Yes, we are at it again- another summer Disney vacation!
This summer we are headed on a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Disney Fantasy. This summer it is again just the 5 of us- which is something we have become to embrace. With one of our daughters in college already and another daughter headed to college in the Fall of 2020, and a son 5 years younger than his closest sister the time we have is so precious right now.
The plan now is to check into Disney’s Polynesian Resort the night before our cruise, in their Club Level. We actually stayed here in 2001, during our oldest daughter’s first trip- so we are super excited to return. We do have a dinner reservation at ‘Ohana- not sure if we are going to keep it only because we have a theme park view room and might just order room service or head to Capt Cooke’s, or even make dinner out of the lounge offerings and watch Happily Ever After from our balcony. The next morning we are looking forward to a leisurely breakfast in the lounge as well.
We will take a private car service to the port (should take about an hour) and checking into Port Canaveral as a Platinum cruiser with Disney Cruise Line is one of the things I am so looking forward to. We will automatically be assigned boarding group 1 and we should be on board before noon. When we arrive at the terminal, we check-in at the concierge area and can wait in the lounge offered to Concierge and Platinum cruisers as well.
Our first full day is spent at sea. Mike and I have a couple’s massage booked and the kids will play a bit at the sports simulator. That night is also formal night and Mike can wind down his day with a Whisky tasting (Mike LOVED this last summer and we couldn’t find one available when we cruised to Bermuda).
Our second full day is also spent at sea. We have a Palo Brunch reservation today with our oldest daughter and plan to spend the rest of the day relaxing. Palo is usually an upcharge restaurant, but as Platinum cruisers, we receive this brunch free of charge (one per stateroom, not per Platinum Club Member).
On our third day, we arrive in Tortola, which is an island we have never been able to visit before. We chose the Swim and Snorkel excursion via Disney Cruise Line that will depart at 12:45pm so we can enjoy a meal, or two, on board before heading out for 4 hours. Tonight is also Pirate Night- which seems appropriate for us to visit a “cave furthest to the south once contained a horde of treasure and the reputed history of piracy on this island is immortalized in Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous book Treasure Island” during our excursion in Tortola.
On our forth day, we arrive in Saint Thomas. We have no plans today- we have been here a few times, usually visiting Magen’s Bay. We might take the 20-minute ferry to tranquil St. John as we haven’t ever visited there- but we haven’t firmed up anything just yet. Tonight is also the new Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Party at Sea. Our kids LOVE the Mickey Mouse shorts, so I am expecting this to be a HUGE hit with our family.
On our fifth day we are at sea again- Mike and I are booked for a Remy Brunch while the kids are back at the sports simulator (and by kids, I mean Mikey and his sisters are there to watch him, LOL!). Remy is another up charge restaurant- this one far more formal with a French theme. The rest of the day will be spent enjoying the ship. Typically, I try to make sure everyone’s “stuff” is finding it’s way back into bags as the cruise is winding down.
Our favorite day is our sixth day- Castaway Cay! We do not have a cabana booked today, and we are debating on running the 5K- but it is August. The last time we ran it, it was August and wow, it’s hotter than hot. We might snorkel, bike ride, etc. I am hoping for a chill day on the beach. Once we are back on board, we get ready for dinner and pack our bags as we disembark the next day.
We chose brunches instead of dinner in Palo and Remy for a few reasons. 1- I love brunch. As much as I say I want to go to brunch more often at home, we never do or it is very rare. Not sure why, just life getting in the way. 2- This way we can also enjoy dinner, each night, together. During most days we will likely split up and do what we are interested in and then meet back at dinner and share our day. 3-We also have begun to feel as if dinners on board are an event- so much going on and we have a hard time choosing which one to miss, especially when we are traveling as a family who all can’t choose to go to either Palo or Remy together instead of one of the main dining rooms.
Aside from deciding if we will disembark when we arrive to St Thomas, we are also deciding if we want to keep our Main Dining Time at 5:45pm or delay dinner until the second dinner seating at 8:15pm. We have always had Main Dining, but especially on our Med cruise last summer, we felt rushed to be ready for dinner and missed time at the pool relaxing, etc. This sailing, we are all sharing 1 stateroom – so space is limited and if we feel rushed getting out of the door to dinner, no one is happy and we have to start getting ready even earlier. The Walt Disney Theater shows will be at 6:15pm for our dinner seating and we would really like to see the newly re-Imagined Aladdin (premiering this month), but we have seen Dreams and Wishes several times and typically the live acts also will do another, later, show in someplace like the D-Lounge of they are family friendly or The Tube if not. Our only concern is if we are only just sitting down at 8:15pm, we won’t actually eat our main course possibly until closer to 9pm- which is super late for us.