|We managed to capture this lucky moment at the goodbye party!|
Last August, 2012, we sailed for 8 nights from NYC to the Bahamas on the Disney Magic.
This August, 2013, we sailed for 7 nights from Port Canaveral to the Western Caribbean on the Disney Fantasy.
Anyhoo, here's what was different, this second time around:
1. The boat was twice as big
On our first cruise one of our fellow, more experienced passengers informed us he liked all of the Disney ships and that even with the bigger ones, where there are twice the people, there is twice the space, so you don't feel all the extra people. I'd say: WRONG. Hubby felt more of the 'banquet-style' seating & feeding process, and the pools were more crowded, and it was actually quite a bit more walking around to get to where you were going. Twice the shopping: good. Twice the people vying for seats at the show: not good. We would definitely choose the Disney Magic or Wonder in future sailings, as opposed to the Dream and Fantasy. The classic ocean liner charm and intimacy [however much intimacy you can have with 2000 people] was lost with 4000 people. You know those elevator conversations you have with people, and it gives you a little smile in your day? Well you might see those people again on the Magic, and continue your conversation. You would not likely see them again on the Fantasy.
|The club on the Fantasy includes a Toy Story room|
|Little dude learning how to navigate the ship!|
|Geared up for Castaway Cay day|
|The pools and slides were even more a hit this time|
|The Scavenger hunt led us to every corner of the ship, including this painting in the art museum that winked at us!|
I have tried my best to encourage my little princess to be a - well - princess, but alas, she has passed on several occasions to get the toddlers-and-tiara-level disney boutique experience. Getting done up like a pirate, however, was never a doubt in her mind and she and her brother got the full treatment. The golden doubloon, the tattoos, the eye patch...the works. The Disney Fantasy has a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on board the ship, like the one in Downtown Disney and the one near Cinderella's Castle in Disney World. It is hard to get an appointment on one of the days that there is a "princess gathering", which entails the majority of Disney Princess characters standing in the lobby of the boat for about an hour while you get an opportunity to go down the line and take a pic with each one. I totally heart the princess gathering. My daughter, not so much. She just wanted a pic with the ladies in the 'background.' She totally changed her tune on the last night, perhaps realizing she was running out of time to be dramatically bashful, and we snapped a pic with her and Aurora and Tiana (and Donald.)
|Getting his little beard on...|
|Totally into it|
|Little girl seeing little guy pirate for the first time|
|Proud to take her oath|
|Navigating rough [virtual, in the portrait/game] seas|
|Everyone gets in on the pirate action|
|Be wary of pirates on deck!|
5. A chance to reminisce
One of the ports-of-call was Cozumel, Mexico. This is where hubby and I got engaged. We bravely led the group to the main square in town in search of our favorite restaurant of the trip. In the heat and with five kids in tow, we had doubts. The port terminal is a huge outdoor maze of a mall, and they honestly do not want you to find your way out of it! But we made it out of the mall, north a few blocks, and into the square. And our restaurant, and our Mexican platter for two, was still there. And it tasted just as good. If you ever have a chance to go, hit up Casa Denis in the southeast corner of the square opposite the ferry terminal. It's self-proclaimed the oldest restaurant in Cozumel. We're going to venture, it's at least the tastiest.
6. Oh la la! Remy!
|Enjoying the champagne cocktail at Oh La La bar in the adult lounge area.|
As anyone who has traveled with extended family knows, it is not easy getting everyone on the same schedule, the same page, and under the same roof. But it is worth it. These are the times of our lives and our children's lives that we will never get back. I think back on the special times I shared in my youth with my cousins and grandparents and think about how I could have had even more. I don't look back on the fights, the meltdowns, and the disparities. I think about the love, the meals, the celebrations, and shared history. To share more of those times, while we are all healthy and able, is truly priceless. Mickey may be magical, but he is not all-powerful, unfortunately.
Thanks for reading,
tuning into my guest posts last week,
and I promise I'll catch you up on 'real life' soon enough!