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December 4, 2017

Thinking About a Disney Cruise?

The Disney Wonder, one of four Disney Cruise ships.

For various reasons, my husband and I never considered going on a cruise.  Our family and friends raved about it, but we just weren’t interested.  Then we had kids and our love for all things Disney was reignited.  By chance, I read about a mom that loved their Disney Cruise experience because they ordered milk and cookies before bedtime every night.  It’s silly, but that’s all it took for me to put a Disney Cruise on the top of my travel priorities. 
The Disney Cruise Line travels to several destinations including the Bahamas and the Caribbean, but living in Hawaii I wanted something drastically different and so we chose a 7 night cruise to Alaska.  Quite a few of my friends had cruised before and gave me great information on where I could get started.  Here are a few tips that helped me.
1. Join a Disney Cruise Line Facebook group.  My friends added me to Disney Cruise Line Junkies and Disney Cruise Line – Alaska Q&A.  The information I received from reading comments were very helpful and if I had a question, for instance on traveling through time zones, I got an answer almost instantly.
2.  Use a travel agent.  Depending on how much your cruise fare is, some travel companies will offer you an onboard credit.  Take it!  You’ll pay the same amount whether you go through a travel agent or directly through Disney so this onboard credit is a bonus.  I contemplated going through Costco’s travel website since they offer Costco gift cards instead of an onboard credit, but I ultimately went with Dreams Unlimited Travel because I thought they would have better expertise in answering my many questions.  From where’s the best cabin to stay in to avoid motion sickness to airport transfers for luggage, Dreams Unlimited Travel answered all my questions quickly and competently.  I would definitely use them again. 
3.  Pay off your cruise fare with Disney Gift Cards.  You can expect to save 5% off Disney Gift Cards if you purchase them with a Target Red Card.  We also purchased Disney Gift Cards through Sam’s Club when our credit card company offered a bonus cash back on wholesale clubs.  We saved hundreds of dollars so the extra work was worth it, in my opinion.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that my family had the best time.  My husband, who before was adamantly against cruising, loved it and is looking forward to cruising again.  Our children both enjoyed the kids' clubs and asked to be taken there many times.  It was nice having no cellular service on the at sea days and reconnecting with the family.  We loved exploring the ports and adventuring on the excursions together because it was a new experience for all of us.  The service was outstanding.  The experience is truly magical and I'm happy that my family loved it as much as I did.  To me, that made it worth every penny.    
We opted for a verandah cabin.
      
You can watch movies right on the deck.

Seeing the glacier was incredible!

All of us loved this excursion at Musher Camp.

It was a rainy hike to the waterfall, but well worth it.

Not cookies, but enjoying beignets on our verandah. 

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