Grandma goes on spring break cruise

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#1
Viera, Florida
302 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
My husband and I were on the March 10 western cruise on Disney Magic. We have cruised Holland America, Celebrity and Crystal before, but this was our 1st Disney cruise. Both my husband and I said we were busier on this cruise than we have been on any other. That is probably because we were with a group of 8 including our 6 and 3 year old grandsons. We spent some time doing things with them that we would not have done if it was just the 2 of us. And we enjoyed it all!
I got a weekly pass to the rainforest in the spa and thought I might be able to get up there twice a day--but didn't have time for more than one visit a day. When my very active grandson & I were dropping our cat to be boarded, the vet said "I hope there is someplace on that ship for grandmas to get away". The rainforest is the perfect get-away for grandmas--quiet, peaceful and rejuvenating.
I had thought before the cruise that Disney might be a good choice for us for a Mediterranean cruise because of how highly people spoke of the service, and our past association with WDW. We both agreed though that we would not cruise on Disney without our grandchildren. Family cruising is their strong point, and although it might be right for some adults sailing alone, it would not suit us as well as some other cruise lines. However when our grandchildren are ready to cruise again, we will be happy to join them on Disney.
I enjoyed the food but my husband did not think it was as good as our past cruises on other cruise lines. Topsider Buffet was probably my least favorite area. But when discussing the food, there were people at our own table who disagreed--one loved a dish and another thought it was terrible. So that is pretty subjective. We both agreed that our brunch and dinner at Palo were the best 2 meals for both food and service that we have ever experienced on a cruise ship. We booked the brunch on line before the cruise, but there were no dinners available on line. However when we had brunch Monday morning, we enjoyed it so much we stopped at the desk to see if there was an opening for dinner and we got a table for 6 later in the week with no problem.
Our servers in the main dining rooms offered excellent service also. Our grandson ate all the banana bread in the bread basket the 1st night at Parrot Cay, so they arranged to have banana bread delivered to Lumière's the next night. When our son had to take a boy back to the cabin before dinner was over, they boxed up a dessert for him to-go, to enjoy on his veranda later. When we told them at breakfast that we would be at Palo Wed. night, they went and got bandannas for us so we would have them for the pirate party. (And they asked if they could use our table for some people from late seating that were unable to get early seating.) When they found out one boy liked cherries & one liked grapes, they were waiting for them at their plate when we arrived each evening. And I guess I am easily impressed--but we were sitting in the dining room at lunch waiting for the rest of the party to arrive, and I said to my husband, "There's Scott now" and the waiter started waving him over. I just thought on the whole they were very attentive.
Next time we will fly in the day before & spend the night at the Hyatt at the Orlando airport and arrive at the ship rested and early. Our travels on Saturday started at 7 (get up at 4 am) and we arrived at the ship at 3. There was no time to grab lunch and we arrived very hungry and tired. The buffet closed at 3:30 so we had to rush to get some tired-looking food at Topsider. (Others in our party had arrived early in the day & said the buffet at Parrot Cay was one of the best they had on the cruise--big difference!)
We had been wait-listed for early dining, and we all got it, but some in our party were on different rotations at different tables. Also the character breakfast of one family conflicted with our Palo brunch. A stop at guest services got that resolved, so we could all eat together.
I loved the luggage handling with Disney. Since we booked our air with them, we put on the luggage tags before leaving home--once we checked out bags at the airport, we didn't have to worry about them again until they were delivered to our stateroom on the ship. Upon departing, we could check our bags with the airlines at the cruise ship terminal & didn't have to worry about them again until we got back to our home airport.
We found Grand Caymen and Cozumel crowded and hot. There were 7 or 8 ships in each harbor--thousands of people. I would not take small children ashore unless you have an activity planned. Just shopping, exploring or walking around was not fun for them.
We found our stateroom to be very cool. We used the extra blanket in the cupboard by the desk & asked the steward for another. Had I known, I would have brought another light sweatshirt or sweater to wear on board.
Thursday we went to a kite making event which was a family event. It was fun & we brought our kites to Castaway Cay the next day to fly. I was glad I had read about this event on line, because there are so many activities listed in the personal navigator, it is hard to choose what to do.
We had thought of bringing walkie-talkies, but decided that would just be more to carry around. We had no problem keeping up with each other by calling or leaving phone messages of where we'd be--even though our rooms were at opposite ends of the 6th floor.
Disney Dreams was our favorite show and I went twice--the matinee and again in the evening! I enjoyed the "art of the theme ship tour" and it provided time to ask any questions of a crew member that you might have about shipboard life.
It was a fun spring break--if I can answer any questions, I'll be glad to try.
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Two Drifters off to see the world....there's such a lot of world to see!
#2
729 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Thank you for taking the time to write this. We have plans to try out Disney, for the first time, in 2008. We have deposits down on two different dates, and won't know which time frame will work better for our schedules until it gets closer.

My parents (i.e. the grandparents) cruised with us a couple of months ago, and my mother was just commenting this week that she would love to cruise again. I think Disney might be too pricey for them, but you never know. You can't put a price tag on the memories with the grandchildren. Your post has made me think that I should ask them if they want to make plans to join us in 2008. It would be a blast for everyone!
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Cruises -

Carnival Conquest (Western Caribbean) - 07/2012
Carnival Inspiration after Refurb (Western Caribbean), 07/2008
NCL Sun (Western Caribbean), 01/2007
Crystal Symphony (South America), 02/2002
Carnival Inspiration (Southern Caribbean), 03/2000
Carnival Fantasy (Bahamas), 07/1992
#3
Florida
7,958 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
That was a great trip report. It is good to hear you all had a wonderful time. I'm sure the grandkids will be ready to go when ever grandma says lets go!! I know mine are always ready to go on a disney cruise.

One question for you, who was the band on your cruise??


mom x4,grandma x4
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12/5/02 Wonder 4 day room 6626
5/1/03 Magic Eastern 7 day room 5624
12/13/03 Wonder 3 day room 7124
3/20/04 Magic Eastern Spring Break
room 7624
5/04 Wonder 3 day room ?
10/04 Wonder 3 day room ?
1/2/05 Wonder 4 day room 5648
5/12/05 Wonder 3 day room 2560
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10/17/07 Magic Western room 5132
5/06 Wonder 3 day room 6634
8/5/06 Magic Eastern room ?
11/25/06 Magic Eastern Banana Head Group
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4/5/07 Wonder 3 day cruise room 6152
6/30/07 Western Carnival Cruise
11/24/07 Magic Eastern Banana head reunion cruise room 7624
1/24/08 3 day Wonder room 6137
11/29/08 Western Magic room 6132
11/7/09 Eastern cruise room 5640
11/5/2011 Eastern cruise room #5629
11/24/2012 Western Fantasy cruise, room 10654
1/31/2013 Dream Room 10108
2/28/13 Dream Cruise, Room 7032
5/27/2013 Enchantment of the Seas room 3018
2/7/14 Magic 3 day cruise, room 2056

Upcoming cruises.

12/8/14 Enchantment 4 day cruise Room 7556
#4
Viera, Florida
302 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Originally posted by mom x4,grandma x4
That was a great trip report. It is good to hear you all had a wonderful time. I'm sure the grandkids will be ready to go when ever grandma says lets go!! I know mine are always ready to go on a disney cruise.

One question for you, who was the band on your cruise??


mom x4,grandma x4

Thanks for reminding me about the entertainment! "High Frequency" was the band on board. I heard them play at sail-away & they were very energetic. They were very good for their type of music, I just might have preferred something a little more tropical. Michael Harrison was the comedy/ventriloquism act. His act during the Saturday evening "All Aboard" show was great (took a boy from the audience & made him into a puppet). We went back to see him Sunday night & I took my grandson to the afternoon show where he showed how some tricks were performed. Unfortunately we didn't see the musical comedy of John Charles or the magician Rich Purpura until the "Remember the Magic A Final Farewell Show". I think I would have enjoyed their shows earlier in the week (John Charles in Rockin' Bar D Tuesday and Rich Purpura on Thursday). But they were at 10:15 and I must say we were ready to wind down by that time usually. For that same reason we didn't hear the piano music with Daryl Lockhart or Tim Moss or the music of Chuy and Danielle. Or otherwise we were too busy doing other things. My, we missed so much, we'll definitely have to go back!
I thought it was very helpful to have a "Voyage Personal Navigator" as well as a daily Personal Navigator. It helped to have an overview of the highlights of the trip ahead of time. (I guess I should have read it better!) We asked for extra copies of the Voyage Personal Navigator at guest services & brought them back for all of our friends who are thinking about taking the cruise.
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Two Drifters off to see the world....there's such a lot of world to see!
#5
Florida
7,958 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Thanks for the info!!

mom x4,grandma x4
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12/5/02 Wonder 4 day room 6626
5/1/03 Magic Eastern 7 day room 5624
12/13/03 Wonder 3 day room 7124
3/20/04 Magic Eastern Spring Break
room 7624
5/04 Wonder 3 day room ?
10/04 Wonder 3 day room ?
1/2/05 Wonder 4 day room 5648
5/12/05 Wonder 3 day room 2560
10/6/05 Wonder 3 day room 8092
10/17/07 Magic Western room 5132
5/06 Wonder 3 day room 6634
8/5/06 Magic Eastern room ?
11/25/06 Magic Eastern Banana Head Group
room 6636
4/5/07 Wonder 3 day cruise room 6152
6/30/07 Western Carnival Cruise
11/24/07 Magic Eastern Banana head reunion cruise room 7624
1/24/08 3 day Wonder room 6137
11/29/08 Western Magic room 6132
11/7/09 Eastern cruise room 5640
11/5/2011 Eastern cruise room #5629
11/24/2012 Western Fantasy cruise, room 10654
1/31/2013 Dream Room 10108
2/28/13 Dream Cruise, Room 7032
5/27/2013 Enchantment of the Seas room 3018
2/7/14 Magic 3 day cruise, room 2056

Upcoming cruises.

12/8/14 Enchantment 4 day cruise Room 7556