Sunday 17 October 2021

Disney Magic at Sea - UK Staycation Cruise

I started writing this when we had just got back from the most magical trip with Disney at Sea as part of Chick's 18th birthday celebrations (seems to have taken me ages to finish!!). It was the most amazing time that I even feel compelled to blog for the first time in a couple of years, hurrah! I cannot even begin to describe the magic of the trip but I'll give it a try. Such a fab ship for a start (if somewhat hidden behind our ears!!)

Obviously one of the most important parts of the trip is the ears.....

Picture taken whilst we were waiting the results of our covid tests!! With these particular pairs, mine were oldies from a previous Disneyland Paris trip and O's were a new purchase from Etsy as Sully is her favourite: 

The first of the magic and fairy dust appears with the announcing of each family as you board the ship and are then greeted by Mickey and Minnie which is just the cutest thing!! Next up was a talk about how the app works - you need to use this to do or find out anything on ship - and then food! I'll do a post just about the food and restaurants because it was all just so incredible not only the food but the entire dining experiences but yum, buffet:

 Then after an explore and a few selfies, the next thing for us (was obviously!) something water based:

Luckily the weather was fantastic and the water super warm, if not too warm for an open water swimmer:

Lots of gorgeous water based activities for kids but also an adult only area for over 18's:

We actually spent quite a lot of time in this area as kids aren't even allowed to walk through and it was nice to have 5 minutes away from Disney mayhem and to be able to swim in a non-kiddy contaminated pool. Alcoholic drinks were not included but were reasonably priced although O still wasn't able to drink as it was over 21's only for alcohol! I still managed to enjoy a cocktail or 5 ;)  

I'm all about the sea so the view for me was incredible. You would never guess we were just in the North Sea:

Our room was the cheapest available (even though still expensive in my opinion!) but was again super cute. It was a good size space for the two of us but with three teenage kids, I'm not sure how we would've had enough room for all of us to move around comfortably:

Disney detail everywhere which I absolutely love:

One of the things that I had no clue about prior to embarkation was that some families decorate their entire cabin door with magnets and photos. Luckily the very nice children's activities team came to our rescue and enabled us to join in:

Also, as you would expect a wide range of characters around the ship:

Our favourite and funniest meet 'n' greet was Spiderman:

This picture makes me howl with laughter every time I look at it.

And last but not least, Broadway standard shows which made us cry with joy:

Literally the most magical time ever!

So, what didn't we like? Well, there wasn't much I didn't like but there were a few things that surprised me. One was that the kids pool area was tiny and packed all of the time to the point that there was a time limit of how long children could be in there. My boys certainly wouldn't have enjoyed it. The buffet was open for breakfast and for a couple of hours at lunch but it would have been nice to have a buffet option in the evening rather than mainly fast food as an alternative to fine dining. I also felt that we were rushed off the ship very early on the final day so they turn around for the next group.

Outside of that the only things I would do differently would be to go for at least three nights and add in the photo package. I didn't book that prior to the cruise because a) the packages were stupidly expensive and b) I didn't think we would like any of the photos. Once onboard we took pictures of the ones we liked and then assumed we could order them afterwards but this doesn't appear to be the case. I'm super sad that I missed out on these but still think they are prohibitively expensive....... but I would order them next time as it would've finished off the trip nicely to have the professional shots.

In my opinion, the cruise was really expensive - when I first started this blog, there is no way I could have funded this kind of trip so I know that I am now in a very privileged position. I paid approximately £700 for the two of us for two nights which only included 1 afternoon and 1 full day and on debarkation day we were back at the car by 8am. For me the standard of the shows, food and the incredible levels of service were reflected in that price that I paid and matched Michelin starred restaurants and for a special occasion it was worthwhile. It's unlikely that we would ever be able to afford for all 5 of us to go on a Disney cruise unless they reintroduce UK staycations or we win the lottery. Haha!

If you have any questions then please let me know as I'm happy to talk about it until the cows come home! This is not a sponsored post and as you've probably guessed from the above I paid full price for the trip myself ;)
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