What to Expect on a Disney Cruise: Day 1
Welcome to the first post in a series of 7 where you’ll get an inside peek at what a 7-night Disney cruise is like. The Disney Cruise Line has four boats and a myriad of itineraries and cruise lengths to choose from. In this series we’ll be experiencing a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Fantasy.
Today’s the day! You’ve been counting down to your Disney cruise thanks to the widget on your smartphone, a daily reminder that until now, you were not on vacation. You are on vacation now though, that counter says 0 days (try not to think about how the countdown now goes backwards) and you’re wondering what exactly lies in front of you. Every Disney cruise vacation is different for everyone and each cruise you take will have its own batch of memories. Let’s at least try to give you a glimpse at what you can expect!
Your first task will be to get to the port. You’ve either arranged to take the Disney Cruise Line ground transportation (a fun way to get in the spirit of things), or hired a car or shuttle service to get you to your port. Some of you may even have driven yourselves there. Once you arrive at port there will be Disney cast members / crew members ready to take your bags from you. Make sure you’ve got the luggage tags you should have received with your stateroom number printed on them already on your luggage. Say goodbye to your bags because the next time you see them they’ll be in your stateroom.
You’ll head through security with your day bags, proper identification, and your signed Disney Cruise Line contract. Proceed through the check-in line. You can also register any kids in the Oceaneers Club and Lab while you wait to board during your window.
When your boarding number is finally called you gather up all of the belongings that spilled out when your kids were looking for entertainment and snacks and get in line along with the other people in your boarding group. You’ll have been given a key to the world card already and you’ll give it to a crew member standing at a podium that will then scan your key and grant you passage on to the boat! You are almost there, but first be prepared for the first of MANY photo opps.
After getting your photo taken you’ll be greeted by a crew member dressed all in white who will ask your family name, because the next thing you know there is someone announcing the arrival of your family to the entire lobby atrium. It’s pretty grand.
If you were early birds and you’ve gotten onto the boat right around lunch time the very first thing you might want to do is get your first meal onboard. Your room won’t be ready yet so you might as well go eat! A buffet sounds like a good way to start so you head to the pool deck where you’ll find a buffet restaurant loaded with mounds of delicious food.
After stuffing yourselves silly you decide it’s a good time to hit the pools. After all, you were smart enough to pack your swim suits in your day bags. Grab some towels from the bins on the pool deck and find some pool side chairs to lounge in when you’re not actively in the water. Grab a kid and head for the AquaDuck if there’s not much of a line. Else just enjoy the pools or the hot tub, sounds of the poolside jam with DJ Kurtis (or whomever) in your ear and a Paradise Punch (drink of the day!) in a fun take home cup. Relax, you’re on vacation!
You realize it’s about 3 o’clock and you haven’t gone to see your stateroom yet! You gather your stuff up (again) and kindly put your dirty towels in the dirty towel bin and wind your way to your room. Your bags may have shown up, they may not. Don’t worry, they will! If they have you might just go ahead and unpack. Spread out, you’ll be here 7 nights!
Your Navigator says there’s a mandatory drill at 3:45 so when the alarms sound you head out the door and to your designated area where you’ll be presented with safety information. It’s not a very long drill and before you know it it’s time to head up to the pool deck for the sail away party. Grab another cocktail and some glittery streamers. It’s party time! There’s singing, dancing, yelling, clapping, and when it’s time to push off from the port a magical horn tune is blown and you can just see through the crowd to beyond the boat that land is starting to move away from you.
You’re on a Disney cruise! Sing, dance, yell, and wave those streamers around! It’s ok, your coworkers can’t see you!
The party wraps up around 5:15 and you’ve got dinner at 5:45 so you do a bit of walking around the boat, then head to your room to put on your “cruise casual” (no shorts, no sandals) attire for dinner and head to the first restaurant in your rotation.
Let’s imagine the first restaurant in your rotation is Royal Court. You can expect French food for dinner, how fancy! You are escorted to your table, which has a number on it. You’ll eat at the same number every night. You are introduced to your server and assistant server, who will be with you every evening for dinner. They will know you by name and get to know your dining preferences. If you’re a smaller group you may also be meeting your table mates as well. Don’t be nervous because after 7 days with this crew you’ll have created new friends.
By the time you’ve made it through all 3 courses (you did have a Mickey bar for dessert, right? It’s ok, your coworkers still can’t see you) it’s nearly time for the first show you’ll enjoy in the Walt Disney Theater, A Fantasy Come True. You grab some snacks at Preludes and get your preferred seats. Enjoy the show!
The show is over but you’ve got all night ahead of you. For now you tour the boat some more, maybe listen to the live piano being played in the lobby atrium, but you’ve got a decision to make between a family friendly game show called Mirror Mirror or a family dance party. Or, throw the kids in the Oceaneers Lab or Club and head to La Piazza for some live music. You decide on some grown up time and while away the time until your wave phone buzzes alerting you that the kids are ready to be picked back up. It’s almost 10:15 so you grab the kids and run to Family Superstar Karaoke where you sing your hearts out until 11pm.
It’s the first day of vacation and you’re not quite ready to throw in the towel but it’s time to wind down a bit. You head to your stateroom, where you realize the beds have been turned down, there’s a towel monkey hanging from a clothes hanger, chocolates are on the bed and the next day’s Navigator is waiting for you. You call up room service (which is complimentary around the clock) and decide on another Mickey bar, bacon, and some chicken wings. I promise your coworkers can’t see you. Go ahead, it’s safe.
Your family gets ready for bed using the split baths and finally snuggle into your beds. The next day you’re at sea so you’ll have all day to enjoy the boat. Do you set an alarm, or just wait for the kids to wake you up? The decision is yours. You’re on vacation!
If you have any questions about what to expect on day 1 please feel free to ask by contacting us.