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Basking on the Disney Cruise Line Ships

Cruise number eight, booked as part of my 49th birthday present, August 2013....  on the Disney Fantasy....I can't wait. We've celebrated everyone else's birthdays both at Walt Disney World and on the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder and, it's my turn and I'm really going to milk this one.

We're pretty unique with our own barrel of laughs.  My son is autistic and that's a whole different kettle of fish for planning, so we work around it, we spell each other off and make our vacation environment as close to home as possible. As a result I try to book a verandah stateroom and settle down with everything else (except the Dooney and Bourke bags and special jewellery on the ship and wine packages) well, I try to.

 I need a verandah, I'm claustrophobic and I can't be closed in.....anywhere, it's that bad. Plus, the verandah allows me to indulge in some relaxation while my son watches movies on his iPad. I love having a verandah stateroom and the stateroom has to have an armchair, so we always book category 4A, any higher up and it's Concierge and that's in my wildest of dreams, I so wish. Some day, I'll keep believing, but getting on the Disney Parks Moms Panel is ahead of the Concierge stateroom by miles, so for now I'm fine, more than fine, the dream of the Moms Panel is on the top of my list right now.

I will book a private Cabana on Castaway Cay, Palo's, Remy's, a spa treatment, parasailing, a good slice of Bingo and I'll partake in the Art Auction, I'm saving for that. The artwork sold is absolutely stunning. It's my 49th birthday and I'm going to milk this for all it's worth.

I am not very complicated when it comes to wandering around and gazing. That's really what I like to do on the ships. Checking out details, hanging around lobbies and watching people (I have a minor in Anthropology). Teaching has taught me perception and pegging people...well mostly :) and  I love to people watch. But seriously, there is enough to be captivated by on these ships.

The details are impeccable, accurate and true to form. That has to be as a result of Walt Disney's love of detail through Miniatures. I'm convinced of that because I love Miniatures and have completed four shadow boxes. I mean, anywhere you look there are details. Here's what I mean. Just keep scrolling down through my personal pictures, of which I'm so proud, because my photographic ability is very limited and all thanks must go to my Canon camera. It's awesome.

The folks at Disney send this motor coach to your Disney resort or at Orlando International to pick you up.
Here they are picking us up from Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort.
Here is what you have to go through to board the ship.
Go on, go through, one of the biggest Hidden Mickey's out there...:))
This is what awaits after you walk along the Gangway. They even announce your arrival!

Now look at this metal relief band just above the mid-ship elevators. All of our beloved characters from the Disney movies....seriously, who would do that and use expensive elements as well? The Imagineers at Disney, of course!
And then, they took the time to re-create artists tools found at our table at Animator's Palete....I would buy the complete set if it was for sale.
Just look at all the artistic tools and elements here, not to mention the bread basket with all the Hidden Mickey's. This blows me away. I can't wait to get on the Disney Fantasy and actually create my own animation character....can you imagine?
I mean, look at this film reel under the paint can, holding pencils and a paint brush....that is SO COOL (sorry for shouting, can't help myself). To top it all off, Crush pops up on the giant screens, scattered throughout the restaurant and pokes fun at, who would do that? Blows me away!
Crush is coming....hang on.
Then over at Royal Palace, your menu shows up like this. The wax seal is so real looking I actually tried to smell it. Yes, I'm weird, but I'm a happy soul.
And who would care enough to adorn the main chandelier at The Royal Palace with glass slippers? Another cruise line would probably think that their patrons didn't care enough to look up, but Disney Imagineers did care.
Take a closer look at the wire bread basket...yup, that's right, it's the glass coach....yes, really!
This mosaic mural adorns entire long walls over at Cabanas, on deck eleven. I didn't ignore this, it was just spectacular!
I believe I counted four sand, bas reliefs in Cabanas displaying all the Disney Castles from all of the theme parks. I just had to touch these, but did so with the back of my finger, because my finger pads and so do yours, have oils and I didn't want to leave my mark.
One of the first things I do is greet the atrium lobby statue, being Admiral Donald on the Dream. Also, check out the metal relief band going all the up the staircase, full of characters. It keeps going and going.
What a gorgeous main lobby.
This chandelier follows the Art Deco theme and has a diameter of seven meters! It's made of Swarovski crystals and plated with 24 karat gold. It hangs four meters from the's massive and just stunning!

One would not expect to be distracted at Guest Services, but I was. I couldn't pay attention to the Cast Member properly and this is the reason.

All of the Disney Castles around the world displayed as a backdrop at Guest Services. Wow!
They let me go back there to play with the ships, they're magnetic. A smile and polite word or two will get you places.
Then, as if the Guest Services mural isn't enough, when you're finished there, this huge mosaic catches your eye. You are most welcome to plant yourself in the royal chair. I did and loved it!
And, if that's not enough, there's another area like this directly on the other side beside the Shore Excursions desk. Now, more folks can pretend and have a little fun dreaming. I'm proud to say that I'm 85 lbs. lighter from that photo above now and feelin' mighty fine.
This lovely carpet, takes you to the Walt Disney Theatre, which hosts The Golden Mickey's, quite an event on the ships reminding me of the Red Carpet at the Academy Awards and they even have a guest host interviewing guests before they enter the theatre. Oh, and flanking this corridor, of which there are two like this, are shops and boutiques. Did I say shops and boutiques? They're incredible. Go ahead and shop, use your Key to the World Card, the ship is cash free.
Glorious shopping court.
 They even sell Links of London and Lilly Pulitzer here.
Alison W. who first met us on the Disney Wonder remembered us. We've cruised with her three times now. She's sold us lots of Dramamine and Dooney bags.
She even sold me this one. Being a Gold Castaway Club member entitled me to $25 off every $100 spent (deals do vary). I love Disney!
As soon as the Future Bookings desk opens, I'm there. Basically I won't get off the ship unless I've re-booked and seriously, who wouldn't. You get ten percent off your next cruise, you get to select your stateroom and you get a ship board credit. It's a no brainer.

These guys wait here, nibbling on treats from Vista Cafe while I re-book. It's that easy.
They make great lattes and cappuccinos here, and they're not badly priced either...lots of room card action here and don't forget your Café Fanatic discount card.
Happy Birthday Andrew, with Pamela's the very next day. I'm a teacher, they had to be born late August.
We have an afternoon slumber here often. Those breezes can keep my son at bay and me planted on those deck chairs reading and catching a few winks....with one eye open of course.

Of course, they wouldn't leave Mickey Mouse out of the mix.
Adults are very well taken care of at Quiet Cove Pool on a Disney cruise.

Sip a cool drink here at Waves while the kids play Mini-Golf close by. Heck, the booths even look like waves. Now that's imagination! 
Interactin' on LCD screens... 
Swashbucklin'....look at him!

Then at bedtime, look what pampering awaits.
Every night there's a new 'Towelgami' towel animal.

All turned down and ready for us. :)

This message is on your bed pillow. 
We love cruising with Disney and there's a reason why we keep returning, especially with a Special Needs child. It's because we are enabled to leave everything behind and immerse ourselves in playtime and fantasy and that's exactly what Walt Disney envisioned for his guests of all ages. We truly feel, when we cruise or do a land vacation with Disney, like a 'typical' family and that feeling is like no other.
All these photos are mine, I'm still learning about photography. :)
Thank you Walt Disney and Disney Imagineers!




  1. Love the post Jackie! Thanks for sharing. We're going on the same cruise in August as you and are SO SO excited. I am a Speech-Language Pathologist and work intimately with children with all sorts of differences. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go 'round. Just relax and hang on for the ride, right? Love the pictures.. you have more talent than I do. Can't wait! Can't wait! Can't wait!

  2. Jackie,
    Thank you for helping me relive my cruise on the Disney Wonder. You really have captured all that is so special about these trips. Not to mention the food...omg, the food. lol.


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