When Mickey Mouse called my kids with news that we would be cruising the Caribbean on the Disney Cruise Line’s Magic, they were at something of a loss. First, all they knew about cruise ships they had learned from Zach and Cody on Deck and my VHS collection of old Love Boat episodes. Second, they couldn’t believe that Mickey Mouse had my phone number (having a Disney character call your kids with a recorded message about your upcoming cruise is a free option available on the Disney Cruise Line website), and third, Caribbean means one thing: There be pirates ahead.
We immediately got to researching everything we could about the Disney Cruise Line, our ship, and the ports of call we would visit (Grand Cayman and Cozumel, respectively). We also watched all of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, just to be safe.
The boys became more and more excited with every passing YouTube video, Disney Cruise Line DVD (complimentary when requested online), and blog link we could find.
We generally prepare for family vacations the same way, regardless of the destination, and that consists mainly of hours of research to learn all of the tricks and tips travelers should know, but also to build the respective comfort and anticipation levels for the kids. In fact, watching YouTube videos of Disney Park attractions is the first advice I give parents who are concerned that their kids may be afraid to ride them (parents should watch them first as most videos are not official Disney products and may include rather colorful language where other descriptive words would have worked just as well). Disney Cruise Lines was new to us, so we followed our own advice, and it turns out I’m a genius.
You probably knew that.
However, preparation does not stop when the videos end. There are forms, documents, and all kinds of official stuff that must be prepared—not to mention the picking of Port Adventures (some preparation is more fun than others).
The whole process of Disney Cruise research was a lot of fun for the entire family, but it was also very time consuming, and when it was all said and done I still didn’t find all the information that I wanted. That’s why I am going to make it easier for you.
Over the next couple of weeks I will break down the cruise experience on a Disney cruise: what to pack, secret tips for extra fun, dining, entertainment, kid clubs, Port Adventures, and a lot more (including photos, be warned). You will have all the information you need to make your sailings smooth and full of Disney magic! Please leave your Disney Cruise Line questions in the comments below.
For more Disney Cruise Line information please read:
My family and I sailed on the Disney Magic 6-Night Western Caribbean cruise as guests of Disney Cruise Line. All opinions are my own.
Photo: Disney Cruise Line
Read more from Whit Honea at his site Honea Express and the popular group blog DadCentric. You can follow Whit on the Twitter or Pinterest (his opinions are his own and do not reflect those of Babble or most rational people).