5 Things to Know About Hurricanes and Disney Travel

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Pandora: The World of Avatar

Traveling during the Atlantic hurricane season, typically June 1 to Nov 30, can be tricky. The odds of traveling during a major hurricane at Walt Disney World are extremely low. However, it’s always a good idea to know what you’re getting yourself into when planning a vacation during this time. Even more so, if you’re traveling during the season peak month of September! We have you covered though!

Closures Due to Hurricanes are Rare

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Orlando’s central location within the state of Florida makes it a much safer place to ride out a larger storm. Did you know the structures throughout Walt Disney World were designed to withstand gale force winds? It’s no wonder that since its opening in 1971, Walt Disney World has only ever closed for hurricane weather a total of 4 times!! The most recent was almost two years ago for Hurricane Irma. While a closure can be frustrating, it’s better to know that things are closed and everyone is safe.

You Can Change Your Travel Dates Without Penalty if a Hurricane Warning is Issued

According to Walt Disney World’s official hurricane policy,

“If a hurricane warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center for the Orlando area—or for your place of residence—within 7 days of your scheduled arrival date, you may call in advance to reschedule or cancel your Walt Disney Travel Company Magic Your Way vacation package and most room only reservations (booked directly with Disney) without any cancellation or change fees imposed by Disney.

If you have products and services provided by third-party suppliers included in your vacation—such as airlines, hotels, car rental agencies or vacation insurance companies—you will continue to be responsible for any non-refundable payments, as well as cancellation or change fees assessed by those suppliers. The policy does not apply to certain special events or dining experiences.

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This policy also applies to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort or Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort in the event a hurricane warning is issued for those destinations.”

Travel Insurance is Key

Whether you’re planning to travel during the hurricane season or not, travel insurance is always a good idea. One of the many things it can cover is the ever-unpredictable weather situations that can and do affect travel. It’s good to remember that each travel insurance plan is different. Your travel agent can explain more about what’s covered. Unfortunately, most insurance plans can’t be added onto a paid in full vacation package.

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Be thinking of the potential for hurricanes and whether you should select travel insurance when you first book your trip. Furthermore, most insurance plans will help cover costs associated with travel such as airfare to and from your destination. Remember: Even though Disney may reschedule your vacation without penalty, other third-party vendors that you have bookings with may not allow a reschedule. For more information on Walt Disney World’s travel insurance, click here. For more information on Disney Cruise Line’s insurance policy, click here.

Disney Has Safety Protocols In Place for Guests On-Site

Hurricane

While it’s no secret that Florida gets its fair share of hurricanes, it may be surprising to some that Walt Disney World is designed to withstand gale force winds. In the event that Orlando sees a direct, or even near-direct, hit from a hurricane, guests staying on property will be protected and even entertained! Many guests who’ve ridden out recent storms like Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Irma have reported that they’ve participated in games, movie marathons, and even unannounced character meet and greets within their resorts’ lobbies and food courts! Additionally, most resorts will allow guests to ride out the storm in their rooms. However, should the storm become more intense, each resort has an interior space to relocate everyone.

Disney Cruises Are Subject to Change

While Disney Cruise Line makes every effort to maintain its fleet’s schedule, safety is always paramount. Unfortunately that means that sometimes Disney has to make tough decisions. If the safety of any of Disney’s ships is in jeopardy, Disney Cruise Line assesses that risk and plans accordingly. This can often be as little as diverting around a storm or mixing up the port days during each sailing. Sometimes though, the risk is too great and Disney will make the call to cancel sailings. As of August 28th, Disney Cruise Line has posted a tropical weather update that states, “We are closely monitoring the path and progress of Hurricane Dorian to ensure our Guests enjoy safe and comfortable cruises, and to make certain our ships steer clear of the storm. The safety of our Guests and crew is always our foremost concern.

At this time, based on the current predicted storm timing and path, we do not anticipate any changes to the Disney Fantasy sailing on Saturday, Aug. 31. We are closely monitoring potential implications for the Disney Dream sailings on Friday, Aug. 30 and Monday, Sept. 2. We encourage Guests to monitor our website for updates.”

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If you are considering a trip to Walt Disney World or a Disney Cruise during hurricane season, just remember to stay prepared and flexible. Safety is the most important thing! Stay weather prepared and keep an eye on Disney’s official sites for the latest information. Additionally, for more information on rainy days at Disney, be sure to check out our other blog post here.

Hidden Secret: Relaxation in the Rainforest on Disney Cruise Line

Ssshhhh…..I’m about to let you in on one of the best kept secrets for Disney Cruise Line: the Rainforest Room in the Senses Spa & Salon.

The Rainforest Room is a hidden gem in the Senses Spa on board all of the Disney cruise ships. Each Rainforest room is slightly different, but each of them feature the same idea – rest and relaxation at an affordable price! This limited access area is available to guests as a single day pass, or a pass for your entire voyage. Because there are a limited number of passes sold, the Rainforest room will never be too crowded. I purchased the single day pass on our last Disney cruise, and it did not disappoint! Let me show you around!

The Changing Room

Rainforest Room

When you enter the Senses Spa, you are given a bracelet that allows you to access the Rainforest room, and taken to the appropriate changing room. Trust me on this…these changing rooms aren’t your typical locker rooms. These are amazing! Marble counter tops, immaculately clean, and amenities to boot! There were vast supplies of complimentary spa quality lotions, soaps, and razors and you can even borrow hair dryers. The shower stalls were very spacious and super clean. There are stacks of plush towels and you are given a robe and flip flops to wear around the spa.

Rainforest Room
Rainforest Room

Bonus Tip!

The changing room showers at Senses Spa are available to you throughout your cruise – with or without a visit to the Rainforest Room. I ended up showering in the changing room showers at the spa a few times. The showers are very large, super clean and the complimentary spa products are amazing! It was nice having a larger area to get ready in when we were all cleaning up for dinner.

Rainforest Room

Each locker is very spacious and you use a custom numerical combination for the lock. You just need to remember which locker you choose, and the combination. Don’t worry – if you have a problem the spa staff are there to help!

Rainforest Time!

When you’ve gotten your stuff into your locker, now it’s time to get ready for the Rainforest room. First thing to know….everyone wears a swimsuit! The Rainforest room is co-ed, and no nudity is allowed!

Rainforest Room

Once you enter these doors, get ready for rest and relaxation!

Rainforest Room

The first thing you will notice is how beautiful it is. There is stone work everywhere, and the whole environment oozes calm and serenity. When you enter the Rainforest room, enjoy a cool glass of fruit-infused water or a cup of hot tea before you head into the shower room.

Rainforest Room

This is where the fun begins! The Rainforest shower room has five aromatherapy showers, each of which have different water temperatures, scents and strengths. Some are truly relaxing with warm or hot water, and others are more invigorating with cool or cold water. Check out the options and then hang your spa robe up on the hook outside the shower and try it out. Since everyone is wearing swimsuits, you don’t have to worry about it being co-ed. I loved the shower experience. I wasn’t a big fan of the super cold showers, but the warm showers were amazing!

Rainforest Room

When you are done showering, it’s the perfect time to check out the heated ceramic loungers. These are usually in high demand, so you may have to wait for just a bit for one to free up. Trust me, it’s worth the wait. The angle of the loungers were perfect for relaxing, and they are just warm enough to make you want to fall asleep and take a nap. Feel free to take a book with you, or doze off. However you choose to relax is up to you. I absolutely loved the loungers. My only problem is that I don’t have one at home!

Rainforest Room

The heated loungers overlook the ocean for a truly relaxing experience at the spa. I visited the Rainforest room on our Nassau day, so my view was another cruise ship which was cool in other ways. I enjoyed chilling out while watching the activities on board the Royal Caribbean ship next to us!

On the Disney Dream there are two hydrotherapy Jacuzzi tubs right off the the heated lounger room. These have the same view as the lounges do. One Jacuzzi tub was a regular hot tub with – you guessed it – hot water. The other tub was cooler water and it was Heaven! I loved soaking in the cooler tub enjoying the view.

Rainforest Room

After I was sufficiently water logged I checked out the steam rooms: the
Laconium, the Caldarium, and the Steam Hamam. I only visited these in passing because being hot just isn’t my thing. I live in Alabama. I have enough heat and humidity in my every day life.

Rainforest Room

I spent several hours at the Rainforest enjoying the amenities. For the price point and relaxation, it is definitely something I would do again on our next Disney cruise.

Know Before You Go

  • Day passes are available for purchase before you board by calling 1-800-601-8455, or you can purchase multi-day and couples multi-day passes when you board.
  • If pre-purchased, Day passes are $16 plus 18% gratuity.
    The Day passes are $27 if purchased on board.
  • The passes allows you entry for as long as you want for an entire day, or you can come and go as you like. It’s up to you!
  • Guests must be 18 years of age to enjoy the Rainforest Room.

Have you visited the Rainforest Room on a Disney Cruise Ship? If so, what did you think? If you haven’t tried it out, is this something you would like? Let’s chat in the comments! ~Amy ºoº

All About Fish Extenders

If you are sailing with Disney Cruise Line, one thing you need to consider is whether you want to participate in the Fish Extender group. What’s that? I’m so glad you asked!

All About Fish Extenders

Fish Extender groups are an organized gift exchanged between cabins. It is 100% voluntary, and you sign up several months ahead of your cruise. Outside each Disney cruise stateroom door is a small metallic fish, seahorse or starfish. Originally, it was designed for stateroom attendants to be able to leave messages for the guests outside their room. However, these ornaments were taken over as the perfect “hook” for hanging a Fish Extender, the basket per se, used for an organized gift exchange during your cruise.

How Do I Sign Up?

First of all, each Disney cruise sailing has a Facebook page where guests can get to know each other or ask questions before their cruise. Usually a travel agent or someone that has cruised several times with Disney is in charge. Search for your cruise date on Facebook and request to to join the page. Once you are accepted, if you would like to be part of the Fish Extender group, you simply fill out a questionnaire on your group Facebook page with various information about each person in your stateroom.

Here is the questionnaire from one of our sailings to give you an idea of what information you provide:

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Who Is In My Group?

Although it depends on each sailing, most groups close each group when they hit 10-15 cabins. After that, a new group is started. The Fish Extender groups on our sailings have closed with 12 cabins. As new “groups” are formed, they are usually given cute Disney names so everyone knows what group they are part of. Occasionally, FE groups are set up solely for adults. You may want to do an adults only group in addition to the regular group. Other groups may be for ornament exchanges, candy exchanges, etc. You can sign up for as many FE groups as you want to during your sailing, as long as you make sure to exchange with everyone. Once your group is full, you will receive a spreadsheet or information for each stateroom that you will be exchanging gifts with.

Here is our information to give you an idea of the finished result (click to enlarge):

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How Do I Make a Fish Extender?

Fish Extenders have pockets for each person in your cabin where everyone in your FE group can leave you goodies and gifts. The physical Fish Extender can be made from fabric, plastic or vinyl, and Etsy and Pinterest have tons of ideas! If you are into making your own, you just need to know that the fish extender shouldn’t be so wide that it sticks out into the hallway, or bumps your door. It is generally recommended that you loosely zip tie your Fish Extender to the fish so it won’t grow legs and walk away. We have used the Delta 4 pocket nursery organizer from Walmart for our trips. I hot glued pirate fabric to the organizer and tied a thick ribbon to the top and called it a day. Super easy and very affordable, and the large pockets were perfectly sized for gifts.

If you aren’t crafty, check out Etsy for tons of vendors that sell Fish Extenders.

What Do I Give Out?

Once your group closes, that is where the fun begins. Finally, you can now decide what kind of gifts you want to give to your new friends! We have in the past given out a cabin gift for the adults, and then individual gifts for kids and teens. First of all, decide on your budget and force yourself to stick with it. The cost can really add up, even with little purchases. Of course, only you can decide what you are comfortable with. 

Unfortunately, some people give just to the kids in a cabin, although this is very frowned upon. Make sure you give to everyone! Some people go all out and give individual gifts to every person in a stateroom; it’s up to you to decide. 

We’ve given out ice cream sundae kits for kids (super easy to do), as well as Disney coasters for adults. On our most recent Disney cruise, I did several cabin gifts for adults, including “Up” inspired keychains, Mickey picture frames, Disney music CDs, and Baymax first aid kits.Girls received Little Mermaid inspired hair brushes, hair ties and necklaces, and boys received pirate loot and Marvel earbuds.

If you consider yourself crafty, Pinterest has tons of ideas that you can use for inspiration. If crafting isn’t your thing, check Etsy for items you can purchase. Above all else, keep in mind this is about having fun – not seeing who can spend the most!

Keep In Mind

If you would like to be part of a Fish Extender group on your Disney cruise, here are a few things to know:

  • Gifts can be anything: from your part of the world, event related, Disney related – anything goes!
  • You don’t have to spend a ton of money. Be creative and crafty!
  • Allow for space in your luggage to carry the gifts on board, as well as carry your gifts back home!
  • Be aware of food allergies.
  • Personalized and handmade gifts are very popular!
  • Disney doesn’t allow you to bring homemade treats on board. Food and snacks must be commercially packaged.
  • Plan your deliveries – Disney cruise ships are enormous. Map your route carefully!

Finally, participating in the Fish Extender exchange sprinkles a little extra magic on your Disney Dream cruise. It allows you to “meet” people from all over the world. For us it didn’t matter what we received or how much people spent on us. We had so much fun making our gifts and delivering them around the ship. The boys loved to check to see if we had any new goodies anytime we went back to our room. No doubt it really made for a super fun experience for them. 

In case you missed them, here are a few links to other posts about DIY projects we have done in the past that would make perfect gifts:

DIY Fish Extender Magnets

DIY Clothespin Magnets

Seashell Picture Frame

Parks Map Ornament

DIY Painted Shirts

More Information

Find more great Disney Cruise Line tips and advice below!

Podcast Episode 74: What to do once you’ve booked your Disney Cruise

Disney Cruise Line: Know Before You Go

4 Things Not to Miss

Cruise Planning and Early Packing

What are your thoughts? Have you participated in a Fish Extender? Would you want to? Let’s chat in the comments!

Set Sail With The Pirates League Aboard The Disney Dream

Pirate Roo

The Pirates League

Ahoy me hearties! We recently returned from our second Disney cruise aboard the Dream, and wanted to share with you about a new experience we enjoyed. As if Pirates Night isn’t enough fun, we booked reservations for Tigger and Roo at The Pirates League on board the ship. This experience is available by reservation only for guests ages 3 and up on Pirates Party Night in the Bibbiddi Bobbidi Boutique. 

Pirates League Packages

Packages for the Pirates League are very reasonably priced and include not only a pirate makeover, but also Pirate souvenirs! Here is a breakdown of your choices:

All pirates need tattoos, right? Your little one will be given a tattoo on their hand, and if they are anything like my youngest, the pirate skull and cross bone tattoo will be a huge hit!

**Sidenote**I’m not sure exactly what to call the sweet cast members who do the makeovers for the Pirates League. I wouldn’t think they are Fairy Godmothers like at Bibbiddi Bobbiddi Boutique, but who knows. Maybe they are called wenches. **

The makeup process is fairly quick for the amount of product that is put on your children’s face during the makeover. New makeup and brushes are used on each child so you don’t have to worry about germs.

Keeping It Real

Just a friendly word of advice, the makeup used during the transformation is legit makeup. To put a positive spin on it, I would say that I was very surprised with how well the makeup stays on. This won’t be something that just flakes off. To give you a “keeping it real” perspective, we had to do some serious scrubbing to get it off, hence the scrub marks on my kids cheeks! Therefore, I would recommend bringing some very good makeup remover, baby wipes or coconut oil to help with the removal. Otherwise, you will end up making a trip to the spa before you disembark on Castaway Cay to try some of their specialty makeup remover so your 5-year-old doesn’t look like Jack Sparrow all day. Don’t ask me how I know this.

Pirate Oath and Loot

Your child will receive a sword, pirate sash, bandana, pirate necklace and earring after their makeover is complete. Once they have their pirate loot, it’s time to swear an oath of allegiance to the pirate code. My oldest son, Tigger, thought this part was hilarious. My youngest took it far more seriously. He still thinks he’s a pirate. 

We brought the clothes from home for Pirate Night, but they have options to purchase on board if you would like. The boys had a blast at the Pirate Party and got so many compliments on their looks. 

My boys didn’t think it could get much better than meeting Mickey on Pirate Night dressed as a Pirate!

captain mickey

Set Sail With The Pirates League

If you are sailing with Disney and want to visit The Pirates League don’t wait too long to book! You will want to schedule your visit as soon as possible due to the popularity of this experience. You can secure reservations during your online check-in, and the makeover takes roughly 45 minutes. Disney Dream

The Pirates League is a truly fun and memorable experience before the Pirate Party on board. My family would recommend it! Yo-ho Yo-ho, it is definitely a pirates life for us!

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

podcast

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.

Episode 26: Sailing the Disney Dream Part 1

podcast

MeredithCastawayCay

Hey howdy hey everyone! I’m back from our vacation and am here to talk all about our time aboard the Disney Dream. There was so much to talk about, that I actually had to split the episode into two! So here it, enjoy Pt1 of my Disney Dream experience. 🙂 ~Meredith ºoº

 

News for 10.27.15

Hey everyone!! It’s time for your weekly Disney news roundup!

 

•Hey Amy, this one’s for you! There’s a new game out called Disney’s Dream Sweets and just might make fans of candy crush drool. This game had me, (obviously a big Disney parks fan if I’ve been blogging about them for over 2 yrs lol) from the opening screen! You get to customize the game to your family and the levels are various restaurants around the world. And I don’t mean just around WDW, since some refer to it as such, I mean the entire world! There are levels from Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disneyland Paris. And since I’ve only play around 22 levels, I can only assume that in the following 108 levels we’ll visit more Disney destinations. My girls loved the customization part too. And the animation of them eating the treat once they make the correct amount of matches is quite funny. “Hahahaha! Mommy, Daddy just ate 9 Dole Whips!!” Lots of fun for kiddos!  Check it out here. Or better yet, just go download it here (ios) or here (droid).

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•Starting November 27, you will be able to experience the holidays around the world in Epcot’s World Showcase. This event looks like something you won’t want to miss if you’re vacationing during its run. There will be lots to choose from including live music and opportunities to learn and experience how different cultures celebrate their holidays.

 

•Okay, so I don’t wanna sound crazy but this one is KIND OF a big deal. You can now visit the Retail MagicBand on Demand store to create your own custom magic bands! They’ve even got the most desirous yet elusive purple magic band! Check this post out for all the details.

 

 

• The Grand Floridian’s Victoria and Albert’s restaurant placed 6th in TripAdvisor’s 2015 Traveler’s Choice awards.

 

 

•Pretty sure I’m most excited about this one: The Disney Cruise Line has just released a little bit about the Disney Infinity experience that they’re premiered yesterday aboard the Disney Dream. I know for a fact my kids are going to LOVE standing on a huge infinity base and becoming a real infinity character! And the fact that you get to download all of the exclusive content (including custom toy boxes you make while onboard) is the best part!! SO very cool!

 

•Speaking of the cruise line, the DCL blog released special rates for military personnel today!

 

•Chef Rick Bayless to Open Frontera Fresco Restaurant at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort.

 

•Now that you’re done with the news, why not take a crack at the parks blog’s quiz:

 

I think that’s about it for this week. Stay tuned for more fun this week including some glow in the dark nails and a fun Disney countdown calendar! ~Meredith ºoº

Ultimate Disney Cruise Packing List

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We just got off our first Disney cruise on the Disney Dream and let me just say, it won’t be our last! It was fantastic! I’m still swimming just thinking about it, and I have so much to show and tell you! Because the trip is still so fresh in my mind, I wanted to go ahead and share a packing guide for Disney cruises.

First of all, if you are anything like me you will WAY over pack. I didn’t touch half of the clothes we brought! Live and learn, right? I’ll know better next time, and y’all can learn from my mistakes! The biggest thing that I felt like I needed and didn’t have (but later bought), was a lanyard to hold our Key to the World cards. You use that for everything from a room key to shopping. It literally is your key to the world on the ship! It’s amazing how easy it is to misplace those important little cards!

Just like with Sarah’s list to packing for Walt Disney World, I didn’t cover basics like underwear and socks. We’re all adults here, right? You can download the full list here.pic1pic2With our cruise being in September, the temperatures were very hot at times. I was never cold or uncomfortable on the ship, but cold-natured people might need a sweater at dinner or in the theaters. If you travel during winter months, even to tropical locals, you might be cool at night, so keep that in mind when planning.

As far as dining, we had the main dining seating at 5:45, and I noticed that people were dressed much more casually at the early dinner seating than the late dinner seating. For dinner we wore shorts and a nice top, and felt perfectly comfortable, but I also noticed people that were very dressed up. The kids (and some adults!) wore everything from princess dresses to pirate costumes. The important thing to remember is that this is your vacation. Don’t stress out about what you are wearing!

This list is by all means not one-size-fits-all! With variables of family size and ages, to cruise locations, only you can decide exactly what you need to bring on board with you. This list is just a jumping off point for you. And most importantly to remember when you are packing for a Disney cruise: if you didn’t pack it, chances are you can buy it on board! ~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