Thursday, June 21, 2012

Things I wish I had known- Cruise style

For those who want to go on a cruise like our Make a Wish I thought I would give a perspective from a mom of a kiddo who is extra special! Might help make some of the accommodations and the wonderful things to do on a cruise AND on a Disney Cruise, even more MAGICAL!

First, if you can, ask for a handicapped accessible room. Even though Ty is not in a “wheelchair” we used a stroller to get him from point A to point B. We didn’t take his adaptive stroller ( aka his chair) because we had Baby ( aka Grayson) with us. So we opted for a sit to stand. With a regular state room you can’t get a stroller in and a wheelchair can NOT, I repeat, CAN NOT get into the rooms. So unless you can carry your said child, get a handicapped accessible room.

Don’t over pack. This was advice given to me by our wish granters. Lisa said that while we think we need a million shoes for every outfit, don’t. Cut down your idea of luggage in half and you will be just fine. Boy was she right. For all 4 of us, we fit everything into 2 suitcases and a carry on. You truly only wear 4 things. Capri’s/shorts, a clean shirt every day, undies and a swim suit. You can even bring something nice to  change into for dinner that is clean etc. But really pack light. If you must or need there is laundry services. Coin operated if you don’t want to pay a fee for them to do it for you.

Unless you have made travel arrangements with the cruise line ( like flight/hotel/ get on the boat) go to walmart before you board the boat. Get yourself a bag/suitcase and fill it with snacks ( licorice, crackers, and WATER) while there is water and soda available all the time it is not in a convenient location. We were on deck 6 and the water and soda was on deck 11. If you cant make a walmart run, bring a big container you can fill with water/soda.

Take advantage of family activities. Sit down and  look at the daily itinerary and plan. Big events=get there 30 minutes early. We did what we did in accordance to what Ty could handle. We did have a lot of down time on some days because it was a lot of stuff and some was overwhelming. But we did push him a few times and we loved it.

Take more pictures and even more videos and don’t forget to have them all together as a family. The boat does have people who take pictures and you can purchase them but they are VERY expensive. So we opted to not purchase and we really did avoid even having our picture taken by them but many people will take your picture for you. Take advantage.

If you are capable.... WALK don’t use the elevators. While it is so convenient to hope the elevator to go up a floor, Don’t. Unless you really can’t walk the stairs, try to avoid using the elevators. Why? Because everyone uses them and when you are trying to take a kid who can’t walk you can’t get IN to one. We had to carry the stroller down a few flights of stairs and even opt to not take it and CARRY, yes WE CARRIED Tyler up or down a few flights. At one point we waited 45 minutes to get on the elevator that was just packed with kids going up to the pool. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to walk, it was that we couldn’t. We stood and waited with many people who had wheelchairs trying to get up to an activity.

While we did opt to buy up and go to the adult only restaurant 2 nights, one of them was so out of our league ( like we didn’t understand the waiters cause they all spoke fluent french and the food was NOT what we even liked.) In fact, I left. I didn’t like it at all. It was terrible. The one night was great but one of them was not. Enjoy a night with your spouse and utilize some time to have a good time!

While we did purchase a port adventure at the Bahama’s it was not what we thought it would be. We really wanted and were expecting to see sharks and what the pictures show on google of the aquarium. We found the local aquarium to be just as awesome.  We should have just done the public beach or just some general site seeing, or heck, stay on the boat. Enjoy the pools and all the adventures they have on the boat.

We were given complimentary port adventures on Castaway Cay as part of our make a wish. We didn’t use it. We couldn’t really use the bikes and there were plenty of castaway floats, but to make the beach fun, we didn’t find we needed anything. We just enjoyed.....

Overall, enjoy. You are on the happiest place on earth-sea version. Enjoy the magic. Enjoy the fun and enjoy watching your kids smile as they see the infamous Mickey Mouse.

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