Enchantment of the Seas was a bitter sweet sailing for our family. We had booked this trip for my mother’s birthday who was turning 70 years old on the sailing date of October 26, 2018. Unfortunately my mother passed away suddenly just weeks prior to this sailing. We tossed on possibly cancelling the trip, however we knew that a lot of money would be lost and when it came down to it, she would never want us to cancel it! So we went on with the trip. It was an amazing cruise. This sailing was in memory of her!
We sailed out of Port Canaveral Cruise Port and the embarkation was very smooth! We parked and got right into line which went very fast. Before we knew it we were on the ship. She was a beautiful ship. Below are her stats.
Enchantment of the Seas is now 82,910 GT since her 2005 refurbishment, she is 988.71 length and holds a capacity of 2,446 passengers.
The ship had a very relaxing and fun feel to it. The Atrium had live entertainment and the ship activities were plentiful with theater shows in the Orpheum Theater, game shows, pool activities and an outdoor movie screen for movies under the stars. The cruise director was very good about keeping the ship packed with activities and entertainment. The Pool area had loungers that were plentiful and hot tubs. Kiddie splash area was also available. Fitness center had free weights, ellipticals, treadmills and classes. The spa offered services for nails, hair, massage and other relaxing services. The sports deck offered rock climbing, a jogging track, bungee trampoline etc. The ship also had a video arcade and library that offered books and board games. Casino Royale had several slot machines, table for poker and other card games and tournaments.
The ship also had duty free shopping of souvenirs, clothing and jewelry. A photo gallery is also available for viewing your photos and option of purchase.
Dining and Bars
The ship offered several options for dining. The Windjammer Lido Buffet area was a casual dining option that offered all kinds of different foods. The My Fair Lady dining room was the Main dining area. Specialty dining is at Chops Dining where we had an amazing steak dinner for an up charge. The food was really good and our server was excellent. It was certainly worth the up charge. There is also Room service available and soft serve ice cream. The ship offered several bars including a pool bar and a bar in the solarium. A Ben and Jerrys coffee shop is also located on the ship to offer up Ice Cream or specialty coffee and snacks.
The quiet area
The Solarium area was a nice quiet area to grab a book or take a dip in the pool. With a large number of loungers and table and chairs, you could also grab a bite to eat at the small cafe in the Solarium and eat at a quiet table. The pool area in the Solarium is indoors and has a life guard on duty. There is also the Solarium bar nearby if you would like to order a drink. You could find late night snacks at the Solarium too which would include pizza, sandwiches and salads to name a few.
Our Stateroom was a 2 bedroom Grand Suite Room 8552. It was a spacious stateroom that offered a large walk in closet when you came in the room. The Closet had a lot of storage area with a furniture piece that had several drawers, life jackets and enough area to store your suitcases. To the right when you walk in is the main hall bath that had a sink, toilet and shower with no tub. All toiletries were available. Then you come to the first bedroom which offered a king size bed which could separate into 2 twins and 2 upper berths, a small bedside table and a window that had a curtain that could be opened to see the living area of the stateroom. There was a small furniture piece of drawers.
Next you come to the living area which provided a sofa that turned into a double sleeper, a large entertainment center that had shelves, tv, refrigerator, room safe and wet bar. There were plenty of electric plugs. There was also a coffee table and a sitting chair. Off the living room was the patio balcony that had a large table with 4 chairs. The balcony could be opened from the living area and the master bedroom. The last room was the master bedroom which had glass opening doors with a curtain for privacy and offered a king size bed that turned into two twins, a large double closet, a vanity dresser with drawers and a stool, electrical outlets and a bathroom with a toilet, sink and tub with shower. A blow dryer is also available.
The room was really nice and clean. It offered us access to Concierge Club. Our Concierge host was amazing at calling us and making sure to check in and see if we needed reservations or any other service. She was also very informative on any port information we had. The Concierge area had food and beverages at certain times and allowed for quiet seating. We were very happy with our stateroom. Here are some photos of it. Our stateroom host was excellent on this sailing, he made sure all our requests were filled and was very attentive.
One thing that stands out that I really enjoyed about this sailing was the last evening. There was a flag ceremony that the Captain hosted in the Atrium. It was all of the crew broken up to groups that were from the same country. Each group would come out and dance with the flag from their country. It was a fun time. It was amazing to see how many countries actually work on one ship.
We had a great cruise on board the Enchantment of the Seas. It was a fun time! I would certainly sail her again. I hope that you and your family may be able to sail on the Enchantment of the Seas.
NCL EPIC STATS: 155,873 GT 1,081 Ft 4,100 Occupancy
I sailed on Norwegian Epic March of 2018. It was a 3 day Bahama Cruise. A 3 day Bahama cruise is a great opportunity to see how you like a ship before spending 7 nights or longer. I have to be honest and say that I had read a lot of negative reviews on the Epic just prior to our Embarkation day. In fact, I was wondering at the time if I had made a mistake by booking the ship. The answer would be no, I didn’t. In fact to us it was a great ship, a great time, service was excellent and there is really nothing I can complain about. The white party was fun and we played Bingo the entire cruise, O’Sheehan’s was one of our favorite places to grab a quick bite or play some bowling.
Embarkation at Port Canaveral Cruise Port was 2 hours for us from car to boarding. Apparently, the ship was late due to a woman that had fell over board and that caused the ship to arrive late and things got behind. Thats ok, things happen and it is perfectly understandable. So, I can not tell you if the embarkation is fast, we did not experience it on this sailing. Once on board, we were in awe at how big the ship is. The Atrium had a large movie screen, seating , coffee and bar services nearby, guest services, it was beige with a rich dark wood trim, additional seating was available on the upper level.
We had a mini suite stateroom and it was really nice. It was very clean and cozy. It was a quite different setting then we are used to. The bathroom was not in a closed room with door like what I am used to. Instead it is open and split. The shower is as soon as you walk in the room to the right and the toilet to the left. A curtain is provided for privacy from the other part of the cabin. The sink is joined with the cabin. It offered a lot of storage areas and the balcony had a small table and two chairs. The room had a king size bed that converted to two twins, a sofa that turned into a bed, vanity area with stool, refrigerator, a lot of storage areas including a closet. Our stateroom host was really attentive and made our stay really nice.
The ship had a wide variety of activities for the whole family. There was entertainment always going on in the Atrium, a large outdoor movie, the pool area had hot tubs and an aqua park area that included water slides, water bowl, and a kids water area. Live shows in the theater, casino, game shows, along with a sports deck that included Rock climbing, basketball, bungee trampoline, climbing cage. There is also a video arcade and a bowling alley near O’Sheehan’s. You will also find on board an Art Gallery and Art Auctions, several bars and an Ice Bar that serves your drinks in an all ice room. You will have capes and gloves provided and does cost an up charge. Music Entertainment is also found on board the Norwegian Epic with a nice night life, don’t forget to join the fun at the White Party too. Everyone dresses in all white and has glow sticks while a DJ entertains. You will also find a Fitness Gym for all your fitness needs. The spa will deliver up some serious relaxation with the amazing spa services.
The casino offers a smoking and non smoking section. The ship also had duty free shopping available along with Photo gallery to view and purchase photos and gifts.
Dining on NCL Epic
The Norwegian Epic dining was plentiful. There were many choices to choose from. With the freestyle dining, you were able to dine when you want, how great is that? Specialty restaurant reservations can be made prior to boarding in the reservation area of your online account. It is always best to book your specialty dining before sailing since space books up quickly. If you do not have a reservation, stop by the restaurant anyway, perhaps there was a cancellation or they may have seating available. Taste and Manhattan are the two main dining areas and the Garden Cafe Lido buffet that are complimentary. Specialty restaurants include, O’Sheehan’s, Shanghai noodle bar, Teppanyaki, La Cucina, Cagney’s, Le Bistro. Room Service and a specialty coffee shop is also available.
Great Stirrup Cay
Great Stirrup Cay is Norwegian’s private island located in the Bahama’s. There is no docking which makes it a tender port. Tender boats will transport you from the ship to the island. Usually takes about 10 minutes once you are on the tender. The island was very good size, had beautiful palms and white sands. There were 3 beach areas and a life guard was on duty. If your hungry they have a buffet lunch available with picnic tables to sit. Restroom facilities and some local vendors for shopping. The vendors do not accept credit card so bring cash. There were also cabana’s for rent. Those can be rented in the shore excursion section of your online account prior to boarding.
When we visited there was construction going on so I am sure there were things added since we have been. I had heard rumor to a zip line being put in. I will be sure to do an update on what is new when I go back for my next visit to the island. The island had 3 different beaches, clam shells and loungers were available first come first serve. Snorkel or swim with the sting rays are some of the activities. The island does have a few sand wheelchairs that are first come first serve. I look forward to my next stop at Great Stirrup Cay.
We had a great time on board the NCL Epic, I would like to sail on her again in the future. If you or your family would like to sail on the NCL epic visit the website of Norwegian Cruise Lines at http://www.ncl.com
I never imagined myself being addicted to cruising, in fact, I always said I would never cruise. It was never something that I saw myself being interested in. It was something I never even dreamed of. That was until my brother convinced me to take my very first cruise. I was going to learn real quick how wrong I was.
I took my first cruise back in September of 2015, my thoughts about cruising totally changed after I took my first sailing. I remember being so nervous about getting sea sick, so many things would go through my mind. I would go online and read reviews. I would just search and search for information about cruising. My sail date arrives and as I arrive at the port, I was so mesmerized by the massiveness of the ship, the beauty of her as we were pulling into the port. Wow what a site!
The Disney Dream Ship was the first ship I had ever sailed on. I had never seen something so massive. Massive that actually floats on water. I remember my first feeling of walking up the gangway to enter. It was a feeling I had never felt before. It was awesome. There was something so inviting. The fun was there from the moment I stepped on. The crew announced our family name as we boarded. The magic of Disney was on water also. I could not help but look around as I boarded the ship. The beauty of the atrium, all the shiny gold trims, the classiness of the decor, people going here and there, everyone with a plan. You just want to stop and just look, soak it in. To me, there is nothing more exciting than cruising. There are so many great reasons why cruising is an amazing vacation.
~Cruises are for any occasion~
Cruises are fun for the entire family! You will find loads of family fun. If you rather, you can take your special someone and have a very romantic cruise, or perhaps take a cruise alone. Singles have great options to meet other cruisers while sailing solo.
If it is a family cruise that you have in mind, the kids will have plenty to do. Kids activities are great in the children areas on board the ships. Most all ships have an area for infants all the way up to older teens. These areas are nice to have available so your children have somewhere to spend time keeping busy and meeting new friends while the adults do adult things. You and your mate might like to have an adult dinner or perhaps go to a show, bar or comedy club. With cruising, most everything is included in your price. There are of coarse offerings which may be at additional charge. So many options on board to bring the family together is what makes cruising unique. Various entertainment, game shows, theaters, sports activities, pools, water slides, the list goes on.
If you are a solo cruiser you will be likely to meet new people on a cruise. Your table seating at dinner will sit you with other people to meet and get to know. If you sail on Norwegian Cruise Line, the Studio staterooms are designed for solo passengers and offer a singles lounge where single passengers can meet other singles. The adult itineraries, shows, bars is always an opportunity to meet others as well.
If it is a romantic sailing is what you are looking for, you got it, the adult retreats are really nice on cruise ships. There is always a spot to sit alone somewhere or take a long walk together around the ship. In the evening you can take a walk and look at the moon light over the water which is beautiful. You can book spa, couple massages or have a bottle of wine with some chocolates sent to your room for a quiet night in. You can also request with the Maitre D when you first board the ship for a table for 2 if you would prefer to have a nice private dinner. Most ships have specialty restaurants that will offer a quiet romantic area for couples. There are numerous of things you can do to have a romantic, fun time on a cruise ship.
On a cruise you will have a variety of things to do. There are scheduled activities and shows that will be in your cruise compass given to you at turn down in your stateroom. It will provide you with the next port of call information, weather, activities, times and locations.
Sports, movies, live theater shows, bars, shopping, spa, fine dining, casual dining, casino, portrait studio, library with board games and books, children activities, specialty coffee shop, Art Gallery and auctions, live game shows all in one vacation. The endless services that are available, the staff works extremely hard to make sure you are happy. Most everything is complimentary however some services, game rooms, bar drinks and specialty restaurants are optional and have an additional charge.
You can never go hungry on a cruise. The dining is various and is available up until late hours of the evening and for some ships you even have 24 hr room service dining available along with soft serve ice cream stations.
You can also get as many photos taken that you desire. Main dining will have photo opportunity, various places around the ship, and most cruise lines will have photo props ready when you arrive at your port destination. Your photos will be available for viewing and options for purchase during your entire cruise in the photo area on board the ship. You can usually find a variety of different frames and other photo items for purchase also.
Port of Call
With a cruise vacation, you not only get all of the variety of things to do on board, fantastic dining and several dining options, kids activities etc, you also get to see some amazing places. Going to different ports is always exciting, seeing the different cultures and learning about the history. Since you only have so much time at each port, it leaves things to do for your next arrival to that port on your next cruise. You could go a bunch of times and still be able to find something to do or explore. I never mind going to some ports over and over because I always find things to do that I have not done. If it is not a port I care about, I am all for staying on board and exploring the ship!
Cruise excursions are always available for you to book also and offer different experiences for your trip. You can book excursions prior to sailing on your online cruise account. If you rather, you can also just get off the ship and explore the port on your own, have some lunch, shop in the local shops. The options are endless and you can just relax and enjoy your day doing what you want. On a cruise your free to do what you want when you want! Your on vacation right? Who doesn’t want to go see some of the most beautiful destinations in the world, eat fine dining, enjoy great entertainment, enjoy a nice tropical drink or take a dip in the pool or hot tub? Sounds good to me!
At your service!
No matter what you want in a cruise, you will have a fantastic vacation, yes it is a vacation. You do not have to worry about entertaining the kids, going to the store getting food and cooking, babysitting for the children. You are on vacation, a true vacation where you do nothing but have a relaxing fun experience, a clean stateroom in the day and evening turn down at night. What is better than that?
I encourage you to take your family on a cruise. The memories that you can make are endless and I do not think you will regret it!
The Carnival Victory Ship was out first cruise we took with Carnival. We took a 3 day Bahama cruise out of Port Canaveral, FL. Embarkation was FAST! We were very impressed with Carnival and how nice Embarkation was.
The not so good
I can not say that our experience for this cruise was the best I ever had. I always hate to say anything negative about a vacation, but sometimes the shoe fits. If I told you it was amazing, I would be lying to you. If I told you it was OK, then that would be the truth. With that in mind, I also know you have to take the good with the bad and always have a good time regardless.
The things that made our experience not so good was the very strong smell of stale cigarette smoke throughout the ship was not pleasant for us. When we boarded the ship the first thing I noticed was the awful stench of smoke. On top of that, you would not expect for your stateroom to have cigarette smell but ours did. It must have been really poor ventilation.
Our other reason was the dining. The food in my opinion was just not great when we sailed on her, in our opinion, the food was cheap quality and not prepared good. It included the main dining and lido. The service was not the best either which did not make for a very good dining experience. It was just OK. It just was not what you expect from a cruise. I am glad to hear now that it is 3 years later nice things are going to happen to the Carnival Victory ship!
After this sailing, I did not book another Carnival cruise for a long time! It wasn’t until later that I was browsing one of the cruise ship app forums and I saw that there was talk that the Carnival Liberty ship was really good. A couple people were saying that they sail on her every year. I decided to give it a try and in Sept of 2018 we sailed on Carnival Liberty, we had an amazing time! It was excellent! The food was great, the service was great, was not the experience we had in 2016. Soon after that cruise we took the Carnival Breeze, and it was even better! Way to go Carnival!
I see people in cruise forums talk about what ship they were on and how they had a negative experience and therefore they will not cruise again. Trust me, every experience is different, every cruise is different, every staff is different! I am always sure to fill out my survey and voice my situations, because if I do not say anything then nothing can be fixed. I encourage you to fill out your survey if you are unhappy, let your voice be heard, they do listen and it does matter!
The ship was FUN, we did have a great time! It was clean and we enjoyed the comedy shows. We loved the casino! Pictured above is my brother, we played slots often. We also attended the Park West Art Gallery Auction which was really nice. I bought some Art work and got some free champagne. The activities on board were fun and plentiful. The Cruise Director was really fun and informative. The live music was really good.
Our Stateroom was a Grand Suite, Room 7298, very nice and roomy. It had a lot of space for storage and a nice big vanity area for dressing. The room was really spacious. It had a good size balcony with a table and two chairs. Here are some photos of the cabin.
Now the Better news!
Carnival Victory Ship is getting a makeover!!
The Carnival Victory Cruise Ship will be getting a $200 million dollar renovation with a new name! She will be named the Carnival Radiance and will have sailings out of Port Canaveral, FL. In this upgrade she will have Guy’s Burger, Guy’s Pig and Anchor BBQ, Blue Iguana Cantina and Bar, Red Frog Bar, Alchemy Bar. A Cherry on Top candy store! The ship is also going to get more cabins and will increase to 2,988 passengers. There will be other renovations and additions that is going to make this ship an awesome time. I can not wait to sail on her again and see all the changes.
Here are some more photos from our trip. Even there was some things about the cruise we did not like, we had a great time! Carnival ships are FUN! The Cruise Line is one of my very favorite lines. I can not wait to try the NEW Carnival Victory that will then be the Carnival Radiance when she is in Port Canaveral in 2020. I will be sure to give you an updated review!
Make sure you check out the new Carnival Radiance when she arrives to Port Canaveral November of 2020. Itineraries can be viewed at http://www.carnival.com
My very first cruise I ever took was on the beautiful Disney Dream! She is a massive beauty to say the least! She is the sister to the Disney Fantasy ship and runs 3, 4 and 5 night sailings from Port Canaveral, Florida. Everything about this trip was magical. I went on the trip with my brother for his birthday. It was the end of September which was a Halloween sailing. There was Halloween decor and shows in the Atrium and Halloween themed activities for the kids. The characters were dressed in Halloween attire during meet and greets. How did I know that this trip would lead me to my passion of cruising. Port Canaveral Cruise port is home for Disney Dream.
Parking at Port Canaveral for Disney Cruise Line
When you get to the Port Canaveral Cruise Port, there are two ways to park for your Disney Cruise Line parking. Regular parking and preferred parking. Preferred parking is an additional fee, it is not in a covered garage but allows you to park closer to the terminal and attendants will take your luggage out of your car. Regularparking is in the covered parking across the street from the terminal. It is a longer walk so if you have mobility issues, I would recommend the Preferred Parking. If you decide to do the regular parking you may pull up to the curbside to give your luggage to the attendants prior to parking. Regular parking for our 3 day cruise was $68 and preferred parking was $88 at the time. Once in the terminal, check in was a quick and painless experience. We were on the ship in little time. Be sure to check the website for more information or the most recent parking prices. I have included the link for Port Canaveral Cruise Port at: http://www.portcanaveral.com
Disney Cruise Line announces your name when you board. Yes, you are greeted by your name for the whole atrium to hear! How great is that? Her rich beauty is seen from the moment you walk on. The 3 deck Atrium is so richly decorated with blues, golds and a splash of red that pop. The massive staircase and chandelier are a grand entrance eye catcher for any prince or princess. Admiral Donald Duck is the Atrium statue of this massive beauty. The crew were so friendly and helpful on this cruise. The magic and classiness of this Disney Cruise Line Ship is certainly the reason of why I want to return every time.
Our stateroom on this cruise was Room 7596 which was a DeluxeOceanview Stateroom with Verandah. (Category 4C) It was really nice and clean. This stateroom was large enough to hold up to 5 guests. It had a queen size bed ( does not convert to twins), a sofa bed that turns into a bed, an upper pull down bed over the sofa and a Murphy bed that pulled out of the wall. **The queen size bed is high enough to allow for luggage or other items to be stored under neath. ** It had a sofa table that opens for storage, a closet that had hangers and plenty of storage area. There are glasses and an ice bucket, a refrigerator, room safe, tv, a vanity style desk with stool. Wave phones are offered in your stateroom free of charge to communicate with loved ones while on board. **Although the phones are free to use, if you loose one you will be charged to replace it.** The Stateroom bathroom I did not get a photo of at the time however the bathroom was a split bath with one side being a toilet and sink and other sink and shower. The split style bath makes it easier for the entire family to get ready at the same time. Shampoo, Conditioner, body lotion, tissues were available. There is also a hair dryer in the stateroom. If you need a clothes line to hang wet clothes it is located in the shower. The stateroom was nice and clean. Our steward was attentive and kept us stocked with everything we needed. The balcony was a good size and had a table and two chairs. **The gifts on the bed in the photo was a welcome back tote from the cruise line and the sport bottles and drinking water I had purchased previously before boarding, they were in our stateroom when we arrived. To order items for your stateroom prior to boarding visit the Disney Cruise Line website and go to the bottom of the page, you will see a link for In-Room Gifts and Shopping. https://disneycruise.disney.go.com
Disney Dream has amazing dining! The ship offers rotational dining and your dining assignment will be on your keycard. Under your Castaway number on your keycard it will have 3 letters: ** (example: AER means A for Animator’s Palate on your first night, E for Enchanted Garden on your second night and R for Royal Palace on the 3rd night. )** It will also state your dining time and table. It is always fun to dine with others and meet new people however If you wish to have a private table, see the restaurant Maitre D and they will help you with your requests. Be sure to go soon afterboarding to ensure your request is filled. The dining on this cruise was truly an impeccable fine dining experience. So many food options and each restaurant will have a child’s menu. If you prefer something vegetarian or a lighter dish, those options are available. The Staff are very good with meeting your dining and nutritional needs. The Main dining rooms as I mentioned is Animators Palate which offers up Disney characters who come to life and offers amazing dishes. Royal Palace which has French and American cuisine and has beautiful classic Disney artwork. Enchanted Garden is the last of the Main dining rooms. This elegant restaurant serves a variety of menu items and really has a beautiful garden touch.
Disney Dream also has casual dining available. Cabanas Lido buffet, Flo’s Cafe, Eye Scream, Frozone Treats, and 24 hour room service. If you are looking for a sweet spot visit the Vanellopes sweets and Treats. You will find an array of goodies for an extra charge. Adult dining is available in Palo and Remy. Both restaurants are for adults only 18 years and older and offer a luxurious dining experience you will not forget for an additional up charge. You can find healthy choices at the Senses Juice Bar which is found near the Spa. Preludes is located by the Walt Disney Theatre and has bar items along with popcorn and snacks for an additional fee. You will find servers going around the theater to take orders if you wish to order from your seat. There was also a specialty coffee area that had coffee, latte’s for an additional fee. The finger snacks they had were free of charge.
Our dining experience on board the Disney Dream was really nice, our service and food were amazing. I hope it is for you and your family also! For more information on Disney Cruiseline Dining visit the website. https://disneycruise.disney.go.com
Activities and Entertainment
Disney Dream had many activities scheduled every day. You will have a Personal Navigator awaiting on your bed with your chocolates every evening at turn down. All of the information for the next day activities, times, next port, weather etc will be in your navigator. The ship has two theaters, Walt Disney Theater and Buena Vista Theater. A variety of shows and movies were available. The ship also has a wide variety of fine Art. The Adult areas offer nice bars and adult nightlife. There is also an adult pool section. Do not forget about the Spa!! The Spa has a variety of pampering menu items to choose from.
You may purchase WIFI on board. ** If you purchase the WIFI the first dayof your cruise you will receive 50mb free. **Download the Disney Cruise Line app for a smooth navigation of things going on and information on the ship.
Children ages 3 to 12 will love all the activities in Oceaneers Club and Oceaneers Lab, both offer activities for creativity and imagination. Edge is a tween club that offers games, movies, arts and crafts, and interaction with other tweens. Vibe is a place for teens to hang out, meet other teens, watch tv, games, listen to music and much more!
It’s a small world nursery is for infants and toddlers. The facility has cribs and other items to keep your children safe and entertained. The staff does an excellent job at making sure your child is attended to while you are away. A charge does apply and reservations are necessary. There is a limited amount of space and it books up quickly!
The sports deck offers 9 hole miniature golf, basketball, volleyball, ping pong, sports simulators, foosball table. There is a running track and a video arcade on board also. You can get your hair braided also at Lido! The wonderful ladies have a variety of braiding they can do! The large movie screen at the lido pool area will play movies while the kids swim. Do not forget to take a ride on the Aqua Duck. The water ride will float you around the body of the ship over the ocean! There is a kids splash area and Mickey pool and slide. There are loungers, towels, tables and chairs to enjoy a meal or just sip a drink while the kids swim. Life Vests are available with Life Guards on duty. There was enough to do on board to keep you busy!
If shopping is in your interest, , Mickeys Mainsail and White Cap’s has duty free shopping which offer high end jewelry, Disney Cruiseline and Walt Disney souvenirs, apparel, toys, and much more! There is a section of personal items available if it is needed. You may use Disney gift cards in the gift shops. There is a smaller gift shop located near the Lido too.
Castaway Cay is Disney Cruise Line’s private island in the Bahamas. It is only offered for guests who cruise on the line’s fleet. It offers a tropical delight atmosphere with lush greenery and landscape, coconut palms, white sand and blue waters. The island is packed with a variety of things to do for all ages. The Castaway Cay 5K run is offered in the morning and allows for all people no matter your athletic ability to join in on the morning run.
Character meet and greets are available, the times will be posted in the Personal Navigator. The island offers Large water bikes, Paddle Boats, jet ski and snorkeling with snorkeling gear for rent if needed. ** If you snorkel youmust wear the snorkeling vest that is provided anytime you are in thewater.** Bike rental is a small charge and rents per hour. Helmets are provided with the rental. The Bike course takes you around the island and offers a lookout tower for some great views for photos along your way. Complimentary beach loungers are plentiful. Life guards are on the lookout. Tube floats are available also for rent. Hammocks are on the family and Serenity Beach which offer up some serious relaxation under those beautiful coconut palms!
Cookies BBQ is the place to be when you are hungry! There is Cookies 1 located by the family beach area and a Cookies 2 that is located farther down by the cabana and Serenity area. A buffet of hamburgers, hot dogs, spicy chicken sandwich, BBQ ribs, BBQ chicken, potato salad, fresh fruit, Cole slaw, beans, chips, cookies and a cake dessert are among some of the items that are served. Drinks and soft serve Ice Cream are also available. The large pavilion has several picnic tables for seating in the shade. Trust me, I have been to Cookies BBQ more than once and the food was finger licking tasty if I might say!
Cabanas can be reserved in the excursion section online
Cabanas are available at Castaway Cay. The island has 20 Family Beach Cabanas , 1 Grand Family Cabana, and 4 Serenity Adults only Cabana’s. They come with ceiling fan, refrigerator, waters and soft drinks, fresh fruit bowl and snacks, sand toys, towels, sunscreen, hammock, lounger, umbrella, a room safe, float rental, bike rental and snorkel rental. Outside fresh water shower and a door bell to ring your attendant for service or bar drinks. Restrooms are a short walk away. Once you arrive at check in for your cabana, the staff will assist you in a golf cart ride to help you get to where you need to be if help is needed. **Do not forget your wrist bands that will be delivered to your stateroom. You will need them for each member. **
The island has some great drinks at the Head’s Up bar which sits on the small peninsula. It has some nice views of the ship, there is also a sand bar and bar service. Post Office if you would like to send mail, some local vendor shopping, 2 gift shops that offer Castaway Cay merchandise and souvenirs.**The ship does NOT have Castaway Cay merchandise, you will need to purchase those items on the island** You may use your ship card for purchases in the shops however the local vendors and Post Office only take cash.** If you purchase anything in the shops, the attendants will have youritems delivered to the ship for you. You will pick your merchandise up later in the evening in the gift shop on board.**
You will have an amazing time at Disney’s Castaway Cay! It is such a beautiful island and I hope your family has a great time just like mine did! Thanks for reading!
~I will update this section often so always check back to see more tips and tricks, if I have anything has changed or not correct pertaining to anything I have posted here, please email me and I will make changes~Michelle
DISNEY CRUISE LINE does not allow Power strips or extension cords on board. I had to leave mine at Port until I returned. To my surprise our stateroom on board the Disney Wonder had multiple outlets so we did not need them anyway.
I would certainly suggest bringing along some Clorox wipes. They come available in travel sizes. When I arrive in my stateroom I am always sure to wipe down everything including door knobs, remote and phone. Even though your room steward may tidy up the room, a lot of germs get missed. It is a nice way to stay well while on vacation. I also bring them to the Lido to wipe my table.
Expandable laundry baskets are a great item to bring along. You can keep dirty clothes in them and store it in the closet. You can purchase them for a dollar at the Dollar Tree store or of coarse Walmart or Target for a little higher cost. If you do not want to bring an expandable folding laundry basket then pack a couple of garbage bags. I also bring some one gallon zip lock bags to separate wet clothes if need be.
Did you know that most cruise ship cabin’s come with a retractable clothes line? Yep, they sure do! Since we know that it is unsafe and prohibited to leave clothing on our balconies, most cruise ship cabin’s have these clothes lines available in the shower. It is handy to pull it open and hang up wet swim suits or perhaps wet towels.
Did you know that you can actually cruise without a passport? Yes, you may, cruise lines do permit you to cruise with just a birth certificate, however, if for some reason you needed to fly back home to the United States, you would not be able to fly without a passport. So, it is always in the best interest to apply, receive and cruise with a passport over a birth certificate. You never know if and when an emergency could happen.
Alcoholic Drink Packages purchased with CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE requires every person who is 21 years and older in the same state room to purchase same package even if that person does not drink alcohol. The cruise line will revoke packages if you are caught sharing. There is a limit of 15 drinks per package per day. Visit the website for more information at: http://www.carnival.com Go to the Plan tab then click on FAQ’s. The Cheers Program is listed. This policy also includes Royal Caribbean Cruises as well! Be sure to purchase your packages early online in your reservation section, it is cheaper, closer to the cruise day it can get 15-30% more!
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE has tightened up on the smoking policy. For the safety of passengers and crew you are ONLY allowed to smoke in smoking designated areas. It used to be that you would just get fined but now If you are caught smoking in areas that are not allowed, you will not only be charged a hefty fine but you risk being dropped off at the next port to figure your way home! Yikes! I would think it would not be worth risking, so if you are a smoker, be sure to follow the rules and smoke in designated areas only! Remember that your stateroom balcony is NOT a designated area!
Did you know that if you pre-book your excursions, internet, drink packages, specialty dining etc online prior to sailing you will save money? It also saves you from wasting vacation time having to stand in line and purchasing what you want. Booking before your cruise online allows your vacation to start the moment you step on board. So if you are able, go to your cruise planner online and pre book all your cruise needs. You will be glad you did!
A tip for DISNEY CRUISELINE, the Wifi is only available for devices on those individuals over the age of 18. You will have to share with your younger passengers. To use the wifi you will have to sign up then sign in and out when you are finished. If you do not sign out each time you use it, you will use up your access and will have to purchase another package. So be sure to log out after each use and remind your younger passenger to sign out, to avoid wasting your internet. If you sign up the first day of your cruise you get 50mb free. The largest package was $89.00. *Keep in mind that Disney Cruise Line does offer wave phones in your stateroom which are free of charge, just do not loose one, a hefty bill will be charged for the cost of the phone if it is lost. * Speaking of wave phones, did you know that if you put your laundry in the launderette washer or dryer the wave phone will alert you when it is ready? Yep, sure will! :o)
Do NOT over pack for a cruise! A cruise ship has rooms that are very limited of space depending on your stateroom category. You do not want to over pack! You can store your empty suitcases under the beds of most staterooms to save closet space. Most cruise ships have launderettes on board so you can always wash if need be. Certainly get a packing list and only take what you need to avoid over packing. If you have a pack list you will more than likely not need to buy anything on board that you forget at home. Items are going to be a lot more expensive on board then getting them at home!
So you go on a cruise and you have one suitcase and it is packed to the limit. If you plan to shop or buy souvenirs while on your trip you will need a way to carry them home. You may want to take an extra folded cloth style bag ( I take Vera Bradley duffle) and fold it in to your suitcase with your clothes or put it in a pocket. That bag will come in handy if you need something to hold all your purchases in.
Prebook your specialty dining prior to your sailing. No matter the cruise line, due to high demand and limited space it is always best to pre book your specialty dining to be sure you get a reservation. You will also get a cheaper rate usually by reserving online prior to sailing. If your restaurant is already sold out, visit the restaurant once you get on board and check with the hostess, perhaps there was a cancellation.
Tip for Disney Cruise Line Usually the last night of the sailing, could be a different night so inquire of what evening and time, but the Captain will have a Captain’s signing in the gift shop. Usually it is between 7-8pm and will fit in with your dining time. He will sign what ever you would like him to sign if anything and will allow for a picture with him.
Bring a lanyard from home so you do not have to buy one, unless you want to buy one. A lanyard is a nice way to hold your stateroom key and never loose it. It is easy access. If you have one with a pocket, you can put your ID and cash inside too. It makes it easier then carrying around your sail and sign card in your pocket and risk loosing it. Remember on a cruise your sail and sign card is your $$, so keep it safe in a lanyard. *** Disney Cruise Line only gives you a lanyard when you check in when Embarking. ***
Always download your Cruise Line App before sailing. Once you embark you can use that App on board to find information on Dining times and menu’s, Shopping, Activities and times, theater shows, and some lines will have access to your on board account so you can keep track of daily charges. Some Apps will allow you to text to other members of your party while on board. I do not believe the chat will work on port but they do on ship.
Perfect Cruise App ever for while you are at home or you are cruising is Ship Mate by Cruiseline! Check it out and if you do not have it, get it! I love it. It will store your upcoming cruises and will keep a timer of your sail date along with reviews, information and photos of the ship and ports. You will also have the option to place a review on your trip to let everyone know what you thought! You will also be able to chat with other cruisers that will be on your sailing too!
Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas is a huge ship! Make sure to book your shows in advance! Once you have your shows scheduled, be sure to still arrive early with your entire party! They will only have a small amount of time that they allow those scheduled to get in before they open the doors to everyone. People frown on the saving seat deal even though several were doing it. So arrive early with everyone in your party to be sure of a guaranteed seat!
Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas I suggest that if you have a large party or multiple state rooms, go to the Maitre D as soon as you board and be sure your party is dining together. Our party of 5 showed up to dining to realize that our party was broken up when they tried to seat us. I had asked the RC agent who booked my second stateroom for my son to link the reservation and put our dining together, we were assured we would eat together, got to dining and that was not the case! I quickly realized that we could have saved time by verifying with the Maitre D prior to dinner. I also noticed we were not the only ones this happened to.
Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas There is a full service Starbucks, behind the Starbucks is a nice small quiet sitting area with tables and port holes to look through. You will not know it is there, so be sure to look for it. (Thanks Cruising with Christine for the recommendation, now I can share the secret!)
Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas The Ice show “Under the Big Top” was honestly amazing! However, get there at least 15 min early to get a seat, it filled up very quickly! There are no reservations you just have to get there early!
Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas On boarding day, the Windjammer buffet can be pretty crowded, if there are no seats available like there were none for us, you can go to Jamies Italian Kitchen which sits in the Windjammer area. There were several tables open and Jamie’s is not open on opening day so it was perfect!
Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas This was my first time doing the “Ship Tour” with Royal Caribbean, I am assuming this is fleet wide however I do not know so I will speak for this ship since I experienced it, the tour was really good, showed us a bunch of different areas including the bridge, but it lacked the meeting of the captain which is one reason why I do the tours. We were not introduced to any superior officers or captain like we were on Carnival. We also did not get a photo. Just to let you know if you want a meet and greet with the Captain, it wasn’t in the Ship Tour BUT I DO recommend the ship tour, it shows a lot of areas!!!
If you have any comments, opinions, tips, tricks please share them with me in the comments, would love to read them! I will add additional travel as it is booked and of coarse my Youtube channel will have vlogs from each of these future itineraries and my website will have the blogs. ~Michelle
March 2020 * Norwegian Breakaway Ship* 7 night Western Caribbean
June 2020 * Celebrity Solstice Ship * 7 night Alaska Cruise
September 2020 **Disney Fantasy Ship * 3 night Bahama Cruise
January 2021 *Norwegian Cruise Line* Escape Ship 7 night Eastern Caribbean Cruise
February 2021 * Carnival Cruiseline* Mardi Gras Ship* 7 night Eastern Caribbean Cruise
April 2021 *Carnival Cruise Line* Radiance Ship (previously the Carnival Victory) 6 night Eastern Caribbean Cruise