After writing my previous post on why your baby isn’t too young for a Disney Cruise, I realized just how many Disney Baby readers are contemplating/interested in a Disney Cruise.
So I figured I’d give you a closer look at some of my favorite moments from our recent cruise:
Disney Magic Cruise Ship
We vacationed on the Disney Magic — which is the original of the four Disney Cruise ships (circa 1998), and one of their smaller “boutique” ships in comparison to the newer Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
But the size of the ship was perfect for us — beautifully designed and filled with plenty to do.
Now I’d never been on a cruise before, but I was pleasantly surprised when I saw our room, after everything I’d heard about cruise staterooms.
We had a veranda room — which, in my opinion, is worth the extra money — and it was spacious and beautiful. The bathroom was split into two rooms — one with the toilet (and sink) and the other with a tub (and sink), making it perfect for families. There were plenty of drawers and a big closet, so we weren’t living out of suitcases for 7 days. And the cleaning staff was so, so lovely.
Sunrise on the Sea
I was a little nervous about being surrounded by water on all sides, with no land in sight. But when we stepped out onto the veranda that first morning, out into the fresh sea air, and watched the sun rise? Unforgettable.
If there’s one single reason to choose a cruise vacation, it has to be the food. The endless, accessible, gourmet food — for both kids and adults — in a variety of intricately designed restaurants.
(See why our Disney Cruise helped teach table manners + more surprising lessons.)
Concerts, movies, character dance parties, live theater — the entertainment didn’t stop.
When he wasn’t being entertained by singing and dancing, he was being occupied with coloring and creating — from pirate crafts to a Gingerbread house.
But my son’s favorite activity was FLUBBER — in which a zany professor (who had my son belly laughing from beginning to end) taught basic science concepts while everyone made their own batch of Flubber. This kid laughed until tears came down his cheeks — and he left with a new fascination in science. So score.
We took our cruise in the second week of December, which I actually think was a perfect time. After hurricane season, before kids are out of school (so the ship was at about 85% capacity), and a nice break from the icy, snowy winter back home. And then when we came home, it was time for the holidays!
The Disney Magic was all decked out with garland and twinkle lights. My son especially loved the life-size Gingerbread house made from real gingerbread.
Prince + Princess Night
Although the ship had basic dress codes for certain dine-in restaurants, it was fairly laid back. On “prince and princess” night, some families got dolled up, while others were more casual. We loved the chance to get all dressy — especially my son, who picked out special “Prince Eric” shoes for the occasion.
We took a 7-Day Western Caribbean cruise, meaning we stopped in Mexico. And considering I’ve always (ALWAYS!) wanted to see Mayan ruins in person, I took this as my one opportunity. I was concerned how my son would hold up — walking through a jungle in the sticky Mexican heat, from monument to monument — but he was fascinated with the stone steps and surrounding scenery. We even saw a monkey! I’m glad I went ahead and booked this excursion, because it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. See more photos from the Mayan tour.
The cruise also stopped at The Cayman Islands, which was the most beautiful place I never knew I wanted to go. We chose the earlier excursion time (7 am), which turned out great. The beach was practically empty, and we were back on the ship by lunch time. It was honestly one of the most stunning beaches I’ve ever seen — and I’m so happy to have shared that with my son.
And sometimes he just wanted to order room service and catch a movie in the comfort of our own room — and I wasn’t one to complain, especially with the breezy sea air wafting from the balcony. (All room service + movies were free, by the way.)
Noah and I loved coming back from dinner each night to a new towel animal on our (freshly “turned down”) bed. My favorite had to be the hanging man (bottom right), who was turned into Captain America with my son’s bathing suit (bottom left). We had a good laugh about that one.
Thanks to the Kids’ Club, I was able to sneak away for a little spa time. I laid on hot-stone chairs, relaxed in the sauna, and cleared my head. It was heavenly.
This un-prompted photo of Noah “thumbs-upping” his favorite princess will always be one of my favorite Noah keepsakes.
Exploring the Ship at Night
Movies on the deck, child-led dance parties, fireworks — plenty of nighttime exploration and celebration.
Exploring the Ship During the Daytime
Pools, ice cream, and one big water slide? What more could a kid want? There was also an arcade, a sports area (for bigger kids), and all-day movies playing on a jumbo screen by the pool.
But of course my son found little nooks-and-crannies to play his imaginative games.
Everything was brand new and bursting with magic — for both of us.
…and this is how pretty much every night ended — passed out cold before making it into bed. Even though he couldn’t stay awake for all of the after-dinner theater shows, the cruise ship live-streamed them up to the staterooms for us to watch in bed.
And we ended each day with the best kind of exhaustion.
Interested to know more about our Disney Cruise:
- 10 surprising lessons from our Disney Cruise
- New experiences on the Disney Magic
- Remembering the good via Disney
- Why your baby isn’t too young for a Disney Cruise