Remembering The Magic – Top 10 Moments During Our Disney Cruise

 

I was completely unplugged for over a week while my family and I took a cruise on The Disney Magic last week. While I thought it would be tough to be “off the grid” (and I certainly did miss connecting with my Facebook, Twitter and Still Living The Dream friends), it turned out to be one of the most magical weeks I have ever spent with my husband and children on vacation.

This was our first time on a cruise ship and we had a lot of questions before we boarded like what to pack, what excursions to sign up for while in the Caribbean and what to expect regarding activities on the ship. (These will all be topics that I will cover in future posts about the Disney Magic, by the way!)

But as soon as we stepped on the ship and a crew member announced over the loudspeaker, “Please help me welcome aboard The Patrick family,” we knew we were going to be in for a wonderful ride no matter what ended up in our suitcases or whether we selected a snorkeling or beach tour excursion in Cozumel.

My Top 10 Magical Moments on The Disney Magic (in no particular order!):

Running on Deck 4 in the morning and watching the sunrise. Runners can choose between looking over the water while on a treadmill in the ship’s exercise facility (which I also took advantage of several times during our trip) or running the entire length of deck four…three times around equals a mile.

Watching Jackson become more independent. Disney knows that as much as parents love their kids (and kids love their parents) sometimes grown-ups and little ones want to do different things. So they offer a nursery for infants and three different kid’s activity rooms for older kids (Oceaneer’s Lab and Lounge for Annie’s age group, The Edge for pre-teens like Jackson and The Vibe for teenagers.) My kid’s loved going there to play sports, take cooking classes, do arts and crafts and enjoy special parties with kids their own age. Jackson was able to go with his new friends to play dodge ball or play in the arcade on the top deck. He even explored the ship a bit with permission from us and Wave phone in hand (each stateroom comes with 2 “wavephones” to use while on the ship so that you can get in touch with your family when going in different directions). His confidence and self-esteem grew…and with that – so did my heart!

Seeing Annie meet the Disney Princesses for the first time. We had many opportunities to meet Mickey and the entire Disney character crew while on board. Character meetings were offered often (both spur of the moment and scheduled) and because there are a limited amount of people on the ship – lines weren’t ever that long. Each meeting was special, but the morning we had the chance to meet six princesses in the ship’s lobby really stood out. Seeing Annie’s face light up as Belle gushed about how pretty she was, Aurora spun her around and Cinderella embraced her made ME tear up. It was a beautiful moment.

Relaxing by one of three pools on Deck 9. The Mickey pool with water slide  is a favorite with kids (complete with splash pad for even the youngest cruisers), Goofy’s pool is deeper and you can watch movies on a giant screen while you swim and the adult-only pool is a quiet sanctuary complete with the comfiest lounge chairs. Beware – you may fall asleep! I had the chance to enjoy all three pools at different times during our week away.

Getting to know our wait staff while enjoying out of this world cuisine each night. Weird, right? I mean, why would getting to know staff members be a vacation highlight? Because Disney offers unique, rotational dining which meant that we had a reserved seat at one of three restaurants (Animator’s Palate, Lumiere’s and Parrot Cay) every night with a different theme (Captain’s Gala, Prince and Princesses, Pirates in the Caribbean) and menu every night. (Hello lobster and chocolate souffle – I love you.) Our servers, Nathan from London and Andrae from Jamaica, served us every night no matter where we dined. By the second night they knew that Annie would probably want milk while Jackson preferred Sprite and would have their drinks waiting for them. We got to know them so well, it was a teary good-bye our last night together.

Enjoying Nightly, Broadway-Style Shows. This is a separate post in itself. But let me just say – the shows were outstanding complete with elaborate costumes and set-design, special effects (fireworks on stage!) and extremely talented actors/singers. Our favorite was the Dreams – An Enchanted Classic and Villains Tonight.

Swimming with the dolphins in Grand Cayman. A excursion worth the splurge. I will never forget Annie’s face when Luna the dolphin pushed Annie’s feet with her nose and sent Annie sailing through the waters.

Towel animal creations in our room every night. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference. Coming back to our stateroom every evening after the show, tired from a full day of activities, a towel monkey or swan would greet us on our freshly turned-down bed with chocolates and the itinerary for the next day.

Getting a massage in the Vista Spa. Disney cruises aren’t just for kids. They offer different activities for people of all different ages and interests. In fact, 20 percent of those on board our cruise didn’t even come with kids! Getting a 75-minute massage in the Vista Spa was so relaxing and the spa was so beautiful.

Seeing my family dressed up on formal night. The preparation ahead of time to find and pack dress up clothes for the four of us was so worth it. I mean, Ed and I work from home most days so it’s perpetiual casual day at our “office”! We never get gussied up anymore and seeing my family looking so beautiful made my heart happy.

**Gazing at the ocean water from our stateroom veranda. Here’s a bonus to my top ten….number 11! Breathing in the fresh air (no Houston seasonal allergies at sea!) and watching the ocean water as we glided gently through it from the privacy of my room’s balcony in my jammies was beyond relaxing. Ed enjoyed reading his book out there as well. Such a special way to start and end each day.

You can experience “The Magic”, too!

The Disney Magic will be sailing out of the Port of Galveston in Texas from now until May 2013 and they are offering a special where kids under 17 years old can sail FREE on most six and eight day cruises from January 4, 2013 until March 1, 2013!

Have you ever been on a Disney Cruise? What were your magical moments on board?

My family and I  were invited as guests of Disney on a 7-Day Caribbean Cruise aboard The Disney Magic. While most of our trip expenses were covered, all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

 

 

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Comments

  1. 1
    Kristin says:

    Ohhhhhh, Jen…

    I am just… WOW! I think words are failing me. What a beautiful experience!

  2. 2
    Tracy says:

    Jenn,
    What a wonderful trip for you and your sweet family! Looks like you all had the time of your life!

  3. 3

    That looks BEYOND amazing!!! I want to do it soon!

  4. 4
    Melissa says:

    It looks like you guys had a great time! We did Disney World for the first time as a family this summer and had a blast, and I think a Disney Cruise will be our next big family adventure!!

  5. 5
    Lin Boehlert says:

    What a fabulous experience for your family. Disney Cruise Lines certainly knows how to make magic happen at any age. Any person would be in heaven on that cruise ship—!!!!!

  6. 6
    MaryEllen says:

    Great post!! I have never been on a cruise and this makes me want to go even more! I look forward to more blog posts on your experience! Thanks for sharing!

  7. 7
    Lacey says:

    It looks and sounds as though you guys had an amazing time! I was so excited when I first found out Disney would be sailing out of Galveston – we really hope to take a cruise before they move on. I love the new special where kids sail free. That really helps to make it more affordable!!

    • 7.1
      Jennifer Patrick says:

      Lacey, The Magic will be in Galveston until May 2013 but then her sister ship, The Wonder, will come to Galveston in October 2013!

  8. 8
    Kara says:

    I love your pictures! Looks like you guys had a fantastic time! Hopefully one day we can go too!

  9. 9
    Bobbie says:

    I’ve always been iffy on cruises, especially wary of the family friendliness of them but I think that after reading this I might look into a disney cruise. THanks!

  10. 10

    What an amazing trip that must have been. Talk about relaxing…
    Now I really want to go!

  11. 11
    Heather says:

    Now I want to go!

  12. 12
    Karen says:

    Jen,

    Sounds like it was an amazing experience for your family! I’m going to have to look into it for mine!!

  13. 13
    Karen says:

    Wow! So glad you had this wonderful opportunity!! I teared up at the picture of Annie with Cinderella!

  14. 14
    Brenda says:

    Well, I was thinking about it before but now I KNOW I want to go on this cruise. What a wonderful and fun way to make family memories that will last a lifetime!

  15. 15

    So glad you all had so much fun! Are the cruises really ending in May? 🙁

    • 15.1
      Jennifer Patrick says:

      Debra, the Magic is leaving Galveston in May but The Wonder will start sailing from Galveston in October. So we’ll be without Disney in our port for the summer months….but I’m telling you – I loved cruising in the fall and I bet it’s even better in the spring!

  16. 16
    Angela says:

    Sounds like you had a truly “magical” time! We will definitely have to check this out as an option for the next family vacation. So happy for all the wonderful memories your family made 🙂

  17. 17
    Emily says:

    WE. ARE. BOOKED! This has completely inspired me to book our own trip to experience all the Disney magic at sea! Thanks for sharing. I know my girls are going to love it once they found out(Christmas gift) and I’m equally as excited to set sail and see everything first hand! Besos!

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