The day had finally come! The 1st day of our Disney Cruise that we had surprised our kids with at Christmas. Everyone was excited, but especially Emily and Brooke. During the cruise, Emily would ask me at least a dozen times to learn to be the captain so that we could live on the Disney cruise, explain that her heaven would include the Disney cruise and ask seriously if she could home school so that we could live on the Disney cruise. We departed our house around 9 AM to arrive near our scheduled embarkation time and take advantage of as much time as possible on the ship (don’t call it a boat!). Different from our previous experiences, check in was very quick and we were able to immediately board the cruise ship.
Once boarded, we always first seek out if any of the free ticketed events are still available and attempt to adjust our schedule for other events to best suite our itinerary at Guest Services. A few times we have also had to request 1st seating for dinner (545 PM vs 830 PM), but we luckily were already assigned to 1st seating. Brooke was able to score tickets for the Princess Gathering and Frozen Meet and Greet. Next, we always seek out lunch. This time was no exception and lunch was being served buffet style in Enchanted Garden, one of the 3 rotational restaurants on the Disney Fantasy. The food on the Disney cruise is stellar and our first buffet did not disappoint.
After lunch, we usually spend our time waiting for the cabins to be ready by visiting the kids clubs during their open house. This is a great time to get the kids familiar with the different play areas inside the club, make sure they are properly registered and get some photos of the kids in the area. Once the club go “secure” (no parents roaming around), they do not allow for pictures to be taken. The Disney Fantasy has great kids areas, themed for Pixie Hollow, Andy’s Room (from Toy Story) and Monsters Inc. in the Oceaneer’s Club, lots of alcoves for crafting and learning in the Oceaneer’s Lab and an eating/science experiment area connecting the two clubs.
After all this exploring, it is easy to build up another appetite, and the food is always available, fresh and delicious, so we visited the 11th deck for more snacks and ice cream. It was then that Weston began to fully realize the awesomeness in store with always available soft-serve (or was that me?).
Looking at the time, we knew that our cabins would be ready (we have to book two adjoining cabins because they cannot accommodate a party of 6 in one cabin), so we quickly made our way down and forward to check out our living quarters for the next week. We were welcomed by a Castaway Club bag and two stainless steel cups, along with a form allowing us to request our preferred experience for Star Wars Day at Sea, something we had yet to experience on the Disney cruise.
After the obligatory emergency practice and meeting, we made our way to the 11th Deck for the Sail Away party. Lila and Weston were soon discouraged from getting close and participating because they are both very adverse to loud noise (and it was really loud). Emily and Caitlyn hung out near the front and enjoyed watching the characters and entertainment team dance and encourage the passengers to get into vacation mode.
We spent more time exploring the ship, enjoying the view from our balcony, unpacking and decorating our door before our first dinner at Animator’s Palate (my favorite restaurant on the ship).
During dinner Caitlyn began to feel sea sick and eventually left early to rest at the room. Fortunately by the time I returned with her to-go dessert, she was feeling better and ready to adventure out some more. Lila and Weston opted to check into the Oceaneer’s Club while Emily and Caitlyn attended the evening’s entertainment with us which featured a short broadway style musical and Michael Harrison, a comedic ventriloquist. After the show, the kids switched and we picked up Lila and Weston while Emily and Caitlyn checked in. Some quick window shopping (the kids received Disney gift cards for Christmas to spend while on the cruise) and more ice cream later, we ended up back in the room ordering room service. The room service is included on the Disney cruise and offers some great options. Brooke loves the All Hands on Deck cheese platter and the kids opt for Uncrustables.
Quite worn out from the day’s non-stop action, I dragged Emily and Caitlyn out of the Oceaneer’s Lab where they had learned animation techniques (and took them for a quick ice cream stop). We all soon fell asleep and I spent my dozing off time realizing just how much you can eat when all opportunity costs are removed!
This was Day 1 of our Disney Cruise. Be sure to check out the entire Western Caribbean Disney Cruise on the Disney Fantasy in January 2017.