What’s it like to cruise while the world is still dealing with a pandemic? We just returned from a 3 night cruise to the Bahamas with Disney Cruise Line and it was everything we expected and more! You are probably wondering why two adults cruise with Disney. Because of the impeccable service, cleanliness and entertainment. Today we will detail all the extra precautions Disney Cruise Line has implemented to keep their guests (and crew) safe. Do you need to be vaccinated? Do you need to have a Covid-19 test? Was the boat full? We’re answering all of your questions in today’s post.
When Pete and I went on Disney WONDER in the summer of 2019 to Alaska, I told you about the top 10 reasons to book a Disney Cruise. Let me tell you, all of these reasons still apply as to why you should book a Disney cruise now! The food, the staff, the accommodations, etc were all on par with my previous cruise. The only difference was the length and destination. For this trip on the Disney DREAM, we set sail to the Bahamas. With travel and airfare being a bit more uncertain right now, we decided to head to Orlando one day early. This gave us a chance to unwind and stay on a Disney property – Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Even if you don’t head to any of the Walt Disney World parks like we did in our trip in February 2020, you can still enjoy everything at the hotel or head over to Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) for shopping and dining. That’s where you can find great Disney merchandise or shop it online HERE before your trip. That’s where all of my Mickey ear headbands come from. 🙂
On Friday morning we hopped on board the Disney Magical Express bus and were whisked away to Port Canaveral. This is a short 45 minute ride from WDW. They took our luggage at the bus and the next time we saw our luggage was inside of our stateroom. It was so easy! Be sure to have a bag of anything you need immediately with you (swimsuit, change of clothes, toiletries…).
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: As of the time of this wiring, the new Covid-19 protocol is as follows. Pete and I had to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and had loaded our vaccination cards BEFORE arrival. If you are a guest not eligible for vaccine (children), you must have a Covid-19 test in order to cruise. As of January 13, 2022, all children ages 5 and up must be fully vaccinated. In addition to being fully vaccinated, you have to have a Covid-19 PCR test done onsite. They way they implement this is that as soon as you get off the Disney Magical Express bus, you are escorted into the testing tents. There you will take a Covid-19 PCR test and then wait in a separate tent for your test results. The entire process took about 45 minutes and it was super organized. Once you receive your e-mail that your test is clear, you will proceed to the boat terminal.You can get updates to these mandates by clicking HERE. NOTE: Pete and I felt 100% safe on this cruise and Disney Cruise Line did an excellent job of communicating and managing the expectations. Click HERE to see some of this in action in my Instagram story highlights.
As compared to other Disney cruises that we have taken, this ship was operating at a reduced capacity. I believe they are doing this intentionally to help with social distancing and to keep everyone safe. All Disney crew wear their face masks the entire time. Guests are required to wear a face mask indoors. You may take them off when seated to eat/drink, in all outdoor spaces and of course in your own stateroom. For more onboard safety measures, click HERE. One of the things we noticed that they are doing to spread people out is that you will always have your own table at any restaurant. They don’t group people together.
When you are on a cruise ship, you will quickly find your rhythm. You can completely relax, unplug and do nothing or you can join all the activities and be busy the entire time you are on board. Let’s say this – you will never go hungry. We rotated restaurants each night to enjoy Animator’s Palate, Enchanted Garden and Royal Palace. The fun thing is that your wait staff travel with you. So they really get to know you and implement your requests quickly. During the day, you can eat at Cabana’s anytime you want. For an additional charge, adults can delight in two fine dining restaurants – Remy and Palo. We had brunch at Palo and it was delicious! Did you know that you can order room service 24/7 on a Disney cruise ship? In fact, they will bring you a Mickey ice cream bar anytime you want it. We ordered our coffee and light breakfast through room service each morning and enjoyed it on our verandah. We loved having a Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah. I highly recommend booking this class of cabin because you can open your verandah door and enjoy fresh air anytime you want. It’s also a great place to sit and enjoy your morning coffee in one of the plush robes they provide.
The ports of call for this three night cruise are Nassau, Bahamas and Disney’s private island Castaway Cay. We popped off the ship for a little bit to shop in Nassau (hello Gucci store!) but opted not to do any excursions, however there are endless activities available. What we really enjoyed was our full day at Castaway Cay. The beach is beautiful with gorgeous blue water! There is an adult only beach (Serenity Bay Beach) so we headed that way on rented bikes. You can actually run a 5K when you dock on the island. Castaway Cay offers many activities and excursions as well. There are a few bars and a grill or two for lunch.
Let’s talk entertainment. Did you know that this Disney Cruise has fireworks? YES! It was fun to head to one of the top decks and look up into the night sky and watch the fireworks show. And of course there is an amazing stage show in the Walt Disney Theater. The Beauty and the Beast show is a broadway level production that has won awards! It’s so good. They way it works is if you are the 8:15 PM dinner seating, you go to the 6:00 PM stage show. Currently, they are implementing social distancing as an extra precaution by seating guests every other row and several seats apart.
Other perks include endless self serve ice cream cones, nightclubs and lounges, adult only deck spaces, spa and fitness and more. Of course there is tons to do for kids of all ages. In fact, I think this is a marvelous adventure for a multi-generational family vacation. Kids, grandkids, parents, grandparents – you get the picture. Oh, did I mention that Disney Princesses and other characters are on board? It’s the best way to take pictures with them because you are inside and it’s highly organized. In case you are wondering what is included on a Disney Cruise, click HERE for details.
1. The ship, the hospitality and it’s… Disney
2. The food, drinks and fun
3. Ports of call and excursions
4. Disney character sightings
5. Things to do at all ages!
Travel Tips for cruising with Disney Cruise Line:
- As of the time of this writing, you must be fully vaccinated to cruise with Disney. Click HERE for the most updated information.
- In addition to being fully vaccinated, you will be required to take a Covid-19 PCR test onsite before boarding the ship.
- Face masks are required to be work in all inside areas of the Disney cruise ship. You may take them off outside and in your own stateroom.
- Book your vacation and immediately start making your plans. Fun for the entire family or just adults!
- The cabanas on Castaway Cay book quickly. Once you know your cruise dates, lock in your excursions.
- We liked the second dinner seating on the cruise, which is 8:15 PM. This meant the theater show was at 6:00 PM. If you have young children, you might want the early dinner seating.
- We always take an early, non-stop flight from Dallas to Orlando with Southwest Airlines. It’s the easiest way to get there from Dallas in my opinion.
- Pack casual clothes, comfortable shoes, sunscreen and swimsuits. A Disney Cruise is a casual experience!
- If you book reservations at Remy or Palo, men will need to wear long pants. I wore a dress. You can dress this up as much as you want to.
- Photographers are everywhere and you can get great shots from your trip. Be sure to visit their kiosk before you disembark.
We absolutely LOVED this trip and itinerary! Click HERE to book or call (800) 951-3532. The Disney Cruise Line fleet includes 4 ships – Wonder, Magic, Dream and Fantasy. In 2022, Disney Cruise Line will take delivery of their newest ship – Wish. There are numerous itineraries and destinations with all of their Disney ships. As you can see, the possibilities are endless!
I’m sure I left out some things so if you have any questions, please leave a comment below. We’ll be happy to answer them. Enjoy the magic! xoxo – Tanya & Pete
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Thank you to Disney Cruise Line for hosting us on this trip. All opinions are our own.Tags: Disney, Disney cruise, packing list, travel essentials, Walt Disney World