SIP [stacy ideus photography] » portrait photographer serving Eastern Nebraska

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First of all… we dearly loved our Disney Cruise! 28 of us went (for my step-mom Jana’s 65th b day!) and we’re better people because of it. I can say that I now know (and can definitely remember) names and who goes to who when it comes to my step-family. Jana has 5 kids and THEY all have at least 2 kids. Lots of names and personalities to learn.

Only 2 of us had every gone on a cruise before, so we just didn’t know what to expect. I’m thankful for all the blogposts and Pinterest pins I found on the subject (not to mention JoAnna and Amy! Friends who have recently returned from Disney Cruises). So now I’m paying it forward. Here’s my top 10 list of things to know about Cruising with an 18 month old:

  1. Potty training is key. When we cruise again, everyone will be potty trained. It means the difference between paying for childcare Vs. having them play in the kids club for hours and hours with free supervision. There aren’t a whole lot of diaper changing stations on the ship in the public areas, but they did have a diaper genie for us in our state room upon arrival, which was kind.
  2. If you DO have a baby in diapers, pack swim diapers. They are $2 a piece in the gift shop and sizes are limited. Diaper kids aren’t allowed to swim… they can only play in this splash zone and even then they need swim diapers.
  3. Book the nursery FIRST day. Even if you’re just ‘kinda sure’ what you’ll be up to. Times fill up fast and unless you want random small time blocks sporadically placed throughout the day, making it super annoying to do any activities, DO IT. You can always cancel if plans change.
  4. Bring large water bottles. We took 2. One for milk and one for water. They have self-serve stations 24 hours with coffee, milk, soda, lemonade… you name it! BUT it’s on the pool deck. When Violet wants her milk in the morning, she wants it NOW. So we always filled up the night before and stuck it in our mini fridge.
  5. The service is OUTSTANDING. Be prepared to be blown away. You will want to tip them because they really do rock.
  6. Grown ups aren’t bored. Not being into Disney, like at all, I was apprehensive about not finding stuff to do that seemed interesting. To our surprise, we were able to go to an awesome tequila tasting, a whiskey tasting, and every night they had live shows in the theatre! We even got to see Jungle Book 3D before it hit theatres.
  7. Alcoholic Drinks are expensive. No surprise, right?  But everyday they had a ‘drink of the day’ which was generally cheaper than most mixed drinks. If you do order a mixed drink, though, they give you your money’s worth. They also had a giant beer mug thing you could purchase and refill. That would be good if you only drink beer.
  8. The best time to enjoy the ship is on excursion days. It’s empty and peaceful. Especially if you have babies that are too little to do any excursions… may as well stay on the ship.
  9. They have strollers you can rent for free as long as you bring it back at the end. We took ours and were very happy to have it! She napped in it most days and made transporting across the ship easier on our backs. Downside: waiting for the elevator and squeezing on. They are TINY.
  10. I’m going to talk about the service again because it’s SO AMAZING. We had the same servers every night. They learned our names. They cut the kids meat for them! They learned that Violet was only into eating french fries and fruit and she got served first to avoid meltdowns. So blown away. Seriously. Arjay and Salomi… let’s be Facebook friends! (our servers)

So seriously… save your money. Get a Disney credit card and start racking up points. You won’t regret it! 5 days was perfect.

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