Cruising with Disney: Decisions, Decisions

There is so much to consider when booking a Disney cruise.  When should I go?  What excursions are offered?  Are there activities for everyone, including adults only?  What kind of room should I pick?

Having gone on a few cruises I can tell you that I have learned what I like and don’t like as I’ve gone along.  When I was looking to take my first Disney Cruise (which was the first cruise I had ever taken) people told me not to worry about the room because you don’t spent much time in it.  So with that advice, I booked an outside stateroom with a water view (otherwise known as a porthole).  As nice as the room was, I have to disagree with the advice I was given.  The next cruise my family and I graduated to an outside stateroom with a balcony.  We truly enjoy our room and we were so pleased to have that balcony.  We would spend time having our coffee while relaxing and taking in the views of the ocean, enjoy sitting there when pulling in and out of ports, have a cocktail and just take in the fresh air and relaxation that was offered.  We have also done adjoining rooms which were wonderful when going with others.  But, I would suggest you pick up a cruise catalog (or discuss with your travel agent) to view the location of your room prior to booking because if you end up with an adjoining room and the people on the other side of that door are not with your party, I can tell you, you hear a lot of noise.

Cruising at various times of the year can certainly add to the variety of ages on a ship.  For example, if you cruise during the summer, you’re bound to end up with more young children then if you were to cruise while school is in session.  I have to say that I have cruised in March, June, July and August and have always had wonderful weather…but we all know how that can change!  The fall has been known to have waters that may be a little rougher but I have never experienced that having not sailed at that time of year.  The Caribbean typically provides very warm weather which can cause bad sunburns if you’re not careful.  Alaska can be quite the opposite with very cool days.  With that said, it’s really a personal preference as to when you would like to go based on your family’s availability.  Keep in mind, if you take a cruise that includes a stop in Nassau on Good Friday, nothing is open!

Activities are abundant.  There’s a nursery for the little ones, scheduled day camp activities for young children, teen get-togethers, adult only shows, dancing, wine tasting, cooking demos, scavenger hunts, pool games, outdoor basketball court, fitness center, spa; the list goes on.  So you can decide how involved you want to get and the level of activity you would like to exert!

Off the ship there are just as many activities.  Disney will always give you a variety of excursions to suit all.  Once again, this is a question of how much activity you would like.  Beach trips, swimming with stingrays, glass bottom boat trips, jeep tours, shopping, gold panning, sled dog rides, helicopter tours, parasailing, so many options.  Or if you prefer to stay on the ship, that’s always an option.  I think one of my favorite excursions was the jeep tour in Mexico.  We drove to the beach, had a cookout, spent some time in the ocean, relaxed, took in the beautiful scenery, and drove back, it was a lot of fun.  Warning – you need to know how to drive a standard!!!

I think cruising is one of the best vacations a family can take; there’s something for everyone!

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Sheila tells us: I live in Massachusetts with my husband and 2 daughters and was first introduced to Disney over 35 years ago. Having visited many times since, we always found ourselves eager to return because Disney always provided us so many options on things to do. One hot, humid, August day back in 1998, while visiting Animal Kingdom, a gentleman asked if we would like a ride in an air conditioned van along with an ice cold lemonade in exchange for an hour of his time. We took him up on his offer and when that hour was up we wanted to hear more…more about the Disney Vacation Club (DVC). We became DVC members that day and have never regretted our decision – we enjoy amazing vacations.

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