In just one month, my family and I will be boarding the Disney Fantasy. We reserved this vacation during our summer vacation last year- so yes, we have been planning for a very long time. But, if you are someone who keeps up with our travels- things change constantly!
We depart the day before our cruise, heading to Walt Disney World for the night. At first, we had wanted to stay inside the Polynesian Village Resort’s Concierge Level. We booked it, paid for it… then changed our minds.
Would it surprise you if I told you we are staying in The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa again?
We were having such a hard time getting excited about staying at the Polynesian- which is crazy, I know. But staying at what has become our home away from home? Well, we got giddy all over again! This will be our 5th time staying here since 2017. Twice before we stayed in the Royal Palm Club and once in their Sugar Loaf building, once in a standard room in the Boca Chica building. This time, we are spending just one night in a room inside the Royal Palm Club with a view of the Magic Kingdom. Our plan is to check in and truly enjoy the resort- maybe rent a few water sprites, lounge by the pool, listen to the band in the lobby and truly enjoy the lounge offerings before ending the night on our balcony watching Happily Ever After. The next morning we can enjoy breakfast in the lounge before heading to Port Canaveral. We really couldn’t be any more excited!
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- this is the first time we are checking into Port Canaveral as Platinum cruisers with Disney Cruise Line and we will be sure to get there early enough to absolutely be one of the first onboard after we check out the lounge.
Another change? We had originally reserved one stateroom for the 5 of us but have since added an additional stateroom so we can spread out a bit more. We also decided to move our main (early) dining time to the later dinner seating. Why? Well, kids are older and we truly enjoy relaxing on the decks of the ship. We have also reserved our excursions that both arrive back at the ship around 4 pm and getting all 5 of us ready for dinner before 6 pm, might have been a stretch on those days. This way, we won’t be rushing in the hot summer, Caribbean sun rather we can enjoy it a bit more. The Walt Disney Theater shows will be at 6:15 pm for our dinner seating and we would really like to see the newly re-imagined Aladdin, 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. I was also able to find out the movies that are playing while we are cruising will be the Lion King, Aladdin, Avengers Endgame, Dumbo, Toy Story and Capt Marvel. So we can, hopefully, take our time before dinner a bit more.
Our first full day is spent at sea. Mike and I have a couple’s massage, the kids will play a bit at the sports simulator, and we have PLENTY of time to get ready now for formal night and have plenty of space to do so.
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). We are also expecting to see Aladdin in The Walt Disney Theater tonight- which I am so excited to see the changes to the show since the last time we saw it.
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 12:45 pm 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 fourth day, we arrive in Saint Thomas. We chose to reserve the Catamaran Sail and Beach Club excursion that departs at 11 am for four hours. We can snorkel and hopefully see a few sea turtles too. Today 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- assuming we are onboard to see it. I am afraid we won’t be as I have been looking at Navigator’s from past cruises already this summer- the celebration is typically from 3 pm- 4 pm. We might catch the very end of it if we aren’t too wiped out. Wishes is also expected to be shown tonight in The Walt Disney Theater, which is a family favorite as well.
On our fifth day, we are at sea again- Mike and I had booked brunch at Remy- but we canceled. We aren’t sure we would have appreciated the menu there as much as we love Palo’s menu. So, the plan is to absolutely relax and enjoy the ship without any plans or care in the world. I expect a lot of Aqua Duck riding, Funnel Vision watching, maybe even some trivia and crafts too.
Our favorite day is our sixth day- Castaway Cay! We might snorkel, bike ride, etc. I am really 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. Here is another part where the later dinner is nice because that packing up and getting everything out before dinner or cutting dinner early to get the bags ready won’t be an issue. All aboard is at 4:45 pm, 3+ hours before our dinner seating, which is great!
On our last day, we have a later breakfast seating since we have the later dinner seating. So we can schedule our transfer a little later then too. I am hoping getting back home won’t be too tough – but who am I kidding, it always is.
So, hopefully, this remains the plan. I will keep all of you posted!