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Our First Disney Cruise
In January 2015 we took our first ever cruise. It was a five day cruise aboard the Disney Wonder to Grand Cayman and Disney’s private island in the Caribbean, Castaway Cay, sailing from Miami.
I had always said that I would never cruise. We like our personal space too much and the thought of 5 days surrounded by people, having to share a table at dinner and dressing up for meals was definitely not my idea of a relaxing holiday. However my mind was about to be changed.
The drive from Orlando to Miami took us a little over 4 hours. We left our hire car at Miami airport and then took the free shuttle – provided by the car hire company, to the port.
From the moment we arrived at the port, the Disney magic organization took over. Our cases were taken from us and we were told that they would be delivered to our room in an hour or so. We made our way through check in onto the ship and to our room – Disney call them staterooms. We had chosen a stateroom with a verandah – I had insisted on the verandah so that we could have some private outside space. It was a good decision as the areas on deck did get very crowded and noisy most days and I would really recommend a verandah if you like a bit of space. The room was a good size with lots of clever storage areas so we weren’t tripping over cases. The bed was large and very comfortable and our daughter was delighted by having her own bed with a curtain separating her from us, so that she felt she had her own room. During the day our daughter’s bed folded up into the wall and it became a sofa.
We avoided the other thing that I had dreaded – sharing a table at dinner, by asking for a private table, and were given one. Our daughter is autistic and shared meal times with strangers can be difficult. My fears about formality were totally unfounded and although the meals in the main restaurants were waiter service, they were aimed at children and very relaxed. Most of the young girls loved dressing up as princesses for dinner.
As we had expected the food was plentiful but it was also high quality – something that I had not expected from mass catering. Our daughter loved being able to go up on deck and get a cake, drink, ice cream etc almost any time she wanted too.
We were almost sad to leave the ship for a few hours to visit Grand Cayman but as always Disney organized the transfer from ship to shore smoothly. We had a great day ashore but by the time we were ready to go back to the ship, the wind and the waves had increased. The short tender journey back to the ship was a bit rough but we were given lots of helping hands from the crew to get back on board safely.
Unfortunately we never got to Disney’s island – Castaway Cay as it was too rough for the ship to dock but on board there was only a gentle motion due to the ships stabilizers. We were disappointed but lots of extra entertainment was quickly arranged on board.
All too soon we were back in Miami and our first cruise was over. We had chosen a short 5 day cruise as a taster to see if we would enjoy a Disney cruise and we did. In fact we have booked a longer trip on the Disney Fantasy later this year so we have been fully converted to cruising!
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