For all of you preparing for the WDW Radio Disney Cruise to Alaska, have fun! While we’ve never been to Alaska, we’ve heard (and seen) how beautiful it can be (someone take a photo of the Northern Lights for us…please!). For those who will be experiencing a Disney Cruise for the first time, prepare to have your mind blown! That’s our disclaimer, because we know from experience, how totally and completely taken away you will be by this cruise experience.
We were cruise rookies when we took our first Disney Cruise back in October 2012 for part of our honeymoon. We had never been on a cruise – ever – so we wanted to start off with a short voyage, just to test the waters (pun intended). For us, there was no other choice but to take a Disney Cruise.
Being a newlywed couple, we were on Cloud 9 to begin with, but then, when we saw the ship, the Disney Dream, we knew our cruise was going to take our trip to a whole new level (Cloud 10, if you will). We had known how magical Walt Disney World was, as we had been there so many times before, but to see the sea version was almost indescribable.
When we boarded the ship, a Cast Member announced us, which we thought was awesome! Remember, we had only been married for five days at this point, so being announced as a family was so cool! The regal-ness and beauty of the ship made us think we were celebrities of a long ago era. It was almost too pretty and we couldn’t believe we were worthy of this experience.
Even though it was just a three-day journey, we wanted to share with you some of the highlights of the Disney Cruise:
1) When you sail on a Disney Cruise, it’s almost like you are sailing with family. Everyone on a Disney Cruise has something in common: a love of Disney. Second, all your favorite Disney characters are on board, which makes it comforting, especially when you are far away from home. It’s like sailing with old friends.
2) We weren’t sure what to expect being a couple on a family-themed ship, but we were pleasantly surprised! Being just the two of us, and being newly married, we didn’t want to be around a lot of kids. There were designated adult-only areas of the ship, as well as on Castaway Cay, which we took advantage of, and really – outside of the dining areas and the main upper deck – didn’t have to be around large families if we didn’t want to.
3) Castaway Cay. What can we say? AHHH-MAZING! Not only was this our first cruise, but this was also our first time to any island (besides Manhattan). As fair-skinned people, we tend to stay away from tropical places full of sun for fear of looking like Sebastian from The Little Mermaid. However, knowing that an island like this exists, has changed our minds completely. From the Disney details, to the crystal blue sea, to the white (litter-free) beaches, to shady palm trees to the food, it was perfection!
4) We had heard from many people who had cruised on other ships before, that no matter what time of day it is, you can always eat. Boy, is that true! Food, food, everywhere! The breakfast buffet had literally almost every breakfast item you can think of. It really is enough to fill you up until dinner. Of course, if you do get hungry, snacks are available all day, and there is also 24-hour room service, in case you get the munchies at 2 o’clock in the morning. Dinner was some of the best food we had ever eaten! Our favorite food memories are the Pirate dinner after the Pirate Party on deck and the really yummy adult beverages that you can drink out of your Disney Cruise Line souvenir cup. Piña coladas just taste better in the tropics!
5) Being from New York, we are accustomed to Broadway plays, but let me tell you, the nightly shows aboard the cruise were some of the best entertainment we had ever seen. Better than Broadway, by far! Not only that, but there are also adult-only clubs you can go to. We went to a “Newlywed Game” themed show one night, and won! We beat couples that had been married for 25 years. Not only did we get free drinks for being contestants, but in our prize package…a huge bottle of champagne! Sweet!
6) At that time, Disney was the first and only cruise line that was allowed to set off fireworks at sea. There’s nothing like the feeling of being in the wide open sea and seeing fireworks blasting overhead. Even though you are on a ship with thousands of people, it really is an intimate setting because you know your ship is the only ship that gets to do this, and you are the only ones that get to see them.
7) We knew how special this cruise ship was when we saw another commercial cruise line on our trip. That cruise line had a similar itinerary to ours and would dock and sail next to us our whole trip. That ship was grey, not colorful, half the size of the Disney ship and looked kind of like a jail. All the people coming off that ship had glum looks on their faces when they saw our ship. Needless to say, we’re spoiled now. We can’t imagine sailing on any other cruise line than Disney.
8) A tip, if you can afford it, is to spring for a room with a veranda. Even though we were only two people, it was nice to spread out. Not only that, but the veranda gives you perfect views of the sunrise and sunset. It’s a great place to have a morning coffee or an evening drink. Even just to be able to smell the salty ocean breeze is worth it.
9) To be honest, we were a bit nervous about cruising. We had seen on the news so many stories of dysentery and such, and since we are both sort of “germ-a-phobes,” this was a concern. However, there was no reason to be. Our rooms were cleaned twice a day, and every time you stepped foot into a restaurant, your were given a sanitary wipe to clean your hands. Talk about going that extra mile!
10) Lastly, the ease of commuting to and from your port of call is just as easy and seamless as it is getting from the airport to your hotel. Disney’s Magical Express makes travel so easy when you know that your transportation and luggage is taken care of. It’s just another one of those special Disney touches that helps make your vacation so extra special.
We can’t wait to hear your stories about the WDW Radio Cruise to Alaska. We hope you have an amazing journey!
(Photos from the authors’ personal collection.)
“New Yorkas” Felicia and Sean are avid Disney fans. Their first vacation as a couple was in Walt Disney World. They were engaged there, and also honeymooned there. After a combined 30 trips to the World, they are self-professed Disney travel agents and enjoy helping family and friends plan magical Disney vacations.