitors with ID.
Our next stop was the famous Atlantis resort. We took a boat over to the hotel and a taxi on the return journey. I’d wanted to come here ever since watching “Holiday in the sun”, I was finally living out my Mary-Kate and Ashley dreams. On the walk over to the resort, we stopped in the shopping area just outside to buy rum cake. It was oh so good!
I wish I could say that I explored more of Nassau but after Atlantis we really didn’t have much time left.
Our time in Nassau was short but sweet and soon we were once again boarding the ship.
Dinner was at the Enchanted Garden again and it was pirate night! Left in our room was yet another towel animal followed by pirate bandanas.
The menu was all pirate and Caribbean themed. We all opted for the rum and champagne cocktail; it was good but strong. Once again, with so many options on the menu the five of us shared 7-8 mains.
Feeling ten pounds heavier, we found a spot to watch the fireworks. The Disney dream stops in the middle of the ocean and shoots fireworks off the side of ship. Incredible!
Once the fireworks were over we headed to, you guessed it, the buffet! There is a pirate themed buffet to end Pirate night. We had some crepes and called it a night.
Day 3: Day At Sea & Exploring The Dream
Our third day on the Cruise was the day at sea, this gave us a real chance to relax and explore the ship. I spent most of the day chilling in the infinity pools and drinking cocktails at the Cove Bar. Tonight was formal night, so we spent a while getting ready and putting on our best clothes.
There are tons of characters to meet while aboard the ship, but getting to spend a year in Disney most of us were not fussed. The only Disney character that was a must was of course, Captain Mickey!
The lines for characters on board are insane, you’ll be waiting hours if you want to meet lots. I got in line really early for Mickey to save our spot and it took roughly 15 minutes to get to the front.
We were dining in the Royal Palace tonight. The details in the décor were amazing. Our breadbasket had silhouettes of Cinderella around the outside!
After dinner, we watched the pianist in the foyer from the balcony then headed to the champagne bar, Pink. I can only assume this bar is named after the “Pink Elephants on parade” segment of Dumbo, which is my all time favourite Disney movie.
I opted for the pomegranate passion I think. Well it was champagne, and it was good!
Day Four: Castaway Cay
Day four had us waking up at the crack of dawn. The reason? The Castaway Cay 5k. Originally I said no this because I wanted to lie in. But, when was I ever going to get another chance? I managed to get a last minute ticket the night before and four of us headed on down to the lobby once the boat had docked.
Castaway Cay 5k
I’d run 5k’s before and from a runners point of view, it’s really not a long distance. But, I’d just spent 3 nights absolutely stuffing my face and couldn’t remember the last time I’d stepped foot in a gym. I ran in tight denim shorts, that was a lot of fun I assure you. I walked a lot of it, but run the last part. You know, just so people would think I’d ran the whole thing. We persevered and were given a Castaway Cay 5k medal. That was mainly my reason for running, the souvenir.
With the 5k out of the way we managed to stumble upon a bar, what a coincidence! I couldn’t resist an impulse buy, and purchased this plastic coconut. Sadly I no longer have it, after leaving Florida with a total of 7 suitcases, I had to make space so the coconut is no more.
The water in the Bahamas was unbelievably clear. I could see for miles.
The Disney Cruise Line Company operates Castaway Cay; so a barbecue lunch buffet is served on the Island. There are several locations but we ate at Cookies BBQ.
Our last few hours on the island were spent at Serenity Bay, the adults only beach. It was really nice to end our visit to Castaway Cay here as it was really relaxing and the water so shallow you could walk out for miles.
Dinner on our last night was at Animator’s Palate. This was our favourite restaurant during the whole cruise. The theming here is fantastic, and features an interactive segment with Crush the turtle.
The theme of ordering everything off the menu continued, along with pretty cocktails (pretty strong!)
We ended our last night on the cruise by drinking yet more cocktails at the Skyline Bar and listening to the pianist one last time.
It was a nice way to end our four days aboard the Disney Dream, and I was rather sad about having to leave. I’d not had only the best 5 days on a cruise with amazing girls, but the whole ten days from Disneyland to the Disney Dream was unbeatable.
Still, returning home to Orlando to go back to work at Walt Disney World is hardly the worst thing in the world (in fact it’s pretty incredible). It was most definitely a Disney filled couple of weeks.
Our final morning on the ship was spent once again at Animators Palate. You’ll have your last breakfast at the same place you ate on your last night. And it’s a bit of a rush really. They need you off the ship ASAP. So we brought our cases to breakfast with us and were off the ship by around 9:30am.
A Cruise Convert
The whole experience of cruising in general was something I fell in love with almost immediately. To go to sleep and wake up with the Caribbean Ocean beneath you was just magical.
If it hadn’t been for the fact I was a Disney Cast Member, I might not have ever had the opportunity to do this. Disney Cruise line is not the cheapest, and I am very lucky to have been able to experience one. The entire four days left me in awe. But are they worth the money? Absolutely!
This cruise was my first of any kind, and it was by far one of the biggest highlights of my program out here in Florida. I am completely converted to cruise life. I cannot wait to do another.
Have you ever taken a cruise? Or ever thought about taking a Disney cruise?