I took a trip on Disney Cruise Line’s latest ship and I’m recapping the experience for all of you!
This trip was to celebrate my birthday and I went with my best friend Onyx. I’ll be going day-by-day to recap the highlights, so let’s get started.
Day 1: Setting Sail
The first day is one that is both busy and relaxed. You’re busy with embarkation details, but once you get on the ship and get through the mandatory muster, your time is free for activities. The magic, however, starts the second you board. You’re welcomed by cast members as you enter the grand hall, and on a balcony above you can be different Disney characters. When we entered it was Rapunzel and Flynn and later on it was Tiana and Naveen. They wave at guests and interact with everyone and it’s just a little bit of magic that starts off the Disney experience.
Of all of the pre-sailing moments, my favorite was the “lighting” of the Wishing Star. The Wishing Star is the chandelier in the grand hall and has fun light ceremonies throughout the day. Before sailing, a cast member that is our fairy godmother or fairy godfather will have guests, usually children, with wands and have them help light the star. Above is a video of one of these moments and for me, that is when the magic started.
We, like many others, attended the sail away party that was held on the top deck. It’s around 30 minutes long and many of your favorite characters show up from The Fairy Godmother to Moana to Captain Minnie Mouse and, of course, Mickey too. It’s a fun start to the cruise, albeit a hot one since you’re standing outside in the Florida sun and humidity.
Once officially sailing, there are many activities that occur every day, like bingo and trivia. We often went to trivia and did pretty well across the four attended. Also on the first day was an activity that was a Villains-centric game show that was a mix of trivia and tic-tac-toe. It was funny and had practical effects to add to the spooky villainy of it all. It only happens once on the cruise and a cast member recommended it, so I’m glad we went.
Disney does rotational dining where you are assigned a specific dinner time and move between the three main restaurants. Our first restaurant was the one I was looking forward to the most: 1923. It is a 20’s themed venue that is full of sketches and development pieces from so many Disney classics like Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. It is the prettiest restaurant in my opinion, especially if you are a Disney history nerd like me. There is no entertainment in this particular restaurant, which is fine since it wouldn’t fit well in my opinion. The food was delicious, as was the majority of meals we had on the cruise.
Day 2: Nassau
Our first port day was in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. I had reserved an excursion in advance which was a tour and class at the Graycliff Chocolate Factory. Sounds like an odd activity, but I wanted to do something a little different than visiting the beaches or Atlantis Resort. It was a fun activity for sure, filled with a lot of chocolate tasting, but I wouldn’t do it again.
After some browsing around the actual port, including peeking into the Museum of Junkanoo, we decided to return to the ship and enjoy the adults-only area: Quiet Cove. Honestly, this was the perfect choice because the area wasn’t very busy and there was room in the pool which is rather small. It was very relaxing and we probably could have spent the rest of the day there.
The second day also included the stage show The Little Mermaid. It is only an hour, so we get through the story quickly. But even in an hour, they put on a great show. The vocals, especially for Ariel and Ursula, were outstanding. I honestly got chills during Part of Your World. The theatre also has projections mapped around the space and of course, bubbles descended during Under the Sea. It was very enjoyable.
Our dinner was spent at World of Marvel, based on the MCU obviously. I am honestly not a Marvel fan and haven’t kept up with basically anything, but I actually really enjoyed the show portion of this meal. Most of the show takes place on screens, but with a Marvel theme, it works well. It is also a bit interactive thanks to the Quantum Core on every table. This isn’t a calming dinner since it is so active and full of energy, but it is still fun.
An activity that has been added fairly recently and is for 18+ guests is Oogie Boogie’s Villainous Nightmare Bash. It is a dance party hosted by the Oogie Boogie, and Oogie Boogie is honestly the best part. It did feel a little like attending a middle school dance, but once you just accept the silliness and get into it, it is really fun. All of the music is influenced by different villains like the Queen of Hearts and Hades, but my favorite section was the Haunted Mansion remix since I am a big Haunted Mansion nerd. I was wearing a Madame Leota-themed overshirt after all.
Day 3: Castaway Cay
Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island and was the beach day for us. We spent the majority of the day on the island enjoying the warm water and just relaxing. A BBQ lunch is served which is pretty good, and after our lunch, we bought some souvenirs and then spent the whole afternoon on the adults-only beach Serenity Bay. The only thing I would change about this day was putting on more sunscreen since I did get a pretty bad sunburn.
Once back on the ship, we had reservations at Palo Steakhouse which is one of the adult-only restaurants. We got all dressed up and enjoyed a delicious (and expensive) steak dinner. This is honestly the best meal I have had in my life.
This night was Pirate Night, a themed evening held on most cruises done by Disney. The main restaurant has a special menu for the evening and there are two different shows hosted on the top deck. The first, which includes Mickey and Friends, happened while we were at dinner. The second was the Pirates Rockin’ Parlay Party. Pirates singing classic rock with a Jack Sparrow cameo and fireworks are guaranteed to be a great show. Plus it gave me an excuse to finally wear my Pirates of the Caribbean ears. It was a perfect way to end an eventful day.
Day 4: At Sea
This day was the least eventful since we were sun-worn and tired, but we still enjoyed some of the ship’s activities. One of these was the stage show of Aladdin, which much like The Little Mermaid, was an hour-long musical of the story. The genie was hilarious and the performances were great. Of the two shows, Aladdin is my favorite even though they cut some crucial parts like Abu never existed. But it worked out well, plus the magic carpet was out to outperform every speaking character on that stage. It was very enjoyable and a perfect activity to stay away from the sun.
This evening we went to the last of the main restaurants: Arendelle. This Frozen-themed restaurant is set up as a party to celebrate Queen Anna and Kristoff’s engagement and we get to see all of the beloved characters from Elsa to Olaf (the first animatronic at sea) and even Oaken (who was my personal favorite). The classic songs are sung either by the leads or a trio of musicians. I am notably not a Frozen fan, and our view of the show was terrible, but I can’t deny that this was a pleasant experience. The trio were particularly impressive so all-in-all it was an enjoyable meal.
Going on a cruise can be exhausting, but it was overall a great time that I would do again. There were some activities that we didn’t get to do that I would like to do at some point. I doubt I’ll do a Disney Wish cruise again any time soon since it is solely sailing from the opposite coast from me, but one of the other ships is always an option.
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