Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dream Family Vacation.. or should I say Fantasy

With all the talks, posts, pictures, and videos of the brand new Disney Fantasy, I keep thinking and wishing we could go on a cruise.

I've only been on one cruise - a beautiful Royal Caribbean (Navigator of the Seas) that carries around 3,000 people.  Compared to all the other ships we saw on that excursion - aside from the Disney ship we saw - the ship was stunning.  We had a blast on that trip, but I had some motion issues so I knew that I would have to wait a few years to want to go back.

And that time is now.

Of course, I'm expecting a baby.  Any day (actual due date is April 18th, so we'll see when the little one decides to come out).   So, a big vacation like a cruise isn't really an option.  We're not planning to do much of any travel until Marathon Weekend 2013.

There's another problem we have booking a cruise - the price!  For WDW Vacations, I encourage taking little ones - it's a lot of fun, they're free in the parks, buffets- heck, under 2, they can even fly for free.  But, on a cruise?  Even infants cost.  A 1 year old that weighs less than 20 lbs and probably eats close to night costs around $450-500.  That's not terrible, but, but that costs more than both of us parents getting our 4 day park passes at WDW **note - I am military, so the prices on the park passes do vary** where the little ones still get in for free!

For children under 3, child care costs $6 per hour/$5 per hour for a second child.  While I've heard wonderful things about the child care facilities and cast members, I'm still not quite sure what the $450 per infant covers!  Do those 20 lbs make that much of a difference in gas usage?

And the biggest problem of all?  I can't convince my husband. :)  Our current plan is 5 years (our 10 year wedding anniversary)  when the kids are 7/5.

Anyone want to play devils advocate?  I'd love to hear the other side of cruising with little ones!

12 comments:

  1. Jenn the Fantasy was just amazing!! I never cruised prior to the preview cruise but let me tell you I am now totally sucked into this concept of vacationing. I can tell you that the kids cost is to cover the AMAZING...yes AMAZING kids programs that Cast Member plan around the clock for your little ones. This allows you to truly enjoy some more adult things on the ship. If you think that your little ones will not want to be in the kids clubs..think again. I watched as parents had to convince their little guys to come to dinner. My agency owner had her two children with her and they only ate with us one night because they wanted to stay in their area. As far as babies...they are extremely well cared for as well. This is is truly a more luxury style vacation...while there is sticker-shock involved in the price I guarantee you will see the value once you go on a Disney Cruise. Did that work to convince you??? lol

    ReplyDelete
  2. Our first cruise was on the Disney Magic when my younger daughter was 2.5. I thought the cruise was ideal for her age. She was in LOVE with characters, particularly princesses and the lines to meet them were far shorter than those at Disney World and the wait was in air-conditioned comfort. The other thing that was nice was that the princesses remembered her because she would line up to chat everytime we saw them. One of our nicest memories was when Emma caught sight of Snow White and ran across the lobby to her calling out "Snow White" as she ran. Snow White got down on the ground and opened up her arms for a hug as she called out "Emma" to my little girl running to see her. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Our last Disney cruise was on the Wonder. My kids were 15 months and 3 1/2 and I found out I was prego with number 3 on the ship :) it was awesome! We did decide to get the most for our buck we would wait until all our kids are over 3 to take the next Disney cruise. We are booked on the Dream for 2013. My kids (and I) love the room service we order twice a day. I have breakfast delivered before they get up so I don't have to get up and ready for breakfast and I order a bedtime snack of cheese and fruit for them while I get them ready for bed. Its ALL included! The Disney cruise is the most RELAXING Disney vacation available. That is what sells my hubby. We do a few days in Disney and then sit back and relax on the cruise and take advantage of the FREE child care activities that our kids BEG us to go to. We are doing a 4 night cruise so we can get save a little but still get to relax and be within budget. Everyone including hubby is SOOO excited!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. The characters remembered my kids too and that made it so magical for them. The character experience on the cruise is just awesome (and so is everything else)

    ReplyDelete
  5. We're waiting a little while for a cruise. Price is definitely one reason. I guess I want to make sure the kids are old enough to take full advantage of the ship..we won't get to do this all that often. We already have this year's WDW trip planned and tentative plans for Disneyland in 2013 (Gotta go see Carsland!!) And I think I am gonna need to go to WDW again in 2014 to see the Fantasyland expansion..so maybe like 2015?? Yikes! My oldest will be 12 then, the youngest, 7.

    We've done cruises before, not Disney. Both Carnival- our honeymoon and then with friends a couple years after that. Lots of fun. Love being on the ship!

    ReplyDelete
  6. My husband and I looked into a Disney cruise on the Magic with our soon-to-be 4 year old son and soon-to-be 1 year old daughter. The cost also made my jaw drop, especially since you have to pay extra for infant child care in addition to the cost for her to sail on the ship. For the cost of that trip (not including plane fare), we could get in a trip to WDW and Disneyland, and that includes airfare!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I would love to do DLR! My son would ADORE carsland! We looked into it last year, but it just didn't work out.. maybe next year... though I can't imagine my son sitting still for that flight! Maybe baby #2 will be more a relaxed type of kid that can sit still!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've heard if you consider that you're getting *most* food and room for that price, it's not terrible.. but it is hard to pay for an infant that doesn't get to take advantage of most of the perks!

    ReplyDelete
  9. We went on the Magic when my daughter was 13 months, it was awesome. She did very well she really enjoyed seeing all the characters and going in the pool with dad. She had no fear. lol. Grandma was with us so when she got tired my mom didn't mind going back to the room with her for a nap. It was very low key, we had no schedule and we were able to do everything we wanted. When we got off the boat we just took the carriage and when she had enough we went back no problem. You are able to back to the boat anytime. She stayed in Flounders reef nursery for an hourly rate, not to bad, some nights while me and hubby went to the pool. The CM were awesome they paid alot of attention to her, And everyday we ordered room service her favorite all included in the price Chicken nuggets, warm milk and a cookie at least 2x a day. Hope that helps;-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. First - enjoyed everyone's comments! Lots of interesting/good info...didn't know about the free room service - very cool.

    Second - love that you are brave enough to post this honest opinion, Jenn! It is very expensive. (Heavy Sigh) I've roughly priced the difference - a 7 night Bahama Disney cruise would run us around the same as 10 nights/days of tix WDW package at a moderate resort with the Dining Plan! Ouch.

    I go back and forth about taking the kids. I know they are "safe" but my wild toddler son who loves to climb (RAILINGS?!) would fry my nerves on a cruise, me thinks! Sooo...I have booked our very 1st cruise, and it'sa Disney one, for summer 2013 for just my husband and I for our 10th anniversary! I feel a little guilty about this. But not really. :) And it gives me lotsa time to save.

    One last tip: someone told me once you've done it, you're hooked, and that ON your cruise, you can re-book your next one at a 10% discount. My thinking is we'll take one just us 2, and if we think we can maybe swing a short 3 or 4 night Bahama one w/the kids later...we'll book it then, and use this discount!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have that SAME fear about the railings! I want to do one for our 10th anniversary, too - but that's 5 years away... our boys will be 7/5 so much less fear (right?). Thanks for your response!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I do like the room service option! And the fact that the characters remember the kids is still incredible.. but it's just not going to happen for us anytime soon. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    ReplyDelete