8 Years ago my husband and I set a goal to take our daughter to all 50 states before she turns 18. When our son came along 4 and a half years later we figured we probably needed to do the same for him. You can read a little more about our travel goals here. We have a long way to go with this goal! In light of that, I am often asked why we have taken the exact same vacation 3 times in the last 5 years.
To say that we LOVE Disney Cruises would be an understatement! I’ve narrowed my answer down to 10 reasons, 5 of which I will address in this post and the other 5 will come tomorrow.
- Forced Disconnect: No work emails, no calls, no Facebook, no texting, no browsing the internet, etc. Does that sound amazing or terrifying? I will fully admit, it’s a little bit of both! As the wife of someone who absolutely cannot take a day off and leave work behind, there is nothing more exciting than watching him shut down his laptop and turn off his phone as we board the boat.Of course, you could actually pay for internet, but I HIGHLY recommend not doing that. Brent and I find ourselves so much more present with our children when we don’t have our phones around. Also, contrary to what Brent thinks, his company manages to run fairly smoothly without him being available 24/7. Here’s a picture of him doing some last minute “important” business before we board the boat…
- Extra Mile, Every Time: Our first night on our third Disney cruise the Head Server walked over to our dinner table and asked about our meal. After assuring him that everything was wonderful, he turned his attention to the kids and asked about their meals. This led to a discussion about where we lived and the kids ages. Miller let the Server know he was “3, but getting older.”
As most people would, the Head Server assumed Miller meant he would be celebrating his birthday soon, but we quickly let him know that Miller’s birthday was still 4 months away. For some reason, during this fairly brief exchange, Miller decided that the Head Server NEEDED to come to his birthday party. The Server very graciously told Miller that he’d really try to make it.
Fast forward 20 minutes, when any normal person would have long forgotten about this conversation (I pretty much had!), and the Head Server comes over to me and asks my permission to celebrate Miller’s birthday that night. After agreeing that it was fine, the Head Server went over to Miller, and explained that it might be difficult to come to Charlotte in January. He told Miller that he really wanted to make sure to celebrate with him so he proceeded to pull out a cake and start singing.
I can’t even begin to tell you what an incredible impression this made on my son. It was so special, and created such a sweet memory for our family. The best part…this is not an isolated incident. I could tell 20 different stories just like this one. Everyone who works for The Disney Cruise Line goes the extra mile, every time!
- No Vacation After The Vacation: Have you ever been on a vacation, come home, and then uttered the words “I really need a vacation”? I find that 9 times out of 10, as wonderful as vacations can be, they are also exhausting. Especially as a mom, a vacation can be a lot like day to day life, except you get to do it with an ocean view. Throw in sand, sunscreen applications, and a non-baby proof living space and I actually find that a vacation is MORE work than being at home!
A Disney Cruise is the only vacation I’ve found to date (I would LOVE to find more!) where I leave the trip feeling relaxed and refreshed. The Kids’ Club provides top notch child care and our kids beg us to go. It’s easy for us to spend a couple hours by the adult only pool knowing that our children are having the time of their lives- making fairy wands with Tinkerbell and having dance parties with Mickey.
At meal times the servers cut our children’s food, pour ketchup in the shape of Mickey Mouse and entertain them with magic tricks. They bring our kids’ food out first and Kids’ Club counselors come pick them up as they finish eating. It’s the most unbelievable way to share a family meal, and a dinner date all in the same evening.
- Everyone is Happy: On a Disney Cruise in just one 24-hour time span our family is able to: wake up to breakfast in bed, have in depth conversations with lots of Disney princesses, watch a movie while swimming in the pool, play family bingo, have a drink at the pool bar and watch sports, build sandcastles on the beach, go down water slides, high-five Mickey Mouse, attend a Broadway-style show, a bourbon tasting, a fireworks show and have a Pajama Party with Pluto.
And that doesn’t even cover the food. On our first Disney Cruise our daughter really wanted steak for dinner. But she also really wanted pizza. The struggle was real. Our server caught wind of her inner turmoil, looked at me and said “I can bring both if that’s okay with you?”Umm, yes please! So between the wide variety of activities and the amazing food, everyone is happy all the time. You really can’t ask for more!
- New Things Each Time: Our first Disney Cruise was unique because it was our first. Our second Disney Cruise was unique because we’d added a child to the mix. I honestly thought our third Disney Cruise was going to be anything, but unique. We’d been there, done that. The kids were ridiculously excited because they knew what to expect. While I was excited for them, I was not necessarily anticipating any new experiences.
Tomorrow I will post 5 more reasons why we’ve chosen to take the exact same vacation 3 times in the last 5-years!