Recently I was given the honor of attending the Disney Social Media Moms Conference. If you’re not an ‘influencer’ then you likely don’t know what that is or means. The #DisneySMMC is an exclusive, invite-only event that Disney puts on every year celebrating the great things to come for Disney and also celebrating the great things their digital moms do for them. Yes, it is an invite-only event but attendees pay 100% for their way. We are given an amazing discount but we still pay to attend.
This year it was a land and sea celebration where we got to partake in amazing experiences at Disney World. Then we hopped the Magical Express and hit Cape Canaveral to experience a Disney Cruise!! Awesome right? To say the least. It was an incredible experience but that does not go without saying a MAJOR learning lesson for me and my guests.
With that being said I truly believe what I have to say next will make any Disney fan stop and think.
10 Things They Don’t Tell You When Taking a Disney Cruise
I know. It sounds like I’m about to overhaul my happy but that’s totally not the case. The cruise was amazing! It really was. In fact, it was my first *real* cruise. (I did get to experience an overnight christening of the Disney Magic years ago for a media trip but that really didn’t count! By the time we got on we were getting back off. Total tease! lol)
However, if you’ve never been on a cruise there are a LOT of things to think about before doing so. The family at Disney was absolutely amazing in this experience. But as a first-time cruise goer? I realized a lot of things that I can personally do to make it a better experience next time.
Note, this list can be doctored for all cruises! Disney cruises are the only way to go. ESPECIALLY with kids and families!
Room Service is FREE. Yes. I know. You totally heard me right! Anytime I travel with my kids they have to have room service. It’s one of the weird things they come to love about traveling. But I cringe when the bill comes. Disney cruises? FREE ROOM SERVICE! (Try the burgers!)
Ice cream is also FREE. No, really. It’s FREE! I am an ice cream nut. Just ask my kids when I tell them, ‘I love you more than Ice Cream!” They know it is serious love when I say that. The ships do have a specialty shop that you can get tasty blends but that machine on the pool deck? Get.It.Gurl.
Plan on being lost at sea. I know that sounds so Gilligan but it’s true. Once you are out on the water, you are completely disconnected. No phones. No wifi. All cruise ships offer both but the fees are a true reminder that YOU ARE ON VACATION! Unplug it! My friend who came with me had a bit of a heart attack when she realized the price of wifi. (You have to sell a child to get wifi on ships!) She has a son with special needs and she was concerned she wasn’t easy to connect with. Fortunately, we found a workaround and she was able to unplug once she got ahold of her family to tell them she’s lost at sea. Just send family the way they can connect with you BEFORE you go. Taking it back old school y’all!
Special spa secret deals. Oh heck yeah! When you’re on vacation that totally means splurging for special treatment! I noticed on our daily newsletters that there was a special spa deal in the bottom corner. I almost missed it! But I got a facial AND a massage for less than one would cost. It was heavenly.
Cord envy. Dude. When our statesmen (or woman rather) cleaned our room she had these nifty wraps to go over your cords! Usually, it’s madness when I travel with the 50,000 devices we bring along. But when I returned to our room to find them all tied up with their cord ties? I was floored. How cool is that perk? Awesome!
Make sure you bring a highlighter. I know. Why carries a highlighter around with them? I will now! When you arrive you get this encyclopedia of awesome things to do. There is so much awesome you will not know which to pick. You either have the wrong day, wrong time even wrong place. Bring a highlighter and slap that thing with a string and go to town! Highlight all the things you want to do. Plan out your trip and play on.
Pack a day of play bag. You know how annoying it is when you have to wait for your luggage or your room? Sometimes you get lucky. But most times there is a 3 PM check-in time. Imagine an afternoon check-in time and no access to your bags for an entire day on a SHIP!? Yes. Pack a bag. Put in your bathing suits for sure. Snacks if your kids are nuts about them. (Fortunately, most ships have more food than you can handle. But sometimes that handy granola bar does the job!) Sunscreen. Do not forget the sunscreen or you might have a miserable vacation! Sunglasses, books, devices, cash, camera. They are all great things to pack.
Don’t forget about the tip. You totally need to see how this works before going. Often times your trip tips are included. You can actually contact the Disney ship prior to the cruise to have them include the tips so you don’t have to deal with it. I highly suggest you take care of your crew though. They give up their lives to live on a cruise ship for your entertainment purposes! They are well worth it and it is not a lot of money. DO IT. Pay it forward, friends!
Do not miss the boat. No, seriously. It’s not like missing a flight! It’s a boat that goes out to sea! Even worse? Missing the boat when at a foreign port. OMG. I would die if that happened. So do yourself a favor and set an alarm when you head off for excursions.
Check out the kids club to get some adult time. I love the Disney Cruise for many reasons but my favorite was that my girlfriend and I could put our kids in the AMAZING kids’ club and sit by the adult pool knowing our kids were in great hands. My five-year-old is still asking me every day when we are going back.
Have you ever been? Did I miss something?