Adventurer Kids | Disney Cruise Line

Kids Disney Cruise Line Review

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Orange Loop. Today the kids are answering the question, which Disney Park is the best?


Kids Disney Cruise Line Review
Adventurer Boy, Adventurer Girl and the Disney Wonder.

I love Disney Cruise Line. I wax poetic often. But after visiting Walt Disney World, surely the kids at least prefer Walt Disney World to the Disney Cruise Line. Right?

No.

Turns out the little Castaway didn’t fall to far from the tree. When asked which Disney Park is the best, they both piped up with “Disney Cruise Line” without missing a beat. Hold onto your hats, because these little pirates took over the blog for the day!

INTERVIEW FOLLOWS
(From here on Adventurer Mom’s comments appear in parentheses.)

Kids Disney Cruise Line Review
Seven years old and looking forward to her seventh Disney cruise. It’s a tough life, but someone has to do it.

Code Name: Adventurer Girl

Name: Kylee
Age: 7 1/2
Specialties: Vegan Diets, Parkour, Swimming, Singing
Castaway Club: Gold Member
Dream Itinerary: I’d probably go with the Bahamas and Key West because of Key Lime jelly beans.

 

Top 11 Things To Know About Disney Cruise Line

  1. They’re tidy and kept well when you get there.
  2. It’s so much fun when you get to meet Cinderella. But you don’t have to be dressed up.
  3. Normally they keep up the Christmas decorations until like their first of second cruise in January. So if you need a late Christmas cruise, you can have one in January still. (Adventurer Mom note: They often come down just after New Year’s Eve. Check with Disney Cruise Line for the MerryTime Cruise schedule.)
  4. The beds are warm and comfy. Especially the bunk beds. *vigorous jazz hands*
  5. The waitresses and diners and room cleaner uppers are all very nice.
  6. The horn isn’t too loud it’s just *When You Wish Upon a Star hummed loudly* and pretty.
  7. The best part of a cruise is the  splash pads and the Mickey slide.
  8. The kids clubs are A.W.E.S.O.M.E. and there are slides and a big play treasure thing and lots of thingamajiggers. (???)
  9. It’s a big blue shimmery pretty ship. If you like ships. Not like the Titanic.
  10. The thing about the theatres is you never get bored. If they sneak up behind you in Villains Tonight! don’t get scared. It’s all scary but it’s supposed to be. It’s villains.
  11. You have to put magnets on your door unless you want it to be totally plain.

Why Disney Cruise Line instead of Walt Disney World?

You don’t have to walk around all day and there aren’t rides that make you throw up in a throw up bowl. (Says my daughter, the adrenaline junkie who has never been motion sick on a ride in her life.) Instead you have fun rocking away on a verandah on an island port view or with the sea in your ears all the time. (I think she means she enjoys the sound of the ocean and rocking in hammocks).

Favorite onboard activity?

The kids’ club! (Oceaneer Club and Lab.) The Club and Lab is the best because it lets kids interact and talk without parents telling them to shush. And they can play and play and do video games and run around down slides and you can talk to Stitch and sometimes even Lilo.

Tell me about your most unforgettable Disney Cruise.

When we went on the Fantasy with the little Mickey sprinkles, I can never forget. I had hot chocolate, we got Mickey sprinkles in them and they were so yummy. I was in the concierge lounge and the concierge-y Miss what’s-her-name (Miss Julia you mean?) gave it to us.

What words would you use to describe Disney Cruise Line?

Fun, Inspiring, Awesome, Cool, Relaxing, Sunbathing, Splashing, Fireworks, Strengthening (from running around in the kids club “like a maniac”), Patient because the patient waiters are patient for us and the chefs who make our food.

23666987265_6c0ae1aeca_k
There is never too much Mickey.

Code Name: Adventurer Boy

Name: ChristopherChris
Age: 9 1/2
Specialties: Legos, Parkour, Programming
Castaway Club: Gold Member
Dream Itinerary: Pretty much all the way across the world. Like Europe. Britain.

Why is Disney Cruise Line the perfect vacation?

You can relax. I like looking at the ocean. It is pretty interesting to see water in a place where water isn’t that smacked up into a sea. I like having to walk up very little to get to a restaurant because at Disney World it’s like a handful of space between each. I like the water parks, going down the water slide. The Disney Cruise has interesting mechanisms to look at like the elevators. It is interesting to think about how it works.

What is your favorite port and why?

Galveston. It seems more friendly. It is closer to home. (Can’t argue him on that.)

Okay, but what’s your favorite port the ship visits?

Castaway Cay! Because I’ve never seen a beach in my life except for there. (You’ve been to the beach in Galveston; doesn’t that count?) No. (I hate to agree with him, but Galveston really can’t compare with Castaway Cay.)

Favorite onboard activity?

Swimming! It has a bunch of space to swim in. I like sliding down the water slide as I said earlier. It is like pretty fast for a water slide as I first imagined. The Mickey slide is meant for big kids because if a baby was in it, it would not good.

Tell me about your most unforgettable Disney Cruise.

My first cruise. It was like really different from how I imagined when I left. I thought it was going to just be a plain old ship that would plunk us into the sea then plunk us back on land. But I was wrong. We got to see multiple islands like Castaway Cay, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Nassau. We got to swim with stingrays, me and mom. They were pretty much like squishy flat surfaces with long tails at the backs. I couldn’t forget the water or that day.

What words would you use to describe Disney Cruise Line?

Awesome, Cool, Interesting, Delicious, Fun, Unusual (you don’t see it everyday), Unforgettable, as if I’m part of something big and important (what do you mean?) *shrugs* like I’m special, Adventurous, Curious

(Come back tomorrow to hear what the kids think of Royal Caribbean. How does it stack up from a kid’s point of view?)

Off on an adventure! BRB
Off on an adventure! BRB

For more kid reviews,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange | Kid Reviews | Why ____ Park is the Best Loop:

Why the Blogorail is Magical

The Blogorail posts awesome blog hops for Disney-philes, vacation researchers and those who wander but are not lost. I finally completed my twelfth loop with the Blogorail and earned my wings.

Blogorail Pilot 1 Year Wings

The Blogorail is so much more than a blog hop.

These ladies (and gentlemen) inspire, console and lend a helping hand when the coding, formatting and general daily grind of blogging gets to you. They talk you through reimagining, commiserate when you take a bloggy break and encourage you to get back to writing. They listen, edit and brainstorm not just with blog problems but with everything from Disney to parenting and real life. They are friends.

And they really love helping other people.

In my book, that’s magical!

 

The Joy of Concierge | Disney Cruise Line

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Blue Loop. Today we are sharing what you need to know to start planning your Disney Cruise.


For my first cruise, a quick three night getaway while Mimi watched the babies, we stayed in a inside standard room. With the kids along we moved up to a secret porthole room and after several more years and celebrations, we’ve stayed in nearly every category of stateroom from inside standard stateroom to the Walter E. Disney suite. I enjoyed each and every cruise. I loved each stateroom for different reasons and our next cruise (a big family reunion) will be in a non-concierge stateroom with a verandah.
Frankly, I’d be happy if they let me sleep on deck!

Cruising with Mickey!

So why cruise concierge?

Why concierge is magical!
Why concierge is magical!

 

Let’s dive in and find out!

Anything from anniversaries to birthdays to family reunions makes an excellent excuse to try concierge. Concierge is addictive, consider yourself warned. After our first concierge cruise, we intended to go back to the simple life, but the perks brought us back!

Concierge offers many, many worthwhile perks while you soak up the sun and enjoy the suite life at sea. While some cruisers enjoy the royal suites and the square footage and amenities that those entail, the majority of the concierge rooms are comparable in size or only slightly larger than other verandah staterooms onboard.

Onshore Perks!

The concierge benefits begin before you ever set foot onboard. Shoreside concierge contact cruisers around 125 days before sailing to see what magical touches they will add to your vacation.

Hakuna matata in your own private tropical paradise.
Hakuna matata in your own private tropical paradise.

Everything from a romantic dinner at Palo, to massages or a private beach cabana can be pre-arranged through your concierge. If you’d like to try any of the port adventures or book anything through spa, dining, stateroom gifts, the shoreside concierge set the wheels in motion.

Embarkation Day!

It’s finally here! your countdown is done. The bags whisked out of sight at port and you’ve passed through security without a hitch. Where’s your concierge? Your concierge experience begins as soon as you reach the concierge check-in desk.

The Royal Treatment
On checking in, they may treat you to a surprise or two.

The concierge team swiftly verifies paperwork, fits your children with MagicBands for the kids clubs and shows you to a lounge. Short lines and reserved seats? It gets better. Before embarkation begins by boarding group, concierge guests are among the first shown onto the ship.

Reception(s)

On the classic ships, you’re instructed to arrive at the deck three forward lounge during the early afternoon to meet your personal concierge. Until then, you’re free to pop over to the restaurants for lunch if you’re feeling hungry or explore the ship at your leisure. On the Dream class ships on arrival in the atrium, cast member escort your family straight to the Concierge Lounge to meet your team. In both cases, snacks and drinks flow plentifully in the lounge while your concierge reviews your itinerary for the week, arranges for any ticketed events (meet and greets, wine tastings, tea parties) and then visits a bit to get to know your family.

 A few days in, your concierge lets you know that there will be a reception for the concierge guests. Don’t miss this!

Our family really quacks me up!
Quick meet and greet on the concierge sundeck. Disney Fantasy 2014

Yes, there is food everywhere on deck. This isn’t just a buffet. Save some time for this happy hour/meet and greet. We’ve seen Donald and Daisy each host, though any of the classic characters are possible.

Exclusively on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy

There are a couple extra perks for concierge guests staying on the Dream class ships:

Exhibit A:

Boarding Day
Concierge Sun Deck

Exhibit B:

Puerto Rico
Private Concierge Lounge

Concierge Cast Members

Words fail me when describing the concierge. If you crossed Mary Poppins with Genie and threw in a dash of Tinker Bell, you’d be in the right ballpark. Each detail of your vacation is important to them and they’ll bend over backwards to try to knock your socks off.

Plenty of other magic waits in store! I didn’t even touch on complimentary sodas stocked in your room to the amazing staterooms themselves to just plain old heaping doses of pixie dust which vary from cruise to cruise. I wouldn’t want to spoil all the surprises!

Is a concierge cruise on your bucket list?
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Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | Disney Cruising 101 Loop:

The Royal Treatment | A Tale of Two Ships

Welcome to this month’s Magical Blogorail Blue loop. Today we are sharing what you can expect from some of the club level experiences at Disney Resorts and on the Disney Cruise Line.

Have you ever dreamed of cruising concierge?

What about in the royal suite?
Last year offered up a boatload of moms panel excitement, trip planning high spirits, beginning of homeschool jitters and also a ridiculous amount of pixie dust magic!



Boarding Day Verandah Disney Fantasy Royal Suite
Toes in the wind and off on an adventure!

In January, our family cruised in the Walt Disney Suite on the Disney Wonder to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary and our daughter’s fifth birthday.
Then in November, we upgraded at port to the Walt Disney Suite on the Disney Fantasy.
Just for fun.
(TONS of pixie dust, y’all!)
So what’s the difference between one royal suite and another?

The Disney Wonder

Disney’s classic ships, the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder feature nearly identical Royal Suites. Located on deck eight slightly forward of midship, the Walt comfortably sleeps seven between the two bedrooms, two and a half baths and ample living and dining space. There are three unique sleeping areas (two bedrooms and a sitting area) which can all be closed off individually to allow for quiet and privacy.




The Royal Treatment Disney Wonder
Although the Wonder’s verandah is quadruple wide, the bump out narrows it at the center..

The quadruple wide verandah is very wide, but not any deeper than a standard verandah. Oh and you get a butler pantry in case you bring someone with you who enjoys butling from time to time.

The Disney Fantasy

Disney’s Dream Class ships, the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy host two royal suites each, with minor differences in layout beyond the mirror imaging across the ship. They are far forward on deck 12, only steps away from the concierge lounge. The Walt sleeps up to five in one master bedroom suite with a large open living space. During turn down, two murphy beds fold out into the living room each in it’s own curtained area.



Disney Fantasy Verandah
At the aft of the verandah are two loungers, then a breakfast nook, the two forward loungers then a private hot tub.
Child for scale.
I’ve stayed in staterooms smaller than this verandah!

The spacious dining and living areas flow seamlessly onto the ample verandah including a hot tub (or as Kylee put it “our own little pool”). The second washroom in this suite features a shower so that the kids can shower off at the same time that I took a soak in the master bath’s Jacuzzi. Aside from the massive living area, there is also a full kitchen stocked with glassware, dishes, a full refrigerator with freezer and even a dishwasher, if you’re so inclined.

One of these Suites is Not Like the Other

Dive right in with me to compare the best staterooms on the high seas! Sounds “pretty suite” to me.



Disney Wonder vs. Disney Fantasy
Living Spaces
Disney Wonder on the left, Disney Fantasy on the right.

On first entering the Disney Wonder’s royal suite, Kylee promptly took off her shoes and shut them into the butler’s pantry. It took us ten minutes to find them because there were simply so many places to store things. Each of the two features enough nooks and crannies to store everything you could ever possibly bring and then some. Both feature entryway closets, walk in master closets, and pretty nearly every shiny wooden surface conceals a cabinet or drawer to tuck away everything from ball gowns to swimwear.




The Royal Treatment Disney Wonder
Disney Wonder Walt Disney Suite Master Bedroom
Snug and cozy!
We loved having our own separate bedroom and bathroom.
Boarding Day Disney Fantasy Master Suite Royal
Disney Fantasy Walt Disney Suite Master Bedroom
The Roy features the bedroom by the windows, as shown on the DCL site, but the Walt had our bedroom on the interior.
We loved the star lights over the bed twinkling on and off!

Both suites are large enough that you can (and occasionally do) lose someone in the suite itself. Before we knew that Kylee’s shoes were missing, Ben spent several minutes by the kid’s room calling for me and peeking around before he located me (unpacking toiletries in the master bathroom. I had not heard him. He was too far away and the sound proofing is simply too good.
It’s just that big.
We occasionally spent a few minutes rustling up the kids for dinner. (Silly as it may sound, you can walk a complete circle on the classics from front hall through the master walk-in through the master suite to the media library and back out through the living room to the front hall at the same speed as your child and spend quite a while looking for them. Yeah…)

Pixie Dusting

So what magic awaits you in the royal suites beyond the wonderful concierge services, luxurious surroundings and the perks of receptions with the rest of the concierge guests?
The first obvious perk is square footage. Space at sea is a commodity and in these suites, particularly on the Fantasy, you have it in spades. We loved both of these suites so much that we spent hardly any time at all in the adults only areas.



Sea Day 3 Private Royal Verandah
Why would we hit the adults only pool deck when we could lounge on our own private hot tub and watch the ocean drift by?

The second is the perk of an extended room service menu. If you’d like to order up any of the full sit down restaurant meals, you are more than welcome.



Palo in Pajamas
Some light antipasti from Palo.

If you’d rather eat Palo in pajamas with your kindergartener, that’s also a possibility, so long as you order Palo for room service through your concierge.

Disembark
Nothing like sunrise on your verandah.

The last perk of staying in the Royal Suite is the pixie dust. From free unlimited internet, to the concierge finding a last minute cabana massage (or even cabana) to Mickey Bars magically replacing themselves in your freezer, this suite is saturated in nothing short of the perfect Disney touch. Come time to disembark, you may seriously consider stowing away!

To hear the full story, check out our adventures on the Disney Wonder experiencing the Royal Treatment or our surprise concierge cruise on the Disney Fantasy!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | Club Level Stays at Disney Loop:

Let’s Go To The Movies! | Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort Review

Welcome to the next stop on Magical Blogorail Orange. Today we are reviewing the value resorts at Walt Disney World.

Growing up in a family of six, we needed at least two hotel rooms, so All Star Sports and Music grew to be my Disney home away from home. Now that I’m the adult, I’ll be the first to admit that I’d much rather enjoy more time on my vacation at a value resort than less days at a deluxe resort. Not that I wouldn’t upgrade to concierge if it’s in the budget, of course!



Disney Value Resorts Review
Let’s Go to the Movies!

On my girls trip last year and on the adventures of the three mousekateers, I grew to love the All Star Movies Resort as well! Known for their over the top imaginative décor, each set of buildings features multistory icons from either The Mighty Ducks, The Love Bug, 101 Dalmatians, Fantasia or Toy Story.
Like so:

Back again
Do you miss the Sorcerer’s Hat at Hollywood Studios?
Swing by All Star Movies!

Magical?
Definitely full of tons of pixie dust. Three story high tin soldiers, Dalmatians and primary colors are a childs’ dreamy perfect resort.
Subtle?
Not a chance.



Disney Value Resort Pool
Fantasia Pool enjoys some after hours swimmers.

The Fantasia Pool hosts pool deck dance parties, trivia contests and party games most afternoons, while some evenings feature video games and others movie nights. For times, days and a movie schedule, check the month’s Resort Recreation Activities Guide at check-in. My kids loved the games and contests during the afternoon. When they tired of pool games (or got too cold to swim any longer) we headed over to enjoy the playground.
It was a nice little playground, but we got more mileage out of wandering over to Toy Story and climbing on the RC car and around the humongous blocks and toys.



Value Resort Areas
Donald and Daisy a la Fantasia 2000.

Around each of the themed areas are lovely little themed nooks and details from the webbed foot prints leading up to the reunion from Pomp and Circumstance or the snowflakes in the blue tinged “ice rink” of the Mighty Duck pool deck.

Disney Value Resort
Plenty of pixie dust for my kiddos.

The rooms themselves snugly accommodate up to four people in rooms with two double beds and an additional baby under age 3 in a crib. Despite the snug sleeping arrangements, generous space is allotted for closets, peg space for hanging jackets and a dresser with nooks, crannies and shelves. With around 260 square feet, these rooms feel downright roomy compared to the itty bitty living space provided by the interior staterooms on the Disney Cruise Line, but are lacking a bit in personal space.

Final Scores:
For my kids this resort gets five Mickey towels out of five. They loved the magic, the oversized characters, collecting transportation cards from the bus drivers, poolside dance parties and pizza delivery.
For me the All Star Movies resort earned four Mickey Towels out of five. It provided far more pixie dust than I’d expect in a “Value” resort. I have to ding it for the combination of double beds and lack of cots. My daughter and I sharing a double results in lots of cuddles but also tons of middle of the night kicks. The option to request a cot (when you are within the number of acceptable occupants) would be nice.
For my husband, the All Star Movies resort earned zero Mickey towels out of five. He chose to stay home and reserve his vacation time for later this year. As Ben put it, “I need to save some vacation for the Moms Panel training for you.”

Faith, trust and pixie dust, y’all!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange | Walt Disney World Value Resort Reviews Loop:

One in a Million Vacation | In Search of Paradise

Welcome to the next stop on Magical Blogorail Red. Today we are discussing how to manage the crowds at the Disney Parks.



Try Disney Cruise Line to Escape the WDW Crowds
Just you and a busload of your new best buddies heading for paradise!

The parks glimmer in magic and fun year round. So far you’ve blog hopped through the best and brightest tips to help you manage the over a million guests who visit the Magic Kingdom* during the month of July alone. If you’d rather feel like one in a million than be one in a million for your summer vacation, might I suggest shipping out and hitting the high seas with a Disney Cruise?

The ingredients of any perfect Disney vacation?


IMG_2764 (2)
Castillo de San Felipe in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Take time to explore magical castles and adventure through beautiful and unexplored lands.

St. Thomas and St. John
With views like this on St. Thomas, you might not mind a hike either!

Mix in a dash of retro cool style.

Sea Day 1
Chandeliers, wood and marble finishings.

Matching outfits.

IMG_1353
Celebrating boarding!

Order some yummy snacks.

The Royal Treatment
Mmmmm. Mice Krispie Treats.

Catch up with some old friends.

Our family really quacks me up!
My family quacks me up!

Sprinkle it all with a dash of pixie dust and fireworks!

IMG_1523
ARRRRRR ye ready fer Pirate Night?

All of that adds up to a one in a million vacation with all of the magic and memories you could ever hope to find.

Are you ready to seek out your own paradise?

Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Red this month. We will be back in May with all new loops and themes. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with newest posts, photos and stories. If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Red |Managing the Crowds at the Disney Parks and Beyond Loop:

 
* According to the Theme and Museum Index from 2013, the most recent year available, over 18.6 million people visited the Magic Kingdom alone. The guests are not spread evenly throughout the year, however. Whether you prefer Touring Plans, Easy WDW or Dad’s Guide to WDW, one thing is clear: July is a very popular time to be visiting the house of mouse.

Palo | Italian for Romance

Welcome to the next stop on Magical Blogorail Green . Today we are discussing the most romantic Disney restaurants. Or rather, the MOST romantic of any of the Disney restaurants, Palo.

Whether you find yourself aboard the Magic, Wonder, Dream or Fantasy, there is something about these classic ocean liners that evokes simpler, more romantic times. Is it the breezes, the impeccable service, the adventure of living in a bygone era? 

The Royal Treatment
Champagne brunch.

Perhaps it’s the panoramic ocean vistas offered by Palo, a wonderfully unpretentious Italian restaurant with the kind of impeccable service Disney is known for after sleeping in until brunch. Maybe it’s simply the romance of blown Venetian glass, champagne brunches and chocolate covered strawberries. Maybe it’s the indulgence of late night chocolate soufflés or the clean poetry of Italian food .

The Royal Treatment
The chocolate covered strawberries sure don’t hurt!

“My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.”
― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Maybe it’s simply stepping outside of the everyday and taking a moment to indulge in the simple joy of breaking bread, enjoying relaxed conversation and watching the world drift by without the little ones in tow.

Sea Day 1

Why do you love Palo???


Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Green this month. We will be back in next month with all new loops and themes. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with newest posts, photos and stories. If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.

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Here is the map of our Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop – Disney Mamas – Top 3 Spots for Romantic Dining at WDW
2nd Stop – Rolling with the Magic – Remy
3rd Stop – Disney Nouns – Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant 
4th Stop – My Dreams of Disney – Cinderella’s Royal Table
Final Stop – Adventure in the Great Wide Somewhere – Palo

The FitBit and The Fantasy | Fitness Apps Onboard the Disney Cruise Line

 Welcome to the next stop on the Blogorail. Today we are discussing one of my favorite ways to make staying in shape more fun. Namely, the app. Like the saying goes, there’s an app for that!

I love using a FitBit in my daily life because it makes keeping track of how many steps I’ve gotten in super easy and it’s fun to compete and see who can get in the most steps in a day. I wanted to keep track of my cruise to the eastern Caribbean last November partially to keep the good habit going and partially because I was curious.



St. Thomas and St. John
Touring St. John

Lots of people tell me they’re surprised I love cruising. Isn’t that just for lazing around in hammocks or on deck chairs drinking fruity beverages? Aren’t you always running around like a crazy person? Wouldn’t just laying around all day drive you crazy?

Um, yeah.

If I actually lazed around all day. There is plenty of time for that of course, but first I need to go explore a bit!


The thing is, from the afternoon you board the Fantasy and happily step onto the ship, there is more to see than can ever be seen more and more to do than can ever be done. (Uh oh, she’s gone to Lion King mode.)

Literally.

Even if you never wake up in time for Sunrise Stretch and you ignore the whole “take the stairs” advice, you stand a pretty good chance of walking quite a bit. The thing is, when you’re heading out to stroll around a tropical island it just doesn’t seem like much work.

IMG_2764
The walls of the Castillo de San Felipe in Puerto Rico

I went aboard the ship and as usual turned off cellular data roaming and put my iPhone into airplane mode to avoid unwanted fees. This also prevented my FitBit from syncing. Therefore I needed to check on it every evening or so to check if I should charge it.
Interestingly enough, despite normally syncing via Bluetooth, the FitBit did not want to sync without regular Wi-Fi. It synced fine once we were on St. Thomas (which is in my cellular network, but depends on your carrier) but even when I was using the ship’s Wi-Fi it never wanted to sync up.
Not to worry!
Even without syncing on sea days, all that data stores itself away in your FitBit.

So what kind of mileage did my cruise yield?

Disembark
Hmmmm. It looks like I did pretty much hang out on a lounger on Tuesday.

To put the above mileage into perspective:

Saturday we boarded the ship. (All this mileage is walking around the port or on the ship exploring.
Sunday and Monday were sea days. I ran on the first one and did not run on the second.
Tuesday we toured St. Thomas. Then I spent the afternoon taking a good long rest in a lounger.
Wednesday we walked all over Puerto Rico. After I ran a bit that morning.
Thursday was another sea day. No running. Just meandering about the ship.
Friday we were ensconced in a cabana in Castaway Cay most of the day. Except for the 5K.

I did not walk up more than a few flights of stairs at any point during the week, although I did walk downstairs because it seemed lazy to me to ride the elevator down. (I’m strange like that). So I did use the elevators. Our stateroom was on the twelfth deck. Many activities and restaurants were on the third deck. So walking up nine flights of stairs all of the time just wasn’t going to happen.

As always with a FitBit, be sure to pack your charger!

Thank you for joining the Blogorail this month. We will be back in next month with all new loops and themes. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with newest posts, photos and stories. If you are looking for more magic, you can make your way over to The Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.
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Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop – Sparks of Magic – Nike+ Running
2nd Stop – The Disney Point – MyFitnessPal
3rd Stop – Adventure in the Great Wide Somewhere – FitBit

Little Known Facts About the Disney Magic

Welcome to those of you joining me from The Disney Point and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the Final stop on our Magical Blogorail.

While the Disney Cruise Line is simply stuffed with Hidden Pixie Dust, here are five more things you probably didn’t know about their flagship, the Disney Magic.

5.) Despite launching in 1998, the Disney Magic recently received a boatload of new pixie dust when she underwent “re-imagineering” in the fall of 2013. With renewed magic in many of the spaces onboard, she feels like a brand new vessel.

4.) The Disney Magic is the only ship to boast the Avenger’s MARVEL’s
Avengers Academy. If you have a little super hero in the making, this Oceaneer’s Club favorite will be a key “don’t miss.”

3.) The Disney Magic is host to over thirty recognizable hidden Mickeys and even a few other hidden characters!

Mount Rustmore at Castaway Cay

That’s before you even reach Castaway Cay and it’s hidden (and not so hidden) Mickeys.

2.) A number of free events take place on every cruise onboard the Magic, but some require tickets. Currently, cruisers who wish to meet the royalty of Arendelle, need to pick up tickets the first afternoon for a meet and greet with Anna and Elsa later in their voyage. Much like FastPass+, these cut down on that whole pesky “waiting in line” and gets you straight into the “meeting the princesses” part of the experience. Check your Personal Navigator for when (usually the first afternoon upon boarding) and where (often the Port Adventures or Guest Services desk) to obtain your tickets.

Other events that require ticketing can include gingerbread house making, the princess gathering, meeting the characters from Playhouse Disney and occasionally galley tours. Check your navigator to see what is being offered!

Sometimes tickets for these events will be available on the day of the event. Other times they are gone well in advance. If you can’t use your tickets, please return them to Guest Services and pass the pixie dust on to another guest!

1.) During the Pirates IN the Caribbean Deck Party, the fireworks will be fired off of the starboard side of the ship. If you are viewing the festivities from down on deck nine, you will want to be standing to the port of the stage.

Facing the stage (forward) you stand to the port (left hand side) of the deck.

Like so.
This offers, in my opinion, the best views of the fireworks and the shows. If you’re shy, deck ten port offers similar views without being quite in the middle of the party.

Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Red this month. We will be back on December 2 with an all new theme. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with our Disney info, photos and stories. If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.

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Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
 
1st Stop ~ Frontierland Station – Splash Mountain
2nd Stop ~ A Disney Mom’s Thoughts – Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
3rd Stop ~ Magical Mouse Schoolhouse – Haunted Mansion
4th Stop ~ The Disney Point – Space Mountain
Final Stop ~ Adventure in the Great Wide Somewhere – The Disney Magic

Stingrays, Stingrays, Every Where!

Welcome to those of you joining me from Disney Mamas and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Sometimes you just need a little push to get through the frustration of learning something new. For our (then) toddler son, swimming seemed insurmountable. Then one day, while we lazed around (because napping wasn’t going to happen that day) Samantha Brown hopped off of a ship in Grand Cayman, into a whole group of stingrays.
He knew, that very moment, that he wanted to learn to swim.
And he wanted to swim with the stingrays.

Disney Cruise Line offers two very different stingray experiences on a Western Caribbean itinerary. So what’s the difference?

Castaway Ray’s Stingray Adventure
Location: Stingray Hut and Lagoon, Castaway Cay, The Bahamas
Cost: $36 ages 5-9, $45 ages 10-adults
Duration: 1 hour (10 minute orientation, 50 minutes with the stingrays)

Simple as stepping off of the ship and onto the dock, Castaway Cay is the ideal beach escape. Similarly streamlined, the Castaway Ray’s Stingray Adventure offers all of the high points of a stingray experience (education, hand-feeding, and snorkeling) without any less magical waiting around down time. The water is only waste deep on even the youngest guests. Although very tame and fun to feed, our son did not want to stick around to snorkel with them when all the wonder of Castaway Cay stood in view.

I have to hand it to him, a hammock is pretty irresistible. 

So we returned to our tropical paradise.
This is an ideal first timer stingray experience, though the sand can get churned up by other guests, so I recommend an earlier excursion time, if possible.

Stingray City Snorkel Tour
Location: Stingray City, Grand Cayman, The Cayman Islands
Cost: $39 ages 5-9, $49 ages 10-adults
Duration: 2.5-3 hours (one hour in the water with the stingrays, 40 min cruise each way and bus transfers to the boat)

The Stingray City Snorkel Tour is pretty much as close to Christopher’s swimming inspiration as you can find. Complete with jumping off the aft of a beautiful double decker boat into the great blue open water adjacent to a sand bar.
These are not tame creatures.
Although they will exhibit standard petting zoo behavior including petting holding and swimming with them, they live in the middle of a sandbar in the middle of the North Sound off of  Grand Cayman.
Which brings me to the following photos.

Fun fact, a group of stingrays is not called a school, but rather a fever of stingrays.

The day and time of our particular port adventure happened to be during high tide, so the water on the sand bar was up to my chest. This means my five year old leapt off the back of the ship (toward me on the sand bar) into water at least seven feet deep and swam the ten feet to the sand bar where I was waiting. Those swim lessons sure came in handy.
He LOVED it.
For more details on this excursion check out my trip report.
Overall, this is a much more once in a lifetime memory for us. There’s something incredible about being surrounded by real animals in the open ocean and going for it.
Adventure *is* out there!
I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is I Am a Mommy Nerd.

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Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
 
1st Stop ~ Disney with Babies, Toddlers, & Preschoolers – Castaway Cay Excursions
2nd Stop ~ Disney Mamas – Submarine Excursions on Grand Cayman
3rd Stop ~ Adventure in the Great Wide Somewhere – Stingrays, Stingrays, Every Where!
4th Stop ~ I Am a Mommy Nerd – Disney Cruise Line Excursion – The Walt Disney Family Museum
Final Stop ~ Two Moms and Mouse – When You Can’t Afford an Excursion