Did you know that a house on dry land can rock back and forth? I’m here to tell you, it can. Or at least mine feels like it is. Apparently that’s called Mal de Debarquement Syndrome or “Land Sickness.” Luckily we had very little sea sickness during our first Disney Cruise. But adjusting to dry land has been another story for me.
Bryan and I took our kids on their first Disney Cruise this week. It was the first cruise of any sort for all five of us. It was a blast! We went with our friends and their kiddos. The Disney Wonder took us from New Orleans, Louisiana to Cozumel, Mexico and back. We left on Monday and disembarked on Friday (so four nights total). We splurged on a concierge level room (which gave us special perks like access to the Concierge Lounge for meals, special character greetings, etc). The room was very small - as is the case with most cruise ship rooms - but we were impressed with how well the room was designed to maximize the space. We had a queen sized bed, a couch that turned into a twin bed, a twin bed that dropped out of the ceiling (basically turning the couch into a bunk bed), and a twin sized Murphy bed that dropped from the wall. Our room slept all five of us perfectly. We also had a small veranda and a full bathroom divided in half.
There was so much to do on the ship and the Disney magic we all know and love was aplenty. Disney is the absolute master of customer experience and we were constantly delighted with their attention to detail. The cast members learned our names quickly, remembered nightly that Tyler loves croutons, and made our kids feel so special by paying special attention to them.
We absolutely loved our trip and I thought I’d share a few nuggets / takeaways from our time away. Cruising is much different than vacationing because of the space constraints, the ease of access to awesome shows and experiences, and the fact that (most) food is included in the price of your trip. We learned some things, would do a few things differently, and believe it or not decided we might not be cruise people.
Things we loved: the fantastic crew and staff, the cleanliness of the ship (with Coronavirus top of mind, this was of big concern for me — and Disney did a fantastic job requiring hand washing at every turn), the Royal Tea (pricy and worth it for our girl), the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (both Tyler and Caroline did this - becoming a royal knight and Princess Jasmine - and it was great), the delicious food (we were really impressed with the food!), and the broadway caliber shows each night.
Things we didn't love: the pools were super crowded, so we didn’t spend any time there, the rough waters (hi, you’re on a boat) made me sea sick the last night, and the cramped room (a few hundred square feet) made over-tired kids and grown ups cranky at times.
Things we’re glad we took with us: These are all tricks I learned from you!
- Magnetic hooks for hats, lanyards, and wet swimsuits. They adhere to the doors.
- Magnets to identify your stateroom door (they all look the same and there are a LOT of them). Beach towel clips (it gets really windy on the decks, these help your towels stay on your chairs).
- Lanyards like these or these - you wear them at all times with your "key to the world" card inside - this is your room key, credit card, ID, and more, pins,
- Disney costumes so you aren't tempted to buy a bunch of things in the gift shop (moms of girls, these are DARLING and so soft and these are gorgeous - the ones on the ship are $60 (!)
- Pirate gear for pirate night like this or this.
- Reusable kids thermoses for unlimited drinks.
- Over-the-door shoe organizers for holding hair brushes and other random things.
- A cross-body bag bc mom has to hold allthethings).
- Sea-sickness prep stuff: Scopolamine patches (prescription required, these made me really drowsy), Dramamine for adults, Dramamine for kids (gave it to them a few hours before boarding the ship), Bonine, SeaBands, a thermometer, and every over-the-counter drug we might have needed. I had insanely terrible morning sickness for 40 weeks during both of my pregnancies, so I was really nervous about sea-sickness. Clearly.
I also purchased the photo package so that we got digital copies of all photos taken during the trip. It was $199 to buy a few weeks beforehand and worth it!
Now, are we cruise people? I don’t know. But I sure am glad we went. It was an incredible experience and Cozumel was gorgeous. The people there were so friendly. Bryan and I love showing our kids different places and instilling a love for travel / experiences / meeting new people. Our favorite type of vacation is a little less crowded and a little slower paced. Now that our kids are all 5+, we are hoping to travel more. And I’m hoping to take them one at a time on some upcoming work trips so they can travel and learn that way as well. Have any Qs for me about what we learned on our trip? DM me on Instagram. And be sure you’re following my NEW Facebook page!