Saturday, May 26, 2012

Disney Caribbean Cruise - DAY ONE

One of the trips I have always wanted to go on as a family was a Disney Cruise.  We finally had the opportunity to do it!  We decided to do Disney's 7-night western Caribbean cruise.  It would stop at ports in Grand Cayman, Costa Maya (Mexico), Cozumel (Mexico), and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay in the Bahamas.

We left the day after school got out for summer vacation and flew to Orlando, Florida.  We stayed the night at a hotel by the airport, then got a shuttle to Port Canaveral the next morning.  The fun started right at check in at the port, with Disney characters walking through the terminal and having fun with all the kids.  We were so excited to get on that big, beautiful boat!

We were able to travel on Disney's newest ship, "The Fantasy" - and was it ever!  It had only been out a couple months before we boarded.  Everything on this ship was beautiful!  One of the best parts was the staff.  Everyone was always smiling and so friendly and SO into the kids.  This is a trip I would do again in a heartbeat (even without the kids!).

These photos were taken before we boarded the ship for the first time.  You can see how huge it was.  No one in our family had ever been on a cruise before, so this was a brand new experience...

Before we boarded the ship, Colton and Kyle were given a "Mickey band".  This was a wristband with a computer chip in it that allowed them to check in to the Oceaneer Club and the Oceaneer Lab (the kid hangouts).  The people in charge there could tell by looking at their computers exactly where Colton and Kyle each were (it was a big area), so when we came to pick them up it was easy to find them.  Pretty cool!

Also, we had two adjoining staterooms, each with two phones.  Four of us (usually Mark, me, Bryan, and Morgan), each kept a phone with us wherever we went on the ship.  We could use those phones to call each other.  This was vital considering how huge the ship was.  Without those phones it would have been really difficult to track each other down.
The first day, once we got on the ship, we spent a lot of time exploring, but first we changed right into swimsuits and hit the pools and waterslides!  We also checked out all the different places to eat.  The food was fabulous!

Later that day we took the kids to the different age appropriate hangouts.  There was one for ages 14 and up, one for ages 11-13, and another for 10 and under.  Bryan and Morgan were not excited at first to go and see what these were all about.  They didn't know anyone, so they were not sure it would be fun.  Once we dropped them off to hang out for awhile, they didn't want to leave!  The leaders were fantastic and Bryan and Morgan both made some really great friends.  The rooms they had available to these teens were amazing - floor to ceiling TV screens for video games and movies, loads of games, a smoothie bar, and more.  There was never a dull moment!

Colton had the option (since he was almost 11) of going either with Kyle or Morgan.  He enjoyed both areas tremendously!  The area for the younger kids was HUGE.  It had tons of video game consoles, art area, reading area, magician, performers, cooking classes, games, play area, nap areas, and more!  The people working in these areas were amazing.  They really had so much fun with those kids!

One of the other things that especially Colton and Kyle loved, were all the Disney characters wandering the ship.  There were tons!  My kids got to see them all day long, take pictures with them, give high fives as they passed them in the fun!

I don't think we went to bed before 1am on any of the nights on this cruise.  Even when Mark and I were bushed, our kids wanted to stay out with friends.  Colton and Kyle were back with us around 10 or 11, and Morgan and Bryan returned to the room usually around midnight.

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