Sunday, February 25, 2018

Disney Cruise Line ~ Have a Drink!

Although rightly dubbed the most family friendly cruise line, Disney is a great choice for adults as well. One of the things adults might enjoy now and again, is a beverage with a slosh...or two...of alcohol included. Disney has you covered. I won't list prices here, as that changes, but the general offerings remain the same. You aren't held back by the drink menu, order anything you like.
I'll start out with my best tip. The Disney Cruise Line glass. Purchase this glass with the Drink of the Day included, KEEP IT, and then use it for the rest of the cruise for a nice discount. You may use the glass for Drinks of the Day, (listed in your Navigator) and although you pay the same price, you get more of the drink as the glass is bigger than the standard pour. This trick works a couple of other ways as well. Want a beer in a can or aluminum bottle? Get the aluminum bottle as it's the same price, but has more ounces. Like draft beer? Purchase the Beer Mug Package. You get a nice mug and they'll fill it with 21 ounces for the price of 12. The mug is yours to keep, but if you don't want to drag it around, you can get a token to trade in each time, then just keep the mug with your final drink.
Disney allows you to bring on a certain amount of beer and wine, that you're free to enjoy in your stateroom. You may board the ship with 2 bottles of unopened wine or champagne (normal size, don't go crazy) or a 6 pack of beer (12 ounces), to be brought on board in your carry on bag. You may also bring the same quantities on at each port. Staterooms have small refrigerators, so keeping things cold is not an issue, and if you would like some ice, your room steward will bring you some.

For such a family friendly atmosphere, there are a lot of places to buy alcohol. There are bars on the pool deck in both the family and adult sections. Bars by the main show theater, and bars in the lounge areas. You can also order a drink at meals. Another tip! Gratuities are added with each drink purchase automatically. Pay attention when you sign the slip authorizing the drink's there, but there is also a line to add a gratuity. If you'd like to add an additional gratuity that's great, but be aware that you are double tipping.
Occasionally there may also be drink specials, so be sure and ask your friendly bartender. Also, keep an eye out in the evenings for a portable cart that may have mulled wine and/or sangria or other choices. Delicious. There's an opportunity to get free drinks. The Captain's night not only allows you to meet the crew, but get a free drink or two if you can catch a wandering server with his tray full. Missing the theme parks? Have a delicious Dole Whip.
Although Disney does not offer a traditional drink package like other lines, they do offer some packages that include a certain number of Champagnes, wines, and beers.
I've saved the best for last! There are so many tastings and classes available, it's hard to pick. These all have pretty nominal charges for the amount of alcohol you get so are a great bargain. Tastings range from beers and wines to martini, cognac, chocolate and liquor, and many more. My favorite is a Mixology class. Here you are taught to prepare and then enjoy, up to 5 drinks. It was during a mixology class that I found my new favorite thing... a chocolate martini.
So relax, and have a drink or two! You're on vacation and not driving, the children are safely having a blast and it's time for a little you time.







Sunday, February 4, 2018

What to Expect on a Disney Merrytime Cruise

This can be summed up in three words..Festive ~ Festive~ Festive!

If you love Disney (like I do) and you love Christmas (like I do), then a Disney Merrytime cruise may be for you.
These cruises take place right after the Halloween on the High Seas cruises end, so shortly after Halloween. The pictures in this article came from a November 10th cruise, so not everything was in place when we boarded. It was fun to watch the life sized gingerbread house be constructed. I can tell you it smells wonderful.
As soon as you enter you notice the beautifully decorated atrium. Poinsettias, garlands and bows are on display, as well as the 'you can't miss it' giant tree.
The atrium is not the only area of the ship with the Christmas spirit...little touches abound everywhere you look.
The Merrytime becomes Merry starting with Mickey's Tree Lighting Magic on the first night, and continues throughout the cruise with a Winter Wonderland Ball,  Deck the Deck Party, Storytime with Mrs. Claus, a Visit with Santa and a special Til We Meet Again the last night.
There are plenty of opportunities for holiday themed photos and the characters show off their Christmassy outfits.
The fun doesn't end there. Holiday crafts are abundant for family fun and in the kid's and clubs.
The highlight of the cruise is the opportunity to make your own gingerbread house! (one per stateroom). This event doesn't cost extra, but does require a ticket. As expected, this is a very popular event and tickets are limited, so immediately after you enter the ship head to the Port Adventures desk to get your ticket (be sure and check the Navigator you receive before you board to make sure this is the area to get the tickets). Try and sign up for the earliest  available day for this activity. You are NOT allowed to take the gingerbread house off the ship, so give yourself as much time as possible to eat it! No matter your artistic ability, yumminess is guaranteed.

All regular Disney Cruise activities still take place, such as the dining rooms shows, Pirates Party, Broadway style shows and first run movies. If your schedule allows, try one of these sailings, but if not, every single Disney cruise will be certain to please.