In Tuesday’s post, I talked about some of the awesome activities offered onboard the Disney Dream while the ship is at sea. But, what about when the ship is in port? My family and I will be visiting Nassau, Bahamas and Castaway Cay during our cruise vacation, so I checked into the offerings at those two locations. Trying to decide what to do when there are so many options takes a little time.
The first question you need to ask yourself is whether you wish to stay on the ship, or disembark the Dream at the ports of call. Some people choose to stay onboard at Nassau, Bahamas in order to save some money for excursions at Castaway Cay. The choice is certainly yours.
If the answer to your question is to stay onboard the Dream, you will have less crowds on the boat for sure, plus many options for a good time with your family. Some of the activities offered “in port”, in addition to the pools, fitness center, restaurants and the opportunities for some quiet time are: teen and tween club activities; adult activities like 3 on 3 basketball, a dance class, XBox Kinect and Dream Team Draft. Family activities include Midship Detective Agency – which is a self-guided clue-solving game using the ship’s Enchanted Art, an animation class (I’ll be doing this for sure), bingo, the Art of the Theme Ship Tour, family crafts, miniature golf tournaments, chip-it golf, character meet n greets, on your own movies by the pool and in the theater; and, of course, the AquaDuck – YEA! You can also play ping-pong, take a walk on the track, spend time on the Sports Deck, or just sit, relax and read!
If your answer is to disembark at the ports of call, you will need to ask yourself a few more questions, such as:
1) What type of activity piques your interest
2) How much energy do you want to expend on your excursion
3) How much money are you willing to spend on your port adventures
Let’s expand on these a bit.
What type of activity piques your interest
Do you want to go sight-seeing or flight-seeing? Do you want to do something you’ve never done before? Do you want to do something that’s completely familiar and comfortable to you? Do you want to do something adventurous? Deciding on this will help to narrow down your choices. Be aware that some of the activities have minimum age requirements — this will be important to know.
How much energy do you want to expend on your excursion
You will need to decide on the activity level you desire as well. Some activities allow you to rent boats or floats to help create a more laid back day. Some allow you to sit back and relax on a catamaran and see marine life. Some of the choices are more strenuous and require lots of walking, swimming or other physical exertion. Be sure to read the descriptions well because, in some cases, the actual adventure looks relaxing but you may need to walk 30 minutes to get to it and this often doesn’t bode well with children.
How much money are you willing to spend
Deciding on your budget is important; sticking to it is paramount. When you read the port adventure descriptions, make some notes on the ones you like and the cost per person. Then, once your list is complete, put a star by the ones in which you are most interested. Then you can decide what you are willing to spend to get the best bang for your buck.
There are some different activities in Nassau, Bahamas than in Castaway Cay. Typically, prices for the excursions range from about $25 to $200 per person, but some cost much more. With some planning, you can be sure to choose the excursions that are best for your family.
Although I wouldn’t choose to do this myself, for strictly personal reasons, you can plan adult activities and leave the kids aboard the ship in the kids clubs at no extra cost, as long as they are at least 3 years old and potty-trained. For younger kids, you can pay to leave them in the ship’s nursery.
Spend some time researching the full descriptions of all the port adventures, including time lengths of activities, costs, age requirements and activity levels online at the Disney Cruise Line website. If you are a new cruiser, you may book your shore excursions 75 days before your cruise, as long as your trip is paid in full. Return cruisers can reserve 90 days out. There is a plethora of excursions to review: something for every type of guest and any type of vacation you are wishing to experience. Whatever you decide, I hope you will enjoy your time on the Dream both at sea and in port. Basking in the magic is what I am most looking forward to, for sure!
Brenda is a native Texan born and raised on the Gulf Coast. She visited Disney World twice as a teenager and always dreamed of growing her family Disney. She took her first-timer husband and their three children to Disney World in 2000 and they now spend every Thanksgiving there. Brenda writes with a comedic twist on various Disney topics. She will be sharing tips she has learned during her travels and also hopes to enlighten people on little-known freebies that Disney has to offer. She wishes she could have met Walt Disney and considers herself to be a student of Walt. In parallel to his dream it is her wish that everyone would take at least one trip to Disney World in order to share in its magic with their families.