Disney Cruise

Planning | Travel | Boarding | Sea | Sea | Tortola | St. Thomas | Star Wars Day | Castaway Cay | Go Home

Day Four: Tortola
Day Four: Tortola

Today was day four of our cruise and the ship pulled into Tortola just as we woke up.  We had an early excursion for this port, so we had ordered room service for breakfast.  Normally we forget to use room service, but we had discussed it a bit the night before our arrival in Tortola.  We took our breakfast out onto the veranda to enjoy it and look at the harbor.… Read the rest

Disney Cruise

Planning | Travel | Boarding | Sea | Sea | Tortola | St. Thomas | Star Wars Day | Castaway Cay | Go Home

Another fun day at sea was on the horizon, except I was super tired.  I had taken some Dramamine the night before because I was feeling under the weather.  Well, probably because of the Mixology class and not really anything else.  Dramamine makes me really, really sleepy for a long period of time.  I spent a good part of the morning sleeping in various location around the ship.  I slept some up in Satellite Falls and some near the adult pool area.  The weather was a bit overcast and it was chilly to be up on deck with the wind blowing.  After lunch time, I started to get my second wind.  I felt like I pretty much wasted the first part of this day, which was a shame.  After seven cruises, I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that I should never take Dramamine, even if I do feel seasick.… Read the rest

Flight Cost, Travel Cost

Transportation is one of the first things you will want to plan when you’ve settled on Orlando as a destination.  There are two things to think about with regards to transportation: getting to Orlando from your home or original destination, and traveling around Orlando once you have arrived.… Read the rest

Disney Cruise

Planning | Travel | Boarding | Sea | Sea | Tortola | St. Thomas | Star Wars Day | Castaway Cay | Go Home

Day 2 – At Sea

Our first day at sea promised to be a busy one.  We had several activities planned for the day.  The first activity was the Gold and Platinum Castaway Reception!  We skipped our first chance at the reception on our Spring Break Cruise last year, which was our first cruise as Gold Castaway Club Members.  We had talked with some friends who said it was nice, so we decided to go.  The reception was held in The Tube, so we headed down there.… Read the rest

Disney Cruise

Since we came up with our recent method on finding the cheapest Disney Cruises based upon the cost per night on board, I decided to rerun the data with the addition of the recent Fall 2018 itineraries.  Here are the ten cheapest cruises (as of May 19th, 2017 when I collected the data) for two adults and 2 children in a Verandah room based upon a per night price. 

Cruise Name Number of Days Date Ship Departure Port Verandah Price Verandah Price Per Night
11-Night Westbound Transatlantic Cruise from Dover to New York.
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Disney Cruise

Planning | Travel | Boarding | Sea | Sea | Tortola | St. Thomas | Star Wars Day | Castaway Cay | Go Home

Day 1: Sail Away
Day 1: Sail Away

After getting on board, we immediately headed up to the pool deck so the girls could ride the AquaDuck.  They had worn their swim suits under their clothes, so they were ready to go.  They jumped right on and didn’t have to wait at all.  The AquaDuck actually loads in the rear funnel of the ship in a small one or two person raft and then takes you over the side and around the top deck.  The girls really enjoy riding it.  There is another slide as well on the ship that kids can use.… Read the rest

Disney Cruise, Travel

Planning | Travel | Boarding | Sea | Sea | Tortola | St. Thomas | Star Wars Day | Castaway Cay | Go Home

January 13, 2017 finally arrived and it was time to head off for our Star Wars Cruise!  Our plan was to pick the kids up from school, let them get changed, then head off to the airport.  Once we had the house squared away, a friend drove us from our house to Reagan National Airport.  We arrived at the airport really early (as we always do), around 5 PM.  We dropped our bags off with American Airlines and headed through security.  Our experience with TSA Security is usually fantastic thanks to having TSA PreCheck!  Everyone has TSA PreCheck in our family except our youngest daughter (who now has Global Entry).  

Headed from Reagan National to Orlando
Headed from Reagan National to Orlando

Since we had arrived at the airport so early, we decided to head to the Admirals Club Lounge, which we have access to thanks to our Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard.  The card has a steep fee, but we always stop in the Admirals Club Lounges when we travel.  We also take advantage of the free checked bags we received when fly on American Airlines.  The Global Entry fee of $100 for our youngest daughter was also paid for with a credit from the Card. 

The Admirals Club lounge at Reagan National was extremely crowded on this evening, but we managed to find some seats and settle in for a while.  The kids each did the homework they were assigned for the 3 days of school they would miss the next week.  We all got some light snacks and drinks and waited around.  We had a celebrity sighting when I noticed Richard Kerr of Travel Hacking 101 in the lounge. 

View from the Admirals Club Lounge Entrance
View from the Admirals Club Lounge Entrance

As the time got closer for our flight, we headed out of the lounge and down towards our gate.  We grabbed dinner and sat to wait until boarding was called.  The flight went off without a hitch: it boarded on time, the flight was fine with no issues, and we landed in Orlando in about 2 hours. 

Gate 31 at Reagan National
Gate 31 at Reagan National

Once we landed in Orlando, we had to take the mini monorail from the gates to get to the main terminal, where we could collect our luggage.  We then headed back upstairs to the Hyatt Regency.  The Hyatt Regency is located right next to the Security Checkpoint for Gates 70-129.  The lobby/check in for the hotel is actually located on the fourth floor, so we went there with our luggage.… Read the rest

Disney Cruise, Flight Cost, Hotel Cost, Planning, Travel Cost

Planning | Travel | Boarding | Sea | Sea | Tortola | St. Thomas | Star Wars Day | Castaway Cay | Go Home

Our 7 Night Eastern Caribbean Star Wars Day At Sea cruise on the Disney Fantasy didn’t start out as one of our normal cruises.  As we discussed in our post about planning an off season cruise, we had originally planned to book our standard spring break cruise for 2017, but finances got in the way.  We instead picked a different destination for spring break, and in October 2015 we booked what we thought would be a standard 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Fantasy.  In January 2016, Disney announced new Star Wars Day At Sea cruises for 7 night sailings on the Disney Fantasy — and in March 2016, we received notification that our cruise had been switched to the Star Wars theme.  Interestingly, the price of the cruise almost immediately went up by 50%.  We weren’t upset that it got changed, but I probably never would have booked it for that price, even with the Star Wars addition.… Read the rest

Disney Cruise

Magic Dance Floor
Magic Dance Floor

The Oceaneer Club is Disney Cruise Line’s club for kids ages 3 to 12. We didn’t start cruising until our older daughter was 11, so she didn’t spend much time in the club.  Our youngest daughter, however, loved the clubs and had to be dragged out of them a few times. 

Kids have to be registered to use the kids clubs.  You can register them online in advance of your cruise, which will allow you to get them enrolled and set their check-in/check-out privileges.  The privileges relate to whether the child can leave the club when they want versus the club Cast Members calling you when your child wants to leave.  When our daughter was younger, we would have them call us.  Once we had been on a few cruises, we would let her check herself out and come back to the room (we always told her where we would be so she could easily find us).  You can also give a list of people that are authorized to pick your child up from the club.  We always authorized our older daughter so she could run and get her from the Club in case we were busy.… Read the rest

Disney Cruise

The Castaway Club is Disney Cruise Line’s loyalty program.  You are automatically enrolled in the program once you have taken one Disney cruise.  There are three different levels in the Club, each with a set of perks and bonuses.  Disney has recently made changes to the program, which I have detailed below in bold.… Read the rest