WDW Radio # 669 – Marvel Day at Sea Group Cruise Review

We review our WDW Radio Marvel Day at Sea group cruise, including pre-cruise planning, what to expect and do on board, our exclusive group events, tips to get the most out of your next Disney cruise, and much more!

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Click Here Read The Full Podcast Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Lou Mongello: All good things to those who wait. And sometimes some things are really worth waiting and or melting for. And in this case, I'm referring to our Marvel day at sea cruise, which was originally scheduled for January, 2021. And after a year of not so patiently waiting, we were finally able to have our www cruise aboard the Disney magic from Miami on a five night voyage.

[00:00:27] Dare I say adventure. So I want to look at not only our time on board and assure, but what the entire cruise experience and preparation is like now. And to do that, I have invited a few friends and fellow cruisers to join me each, bringing different experiences, perspectives, and opinions. And of course, I want to welcome back to the show.

[00:00:49] Lisa DiNoto Glassner from the Castle Run and Core memory candles. Repeat group cruiser, uh, who went with her family and small children. So Lisa, welcome back.

[00:01:01] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Thanks for having me. I'm excited to talk about this and happy topic.

[00:01:05] Lou Mongello: Jeff Sieh a man of many talents and I think websites, uh, who is a first time group cruiser, a first time Disney cruiser, any first time cruiser cruiser.

[00:01:19] Jeff. Welcome. Thank you,

[00:01:21] Jeff Sieh: sir. Thank you for inviting me

[00:01:23] Lou Mongello: and. Beci Mahnken travel, cruising, royalty who bring, wow, well, she brings a lot to the table and we'll just leave it at that. Uh, it is so good to see you want again, after what was for so many reasons and incredibly memorable cruise and adventure. And I put memorable in air quotes because it means a lot for a lot of different reasons that we're going to get into.

[00:01:52] And before we get into the cruise itself, um, I want to ask Jeff and, and Lisa sort of [00:02:00] like, I understand my answer, like for why this cruise, right, but why this cruise? Um, I had a chance to experience Marvel day at sea, uh, back in 2019 with my son. I instantly fell in love with it and, and I still. And then after this cruise consider it to sort of be the best cruise other than Alaska in terms of what is on board and an overall experience and memory.

[00:02:25] So, um, Lisa and Jeff, talk to me about why for you, why this cruise, why come as a group? Why Marvel day at sea, et cetera.

[00:02:35] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: So we're huge Marvel fans, and I have two little boys who are Marvel fans. So obviously there were all sorts of reasons to want to do this specific cruise. That being said in total honesty, when we initially booked it, I wasn't even looking at the fact that it was Marvel.

[00:02:49] It was just, obviously we'd had cruises canceled in the past as, as the group. And this was the first one back. I know we would all be together, um, right out of Miami, which made it really, really simple obviously. But I think it was just the idea of being back on a ship finally. And with this amazing group of people and everything else was just details.

[00:03:10] Jeff Sieh: Well, well, for me, um, I really had no interest ever getting on a ship. I just never thought that was something I thought I saw Titanic way too many times. And I thought if it went down, me floating and one of those life rings would be a perfect little. My big booty would be the perfect little shark appetizer.

[00:03:26] So I didn't have any desire until I started getting involved in the W2, www WDW radio community. And I saw your post with, with marble, with you shared some of the stuff that was going on, and I'm a Marvel fan. And, uh, my wife and I were with the COVID stuff, we weren't able to do our 25th anniversary. And I thought, well, let's try this.

[00:03:47] This sounds fun and exciting adventure. And we went on it and, uh, I was so enthralled with just the community I already had booked, like, I think three cruises, you know? So I'm like, I better like cruising or I'm [00:04:00] I'm really in trouble. So, um, but we went on and had a blast. Um, it was our first cruise, like you had mentioned before, and I just fell in love with cruising, especially

[00:04:07] Lou Mongello: Disney.

[00:04:09] And Becky, I think I sort of know your answer already and sort of even just taking the group aspect out of it too, just as a, from a, a cruising fan and a Marvel fan perspective. I know we've talked about this a lot to sort of the appeal of what this cruise brings, because it is very different than a regular cruise this single day that is focused on a specific theme.

[00:04:31] We've done star wars day at sea before there's Pixar day at sea coming in 2023. So I know that just from a fan perspective, this was something you were looking forward to doing.

[00:04:41] Beci Mahnken: Absolutely. One of the things that has been so exciting was when they announced Marvel, DNC, I think you and I were on the phone immediately and said, we have to do this.

[00:04:50] And it it's such a wonderful blend of the IP and the Disney experience on a cruise ship. Um, I, I would have gone if it wasn't a group, but I'm so glad we did it as a group because it was so much more fun with everybody involved.

[00:05:05] Lou Mongello: Yeah. And it's interesting from Jeff's perspective. I mean, Jeff, clearly you're an, all-in kind of guy you're going to go from not cruising to three cruises and not cruising just you and your wife or you and your family.

[00:05:15] Like you're going with a group of people. Most of whom you had never met before. Was that, was that potentially, I mean, I know we've, we've been friends for a long time, but especially for your wife, is that like, all right, honey, listen, this is what we're going to do. We're going to Miami and we're getting on a cruise with a bunch of strangers.

[00:05:33] Jeff Sieh: So it wasn't. Well, we'll get into it, but the whole, it was a nerve wracking experience, to be honest. I mean, it was probably the most stressful vacation I've ever had, but, um, well, till you get on the ship, but, um, I was really, cause I knew, um, there were some people who I met through momentum on that were going to be on board then.

[00:05:51] And the cool thing was, is you had the, the Facebook group, the private Facebook group that we could get on there beforehand and see what was getting planned and get [00:06:00] to know each other. And like Ray Stockton was sharing tips on, he had gone cruising a couple months before, and this is what happened and this is the procedures.

[00:06:07] So that was really helpful. And I think made me feel really, really comfortable on, you know, the procedures and what was gonna happen on the cruise, especially for a first time cruiser.

[00:06:15] Lou Mongello: Yeah. To your point about the stress. We all sort of giggled and chuckled a little bit internally and externally, and it's not the cruise itself.

[00:06:25] It was especially that, that finite period sort of day of, but I think we should talk a little bit about the preliminaries before you even get to the port. And I don't want to go too deep into this. We've talked and I've written about on, on the show, on, uh, on the blog about. Sort of where we are, and it's a very sort of ever changing, ever evolving state in terms of procedures and protocols regarding COVID and everything else in terms of getting on the ship.

[00:06:56] Um, I would absolutely recommend. Without a doubt. When you book your cruise, you check the DCL website, you check your app. You certainly check with hopefully our mouse van travel advisor, as you are getting ready. But right now there is, there are some more steps are some additional preparation that has to take place in terms of, you know, everybody having to be vaccinated and uploading your vaccination cards and the safe passage website.

[00:07:23] There's a lot of steps that have to be taken, which can potentially be overwhelming. It can potentially be stressful. Um, Lisa, I know you actually did a very, very lengthy and very thorough blog post about. All of those different things that you need to think about and consider, which is super helpful, but you're right.

[00:07:46] I mean, there is, there's a lot to sort of think about it. It's actually why having, I think, and I don't mean to sound this as, as a shameless plug, but it's, but it's why having a travel advisor, especially if you've never cruised before is helpful to help you [00:08:00] navigate no pun intended. Some of those they're not difficult.

[00:08:04] They're just sort of time sensitive hurdles that you have to get.

[00:08:08] Beci Mahnken: And they're important pieces too. And it's one of the reasons, and I know it's been difficult and it's stressful to go through all of these hoops, but it's one of the reasons why a cruise vacation right now is one of the safest ways to travel, because we are testing beforehand.

[00:08:25] We are making sure that people are vaccinated before you get on board. So all the steps yeah. When you're waiting for the test and again, some cruise lines allow you to test two days before you even go. So Disney handles it a little bit different by testing you at the port. Other cruise lines, allow it two days before.

[00:08:45] So it does vary by cruise line and by protocol. But while it's stressful, it did allow us while we, after we did get through that hoop and you get on board, you know, everyone's vaccinated, everybody's tested negative and allows you to kind of relax a little bit after what we've been through the last few years.

[00:09:05] Jeff Sieh: Can I, can I just tell the procedure that like, cause we went in and so we had some issues even beforehand because there's that winter weather that came through right before it. And so I woke up and we had an SU pass. Our was our, uh, travel agent and she's amazing. And so I woke up at three because we would fly out of Dallas and I woke up at three the night before going, there's no way Dallas is going to stay open because they freak out when there's a dusting of snow and everybody buys all the eggs and milk in the whole state.

[00:09:33] And it's, you know, I don't know what's going on. They're all making, they're all making, you know, French toast or something. But anyway, the, I knew it was gonna shut down. So I said, we're going to have to drive it. Jodi. I said, we're just gonna have to go. And so luckily I was able to call Susan like, cause I had no idea.

[00:09:46] So my first cruise I'm like, I don't know. Can I park at the port, do EA do I have to go through a barge system? I don't know what I'm doing here. And so she was super helpful. She called down and said, Hey, you can park right here. It's going to be this much money. This is what [00:10:00] I would suggest you do. And we had already had gone through her and we were staying at night, uh, extra before the cruise in Miami at the group hotel.

[00:10:09] So that was really helpful. So, but it was super stressful. And then you get to the port going, still not knowing if you're going to have to turn around or not. I saw Louis there before and the group and his group made it and everybody was sigh of relief. And then Lisa and I were still there waiting. And we're like, I don't know.

[00:10:24] And her family is there. And you're looking at this board where it says, you know, clear to sale, then other one was consoled. Everybody knows what that means. It means like you are not getting on the ship. So Lisa got on and then I'm there waiting. And this family right next to. They got the call and they stood up and I saw the wife like rubbing her husband's shoulders.

[00:10:45] And they're walking back that walk of shame back through the crowd. I'm just like, oh, and it's just, it was super nerve wracking, but then you're right. When you get on that ship and have a couple of drinks, you're, it's fine. It feels really, really good.

[00:10:58] Lou Mongello: He was actually drinking at the port

[00:11:02] Beci Mahnken: needed to wait.

[00:11:02] You, you just needed to test a negative. That's all I was waiting for. So, yeah, exactly. And one of the, I just want to get a quick tip for those who, um, who do have that, that fear of testing positive at the board. I highly recommend that you take one of the home tests that even before you leave for the port, then I took a test the night before we boarded, just to make sure so that I had a feeling of where I was going to be.

[00:11:29] So we always advise clients before you fly, uh, have your family take one of the home.

[00:11:37] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Yeah, nothing is perfect, but we were definitely home testing also. And I think for, for me, like I'm a grownup and if somebody tells me I can't get on a cruise, I'm disappointed. But like, my life goes on. I had two little kids too, and it was very like, it was all just about them and like how nerve wracking it was to not want to be telling them.

[00:11:53] And I had like a mental plan for like what we were going to do with the money, if we couldn't get on their ships and nobody was upset. [00:12:00] Um, it's funny that I laughed when Jeff said is the most stressful task. Like to me, it was like, it was the most stressful vacation I've ever taken until the vacation started.

[00:12:07] Beci Mahnken: Right.

[00:12:09] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: At which point I probably still needed about 45 minutes to like decompress.

[00:12:13] Jeff Sieh: I may have pried on deck. I may have pride. And that wasn't because I saw the crab, but it was actually because you're on.

[00:12:22] Lou Mongello: And at, and what I was a refrigerant, I'm going to link to your article because I like how you break down the, the timetable leading up to it.

[00:12:31] And I think what was happening was not just the things that you needed to do in preparation for it, in terms of, you know, having your card uploaded, having your photo uploaded, making sure you've got your passport, all the things that you need to sort of do, but that 24 hours. Before the cruise. And I say this not as a cautionary tale.

[00:12:48] I mean, it's, it's funny in retrospect. And hopefully things continue to ease up, but it was very, very stressed even the night before I could tell it wasn't just me and my family, but there were others. Like we would go out to dinner. We're like, what are you doing? Touching people? What, what are you nuts?

[00:13:05] You don't hug anybody. Like, cause we were so freaked out about what was going to happen the next day. And I I'm like, I'm not joking. When I said I had these like bugs bunny cartoon, like images in my mind. Testing positive. And if one person in your group test positive, nobody could go. I'm like, that's fine.

[00:13:23] All three of us will take different cars to the port. So we're not together, but it's not going to matter because you're in the same state room. But standing on let this fictional doc just waving as the ship went by with everybody in the group on it. Um, it was very high at the port. Um, and then when you do wait, but then when you do see a green and there's a sigh of relief and it's okay to admit that we all might've actually cried a sigh of relief, but then as you're walking towards.

[00:13:54] Th the next phase where you're going to check in and get on the ship. I would look around and I'd see some people [00:14:00] still sitting there sort of like slumped in their chairs with sad puppy, dog, eyes just waving at you. And they're like, God, I hope they get on to.

[00:14:07] Beci Mahnken: Yeah, exactly. But the good news is let's move on from this piece because we had a very large group.

[00:14:13] As a matter of fact, we had about 25% of our group was, was the full sailing number. And nobody tested positive. Everybody tested negative and everybody got on board.

[00:14:26] Lou Mongello: All those, all the advice to bathe and hand sanitizer, we were posting in the group clearly paid off

[00:14:31] Beci Mahnken: C and that putting you in a, in a plastic bubble for like three weeks worked.

[00:14:35] Lou Mongello: So you guys don't didn't have the additional Becky like kosher going on where every single day or God forbid, like I was out doing a live show. Shit. Are you insane, man? What are you getting into your bubble? Why aren't you out.

[00:14:48] Beci Mahnken: Yeah, exactly. And, and from the area of the country that I was from, everybody was doing that anyway, you, you had masks everywhere and everybody was still staying inside, but, um, yeah, just to limit the exposure and a couple of weeks beforehand.

[00:15:03] And obviously if you've had COVID, it's a, it's a better case scenario because you just show the fact that you had it and you get a doctor's note. You don't even have to test when you go on board. So again, all of those protocols are going to be changing we're right now, seeing mask mandates kind of going away in different areas and the, the COVID numbers are coming down.

[00:15:20] So it's going to be a fantastic summer for

[00:15:23] Lou Mongello: cruising. Yeah. Now and now is the time. And now is the best time to cruise because not only are we 25% of the ship, but the ship was about 25% full hearing. There was like 800, 900 or so people on break the entire ship. Well, we'll talk about that part of the experience, but because of some of the.

[00:15:47] Change that have been happening with, with cruising at it affected us sort of as a group to Becky. And I mean, literally it was the day before we were printing things out because we did not have clear, um, [00:16:00] clear idea of what we were going to be able to do. Um, in terms of being limited, limited with venues and distancing.

[00:16:07] So there was a lot of pivoting, there was a lot of pivoting going on. Um, but I think it actually worked out. I, so let's talk a little bit about some of the things that we do. And then w like as a group, as a WWE radio group, and then we'll talk about the cruise overall in general, because my thought and my hope for, you know, Jeff and Lisa, is that doing it as a group and some of the group activities that we had planned were one of the reasons why you wanted to cruise, you know, you're going to Crow cruised by yourself.

[00:16:38] You've could have chosen a different, uh, a different sailing, but you chose to cruise as a group. So we try and do as much as possible to give you the opportunity to participate as much or as little as you like. And if you've never cruised with us before, I'll just sort of quickly go through some of the things that we.

[00:16:56] On this cruise and then Lisa and Jeff, I'd love to hear your thoughts about it. Certainly Becky you as well. Um, even the night before, like we have a welcome center at the group hotel, and then when you get on board, um, we have D lounge. We had D lounge, which was, which served as a welcome center for members of the group to come check in, get their lanyard, get their credentials, and then sign up for some of the other activities that we were doing, like a, a scavenger hunt.

[00:17:23] We had a door decorating contest. We had a magnet exchange, uh, instead of a fish extender exchange, which we've done in the past. We had a magnet exchange this year, um, with some daily magnet surprises, which we'll touch on in a minute, including some surprises, even for Becky Macon, we had a white elephant gift exchange because for me it doesn't matter when Christmas is, I love the white elephant exchange.

[00:17:47] Um, we dine together. In main dining. We had a couple of, we had an ice cream social on Castaway key. Uh, we normally, uh, will, after the kids clubs close, [00:18:00] we're able to rent out those venues and have a kids' club takeover party, which I would have loved to have done on the ship because especially of the Marvel theme in there, we couldn't do it.

[00:18:10] We pivot. So we do late night pajama parties up on deck. Um, I'm really curious to hear, especially for Jeff, who's never done that before. What that is like walking through the ship in your pajamas. And then we had a great farewell party at cabanas. So I'd love for each of you, um, Lisa, Jeff, and Becky, to talk about some of the different group activities, what you participated in, what you enjoyed, um, you know, and sort of your level of, uh, interaction with going together as a group.

[00:18:43] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: I love that we did the magnet exchange when we couldn't do fish extenders. That was just a really creative, like, fun way to interact with the group. Like that made us, we had to like think out of the box and come up with something different besides the fish extenders that we usually do,

[00:18:57] Lou Mongello: uh, just to quickly explain to what you mean by a magnet exchange.

[00:18:59] So anybody who wanted to participate basically signed up in advance and you were assigned another state room that was your designated state room to, um, go and place whenever you want to. During the cruise a magnet or magnets, um, on there, it was just sort of like a fun, simple, easy exchange that you can do in a great way to, to show off your creative side, meet and, uh, and interact with so many other cruisers as well.

[00:19:27] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Yeah. Um, so yeah, so that was, that was great. I think, I mean, I could talk about all of them and they were all fun, like the pajama parties and all that good stuff, but like, to me, the white elephant, like we love a good white elephant. Anyway, there are a lot of fun and like always like a good way to get to know people.

[00:19:41] And like everybody sort of gets comfortable with each other. Um, but for me, it like the white elephant was like, it was almost like an emotional, emotional experience for me. And it speaks to like how important selling with this particular group is to my family because. First of all, there weren't that many kids on the [00:20:00] ship for a variety of reasons.

[00:20:01] Probably it was during the, you know, the school year and, you know, things related to the requirements right now. But there weren't a ton of kids on the ship, but my kids like are so loved by this group as a whole. And like what happened over the course of the white elephant and afterwards people like bringing them things and talking to them and showing them the comic books.

[00:20:18] And it was just such a cool special experience that like it's the one group event that stands out the most to me. Cause I really just left it like with such a full heart for like just being with this group of my

[00:20:30] Beci Mahnken: family.

[00:20:31] Lou Mongello: Uh people's good heart and good nature came out and showed themselves, showed it in spades, not just, you know, being, having fun with it and not being serious and cutthroat about it.

[00:20:45] But even after there were gestures made by people who saw, you know, maybe somebody had something taken away that they really would have liked. So they walked over and they gave it to them or said, Hey. Three people came up to me and said, this thing was taken away from this person. I want to pay for you to take them to boathouse, like, which I obviously won't allow them to do because I'll take them to boathouse anyway, because yeah, he went for me.

[00:21:08] But the fact that they came up and thought about that, and even somebody came up to me and said, Lou, I want you to have this. Cause I saw you crying on the corner and I know you love Spider-Man so much. And I didn't take it as much as I wanted to. But to your point, it goes to just the family. We talked about this community and this family and it, it, it it's, it's so evidences these words that we use.

[00:21:32] So.

[00:21:36] Jeff Sieh: Yeah. And so we did, um, that, that was probably our favorite one. I think we did everyone except for maybe one of the pajama parties. And my wife loves all of them, except for the beach bake. She didn't like the beach Paik very much, uh, the group photo. Um, but, but, um,

[00:21:55] Lou Mongello: what's the beach that was

[00:21:58] Jeff Sieh: baking at the beach would be a better, [00:22:00] yes. So. No, but, uh, so we had a good time at the white elephant. So w it was, I'm glad that this stuff happened afterwards. Like, cause it was a little intense, there were people were stealing. They were like, they wanted some of those things and I didn't, you know, I didn't feel too bad that I stole from Nick.

[00:22:17] Um, the, the, uh, cause he won baby boy. Oh yeah. But yeah, and he won like Marvel trivia, so he did not need the Marvel encyclopedia, but, and that was, that was like, I think the cap was like 20 bucks and I know how much that encyclopedia is and I'm like, and it was the second time I knew the third time I could keep it for myself.

[00:22:37] So I did it. So, but it was a lot of fun. Um, I didn't have any problems walking around. Uh, the, I mean, look at me. I mean, I don't have any problems walking around looking different, so I don't have any problems with pajamas throughout the ship. So that was fun. Um, yeah, it was, it was just a great way to meet people and then like in a gentle way, extended.

[00:22:56] You know, cause you have people you meet and you connect with like I knew from momentum and stuff, but this also not forced you in a bad way, but cause you to kind of expand your horizons a little bit and go outside of your comfort zone and, and oh, that person was at, I did not know they were even on the ship, so yeah, they're at the Elvin party.

[00:23:12] That's let's talk, you know, that kind of thing. So it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed that. Um, and the, and the, and it was just very low key. There wasn't a lot of stress, like you said, you can come if you want, you don't have to. One time my wife was really like liking some of the live music. We were listening to the lounge.

[00:23:27] I said, well, I'm going to go up and go to this thing. And this is cool. She didn't have to be there. And I went and it was fun. So,

[00:23:33] Lou Mongello: and so a quick question for you or for you both. One of the things that we we've always done is give everybody lanyards and credentials that are themed with the, with the logo.

[00:23:43] Actually, we had a logo design contest before the cruise with some amazing entries, by the way, and huge congratulations to Keith Croatians who want it to this very cool. Comic book like design, I'll put it in the show notes of actually what we ended up doing was [00:24:00] taking some of the other designs that we loved so much and said, you know what?

[00:24:03] We're going to utilize these as well. Cause they're so good. And that's why we had a daily magnet delivery to everybody's state room with a surprise magnet each day. Huge, thanks again, by the way, to beaches and Brian, Dennis from mouse fan travel, who went every single day and distributed all of those magnets.

[00:24:22] Um, so two questions for you. One, what was it like, especially you Jeff, and you again, Lisa walking around the crews and seeing other guests with the lanyards on sort of knowing that you have something in common with a lot of these other guests that you see. And two, we didn't even talk about the magic tickets.

[00:24:41] Did you score any magic tickets? Um, which was something that, that we've done on a couple of cruises. Becky. And I were armed with, um, a lot of different number tickets that we were giving out throughout the, uh, the cruise as we would encounter people. So whether I would go up and ask them a trivia question, if they were participating in one of our group activities, Becky would sometimes give them away just on a whim or because somebody bought you a cocktail.

[00:25:13] So things, the lanyards part and the magic tickets.

[00:25:19] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: So I can just start. Um, and it just quickly, because I'm sure Jeff has more to say being new. Um, but yeah, I mean, it's, it's always just so nice. You just have built-in family on the cruise and the lanyards are just such a quick way to know that you've got a friend in the elevator or on the staircase or at the dinner table.

[00:25:35] Um, because they, they mark us obviously very, very obviously. And, um, it was even more so this time, because like we said, there were only like eight or 900 people on the ship and we were. 25% or more of that. So, um, I would say there's a lot of landowners and it made you feel very welcome as you wander the ship or went to get a drink late at night or wherever, wherever you were.

[00:25:59] You knew there were friends in the [00:26:00] room. So that was really nice. And the magic tickets were a lot of fun, even though I did not want to

[00:26:04] Beci Mahnken: prize.

[00:26:07] Jeff Sieh: Yeah. So I feel the same way. It also costs you to be on the lanyards, caused you to be on your best behavior because you like to be identified like this isn't the group they're with.

[00:26:15] Um, but yeah, it was, it was really nice to be able to just like Lisa was saying, uh, you know, drum up some conversation or like, what did you think of the, you know, the, the Marvel, you know, unite show that we just saw or whatever. So it was really great. I actually, where my land in your home, my wife made fun of me trying to get in the door at our house with it.

[00:26:33] I mean, I really, I mean, it was just part of you, you just, I kept mine on the entire time, but mostly so I wouldn't lose anything. But, um, and then the magic tickets, I thought it was a great way. Like Lou gave me a couple extra ones. Cause I braided the beard for pirate night and you know, we had six desserts for every meal that one to some.

[00:26:50] Um, but yeah, so it was, I mean it was, and then Lou used him when he was trying to, uh, trade people at the white elephant. He would like, that was a little illegal. I don't think that's really, that wasn't really the thing. Like how could he do that? It's not fair. And there was going to be an uprising, but we quieted them down in the back.

[00:27:10] Lou Mongello: They still had that. Cool. Spider-Man signed ticket away from.

[00:27:15] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: So I I'll just chime in very quickly and add, I think sometimes the like uncalculated actions of like children are at the most telling an honest things. And every time we take one of these trips, this time included I'll walk into their rooms.

[00:27:28] And this time it was very cute, like in Tyson's room, his little magic band that he had for the kids club, he had taken a little piece of tape and stood it up on his dresser and without fail, including this time, um, their lanyards are always like, they put them up in their rooms. So just like how much of the lanyard is like symbolic of the trip.

[00:27:45] Um, my kids always like come home and put them on display. So they're obviously a lot of memories tied to.

[00:27:51] Beci Mahnken: What I love about the lanyards is that there's people who maybe are new to the community or have never been to an in-person event in the [00:28:00] community. And the moment they step on board, they see somebody with a lanyard and you immediately have something in common and you can start a conversation.

[00:28:08] And after doing so many of these, we've seen people come together and now they traveled together every year and they become really close friends. And it's just a, an immediate way of saying, Hey, you're part of this group. And I want to get to know you and it helps break the ice and allows you to get to know people.

[00:28:28] And I love that.

[00:28:30] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Yeah. I actually had this really nice conversation with some of the people who had sailed alone on the last night of the cruise. And I don't know if you relate it to Becky, but it's, it was, it was just so great because we were talking to this group of people who had sailed alone and they talked again a lot about the lanyards and like how welcome they thought and how nervous.

[00:28:46] And some of them were a little more introverted and were kind of nervous coming into the cruise experience, being alone and to say the least, they had had a positive experience and everybody mentioned the lanyards

[00:28:58] Beci Mahnken: and that's great. And I was gonna say, and you just mentioned something. That's really, one of the things that I love so much is it's the dining putting people together at dining is this one is a little bit more challenging than other times because there were protocols and we had to be within certain protocols of people being together, but it.

[00:29:21] We try our best to put the singles together so that they all get to know each other and they can relate. Um, so they don't feel alone. And they've got a buddy now and we had a group, I think, of eight singles that were all at one table and they ended up doing everything together and, uh, throughout the cruise, which is a lot of fun to see,

[00:29:44] Lou Mongello: yeah, somebody else was supposed to join us.

[00:29:45] Who went as a solo, unfortunate had a scheduling conflict last minute. But to that point, that's one of the things I love seeing is, is you come, you come solo, but you know, you're not alone because [00:30:00] you're surrounded by people that again, have this, this commonality. But I think Lisa, the thing was the last night of the, the pajama and chicken tender party that we had on deck, that there were some of those solos and you saw the smiles on their faces and I had.

[00:30:17] Well, some people start off in sort of, they're sort of very compartment lies like by themselves. And as the cruise went on, there were these little pods of, of friends that were spending time together. And I love the fact that Becky you and your team were able to assemble them specifically at tables to help them, you know, make immediate friends and, and, and find some people that they had things in common with and form those friendships.

[00:30:43] And we've seen those friendships extend, forget just for years, but we have friends, you know, like for decades, you know, Laurie Oliveri and the Hoffman, they cruised, they met on a cruise and now Lori drags them on cruises together because that's the kind of friendship that they formed. And I love that.

[00:31:02] And I love seeing that. It doesn't matter how many people, you know, or don't know when you come on board and we really try and make sure that. You know, you're going to spend time making friends along the way.

[00:31:14] Beci Mahnken: I want to mention something about the events too. And thank you guys so much for your input about those.

[00:31:18] It makes me, it warms my heart because this Lou knows this one was a little bit of a challenge. Uh, usually we're apologizing because we don't have the schedule out 30 days in advance because you have to work with Disney. And there's a lot of things that go on in the background. There's a lot of work that goes on in the background, working with Disney to figure out what events we can have and what venues we can have and what we can do as a group.

[00:31:40] Because the one thing we never want to do is impact anybody else's experience on board. So we're always thinking about that. This one was interesting because we were like three days before the cruise and we were still trying to put all those little pieces together. Do the protocol. So coming up with things like, [00:32:00] um, moving to the outdoor spaces, which I think Lou, you probably weren't too disappointed because it included chicken tenders.

[00:32:09] Lou Mongello: Listen, there's always a method to my madness. I will choose the good and make lemonade. And I'm like, wait a minute. If we can't go into the kids club, I'm going to get late night pizza and chicken tenders and it worked beautifully. And there's when I get back to my room again. But, uh, it was a lot of fun and we always make sure we do things that everybody can participate in.

[00:32:29] And again, your level of participation really depends on you. You can do as much or as little as you like. And I love see people seeing people who maybe we've never met before coming to every single event and, and really, um, making the most out of the group experience.

[00:32:49] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Yeah, our pajama parties late at night.

[00:32:51] We're definitely excellent. You know how people say, like the cavalcades are like the great thing that came out of all of this at Disney? I think like late night pajama parties on back or the great thing

[00:32:59] Beci Mahnken: that came out of all of this, they may stick around. I have a feeling

[00:33:04] Lou Mongello: we might start doing those for land events to Becky.

[00:33:07] I know that would be cool.

[00:33:10] Jeff Sieh: So, I just want to say that, you know, we talked about the lanyards and how that helps you identify and there's that community aspect. But also I want to go back and just talk about once again, those, the groups that we had before the trip, like the thing we did, our, we did the muster station right at the beginning.

[00:33:23] We were sitting there on deck for, and just Jody and I were just sitting there and, uh, Ray came by and I recognized him from his avatar on the Facebook group. And then I saw the, um, the, uh, lanyard. And so we struck up a conversation and he's such a nice guy. We talked for a long time. He gave us some pointers.

[00:33:40] And so that was our first day. And then on the last day of the trip was kind of a perfect bookend. Ray was right behind us when we were getting off the ship and he was getting back on because he did a double dip, but able to, to be able to have that nice, you know, book in for our first cruise, seeing Ray who was in the group and so helpful beforehand, and seeing him at the end was just [00:34:00] really, really perfect, uh, into our cruise.

[00:34:04] Lou Mongello: Yeah, one thing I want to sort of connect the dots a little bit with, with the lanyards and, and some of the group activities and how they sort of extended beyond the confines of, of the WF rodeo community. A couple of things that I saw it happen. One of the things that, that we did was I created a scavenger hunt.

[00:34:25] Um, and I can hear some groans from people who have been, who have maybe taken part in some of our Disneyland quests with ours and Toontown or, um, quests. We've done it at the Hollywood studios because I like to make them as, as challenging as possible. This one was a little bit more challenging because I hadn't been on the magic release since the refurbishment.

[00:34:45] So there were some things that changed, but people who. Did the scavenger hunt. So were so many people that every time I saw them had their scavenger hunts with them and it, it necessitated them interacting with crew members, which I love too. Right. So it, it, it invested the crew members become vested in this a little bit to it let's guess talk to them as well.

[00:35:07] And there's a fun, competitive aspect of it I'll give credit to the winner. Uh, Tina . So there were, it came down to two people who have this, who have this wonderful, friendly rivalry throughout the crews, Gretchen and Tina Petoskey. And it came down to a score of 97, out of 199 out of 101 by two points.

[00:35:28] Although I promised that I would give them both a prize because I was. I just loved the dynamic. I love the participation and I loved just how much fun they had with it. But one of the things that happened too, and if not, it didn't just happen to me. But a couple other people told me a similar story, Becky, maybe it was you.

[00:35:46] But the second morning when I was going into cabanas for my fourth, when I was going into cabanas for breakfast, one of the crew members stopped me and she looks down and we have our name. Ray's name is on there. Credential. [00:36:00] And she says, oh, Mr. Lou, I've been looking for you. I just want to let you know, you know, on behalf of me and so many other crew members were so grateful and she had a tear in her eyes, she saying that she was like, we're so grateful that you and your group chose to come on board.

[00:36:17] We appreciate you so very much. And we just want to let you know that. And I was, you know, I was chatting with her and processing and then it made me realize it because I guess there are so fewer people than normal. They really were. We're grateful not just to have the physical bodies on board, but they also, she talked about just how much fun everybody was having and how, you know, kind and happy and respectful everybody was too.

[00:36:42] And it was really, really nice to hear, not just from a crew perspective, but a reflection of the group as well. Yeah.

[00:36:49] Beci Mahnken: And this, the story that I was telling you was when I go on board for the first day, we have a pre-con meeting to meet with the officers and go through all of our events so that they're aware of what we're doing and everything is matched up, how it needs to be.

[00:37:04] And I asked them, so is there anything that I can communicate to the group to help you? Because we know these protocols are pretty difficult and Disney doesn't do groups per, per se. So, uh, I wanted to make sure that we were doing whatever we could. And one of the officers looked at me and said, you know, if you could just tell them to please be kind.

[00:37:25] Um, because of course in this world, right now, with all the mandates and masks and people aren't so friendly about these types of things. And I looked at them and they said, you know, With this group. I don't even need to say that because this is a group choose. The good is their motto, and we're not going to have any trouble with this group.

[00:37:46] They're just going to love being here. And the cast members are going to love having them. And that's exactly what happened. And they came back to me on the last day and pretty much said the same thing, that they were so glad that we were with them. [00:38:00]

[00:38:01] Lou Mongello: And Jeff, you, you and I were, we were chatting earlier.

[00:38:04] We actually talked about this on the cruise itself too. And I, and I'm looking to you specifically, because this is your first forget about cruise, but first Disney cruise, you made a point to talk about the crew members and the levels of service. And I know for some people. We even had this on a recent WWO nation group call where there's a bit of a disconnect between, well, if I'm a theme park person, I'm not sure if I'm going to like a cruise because there aren't any attractions and shows.

[00:38:33] And what is it like? And you remarked about the, the, the prevalence of, and the quality of the service. Talk a little bit just about your experience in that. Obviously Lisa and Becky, if you have anything you want to add, So

[00:38:48] Jeff Sieh: it's funny, you said that because Jody and I had a discussion on the way home it's like, what did we like better the parks or the cruise?

[00:38:54] I mean, cause you know, cause I mean it's a whole different experience and it's like apples to oranges, but it was for our first cruise, it was amazing. We had an amazing room host. I took tons of pictures because of the level and the surprises that he would leave in our room when we would come back, you know, the, the towel, uh, decorations that they would do in the animals that they would create a key thing is always make sure you leave your sunglasses in there because they do some really fun stuff.

[00:39:17] Uh, so just throw in some sunglasses, if you're going to, you don't need them. But, uh, but it was just amazing. The level of service and detail and helpfulness. Um, like I said, we had a great room host, but like the first night, for example, and I was even impressed because I had gone to the parks recently and I had Disney genie and genie plus it rolled out and all that.

[00:39:37] And I was a little nervous about the app because I knew a lot of things and there was a lot of stuff on the discussion boards about. The app and they wanted the paper navigator and all this rigamarole that goes on in the internets. Um, I got on the first day and we had booked, um, Apollo reservation for, uh, one of the Castaway nights.

[00:39:57] And I was like, I don't want to mess. It was the only thing that was open because [00:40:00] we were the first time cruisers and you get at the bottom of the barrel to pick whatever you want, you know? And so, uh, that was the only time we could get on there. And I didn't want to mess up with one of our dining rotations.

[00:40:09] I wanted to go to every night too with the group. And so I got on there with the app and said, Hey, and I, you can click a button that speak to a cast member. And I said, Hey, I need to, is there any way I can move a reservation? And they said, what is it? I said, I want to do it on Nassau day. Cause we're going to stay on the ship.

[00:40:24] And um, they said, no problem. And we moved and I said, could I get brunch? And they're like, cause that's even harder to get usually. And they said, no problem. And they moved me first day and it was done. I was like, yes. So I started the, you know, as crab and then I got a win with Paulo and I was just like, I'm done just, I'm going to sit here and just

[00:40:42] Lou Mongello: chill for awhile.

[00:40:48] So you brought up crab and you brought Apollo. Uh, let's just quickly touch on one of my favorite aspects of the cruise, which was, uh, dining. Oh, the other thing we didn't mention too, how did we forget this? Um, you, you talk about sometimes there's opportunity from adversity. Our itinerary changed right before the cruise.

[00:41:10] We were supposed to go to Nassau and grand Cayman and it ended up becoming a double dip at Castaway key. Which nobody complained about. Cause that's sort of like, that's like the golden cruise, right? I, you know, I, some of the ports, some people choose to get an offer or don't choose to get off now, you know, especially some people are even more hesitant having two days at an empty Castaway key is like a wind that we couldn't have bargained for and something that was, um, uh, a, a very happy accident as a result of everything that happened.

[00:41:45] Um, we've talked about dining on the cruises before, um, again, sort of the, the rotational dining and, and we'll get to, to Marvel day at sea. Um, any thing that you want to add about dining? Um, [00:42:00] the one thing that if you've never been on the magic before, one of the, so there's an animator's palate, there is a, um, oh God, it's not real palace.

[00:42:07] It's um, Rapunzel's Royal table. W what's the other one? The Royal dining room, the blue Lumiere, Lumiere, God, I get confused. Well, so as Lumiere out of his palette and Rapunzel's real table, which I love, because that is, uh, you got a little bit of a dinner show along with your meal, as well as all the dining options on board, quick service locations, daisies delights was one of my favorites.

[00:42:34] Um, anything specifically you guys want to add about dining or dining experiences of note? So

[00:42:40] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: I didn't get to, I didn't get to speak on, um, as, as we were moving on so I can get to speak on the cast members, that experience. So now I'm just going to like tie, move

[00:42:49] Lou Mongello: your hands. Cause I, sometimes you gotta be back cause.

[00:42:54] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: No, no, I'm just going to tie it all together because it all kind of ties together. So I think the big thing for us, as far as like, service on the ship and also sort of a unique situation and dining was that while there were challenges on the ship, like for safety reasons that we needed to get around, I felt like because there were so few people on the ship and this was such a special, special sailing for the cast as well.

[00:43:15] You got this like sort of leveled up experience where I always say like, Disney's almost like their service is great to a fault because it's so good. You don't even notice it's happening until you stay on another line and see the things that don't happen. So like the fact that your ice tea lands on the table before you even sit down because your server knows you that well, it's like the kind of thing that's so quietly done that it flies under the radar, but some of the stuff that happened on this sailing.

[00:43:41] For example, like Jeff, we really wanted to go to Palo, but we hadn't been able to book it. And so on that first day we worked, we put a request in to try to get into Pallo, hopefully for brunch and Sasha who works Palo was on the phone with me, like for the first two mornings, trying to figure out like when they could get us in and made sure that that [00:44:00] happened.

[00:44:00] And he's, you know, he's the head at Palo. It's not like he's not a busy guy. Um, and at kid's club and I'm sure we'll talk a little bit more about what's happening with the kids clubs, right? Um, they're now doing it sort of as a rotation where you're led as a group through the ocean ears club or lab, um, with somebody who is assigned to your children's group.

[00:44:22] And, you know, we got back to the room one day and there was this beautiful card with like two children's Disney cruise caps hanging on the fishing center. And on the note, it was a note from Molly P if you're out there, God bless you. You're amazing. Like there was this beautiful card and it was handwritten from Molly P who had been like my kids' counselors at kids club.

[00:44:40] And it said like, you know, those beautiful things about my children and how great they had been to have as guests at kid's club. And if they continue to work hard, you know, and, and put in the effort that she was sure that one day Maddix would be, um, an astronaut and Maddix would be a blue angel pilot, which is their two dream jobs.

[00:44:57] So she had had that conversation with my kids and taking the time to remember it and write to us about it. That's my answer to both questions. Like the dining experience was as wonderful as usual and that much more special because of the intimate situation of the cruise. Um, and then, you know, obviously the, the kids club experience was wonderful.

[00:45:18] Jeff Sieh: Yeah. I was blown away by the dining. I mean, I just, I cannot, I mean, I took screenshots of all the menus. I have everything I put in my mouth on my phone. I mean, it was so much fun and just, and the way that the dining worked, it was so nice that you could, you would go eat, you'd have a little break and you'd go to a show.

[00:45:36] And when we're saying shows, we're not seeing somebody up there making balloon animals, these are like, like amazing. Broadway style shows that are just, I mean, we watched the, I think it was the, um, the Rapunzel one, the musical, the musical, we watched it the first night. And then the second night we turned it on the TV.

[00:45:54] Cause they, they broadcast it over there and it was like, it was a different cast. I mean, it was, it was just, it was fun, but it was just, it's [00:46:00] so spectacular that you can, it's like when you have a conference at a hotel where you can just go after you speak or after you go to, uh, hear somebody talk, then you can go up to your room and take a nap.

[00:46:09] That's what a cruise ship is that you can go eat and you have like a five minute commute to your, your bed. And that's, what's amazing. That's what I loved about. It was so relaxing. Um, I just cannot go on about how much fun and how relaxing we had. And I can't wait to get on a ship again. What was the

[00:46:25] Lou Mongello: best thing you ate?

[00:46:27] Jeff Sieh: This is really, and somebody else said this too. And it was a surprise. I like to kind of experiment. It was the chilled mango soup, which was a total shock to me. It was amazing. It was like putting ice cream, melted ice cream in your mouth,

[00:46:39] Beci Mahnken: strawberries. I I'm still in love with strawberry soup and I didn't get it this time, but it sounds weird and you try it and then you're addicted to it and you have to have it every time.

[00:46:53] It's up on. It's not there exactly, but somebody, this is the thing we went to brunch and they didn't have it the day that we were there, but then somebody else got it the next day. And I was super jealous and no one was, I started this,

[00:47:05] Lou Mongello: ask something, you know, the interesting thing about Disney cruise line is sometimes asking will reap you benefits and rewards and might not necessarily expect.

[00:47:16] I'll tell a very, very fast story. Many, many cruises ago, I was there with my cousins and they were talking with their server who was from India. They said, oh, we love Indian food. And he goes, oh, you want to try a little bit of Indian food, which is not on the menu. By the way, he says, we have a chef here.

[00:47:32] Who's Indian who makes a lot of the crew. Cause it was a, a large number of, of folks from India who were part of the crew goes, we'll bring you some food from our mess hall. And sir, so we would have our meal and they would bring out little like plates and we gobbled it up so fast. Would you like us to bring you something again tomorrow?

[00:47:54] And they did next long story longer. We had Indian food for like the next two nights. And then the rest of the crews were [00:48:00] like, you know what? We don't want what's on the menu. You just bring out whatever you have in the back. But it goes to just the fact that they were so not just happy to help, but so excited to share some of the food and their culture.

[00:48:15] And we loved it. And it just happened because you struck up a conversation with him. Lisa, what's the best thing you ate on the cruise.

[00:48:23] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Oh God. So many things. The first thing that comes to mind is that there was a tuna Pokay one night that like I could eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day in my life.

[00:48:32] Jeff Sieh: Uh, one more thing about customer service for a move on. I'm sorry. I've got to say this too. So my wife likes to, she has some medicine she takes with yogurt. And so one night we like, and we would get breakfast with the room service every morning we get like coffee and like some, you know, biscuits or something.

[00:48:46] And um, so one night she was like, Hey, I didn't take my meds and I need to take it with the yogurt. So I called room service and they set it up. It wasn't on the menu or anything like that. And so just on a hunch the next morning for, you know, you, you put on your card and you put it on your door before three in the morning and they'll bring you breakfast.

[00:49:01] I just wrote in, I said, can you bring yogurt? Like you did yesterday? And they did. And they did it for the rest of the cruise. I just would write it. I would write it on the door hanger and they'd bring it with the rest of the stuff.

[00:49:12] Lou Mongello: So Becky, do you remember years and years ago? Some friends of ours who were on the cruise with us, somebody was celebrating a birthday and they were talking to their server about how she just wanted an ice cream sundae that had some special toppings or Carmel sauce she wanted.

[00:49:31] She wished that she could get something that wasn't on board, the ship, one of the crew members, when we docked in whatever port, what Nassau, one of the crew members or a couple of crew members got off, took a cab, went to a grocery store, got the ingredients she wanted. And at her birthday that night, they were able to present it to her.

[00:49:51] Like it may not happen every time, but the stories that we're telling are very much representative of stories. We've heard, not just from our group, but [00:50:00] other cruisers over and over and over again. And again, it's a Testament to the level. Oh, and the quality of, of customer service that you'll find on the ship.

[00:50:10] Yeah. I remember without a doubt,

[00:50:13] Beci Mahnken: it really is. And those cast members are so in tune to your needs and the details and the things that will make it magical. Um, just like Jeff, you were just showing a picture of your special anniversary detail, um, at any birthdays, any celebrations, some of the best times to go on a Disney cruise is for a celebration because they will definitely go above and beyond to do anything they can to make it really memorable.

[00:50:41] Lou Mongello: Uh, before we move on to things like entertainment and Castaway and certainly Marvel, they had see Lisa, I would like you to talk if you. Just a little bit, because you are someone who had kids of a younger age. Talk a little bit about their, your, your kids' experience on board and a sort of any details about the kids' club, because like you said, not right now, from what I understand, the it's a small world nursery, which is for children under three, I believe is still closed, but even the ocean, his club and lab are slightly different than they have been currently on past cruises.

[00:51:20] So just touch on that a little bit about, and then sort of your kids' experiences specifically.

[00:51:25] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Yeah. I know this was a big part of like consideration and planning for us. So vibe and edge, which is the two clubs for tweens and teens are open and pretty much normal kids can come and go. And nothing has changed about that.

[00:51:37] Um, the nursery, like you said, is closed and then the ocean ears, um, club and lab, which is what, three or four up to 11 years old, 11 or 12. Something like that. Anyway, that, that age, the main age group, where you have your kids at a gets club, um, is by appoint by, um, reservation now and then otherwise based on availability.

[00:51:58] So when [00:52:00] you go ahead and get yourself checked in and set your kids up for the kids clubs, would you do as a part of that process? Um, You then go in and you can book as an activity, one session per day for your, for each of your kids. And the sessions are like an hour and a half or two hours long. And so I went in beforehand and made sure, I at least had my kids booked after dinner each night.

[00:52:21] Cause they like to go after dinner and you know, the adults like to kind of have their time to after dinner. So I made sure to go ahead and get that booked. And I was really happy that we had done that because at least in our experience, it is otherwise availability based. But I will say that they did have to turn us away every other time that the kids tried to go.

[00:52:38] So do make sure that you at least book that time. Um, and the reason is that it's obviously it's limited capacity right now. And like I had mentioned before, the way that they're doing it, which is really nice is that once you come into the club, they have that. The group that's assigned to that time slot work with a particular counselor who will take them around the kid's club to sort of do each activity, um, as, as a member of the group.

[00:53:01] And it's sort of a more controlled experience in that way, which took a little bit of getting used to, I think, for the kids. But they actually, like I said before, I ended up having these like really cool connections with cast members because their entire kids' club experience would be guided by a particular person who would get to know them over the course of that visit.

[00:53:18] And then also the course of the trip. So. And there's a really nice experience. Obviously I mentioned before too, like how nice it is selling what this particular group with my kids, because I know they're so loved. Um, so they always have an amazing trip and they've got their little magic bands popped up in their rooms as a memory.

[00:53:34] And, um, so they obviously had really good times and yeah, like I said, the nursery is closed the engineer's club and lab, you do need the reservations. And another thing to mention is that they're not doing food in the ocean, his club and lab, or in any of the kids' clubs anymore, for obvious reasons. Um, so that was a little bit of a change because it used to be that if my kids were in kids club and they kind of wanted to just stay for dinner and have the pizza, they would have that freedom.

[00:53:55] Um, but that is one thing to notice that your kids will always be dining with you, [00:54:00] um, for dinner on the ship

[00:54:01] Jeff Sieh: and up. Did, did your kids do the pools? Did they do a lot of the pool stuff? Cause you know, in the water slides and that. So

[00:54:09] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: according to Tyson, who is my younger son, he's nine. He did the Waterside 67 times currently counting very closely.

[00:54:18] Um, yeah, they were on that water slide, like so much and probably a little bit less. So just because we were so busy on the ship and, um, obviously they don't, they don't want for swimming pools usually. So, um, they were, they weren't in the pool quite as much, but that's that's slide. They were on just about every day and on Castaway too, they were in the water and the that's worth mentioning like the water at Castaway.

[00:54:38] Wasn't that cold. Um, so I think a lot of us were we're dipping into cool off

[00:54:44] Lou Mongello: cold is a relative term. Uh, we'll we'll get the cat to cast away and, you know, as somebody who likes to swim in bathwater, but it's interesting that you sort of bring up some of those things about the kids club, at least again, where they are right now in, you know, the end of February, 2022 and how.

[00:55:02] Potentially might change. I think it's an easy transition to talk about some of the entertainment on board, which I know for a lot of people is not just a huge attractor, but also a huge surprise, not just in terms of the amount of entertainment, but the quality of entertainment as well. And when I say entertainment, there's always something going on and I don't want to go too far down talking about the amount, but there's always looking at your navigator, which is now on your app.

[00:55:31] Um, there are such a wide spectrum of activities that really start with like 6:00 AM with like sunrise, yoga, whatever that is, and go late into the night for adults, for kids, for families. Things different things to do, which I noticed hadn't really changed much. I mean, there was still a lot of activities that were planned throughout the cruise, but one of the things I know that [00:56:00] that's a big draw for people.

[00:56:01] And one of you mentioned sort of being able to go to dinner and then a show after it is very much by design that we like to go to main dining first. Cause I do like that idea of dinner and a show, but once, you know, sort of, it becomes nighttime. There's a lot of stuff going on, whether it's live music in the lounges game shows that are going on.

[00:56:22] And I think it bears mentioning that the quality of the Broadway style entertainment, um, one of you mentioned tangled the musical show, which I absolutely loved, uh, dreams is this, you know, Aristotelian drama that, um, about the powers of, of dreams and, and, um, is always been a fan favorites, been around for a long, long time.

[00:56:45] One of the things I noted was. Um, one of the things to note is that obviously there are multiple shows per night. And for this cruise, they did multiple shows multiple nights because there was distancing in places like the Walt Disney theater, the point of Vista theater for movies, they were doing every other row and then three seats in between the parties.

[00:57:09] So to make sure everybody had an opportunity to see they did tangled and dreams on multiple nights, which I was really happy to see, because I know there was some frustration. I know Lisa, you said you were like next to go in and then they sort of closed the doors and said there was no more availability.

[00:57:26] So there wasn't opportunity to see it. Maybe not, you know, seeing with friends on that night, but you did have the opportunity to see it more than once. Uh, any thoughts about any of the entertainment, whether it's the game shows that we did the live music and the lounges and, or the theater products.

[00:57:46] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: I mean, tangled was, it's just the most stunning production.

[00:57:50] I can't say enough good things about it. And we ended up not getting back there because we were so busy, but like, we definitely talked to Jeff too, about coming and going again the next night and the woman who [00:58:00] plays the role of mother Gothel, you could have told me because I will admit, I don't know that actress's name.

[00:58:05] You could have told me they plucked her out of the movie and put her on stage. I mean, she was beyond amazing all that being said. I think it's also worth mentioning that, like, I love that we all get into like the campy stuff as a group, like the trivia and the bingo and like that kind of thing. And the game shows, um, I love that we always end up sort of playing bingo with the group and all that

[00:58:25] Jeff Sieh: after Nick won the entire Marvel trivia, every time Lou and Nick would, and his family would walk in to the trivia, you hear that?

[00:58:31] Uh, it'd be a big grown. It's like, okay, here,

[00:58:35] Lou Mongello: the fixers are in hotels just to be clear.

[00:58:39] Jeff Sieh: Yeah. But I mean, the entertainment was a lot of fun. We enjoy. So we hung out with like Carlos and Jason can happen and, um, their family and was, there's a, there's a really great singer called soul duo that they would do all these different types of music.

[00:58:53] And we, my wife really enjoyed them. They played the guitar and piano and sung all sorts of different styles of music. And we hung out there quite a few different nights and then went to the piano bar a couple of nights and just, it was very relaxing and just a lot of fun. It was just a lot of fun. And that was the once again, we go back to the community aspect of it there, you never felt alone or like trying to get your own table.

[00:59:15] It was always like, Hey Jason, we're going here. You know, once, and that's the other thing in the app, you could message like people, once you would get their number, their app number or whatever, however Disney does it, um, even message them. And so we like, Hey, we're going to the lounge. You want to meet us there?

[00:59:29] You know, we do that kind of stuff with, uh, inside of the community.

[00:59:36] Lou Mongello: Becky, just so you know, that there's entertainer shows onboard the ship.

[00:59:41] Beci Mahnken: Hey, I have a lot of fun at the trivia nights. Those are really fun, but, but as you know, this was a little bit of a working cruise for me, so I didn't get a chance to, I was busy redoing an entire cruise, so I didn't get to partake in as much as I would've liked [01:00:00] to, but we had great time at trivia in particular.

[01:00:04] That was a lot of fun and a lot of laughter and it was great.

[01:00:12] Lou Mongello: I'm not laughing at all. Right. So let's, let's w we went on a Marvel day at sea cruise. Let's talk about the Marvel day at sea experience. Cause I know that this was, it was the initial draw to the cruise and that's the thing that I think. All really looking forward to, and it happened really quickly, actually happened on our second day on the ship.

[01:00:35] And basically a Marvel day at sea cruise is a single day sort of almost a re theming of the entire ship on select sailings of the Disney magic. And there's Becky, I don't know what the number was. It was maybe 10 or 12 sailings this season. It's not something that happens all the time and it's everything from decor and ambiance, right?

[01:01:01] The entire ship is sort of decked out with banners and character posters. There's scores from the Marvel cinematic universe playing throughout the ship. I was trying to be, I was trying to pay attention to it. Cause I remember it from the last time there's also throughout the day. There's overhead announcements that are going on that are not necessarily just from.

[01:01:25] The Disney crew, but you'll hear overhead announcements from Peter Parker, your heel, overhead announcements about the stark expo there's photo opportunities and backdrops. Um, in the entire cruise, your navigator is themed. The menus are themed there's character meets and interactions. The food is themed like so very well.

[01:01:48] I'm literally holding. They told me I could take it. My, my Marvel day at sea comic book, like menu that they allowed us to take cocktails or theme snacks, or theme the activities [01:02:00] are themed. And I don't want to go too far into this because we did do a full review of the Marvel day at sea experience and activities on a prior cruise.

[01:02:11] But I want to hear from each of you again, Jeff, Lisa, and Becky, your experience on the Marvel day at seaside, what your expectations were, what you saw, what you did, what you enjoyed. It said.

[01:02:25] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: I think I ne well, I mean, you never know exactly what to expect, but like I kind of knew about like the big stuff, like the night show and the, um, you know, the, the bigger, like the meet and greets and like all the, and then, like I knew there would be amazing cosplay and costuming, and there was some really cool stuff to, to watch.

[01:02:43] Um, but it was like the little details that they thought about that, of course, Disney always does that made it so special. Like the menus that you talked about are like, all of our towel animals were, you know, Marvel related and like all these little kind of touches that they were able to bring into the day that you didn't, that you didn't expect, um, were really cool.

[01:03:02] And like that there was this really creative show though, out of a saw that was the captain America theme. And it was like a big band forties style. Like

[01:03:09] Lou Mongello: that was my favorite. It was fun.

[01:03:11] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Good. And like, so creative and cool. And it wasn't just like Marvel characters on stage. It was like the USS show that you would see in the captain America movie.

[01:03:20] So like those like really creative takes on it. I thought were

[01:03:24] Beci Mahnken: stupid.

[01:03:26] Jeff Sieh: Yeah. So we start our day. So they had a thing in the, the only time we actually went to the brain of his theater was they had like a Marvel origins and joke. My wife, Jody isn't as, uh, nerded out as Marvel as I am. So it was a great way to, she, she got all that, like intro to the characters and the lady who was running.

[01:03:42] It was hilarious. And it was a lot of fun and high energy. So we went to that and then we actually went to even like the on-deck, the Disney, where all the characters dressed up and do a little show, um, for a Marvel theme show and seeing the characters come, uh, like Chippendale, where it's like Thor and Loki, [01:04:00] you would just turn around a corner and there they would be.

[01:04:02] And that was a lot of fun, but even the, the USO show was also our favorite one, but the Dr. Strange magic show that they had was a lot of fun to go see, um, that they had during their, so it was just all day and well, and I'll let you kick off the Marvel unite thing, which I just thought was genius. The way they pulled it off.

[01:04:20] And the outdoor show was just the. The

[01:04:23] Beci Mahnken: things that I really enjoyed, that the character meet and greets were so much fun. And you weren't crowded. One thing we have to tell people a lot that they don't realize is that, uh, some of those experiences are you have to book prior to sailing. A lot of people don't realize that and they miss out until they get on board.

[01:04:42] Um, so make sure if you're doing one of those special themed cruises that you're watching the activities on your app so that you can book them beforehand, but I enjoyed that. It wasn't just a walk up, take a picture and leave. You actually had interactions with the characters and you had great conversations with them.

[01:05:00] And, uh, the other thing I, I really appreciated was you would just be walking through listening to the scores that were playing for the ship, which I really love. Uh, and all of a sudden there would just be a character there. It's not like it was announced that. Really happy to look over and see Thor was just standing there and you can take pictures with the thought it was great.

[01:05:22] Um, but the, the big one, or when I walked into my room, I remember having the Marvel date, see, um, things in my room and the lease you'd mentioned, the towels, mine was a Thor's hammer made out of, and I've never seen that before. So that was really cool. But the thing that made it, that I will walk away forever with is, is that nighttime show.

[01:05:44] I was so impressed with it. I had to see it twice. It was amazing.

[01:05:50] Lou Mongello: I have been talking about that grand finale that Marvel heroes unite show that takes place on deck twice. And a lot of us went to go see [01:06:00] it both times because it's that good. It is the best stage show I have seen in a park at sea anywhere, period.

[01:06:09] Um, it is. Such a fitting grand finale for the night and I'm not going to spoil it. There's plenty of videos out there. There are surprises. There are cameos, there are, um, live active. I mean, there's, I love the blending between the live actors, the screens about action. That's taking place elsewhere on the ship, the funnels, the fireworks, again, not to spoil too much, but it doesn't matter.

[01:06:44] I think your level of fandom, it is such an entertaining show. And I will say, as somebody who had done it before there, there were some subtle differences between the voids that we took in 2019. And this one, which like any cruise between where we are now and. You know, cruises in the past, which I think we're, we're invisible.

[01:07:09] Like as somebody who's never experienced it before, you wouldn't know that anything was missing. Right. I was like, oh, they didn't do the Ravagers thing. I don't think that you felt that anything was missing because you didn't know what was there. The one thing I will say that I did notice was there was not a ton of merchandise specifically for Marvel day at sea, which was disappointing.

[01:07:29] Um, people, I think forget that Disney is, you know, like everybody else suffering from the same supply chain and, um, staffing issues as everybody else does. But I'm going to let you in on a little secret, and this is not just for Marvel day at sea, but it's also for any cruise that you take to. Normally for a marble, they see, they actually had one of the small stores in, uh, in the, through the adult entertainment district, which has opened, you know, w where the lounges are [01:08:00] specifically dedicated to Marvel merchandise.

[01:08:02] Um, that was not the case. They did not get a lot of stuff in, unfortunately, but whether it's a Marvel day at sea cruise or any cruise before you actually cruise, and then once you get on board, make sure you look at the Disney cruise line website. And I think it would also maybe do it through your app because you can actually purchase in room gifts, which are different and exclusive and are not necessarily available in the store.

[01:08:29] So if you are cruising and want to surprise your family, your kids, your wife, your boyfriend, whatever it might be, there's stuff that you can. In terms of in room to core, there are things that they'll hang from the ceilings. There are pillows, there's blankets, specifically themed to Marvel day at sea, or your cruise that you can't get anywhere else.

[01:08:50] And there's also some times some merchandise too, and I wish. You know, there's a finite amount, but I almost wish more people knew about it, which is why I want to share it because there was this cool water bottle. There was this cool backpack, Becky, you got my kids, this cool Marvel. And my say my kids, I stole it from I'm already a Marvel day at sea pillow and throw.

[01:09:10] Um, so if you're, if you're ever looking for something to do something special like that, you can order it beforehand. So it's in your state room when you get there or they'll put it out on marble, they had C or you can go to the guest services, um, um, desk and they'll have a catalog of items that are available there.

[01:09:28] So for example, if you go Jeff for your anniversary and you forget it, your anniversary, don't worry. They've got your back because you can order something and it'll make it look like you planted, like weeks. It.

[01:09:39] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: And Lou too. I'm glad you mentioned the supply chain stuff. I think one of the, one of the only mistakes that I wish I could go back and correct about this particular ceiling is that I had kind of not thought that much about the fact that they may not have the March that they normally would.

[01:09:54] And so my kids going into this, like they knew it pirate night was because we've sailed Disney before, but they really didn't get [01:10:00] the whole dressing up Marvel on the ship thing. I think they were like associating it with like a Halloween type thing and they just weren't into it going in. And I didn't push it very much because I thought, oh, I'll get them something on the ship.

[01:10:10] If they see it and they're into it. And then lo and behold, the morning that the marble day at CS started, they kind of were seeing people walking around in their costumes and all of a sudden they were into it. And I was like, let's go to the gift shop. I'm like more than happy to spend the money so that you guys can have the experience too.

[01:10:26] And there was literally nothing for a little

[01:10:28] Beci Mahnken: boy. And it's like, literally I was really surprised at that because that's usually one of their biggest, their biggest takes about those, those seem cruises that the merchandise comes along. So I was disappointed, but totally understandable because it's something that's happening everywhere.

[01:10:42] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Yeah. Nobody's fault. I mean, we're all dealing with it too, but it's definitely like something that I wish I could have corrected in retrospect. Like if you know, you're going to want it on the ship or somebody might want to bring it.

[01:10:53] Lou Mongello: Yeah. Don't wait to see what they have on board. Like you might want to bring it ahead.

[01:10:57] Cause I even said the night before. Oh, is there going to be additional merchandise tomorrow? And he said, no, and I kind of winked. I was like, no. Huh? He's like, no, seriously. Like we just didn't get a lot of stuff in. Um, so at least the expectations were set, but again, being,

[01:11:14] Beci Mahnken: uh, in a while, it wasn't there. I know that in the past they've allowed us to order it.

[01:11:19] They didn't have that this time, but it was kind of nice in a way, because do you remember way back when Lou, when people would literally try to wait overnight in the hallways for the merchandise to

[01:11:32] Lou Mongello: Disney fans, wouldn't stand outside of a shop and bring their entire families so that they could all get to have that limited merchandise item and then leave that shop, go stand by the window to take pictures and post them up on eBay.

[01:11:46] Never pretty much,

[01:11:48] Beci Mahnken: pretty much

[01:11:50] Lou Mongello: nobody

[01:11:51] Beci Mahnken: ever does. In a weird way. It was nice to not have that. I don't know why

[01:11:57] Lou Mongello: it just because the pressure's off. Right. And [01:12:00] it also makes for a less expensive cruise for those of us, with children. And there is the one variable. For something like this for any cruise, but certainly for a Marvel day at sea cruise.

[01:12:11] And it's the other guests. And I love, love, love, not just in our group, but the entire ship, the level of participation and fandom and allowing yourself no matter how old you are or how young you are. To be a kid again. So many people coming in, not just one costume, but there were costume changes, teachers out the day and night, somebody Gretchen from Russel dressed like mystique.

[01:12:40] And I say mystique from the, X-Men not just like with a CA like, I mean, blue, scaly mystique. And she made this blue costume with scales and the freaky eyes and face paint and all like people were going to try and take pictures with her because she looked so, and then had a costume change for later on that night, um, whether it was black widows or slightly disturbing Spiderman or doctor's changes or whatever they might be.

[01:13:12] I love, I love seeing that. And I, and I love the sort of Disney encourages that, um, you being able to express your fandom through costuming caused. Yeah, you want to call it? The

[01:13:27] Beci Mahnken: creativity was amazing. And to see some of them go all out is, is great too. But I also want to take the pressure off. Some people who are like, I don't have a costume, so some people just wore a t-shirt and you were fine and you fit right in.

[01:13:39] But every, it was totally on the spectrum of being in a t-shirt or being dressed in completely blue with blue makeup and everything in between. And again, the creativity was off the charts. It was so much fun to wander around in, see.

[01:13:55] Jeff Sieh: Like the, uh, I think they're in our group the first I was like, man, he needs to get [01:14:00] more sun.

[01:14:00] And it was really the black and white vision. That was the, that was the most creative one that I, I mean, mystique was like, that was impressive. But the creativity, I think a word goes to that couple that was black and

[01:14:12] Lou Mongello: white. I didn't even plan it out. So there was a black and white, you know, fifties version of wand division and may come from theater backgrounds, but there was also a comic book vision, and then a movie vision.

[01:14:25] I'm like, oh, we need to get the three of you together for a photo. It was like this evolution of vision. And I'll post photos in the show notes@www.com. So you can see a lot of exactly what we are talking about, but I also want to sort of just say on the other side of the coin, what if you're not a Marvel fan, right?

[01:14:45] What if you're not a star wars fan or a Pixar fan, and you're going on one of these day at sea cruise? That's fine too. It is. There's nothing about the day at sea that is disruptive to the overall experience. You can still go up on deck and relax or go to the adult. Yes. There'll be showing movies on funnel vision, and some of the different things like that, but it's not like, oh, I need to be a hardcore Marvel fan in order to enjoy a Marvel day at sea cruise.

[01:15:13] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Yeah. No, absolutely not. And you can just subjectively enjoy most of what's, even, even the Marvel specific stuff you could objectively enjoy as a non

[01:15:22] Beci Mahnken: Marvel fan, like the

[01:15:23] Lou Mongello: shows and stuff I can USO show over and over again. I have

[01:15:29] Beci Mahnken: a lot of people have, you know, those family members where maybe one of the spouses is really into the IP.

[01:15:36] W whether it be Marvel or star wars and the other ones. Be so much into it. This is actually a great opportunity for those few to have a great vacation because one of them can enjoy it. The other one could still just go out and have a cocktail and sit out in the sun and enjoy the cruise experience. So it it's the best of all worlds

[01:15:56] Lou Mongello: and a big part of that cruise experience.

[01:15:58] And part of the reason why we go, [01:16:00] um, is the relaxation aspect. And there are lots of ways to relax on board, but I mentioned the fact that it was a double dip, uh, two stops at Castaway key. I'm going to say this again to reinforcement reinforce it. Now is the time to cruise because the ships are not at full capacity.

[01:16:20] Ergo at some, neither is Castaway key. And Kathleen, like, I love the fact that this, that the island was not crowded. Um, you know, I think probably 95% of the activities are, are still going on. You can still swim with the stingrays and do a lot of the different boating things and rent stuff. And Pelican plunge is open, but there's now so fewer guests there at serenity bay in the restaurants, it made for a very, very nice relaxing time.

[01:16:53] Um, you know, Becky, Jeff, Lisa, give me your thoughts on Castaway and your, your Castaway experience.

[01:17:03] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Yeah. Obviously the double dip was, was quite a treat. Um, and no one had any complaints about that. And it doesn't, I mean, I don't think any beach could be like empty to a fault because like it's a beach and being empty makes it that much nicer. But yeah, it was like, we have pictures of just like looking out on the water and there's just nobody in the pictures except like your kid or like one person, you know?

[01:17:21] Um, so yeah, it was, and I think it made the dining experience. Cool. They're still doing the 5k, which is worth mentioning. It's just it's self-lead and you do it on your own pace and stuff by the bike shop for your metal. Um, so yeah, I think pretty much everything is still going on. Um, and it was just delightfully empty.

[01:17:39] Beci Mahnken: I loved that there, that I've never seen the family beach empty like that, where you go in even three hours after you dock and you can still easily find a beach chair. I've never had that before. So like you said, this is the best time go while it's still like this, because I have a feeling by the end of summer.[01:18:00]

[01:18:00] We're going to be back to those, that full capacity again. Um, but I did want to mention what was it? You called it the beach bake there. Jeff actually wasn't it. Wasn't it more like everybody needed more vitamin D that's it, it was the injection of vitamin D to get you through the rest of the cruise, because you, you needed that

[01:18:22] Lou Mongello: very quickly for those who are not following the beach bake that Jeff is referring to is not something that was on the schedule.

[01:18:30] We want it to get, as we do for all of our cruises, we wanted to get a group photograph. Which we sometimes are able to do inside the ship. Take these incredibly impressive pictures in the atrium. Sometimes depending on the group size, we need to go out to Castaway, to the boat beach, where the Disney photo photographers come out and take a group photo.

[01:18:50] This one was a little challenging for a number of different reasons. And it happened to be like the warmest day in the sun. And it felt like we were out there for, for a while. But again, fortunately, we didn't feel like we had to go hurry up and move on and compete to go and get a lounge chair somewhere because they were a diamond does.

[01:19:10] Beci Mahnken: And it ended up being a great picture. And we actually ended up having an interesting picture with Mickey in it, which never happened. So there was, there was a little bit of magic thrown in. And even though we had to get a little extra vitamin D it was worth it in the line.

[01:19:28] Jeff Sieh: So my Castaway key experience.

[01:19:30] Cause you know, like we said, we've never been on it and I'm not a big beach person. I'm just, I burst into flames when I get out in the sun too much. And so, um, but my wife really liked it. And so what we did is we actually went to serenity bay and just stayed there. Some really nice deck chairs in front of the Castaway air bar.

[01:19:48] And we sat there and I kept going, do you want to do something? And she's like, no, I love this. And so she had her Gindle and red and we just looked out in the ocean and we dipped our toes in and then, then it was lunch and we walked over to the, the, um, [01:20:00] the serenity, uh, barbecue place. And that's where you can get steak over on that side of the island.

[01:20:05] And some other stuff like their grilled, fresh fish was amazing and all the fresh fruit and it was just, it was a delightful day. And then it was like, so great. Cause we were like, okay, we know what we're gonna do when we come back because we didn't have that, that double dip. And so we just had a ball and then we went to there's a place on Pell.

[01:20:22] The thing is, is you. A beach chair, not just a beach chair, but a beach chair with shade. Like we would like, oh, that one's got too much sun. We were really snobby, snobby around. I'm like, oh, that one's, that will be in the sun longer. And so we would camp out there and I may, and it was great because I snored and that would have driven a lot.

[01:20:39] So

[01:20:41] Lou Mongello: I'm really quick helicopter. We thought

[01:20:43] Jeff Sieh: that's why it was it. Wasn't a storm approaching the island. It was, it was me. Yes.

[01:20:51] Beci Mahnken: I've gotten really lucky on that double dip. I don't, I haven't seen a group be so excited than the day that we got that itinerary change

[01:21:02] again. See, now everybody's spoiled. So now that we have a Nassau last week, it was going to go, it's going to be a double dip.

[01:21:11] Lou Mongello: Um, anything else anybody wants to add about Castaway?

[01:21:17] Jeff Sieh: Just perfect. I don't know if we'll be able to go back. Cause we were, everyone said you're so spoiled. You're so

[01:21:22] Lou Mongello: spoiled. You are well, you are definitely got spoiled by this. And, and it's funny. Cause when I go to cast away again, as somebody who admittedly, I have a very difficult time like relaxing. It just, it's just not the way my brain is wired.

[01:21:36] There's something about I don't, we don't normally do excursions and things like that. I think that the greatest physical activity I've ever done was rent a bike, which is actually really, really nice. You go down the old airstrip and he can go to this lookout tower and get these amazing views of the entire island and the ship off in the distance.

[01:21:55] It's incredibly exhausting. I prefer the tram, but um, there is something that [01:22:00] is incredibly therapeutic and relaxing about being on that island as well. Um, so is there anything that we missed anything about your cruise experience that, that you want to make sure that we, we touch on.

[01:22:13] Jeff Sieh: W w one of the things that I, and this is H hasn't happened in, in many, many years.

[01:22:17] So I decided when we went on it that I wasn't going to buy the internet package because one, it stinks. So, I mean, it's horrible. And I am turned off everything and I got their 50 megabyte megabyte, um, free package. And it was gone. I mean, I turned off everything and it's still data, something sleeked out.

[01:22:39] So I was like, I'm not doing this. So I, we FaceTimed our kids when we were on the island using our, I have at the day pass for my carrier. But, um, that was probably the nicest thing is I didn't have any news. I didn't have any updates or notifications and I, for the first time in years, I didn't have any of that stuff.

[01:22:58] And it was amazing. So I highly recommend if you can go on a cruise, not getting the data package.

[01:23:04] Lou Mongello: I love that, man. I love it because I used to feel that a cruise and flying in a plane where the only times I was forced to disconnect. Now that's not the case anymore. Right. Because they do make it so easy.

[01:23:17] I love the fact that you have. The discipline to say, you know what, I'm not getting the package, which was cheapskate. It's more that. Yeah. And I think that, especially, I think on these ships on these four current ships, the, the, the wish magic dream and fantasy, I have to imagine that there's some sort of like legacy contract that Disney has with this.

[01:23:39] The Internet's not awesome. It's not awesome. It's, you're paying like by the megabytes so it can get very, very expensive. Trust me, I live stream. I know, I think the wish is going to be a very, very different story. I cannot wait for that to come out, but to a certain, to, to your point, it's almost, self-limiting like, you know what, because it's [01:24:00] costly.

[01:24:00] Like I sometimes want to use that to my advantage and say, I'm not going to get it because we do have our phones with us now all the time, because. Your navigator, your schedule, your messaging is all taking place on the app, but if you can force yourself to disconnect, uh, do, as Jeff does, I'm going to get that on a shirt.

[01:24:19] Do as deaf John on the cruise and disconnect, Jeff.

[01:24:25] Beci Mahnken: Yeah, it's good in theory, but I, and at one time, you're right. Once you got on a ship, it was like, I'm only going to talk to you if you call me for $9 a minute, because that was the ship to short price. Uh, and then there was no real internet at the time that that was going on.

[01:24:43] But at this point I still like to keep in touch. I still like to have that ability. I still like to be able to upload a picture to my, to my friends and my family. I think that that's probably one of the biggest places that they are missing. And, um, I'm hoping that when the wish comes out, they introduce them.

[01:25:02] It's a little bit more. Comfortable about communications because I miss it personally. And I'm, I'm really tired of the $800 wifi

[01:25:12] Lou Mongello: bills. I have a feeling that the internet on the wish is going to be very, very different hope. So unlimited.

[01:25:20] Beci Mahnken: Package would be

[01:25:21] Lou Mongello: great. My wishlist and it's a blessing and a curse because what ends up happening with that unlimited package, Becky, is that we end up, let me just check my work email.

[01:25:29] Let me just check this. Let me just check that. And we do become distracted from the experience. And I think that we lose not to sort of go off on a too, but we lose a lot by doing that. Um, by having that connection to the outside world, it's one of the reasons why I like cruising so much. Um, I don't disagree with you.

[01:25:49] It's forcing me to do something that I have a difficult time doing. Otherwise.

[01:25:53] Beci Mahnken: I totally don't disagree with you, but I also think that there's, I would like the choice, I guess I would like to [01:26:00] be able to say, you know what, I'm on a cruise, I'm going to be disconnected and this is what I'm going to do versus someone like me.

[01:26:07] I, again, I like to keep in touch, but, but again, most of the times that I'm sailing to. Typically working. So I don't have my family with me, so I like to keep in touch with my family. So I guess I choice would be nice.

[01:26:21] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: I not have it be like, it's nice. And to have it be unlimited, if there's a silver lining to that in that, like you're saying, like, it forces you to disconnect, even if you have some sort of a package, but all that being said, I think because things are so, especially like given the past two years, I think so many of us are used to being able to work, not from the office or,

[01:26:40] Beci Mahnken: um,

[01:26:43] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: work, work, not from the office or, um, you know, even like my kids were out of school for this particular cruise and they did their work on the ship.

[01:26:50] And so, because we work so much differently, um, these days, I think it would be nice to be able to carry that into a cruise that you might not normally otherwise be able to leave town for. So I am looking forward

[01:27:01] Beci Mahnken: to what the wish.

[01:27:03] Jeff Sieh: Yeah. And that wasn't perfect. I mean, like I said, I was, when we were in port, I was able to, I did two live streaming test and all that stuff, but being able like on the ship to be fully present.

[01:27:11] With Jody or with people I was talking to and not looking down and like, oh, I got that notification was just really, I needed that. It was

[01:27:20] Lou Mongello: great. Yeah. Sometimes we have to sort of force ourselves to disconnect and be very present, especially, you know, if, whether you have kids, your loved one, your friends, whatever it is.

[01:27:33] Um, you know, as someone who gets frustrated and when we go out to dinner and I see a race sort of just not talking to each other, but looking down at their phones, that's one of the things that a cruise does, I think very, very well. Anyway, not to get off on a tangent, um, Becky Elisa, anything else you want to add about this specific cruise or the overall cruise experience?

[01:27:53] Beci Mahnken: I would like to say really quickly, just on the overall cruise experience that especially right now, a lot of people are still [01:28:00] very nervous about cruising and you really shouldn't be, um, take some time to talk to a professional about it and what the, what the experience is like at this point. Um, I, I still feel, I think I've been on 10 cruises now since last June.

[01:28:16] I really feel that the cruising, the vacation is one of the most, um, the safest, uh, experience as well as one of the most relaxing experiences. So if you're trying to get away from the craziness that we're living in right now in our world, uh, uh, crucification is a great option for you and your family. So, you know, talk about it, uh, get the real facts.

[01:28:40] Don't just see what you see on the internet about how bad things are that really isn't the case. If you know the numbers and, you know, the situation.

[01:28:49] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Yeah, I think it's, I would emphasize that the process in the beginning is it feels overwhelming going into it, but you are very much guided through it.

[01:28:57] It's not that even now. And obviously it will be changing and, you know, keep up with the changes. But even now, whether it's more procedural stuff leading into the pre cruise, you really are a handheld throughout the whole process with, you know, emails and contacts from Disney. If you've got an agent that you're working with all the better, um, and then you do need to kind of mentally be prepared for that very difficult hour and everything leading up to it with the testing, but then once you're on the ship, it was just such a unique, wonderful experience.

[01:29:25] Um, that I'm really glad that we all got

[01:29:26] Jeff Sieh: to have. So my wife's a teacher in Texas, and so I felt safer on the cruise than her going to school or going to our Walmart, to be honest. I mean, it's, it was, I just felt like I'm like this, if we can get on this thing, we'll be, we'll be better off.

[01:29:41] Lou Mongello: So yeah, I think, um,

[01:29:46] Beci Mahnken: As I say the other thing too, that I would say, especially for those who are listening, that, that have never done a group cruise.

[01:29:52] Maybe they are a solo or a family that would like to cruise with people, but just haven't had that [01:30:00] opportunity. The group cruises are a great way to cruise because you always have somebody to do stuff with. You're not going to be bored for sure. There's a lot of people who love what you love and are in to the Disney community.

[01:30:17] And there's no better way to cruise than with a group of people of like-mind.

[01:30:22] Lou Mongello: Yeah. And that's why I'm happy. Jeff, you are here to serve. Give that first time cruiser the first time group cruiser perspective too, because if it's something, if you've been hesitant about cruising or hesitant, cruising on a group home, This has helped convince you to cruise, cruise again, and hopefully cruise with us.

[01:30:39] Cause we always have cruises upcoming. We have our inaugural cruise on the Disney wish coming up August 1st, as well as our very maritime cruise on the Disney wish December 5th. It is, uh, it is, uh, not as the Christmas theme cruise. It's also Walt's birthday. So there's good stuff there. And we have our, we've never done this before Becky and eight night overnight in Bermuda mamas next April, 2023.

[01:31:08] And there's some other ones up on the whiteboard that will be an album

[01:31:11] Beci Mahnken: talked about yet, which we need to talk about, but, uh, really quickly, a lot of people don't realize that Disney cruises prices. Uh, go up as the ship fills. So what you want to always do is book as early as you can, once, you know, you want to go and also know that if you book it, now you can cancel it before final payment and get your money back.

[01:31:31] So if you have something unexpected happen, you can cancel before final payment with, with no penalty. Um, right now both the December cruise and the, uh, April cruise to Bermuda are both still really well-priced. I have a feeling that as people get more comfortable about our, our post COVID scenario, that's going to change really quickly.

[01:31:53] So if you're even thinking about it,

[01:31:55] Lou Mongello: let us know, and we've already got some ideas for some fun stuff we're going to do, [01:32:00] especially on that Christmas cruise in December. So, um, definitely stay tuned. Thank you all so very much, um, for being here. Oh, by the way, if you want to find out what. About some of the specifics of our Marvel day at sea cruise, you can go back to show 5 42, you're a full review there.

[01:32:20] And I'll also put a link in the show notes to reviews of some of our other group cruises that we've done before. So you can get some other perspectives about different itineraries and different experiences from a number of different people. Um, Lisa, Jeff, please, uh, quickly tell people where they can find you on all the socials, et cetera.

[01:32:41] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Um, my name is Lisa Denodo Glassner. My blog is the castle run.com. I also have a candle shop called core memory candles that you can also find on the shop tab of the castle run. You can find me on Instagram as the castle runner and across other channels

[01:32:54] Beci Mahnken: as the, um,

[01:32:55] Lou Mongello: do you have any cruise theme? The candles like smells like cabanas smell.

[01:33:03] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: So I have a breakfast waffles candle and an ocean light candle, and I actually burned them together for cabanas

[01:33:10] Lou Mongello: hungry already. I would think of that whole day, there was someone saying if only there was somebody who would go on a cruise and eat with me

[01:33:21] Jeff Sieh: and I am Jeff C and that's spelled S as in Sam, I E H that's I before E especially in C and I'm all across the interwebs everywhere under that name. And I also do a Friday show called social media news live, and you can check me out at social media news, live.com.

[01:33:36] Lou Mongello: And Becky, I'm assuming they can find you@atmousefantravel.com and you're at Becky Mankin on all the socials.

[01:33:43] Beci Mahnken: That is correct. And it's spelled weird for those who don't know it's BEC I know, not my fault. M a H N K E N on all the socials. And if you have any questions about the group, cruises always feel free to direct message me on Facebook or on Twitter or an Instagram. [01:34:00] Happy to answer any questions you may have,

[01:34:02] Lou Mongello: and I will put links to any and all of these in the show notes@wdwradio.com, as they say in the song.

[01:34:10] When can we do this again? I cannot wait to cruise with you all one more time. All right. Very quickly around the horn. Lisa, Jeff, Becky, close your eyes. What does the end we think about the cruise? What is the one memory that floods back into your minds? I immediately go don't think about it. Just what's the first thing that comes to mind.

[01:34:30] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Elephant. Just feeling like my kids were so loved. Like that was my big, beautiful memory.

[01:34:37] Jeff Sieh: Uh, leaving the white outfit catching league because I got something from Nick, from book.

[01:34:43] Lou Mongello: My son is still in therapy by the way.

[01:34:47] Beci Mahnken: Um, seeing the joy on Lumon till his face, when he tested negative and, and watching him skip, literally skipped to the place where he could actually board the ship.

[01:34:59] Um, but the, the Marvel day at sea show and looking, looking up for some surprises that shocked me

[01:35:07] Lou Mongello: so much fun. We're sitting here all with smiles on our faces, as we think back to these memories. Um, thank you. Thank you. Thank you again.

[01:35:16] Jeff Sieh: Thank you. Thank you, sir.

[01:35:19] Lou Mongello: I'm starving by the way.

[01:35:23] Jeff Sieh: I am too.

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