Category Archives: ship activities

Can Adults Enjoy a Disney Cruise?

We set out to see if a Disney cruise would be a good choice for two adults. We departed on the Disney Dream from Port Canaveral, Florida for a quick Bahamas four-day weekend. The ship, weather, and stops were wonderful. The adult experience on this Disney cruise ship had its ups and downs.

The ups:

Up #1:  Palo Restaurant: A for- pay specialty restaurant (not expensive) with fine Italian dining. No kids allowed. It was delicious! The sunset view was romantic.

Disney Dream cruise

Sunset from Palo Restaurant onboard Disney Dream

Up #2:  The stop at Castaway Cay in the Bahamas was the best thing about the trip. The adults- only beach called Serenity Cove was exquisite.

Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise

Does it get any better than Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, in the Bahamas? Adults seek out Serenity Cove.

Up #3: The fireworks show off of the ship! No pictures because I was so enthralled I forgot to take any. Next time…..

Up #4:  The adults- only pool area

Disney Dream adults only pool

The adults- only pool, spa, and bar area is a lovely oasis of quiet.

So now for the downs.

#1 (and only) down: The sound of kids running through the ship reverberates throughout the stateroom areas!

Since kids will be kids, and parents are hard pressed to control them in a Disney environment, this drawback was not a huge problem for us. We actually had a wonderful time watching the kids with the Disney characters, and seeing all of the children running around dressed as princesses and pirates. All of the children we met were well-behaved and polite, as were their parents.

So an adult couple can have a wonderful time onboard a Disney cruise, given the right attitude and the ability to eat and drink in the adults-only bars and restaurants. As a childless couple, we wouldn’t hesitate to go again, and especially would enjoy going as an extended family. We know now that there are plenty of opportunities for quiet, adult time and would quite enjoy sharing the experience with the younger members of our extended family.

Contact me at 561-841-2224 or susan@susanmcdanieltravel.com to plan your next Disney cruise. Even a short getaway like ours was a wonderful break from the routine!

Four Tips to Make the Most of Your Cruise Vacation

Here are four tips to make the most of every moment of your cruise vacation!

A Pre-Cruise Stay

Pre-cruise stays and tours in the departure city are a great way to arrive early for your cruise, get into the spirit of your escape, and start your cruise refreshed. You can also book a tour the day before your cruise, or even the morning of departure. Get to know the departure city. It might be Miami, Fort Lauderdale, New York, San Diego, or San Juan.  All are great tourist destinations, not just departure ports. Miami Beach can prime you for that Caribbean vacation with its beachy, playful, fun vibe.

Miami Beach is a great pre-cruise destination

Departure city tours and pre-cruise stays can be booked through either your cruise line or several wonderful tour companies.  Contact me at susan@susanmcdanieltravel.com for a complete rundown on what’s available to you

There is no rush to arrive at the port on embarkation day. Boarding lines can be long and people can get testy;  that’s not the ideal way to start your vacation. It may be better to spend a few hours enjoying the sights of your departure city rather than waiting in line at the cruise terminal. Now that’s a good way to make the most of your cruise.  

 

Take Advantage of Things to do On Board

Once on board, be sure to read the “ships log” that arrives in your cabin each evening. This “log” lets you make the most of your time onboard by announcing the events for the following day. You’ll want to know when that first run movie in the theatre is scheduled to start; what band is playing in your favorite bar; the menu for the cooking demonstration; where the Scrabble contest, the Karaoke sing-offs, or the Toga party is being held; or what the Bingo Jackpot is worth. Even if you don’t think you might enjoy something, just stop by and see what you think. Memories of these events, and the people in them, are sometimes what linger longest after the cruise is over. And memories make the most of your cruise.

Bingo

The bingo games onboard have huge jackpots

Doing It All in Port

Once your itinerary is established, but before you even leave home, check out the available tours and shore excursions.

The tours and excursions offered by the cruise line are usually great, but they are not your only alternatives for onshore experiences.  Ask your travel agent for recommendations (my blog is devoted mostly to reviewing shore excursions for you) and peruse travel guides and online sites to familiarize yourself with the attractions at each destination. Then you can customize your own travel experience in each port, should you decide to do so. Attending the port information lectures onboard can actually alert you to where NOT to go if you are looking for an authentic experience rather than one orchestrated by the cruise line.

St. Lucia aerial tram tour

You would miss the natural beauty of most islands without a shore excursion or tour

Whether you decide to use the scheduled tours or develop your own really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you get off of the ship and enjoy each port you visit to make the most of your cruise. I am a great believer in shore excursions.

 

Post Cruise Stays

A post-cruise stay helps ease you back into reality.  It may help you make good flight connections for a leisurely trip home, too.  If you are flying a long way to meet the ship you should optimize the time and expense of the trip and add on a few days to enjoy the city of disembarkation. Why not see Disney World when you are in Florida? Or jaunt around Rome? After all, you never know when you might be passing that way again.

Cinderella's Castle at Disney World

You’re going to be in Florida anyway. Why not visit Disney World?

 

Cruising is an exciting, affordable, and relaxing way to vacation. But be a participant in your own getaway. Take advantage of the pre-cruise tours, the onboard fun, the port activities, a post-cruise stay, and other opportunities to make the most of your cruise.

 

An insider tip for those of you who have read this far: When driving to catch a cruise ship or flight, remember this tip.

Many hotels near cruise ports and airports allow you to leave your car in their parking lot for the duration of your vacation if you stay there before your cruise or flight. You can save hundreds of dollars in parking or taxi fees with this perk. Think of it as a free night to unwind before your trip!  Contact me at susan@susanmcdanieltravel.com or 561-841-2224 to plan all of the details of your next cruise or land vacation.

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