Episode 77: Fish Extenders 101

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Fish Extenders 101

We’re back to take a closer look at a gift exchange that’s exclusive to DCL! From what they are to how you receive and give them, we’re here to discuss it all! Would you ever participate in a Fish Extender group?


If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please let us know! And as always, for more Disney tips, tricks, tutorials, packing lists, dos and don’ts… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a blog! www.mouseandmonorail.com You can also find us on the following socials: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, & YouTube.

Episode 74: What To Do Once You’ve Booked Your Disney Cruise

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What To Do Once You’ve Booked Your Disney Cruise

After hearing how awesome Disney Cruise Line is from our previous podcast episodes, you decided to book a Disney cruise. And did! Now what?! Today we discuss what what to do once you’ve booked your Disney cruise vacation. What’s the first thing you did or plan to do once your sailing is booked?


If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please let us know! And as always, for more Disney tips, tricks, tutorials, packing lists, dos and don’ts… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a blog! www.mouseandmonorail.com You can also find us on the following socials: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, & YouTube.

Handicap Accessible Stateroom Review

handicap accessible

Meredith here, checking in to give you the lowdown on what it’s like to stay in a Disney Cruise Line’s handicap accessible stateroom.

Disney Cruise Line has great staterooms, but what if you need a special one? We've stayed in a handicap accessible stateroom onboard Disney Cruise Line and enjoyed the experience. Check out our review before you plan your next trip!


First things first, I sailed with my family on the Dream and boy was it! Disney cruise line is a great choice for families to looking to get out and explore the world while enjoying not only the wonderful Disney characters we’ve come to know and love, but the amazing customer service they provide. It’s great for all ages! And while some may be skeptical, it’s actually fantastic for those requiring handicap accessible accommodations as well!


Meredith


My grandmother, who uses a power chair as she can no longer walk, sailed with us and she had the most wonderful time! For someone who had never even left the country before, this was a HUGE trip her her. I’m pretty sure her favorite part was getting to know and appreciate how amazing the wait staffs are aboard DCL. She loved our servers, and so did we!

Because she was sailing with us, we knew we’d need a handicap accessible room. If you’re unsure how to begin researching and pricing out your own trip to include handicap accessible accommodations, try contacting a Disney travel planner. They’ll be able to help assist you with everything you’ll need.


For those who want to go ahead and check out the staterooms and what they offer, let’s get to it then!

Handicap Accessible Stateroom

Disney Dream Stateroom 6088- The Room itself

Stateroom 6088 is located on the 6th deck port side, midship. It’s very close and convenient to the elevators.

handicap accessible

Although I didn’t stay in the handicap accessible stateroom with my grandmother, the room is much larger than most of the staterooms. And we often found ourselves using the room as a meeting place. We had a group of 10 and though some of us sat on the floor, there was plenty of space for all of us.

Your Key to the World card opens the door and it closes on its own after you enter. To exit, all you need to do is hit the button and the door opens for you. The doorways themselves were nice and smooth and she didn’t have trouble getting around through doorways, and even out onto the verandah where her scooter fit comfortably. She loved the verandah!

The Bathroom

The bathroom is fantastic. Unlike most of the staterooms aboard the Dream which feature a split bath design, 6088’s bathroom is a single room. It’s very open and has plenty of space to move around . It’s also got handlebars for support around both the toilet area as well as the shower. The floor is completely tiled and the shower stall actually has drains flush with the floor surrounding it to minimize the amount of water collecting on the rest of the bathroom floor. You can see this on the floor in the bottom photo. There’s a seat for the shower that folds down and the shower head is hand-held.

The Closet

The closet features plenty of storage including a rack with a handle that allows you to pull it down to your level!

And Mom only had one complaint about the entire cruise. My Grandmother preferred to keep her things in her suitcase. She said that the stateroom host would clean and then place the suitcase under the bed. My grandmother couldn’t get to it easily and my Mom had to continually retrieve it for her. However, if she had only left a note to their stateroom host, I’m most positive he would’ve been happy to accommodate them. Likewise, if there’s something you need, don’t hesitate to ask or leave a note! Disney Cruise Line has some of the most amazing people you will ever meet working for them and are always so helpful. Just ask!


The overall experience was fantastic! So if you’re considering a cruise but aren’t sure if it’s right for you, then don’t worry!! Disney has you covered! ~Meredith ºoº


P.S. They even have free to use wheelchairs made to go in the sand on Castaway Cay! More on that later over on Instagram. Be sure to come follow me so you won’t miss out!

Want More Cruise Info?

Check out these posts for more great cruise tips! And be sure to follow us on your favorite social: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest!

Episode 57: The Value of Disney Cruise Line

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Hey howdy hey, we’re back to discuss today the value of sailing on the Disney cruise line. It’s easy to second guess a DCL vacation when you first see the price, but when compared to other cruise lines, it may just be worth it for you! From food and drinks, room service, and  top-notch stage shows to DCL exclusives like the aquaduck and Castaway Cay, the Disney Cruise line has perks that you just can’t get on other cruise lines. Today, we break down everything that comes included in the price of a Disney cruise and how it compares to what other cruise lines have to offer so that you can be informed and maybe even convince your loved ones that DCL is the way to go!  So sit back and enjoy our discussion of the value of Disney Cruise Line.

Disney Magic

For more Disney tips, tricks, tutorials, packing lists, dos and don’ts… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a blog! www.mouseandmonorail.com You can also find us on the following socials: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, & YouTube.

Get Ready: Cruise Planning and Early Packing

Get Ready: Cruise Planning and Early Packing

amys-dream

Hey howdy hey guys, guess what today is! Go ahead… If you guessed the anniversary of the Disney Dream’s maiden voyage, then you’d be absolutely right! And that couldn’t be more relevant for me because I am in full-on planning and packing mode. I’ve got just a few days before we head out for our whirlwind few days at WDW and MK and our much-anticipated Disney cruise aboard the Disney Dream. I can’t wait to share all the fun once we leave on our socials (facebook, instagram, twitter, & periscope) since I won’t be able to share here on the blog until I return. You can find us on periscope by searching for “mouse and monorail” in your app.

Join Me on My First Cruise

First things first. Come follow us on all our socials before I leave! I plan to do some fun periscopes around the Wilderness Lodge on Saturday night and may even broadcast some of the “peaceful serenity” that is Whispering Canyon. Haha!! (If you don’t know what I’m laughing at, go check out what the Whispering Canyon is all about here). I’ll be broadcasting via periscope as much as service will allow on Sunday in the Magic Kingdom so be sure to follow us ahead of time to get the notifications on your device! Additionally, I’m going to periscope as much as I can on the ship Monday and possibly our Castaway Cay day (Wednesday). SO don’t miss out!! Speaking of watching live, did you know that you can watch Port Canaveral live via their webcam? Yep, come watch me sail away!! Haha!

FE Sneak Peek!

Cruise Planning

Finally to cruise packing. Now, don’t go throwing your favorite swimsuit and sandals in the suitcase just yet! There are things that can and should be done well in advance of a few weeks (or less than a week in my case) of your sail date. And for me, this has been the most fun Disney trip I’ve ever planned. From meeting people who we’ll be cruising with online months in advance via fb, to creating unique gifts to exchange through the fish extenders, to planning the ultimate “best friends” day at the Magic Kingdom for my kids and their best friends (who just so happen to be going with us! Whoo hoo!!) I can hardly contain my excitement!!

Cruise Packing Preview

Early Packing

But planning and packing isn’t always easy and some things that need to be done can get overlooked until it’s too late. And with a Disney cruise specifically, there are certain things you’ll want to do well in advance of your sail date. After booking, you can decide if you’d like to participate in Fish Extenders, and if so find your sail date group on fb and sign up. Check out Sarah’s amazing post on 5 things to know before you go for help on familiarizing yourself on what you’ll need to do to be prepared. Other items like passports, car maintenance services (in case you’re driving), scheduling your flights and auto rentals, and making boarding/other arrangements for your pets should all be done earlier rather than later.

Don’t Forget Documentation

Passports can take several weeks to come back and if there’s a particular hold-up on getting yours, it could be delayed even longer. A car servicing can also be beneficial to get done earlier in case something needs repairing so that you’re not forking out a huge chunk of change on your car RIGHT before you head out on your trip. And if you haven’t researched a bit about keeping your devices charged while on vacation, earlier is definitely better! Check out my post all about that very topic here.

Organize Your Packing

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The photo above shows my own (insane, I know. There’s five of us now) list of stuff to pack and whether you use a crazy looking app like me (which totally works beautifully for me 🙂 ) or a good ‘ole pen and paper, keeping a list is a great way to ensure that you’re on track. And while making your own personal list is key, you’d be missing out if you didn’t check out Amy’s Cruise packing list and Sarah’s WDW packing list! Both of them are great place to start and are printable so you can print whenever and even have copies for family members so big kids can help pack too!

 

Hooked on DCL design by Mouse and Monorail

 

Fish Extenders

I’m now a week out and have begun to pack starting with our fish extender and gifts. They’re all done and packed in a small separate suitcase. (Eeek! So excited to give them out and even more excited to share about them after I get back!!) This serves the purpose of ensuring that they all stay together, can be easily checked, and the suitcase space will be available to bring home our own fish extender gifts we receive. I’m updating my Hooked on DCL decal to include a silhouette cameo cutter file as well as a printable for instructions on how to apply the decal should you decide to make and give them as gifts for your own fish extenders! So exciting! Right click on the image to below to download the decal application instructions and be sure to check out the original Hooked on DCL post that has been updated with the additional file.

Decal Application Instructions

And packing early isn’t all about fish extenders! There’s extra space in our suitcase, so I’m adding in items that I can easily pack early like suction cup hooks for hanging swimsuits (we won’t have a verandah), door magnets, and our dry-erase magnetic board where we can write and encourage fun messages to people onboard. Pretty much anything else that we can deal without having until our luggage is brought to our room will go in here as well.

It’s Almost Time!

I’ve printed and gathered our signed cruise docs/signature pages from our online check-in, and placed them in my carry-on (yeah, that totally rad Disney Dream Inaugural bag my brother got me for Christmas!) since I’ll need those items to board.  That’s all the time I have for now since I’ve got to get back to packing!! And don’t forget to stay tuned for my live posts from WDW and the Bahamas this coming weekend and next week! ~Meredith ºoº

Episode 11: All About Packing

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Today’s podcast is all about packing for Walt Disney World trips. We are breaking down Sarah’s packing list for Walt Disney World, and just for good measure, I’m throwing in my packing list for Disney cruises. Neither of these lists are going to cover the obvious things like socks and underwear, but we do have some great tips on what you need to take with you! And don’t forget that part of packing is preparing your devices! We mention Meredith’s  posts on how to take better WDW photos and you can find them here and here. Go check it out! ~Amy ºoº

More Cruisin’ News

Hey howdy hey everyone! Usually it’s Amy’s week here on M&M but seeing as how she just disembarked from the Dream on Monday, Sarah and I are bringing you some more Disney fun while she gets settled back at home. Amy, can’t wait to see photos and hear all about your trip! In the meantime, today I’d like to talk about how my blog post from a few weeks ago came about. If you’re familiar with Fish Extenders (and you should be since Amy posted all about them) then you know that sharing Disney items can be fun and exciting during your Disney cruise. We also had a Disney cruising crash course on our podcast! Over on facebook, there’s a group called the FISH EXTENDER DISNEY CRUISE LINE where you can go to find not only the particular fb group for your actual sail date, but also to find people sharing fun ideas for their gifts. I’ve been a part of the group for several months now and love to follow along and see all the amazing things people come up with. If you’re reading this and have posted there before, shoutout to YOU for being awesome! The group has fantastic admins that are very helpful and work hard to keep the group a drama-free and family-friendly group. If you’re looking to sail, definitely check out this group!

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One day I was scrolling through my feed and saw the cutest cruising decal someone had designed and shared. Her name is Jenn and she had used her Silhouette Cameo machine to cut out the design and apply to her car’s back window. I immediately loved it and commented on it. Having a background in graphic design, I knew I could come up with something similar, yet change it up enough to call it my own and share it here with you all. Here’s the original design:

Isn’t it just the cutest?! Well, I set to work on my own and after brainstorming sessions with my Sarah and Amy, I got to work. I was (and still am) super happy with the outcome and hope that you all are enjoying the design as well. If you have your own cricut or silhouette machine, or you just want to see what my design looks like, check it out here. I’d like to thank Jenn for the idea. And what better way to thank her than to actually promote her own design?! She’s had a bit of bad luck today and I’m hoping that this will somehow restore her faith in the honesty of people on the internet. You see, people aren’t always out to play fair and someone ended up copying her design and posting it on the popular website Etsy for sale before she could get hers up in her own Etsy shop called EndUpArt. Okay, so whoever took it made a slight font change, but the graphic and layout are exactly the same! Check it out here:

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Now, I don’t want to wrongly accuse but the other account in question didn’t open up shop until 3 days after Jenn’s original fb post. Just seems fishy to me. Heh, get it? Fishy?! Sorry… I digress. Ultimately what I’m trying to say is that if you loved my original design, you can thank Jenn for the initial inspiration. And if you don’t have access to your own vinyl cutting machine and would prefer to purchase a decal instead, please be sure to check out Jenn’s Etsy shop and give her your business. 🙂

 

I guess that’s all for today, but be sure to stay tuned as Amy plans to start sharing about her cruise here on the blog very soon! ~Meredith ºoº

Castaway Cay: Paradise for Disney Cruisers

We are quickly approaching our very first Disney cruise in just a few weeks. We will be sailing with my entire family on the Disney Dream, heading to Nassau and Castaway Cay. We have 11 total in our group – ranging from 2 years old all the way up to grandparents, so we wanted to make sure that we can have something fun for everyone. Enter Castaway Cay! Castaway Cay (pronounced “key”) is Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, and is only for Disney Cruise Line guests traveling on the Bahama or Caribbean cruise itineraries. The island is just 3 miles long, but has tons of fun things for guests to enjoy on the island. Whether you are seeking active adventures or would prefer to sunbathe and relax, there is something for everyone!

Here are just a few things you can find on Castaway Cay:

  • Castaway Family Beach (for families) and Serenity Bay Beach (for adults)
  • Private cabanas available for rental
  • 2 Water Play Areas: Pelican Plunge and Spring-a-Leak
  • The Hide Out, a teens-only activity area on the beach
  • 3 restaurants to choose from: Cookies BBQ, Cookies Too BBQ, and an adults only option on Serenity Bay.
  • Castaway Cay 5k race, complete with medals for people who enter. And don’t worry, this is a fun event!
  • Tubes, floats and water sports, including swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and more!
  • 2 shops featuring exclusive Castaway Cay gifts and souvenirs
  • Open-air massages with an ocean view, a yoga class and a bar at the secluded, adults-only beach, Serenity Bay
  • Port Adventures for everyone in the family, including stingray interactions, glass-bottom boat tours, parasailing and fishing.
  • Free childcare at Scuttle’s Cove, a children’s area supervised by Disney counselors
  • Disney Character Meet and Greets
  • This view. Enough said. Have you been to Castaway Cay? If so, what was your favorite thing? If you haven’t been, what would you love about a visit to this island paradise? Let’s chat in the comments! ~Amy ºoº

Cruising with a Baby

As many of you know, I’m planning for our upcoming Disney Cruise, and one thing on my mind is my baby and what all taking an infant entails. I asked my cousin Amanda all about it, since she took her baby a few years back, and here’s what she had to say:

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1. Should I take my baby on our DCL cruise?

Yes DCL is definitely geared toward taking baby.

2. Do I have to pay for my baby to go?

If baby is under 6 months, then they’re free. 6mo+ will have to pay a fare, though it is significantly less.

3. Is there nursery care for my baby aboard the ship?

Yes, there is nursery care for baby, but we personally did not leave our baby in there. From what we saw of it, it looked great & I also am pretty sure that was extra or you had to pay so much an hour for them to stay in there.

4. Does my baby need a passport?

I think all we had to take for our little one was a birth certificate.

5. What should I pack for baby?

We packed lots of snacks, juices, a sun hat, bottles, pacis, swim diapers, sunscreen, diapers, & of course clothes and a swimsuit. They provided a pack and play for baby to sleep in and a bottle steamer to clean the bottles.

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6. What baby things are provided?

Oops! I answered that on 5, but we had a pack and play and a bottle steamer provided for us to use.
7. Have you taken your baby aboard the DCL?

Yes, we have. We took Love Bug when she turned a year old & we had actually talked to a travel agent about what would be best for a 1 year old to do. We were debating on the cruise or Disney World, and the travel agent recommended the cruise &, honestly, they were right. We took Love Bug to Disney World the next year when she turned 2 & that was a nightmare for us because she couldn’t take her naps that well, and Disney World is very exhausting. It is very fun just, but was a bit much for our 2 year old at the time. On DCL, we were able to go back to the room anytime for her to get her nap,s and we didn’t have to go far, so we didn’t miss much of anything. Overall, I just think it’s easier for you and baby on the cruise & also no long waits to see the characters. ?

8. If so, what did you like most about taking your baby?

We liked how laid back it was, especially having our baby with us. Very convenient to go back to the room at anytime of the day for naps.

9. Did you find anything difficult about having a baby on your cruise?

We didn’t care to get off at the port in the Bahamas with our baby. We were just a little uneasy about it, but we did get off at Castaway Cay (the Disney Island) & that was so much fun .. There is so much for you to eat & plenty of characters to get pictures with & the water is beautiful!

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10. Would you recommend taking your baby on the DCL?

I personally think the DCL is perfect for a baby to go on. We had so much fun with our 1 year old who is now 3 1/2 & I will cherish those pictures forever & we may even go on another when our 8 month old twins get a little older. And yes, I said Twins! Lol

Thanks Amanda for telling us about your DCL and baby experience! I can’t wait to take my sweet Bubbles on the Dream!! ~M ºoº

Disney News for 8.24.15

Here’s your Disney news for this week! It’s a bit slower than last week after all the exciting news from D23, but there’s a few new things worth noting. 🙂

 

•Disney has announced a new twitter account for guests to interact with guest services cast members during their vacation at WDW.

 

•There will be a Rockin’ Burger Block party at this year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival that will let you pick different burger combinations to create your own unique sliders.

 

 

•Disney has made changes to their alcohol policy aboard their cruise fleet.

 

 

 

•Reservations are now available for the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party’s Happy HalloWishes Dessert Party.

 

And that’s it! Stay tuned this week for lots of fun posts! ~Meredith ºoº