Monday 13th – Sunday 19th May
I have nothing to report for this week as all I did was work! I picked up some extra shifts as I’d just had time off for Vegas and was about to go on a cruise… gotta earn that dollaaaa.
Monday 20th May – All aboard!
After getting an Uber to Port Canaveral and getting through security, we were in the port ready to check in. Captain Mickey was meeting there and I cried in the line as I watched the little children interact with him. I will never get tired of that!
Once we’d checked in, we had our photos taken and were given our Key to the World cards. I’ve never been on a cruise before so this was completely new to me; you link your card to this so you can pay for everything with it and open your stateroom door, very similar to a Magic Band in the parks.
When it was time to board the ship, a man was taking names and announcing everyone as we walked on, to lines of Cast Members applauding. I don’t know if they do this on regular cruises but it was such a lovely touch. As we walked off to explore the lobby area, we found Rapunzel wandering around on her own and interacting with guests. She is one of my favourites so this was one of many special moments!
We saw some other characters dressed in their sailing gear, explored the ship a little and went to see our stateroom. It was small, as expected on a ship, but so nice. I’m glad we had a balcony, too, so we could get some fresh sea air from our room.
We had lunch in Cabanas, which is a buffet at the top the ship, then went to look round the spa. We had already booked massages for Thursday but they had special offers on for the first day, so we switched it to today. We were getting on the massage tables as the boat started moving which was a strange experience, but it was the best massage I’ve ever had.
After the massage, we had some wine in our room while admiring the sunset before going to dinner. We had our first dinner in Animator’s Palate, one of three restaurants included in the price for the cruise. This was my favourite restaurant for theming and the character of the night was Crush from Nemo!
There were two other fine dining restaurants, Palo and Remy, on the ship but they cost extra if you wanted to eat there. It’s strange because you are assigned a table and a server and you sit at the same table and have the same server each night in the different restaurants. Our server, Jayson, was lovely and it was nice to chat to him each night about our day and where we would be the following night.
After dinner, we had a look in the shops. I wanted to buy everything, they had so much Cruise Line merch! I think I frightened a Cast Member because I said that “I’m going to vomit” and she gave me a panicked look, so I had to clarify that I meant from excitement and that I was not actually feeling sick…
When we came back to our room, the hostess had turned down our beds and made a whale out of the blanket. Best bit: we had Ghirardelli chocolates left for us too and they said Disney Cruise Line on them!
Tuesday 21st May – Nassau
We woke up to the views of Nassau port and a beautiful day in the Bahamas! We had breakfast in Cabanas then got off the boat. We didn’t spend long in Nassau; there were lots of people offering taxi rides and tours but we weren’t convinced there was that much to do. We took some photos and headed to Hard Rock Café for a drink and some free wifi!
Once back on the boat, after meeting Minnie, we went to the top deck and did some sunbathing. We also rode the Aquaduck water slide, which was really fun! We went back to the room to get ready for the evening, ordered some room service (hello cheese plates galore) and went to see the Beauty and the Beast show in the Walt Disney Theatre. It was absolutely incredible. I was a mixture of watching open-mouthed and sobbing… I cannot describe how good it was. It was based on the live-action film rather than the original animation and the cast were so talented. It doesn’t surprise me that the show has won an award!
After the show we had dinner in the Enchanted Garden restaurant which was lovely. You could order anything you wanted off the menu… I didn’t really like my main course so I ordered three desserts! Two of them were to share, though, in my defence!
We then went to the Skyliner bar, where the skyline changes to a different iconic city every 15 minutes. It was really cool and you felt like you were really looking down on these views. The drinks were also very strong! Zoe and I watched the last of the karaoke (we were too late to join in… you know I’d have been all over it) then went back to the shops to buy Disney Cruise Line Spirit Jerseys.
Wednesday 22nd May – Castaway Cay
We were up early for a room service breakfast as we were doing the 5k on the island this morning. Castaway Cay is Disney’s privately-owned island and it is beautiful!!! It was ridiculously hot so I only managed to run half of the 5k… I ran on and off for the rest. I have never been so sweaty in my life!
Chloe, Elin and I then went snorkelling for about 2 hours. There was a huge area sectioned off for snorkelling and there was a lot to see, including different types of fish, sunken statues of Minnie and Mickey, plus a boat and a submarine (those freaked me out and I swiftly swam past those). Someone told us there were sea turtles further out (I nearly cried with joy) but we didn’t see them, sadly.
It was time for a BBQ lunch then we headed to the adult only beach, Serenity Bay. It was literally paradise, so peaceful and blue! I did puncture my foot on a shell, however. That wasn’t so peaceful…
It was such a great day and I didn’t want to leave the island. It was pirate night on the ship, though, so I was looking forward to that! So many people went all out with fancy dress; I wished I’d bought a costume! Even the Crew Members were dressed as pirates, as well as the characters! There were two shows either side of dinner (which had a pirate themed menu), then Fireworks at Sea after the second show, which was brilliant. After that was a dance party (Club Pirate) which was good fun.
We came back to the room to a towel monkey and chocolate coins on the bed. I love how Disney go all out with their theming!
Thursday 23rd May – Day at sea
After a breakfast in Enchanted Garden, we donned our new Spirit Jerseys and took many, many photos round the ship.
We went to Vanelope’s Sweets and Treats for ice cream (I was too full up from breakfast for any lunch) and wandered round the boat some more. We came across an event happening in the atrium called Jack Jack’s Diaper Dash and, as the name suggests, it was a baby race. It was bloody hilarious.
We had another couple of hours on the top deck sunbathing; thank goodness for the adult only area… it was so peaceful. We rode the Aquaduck water slide again which was crazy in the middle of the ocean!
Zoe and I went to see the signature show, ‘Believe’, before dinner. In a brief summary, it’s about a Dad who upsets his young daughter as he is too focused on work to play and believe in spells and magic. The genie from Aladdin appears and, through introducing him to different characters, changes his mindset. It was amazing. It featured so many characters and songs from a variety of Disney movies and ***SPOILER*** you better believe I cried when Sorcerer Mickey appeared at the end!
We met Captain Mickey after the show, got changed and went down to dinner. We met Belle in the atrium on our way and she told me I was like her enchanted rose, as I was wearing a red dress. *cries again*
The final restaurant we dined in was The Royal Palace and it was the best dinner of the whole cruise. The restaurant was themed on the main Disney princesses and the menu was French-themed. We had deep-fried brie to start and it only got better from there… *dribbles everywhere*
It was then time for the ‘Sea Ya Real Soon’ party, to celebrate the end of the cruise and all the memories made. All of the characters came out and they showed some clips on the screens which made me so emotional. Such a lovely way to end the cruise.
They were showing the new Aladdin film on the ship after the party but it was so packed there were no seats left! I didn’t mind too much as I can see it another time, so we headed back to pack and relax in our room.
Friday 24th May – Back to Orlando
We were up early to have a last breakfast in The Royal Palace then we had to debark the ship. I felt so sad to leave; I’d had no idea what to expect and I’ve never been interested in cruises but, of course, Disney go above and beyond to create such magical experiences and we had the best time. This was another highlight of my year and again I feel extremely lucky that I was able to do it.
I was, however, looking forward to having free Wifi back and being in contact with my friends and family, though it was so nice to have a break from my phone!
After a long queue in customs, we got an Uber and were home by 11am. It was a quick journey for me as I fell asleep… I spent the rest of the day unpacking, doing laundry, catching up with my Nan, Mum, Dad and Matt and had a good old Dominos for dinner.
Saturday 25th May – Back to reality
I spent the morning sorting through the 1000+ photos from the cruise then had work. It was my first time doing the IllumiNations Dining Package and thanks to the support from friends it went really well.
The bus broke down on the way home but luckily the driver managed to get it started again a while later. It then broke down again but this time it was round the corner from housing so we were able to get off and walk home.
Well done if you made it to the end, this was a long one… thanks for reading!