This past summer my family took a highly anticipated Disney Cruise. I am notorious for getting super involved in the planning of the trip. I over research, over plan, and over think everything. But to be honest the planning of the trip and anticipation is half the fun of going on a vacation, anyone else think this way? 🙂
We had never been on a cruise and heard that Disney was the best when it came to cruise lines. I will say that we were super happy with the cruise line and with all the service and amenities.
Here were my major problems and where I went wrong so you can avoid these mistakes:
1. On a 3 night Disney Cruise you really only have 1 day on the ship! I didn’t realize this. I had all these plans of leaving the kids in the kids club so we could hang out at the adult pool and just relax. Only a day or two before the trip did I realize that since we were stopping at Castaway Cay for one of the days we would be off the boat that entire day. That meant that if we didn’t get off in the Bahamas we would have 1 day on the cruise ship to do everything we wanted to do, which was a ton! I had way too many things on my “Must Do” list. Meet the princesses, do the Mid Ship Detective Agency, pools, water slides, Goofy’s fun deck, live shows I had everything possible on my list. How do people get it all done?
2. No one else did any research before the cruise. This meant everyone was staring at me all the time asking “What’s next?” or “Where is that activity?”. It was my first time on the ship too. I may have over reacted a bit when everyone was staring at me when I said Bingo was on Deck 5 and they asked me how to get to Deck 5.
3. I did not give ourselves enough time to get ready for dinner. In such tight quarters it actually takes longer to get 5 people ready than if we had more space. I would constantly be using a hairbrush to brush someones hair and then set it down real quick to put a bow in and someone else would put something on top of it and then I couldn’t find it. There are plenty of drawers and closets in the room but not many table tops to put things on. I should have taken more time when we unpacked to put everything away in all the drawers.
My suggestions to avoid all these difficulties are:
- Book a 4, 5 or 7 night cruise. Especially if it isn’t a regular occurrence to go on Disney cruises. I would rather have not had a balcony room and spend the money on an extra night.
- Have the other adults in your travel group at least do some basic research on what activities are available and look at the map of the ship. Assign someone else to at least figure out which night they want to go to a show and where they show is on the ship so they can take the lead.
- Unpack and organize everything in your room when your bags arrive. This will help with the stress level of getting everyone ready for dinner.
My friend Andrea is a Disney expert and she has an awesome post 5 Tips For Planning Your First Disney Cruise that you should check out.
I will gladly go on another Disney cruise again but I would definitely have a talk with myself that it is ok to not do every activity on the ship. Hopefully we can even spring for a longer trip next time.