I love my family dearly but, even after 37 years, my mother is still in charge. She started a tradition a while ago, when any of the grand children in the family turn 5, it’s time for vacation. The tradition is to head to Disney, the first time we did Disney World was 7 years ago and this year my next nephew turned 5 this past September. So, it was time again for some “Forced Family Fun”, that is what we jokingly call it.
This year it was a 4-night Bahamian cruise on the Disney Dream. Now some of you might be cringing, I’m not going to lie I did at first when I heard of the plan, BUT the experience was full of all the magic of Disney that you would expect. Traveling with children can be challenging, so to make it easy we did transfers with Disney right from the Orlando airport. The best part of transfers with Disney was once we handed them our luggage we didn’t see it until it arrived at our cabin on the ship! It was a 40-minute bus ride to Port Canaveral and the magic started right as we got on the road.
On board the Disney Dream all passengers were kids at heart. Our family was welcomed aboard over the loud speaker to clapping crew members, greeted like royalty! Right when we got on we saw our first Disney princess, Cinderella. She was beautiful! One of the perks of doing a Disney cruise was having access to the characters on board. Sometimes we had to stand in a line to get our pictures taken however there were more times where they gave hugs or danced with kids instead of us waiting in line to see them. The kids absolutely loved the characters. Highlight of the trip was seeing their faces brighten as Mickey Mouse approached, simply adorable.
The pool area was amazing; there were 2 pools, a shallow one for smaller children and a regular one. From each pool you could watch the jumbotron that showed Disney movies during the day. Who doesn’t love a classic Disney movie?! Also, there are 2 different water slides; the kiddie one and the Aqua Duck, that goes down, up, and down each side of the ship and over the side of the ship. The slides were spectacular. Plus, there are multiple food options right by the pool and I’m not going to begin to guess how many ice cream cones I had! Yummy!
There was no shortage of things to do or explore. If you didn’t want to be in the pool you could learn how to draw characters, go to the movie theatre on the ship, visit the kids club, play basketball, mini golf, be a detective and solve the case of the missing artwork, go to the spa, or hang out in the adults only area. One evening there was even a Pirate Party on the top deck; characters and guests were decked out in their swash buckling gear, Captain Hook took over the boat, plenty of singing, dancing and hijinx on the high seas. There is truly something to do for everyone.
One of our favorite spots was Disney’s own island Castaway Caye. This was a great beach day for us! There were chairs and umbrellas all along the beach to use and Disney provided food and drinks while on the island for the day! This beach day was perfect for relaxing and having fun together. For the adventure seeker in our group, my older nephew got to go parasailing for the first time. We didn’t get to see that much of the island, there is a bike trail, a small water park and plenty of time to take pictures with characters by the beach. The Island itself was unique and the fact that Disney can add that to the resume of their ship is pretty impressive.
All in all, the Disney cruise was a fabulous experience. The kids had tons of things to do at all time – the adults did too! I would highly recommend this experience to all families and adults, young or old. The Disney experience is one you will never forget.
We preach it day in and day out. Book early and save tons of money, but did you know there’s more to booking early than just saving money? Yes, it is true, and we see it all the time. We like to call this Power of Choice, Power to get what you want before anyone else gets to it. Let me give you a few examples.
1. Flights: When you book early the odds may be in your favor and that aisle seat may be too. Nobody wants to be squished between a child and a shoeless Joe.
2. Hotel Rooms: Oh no! The Deluxe Superior Oceanview Junior Suite is sold out! Looks like we’ll have to book the Twin Bed Dumpster View. No! No! No! This is why we book early 😊
3. Hotel Bedding: For those of you who don’t know, some hotels may not let you know what bedding you have until you arrive. They do this because of availability issues. You don’t want to get stuck in two queen beds on your honeymoon.
4. Layaway: Here at JET Travel we give you the option to make payments, just like layaway. The earlier you book the more time you have for payments!
5. Excursions: You have picked out the dream destination, but all the tours are sold out and you must watch your little brother bury your dad in the sand! Don’t watch your little brother bury your dad in the sand. Book your tours in advance!
The list goes on and on, but we cannot stress enough how important it is to book earlier. Not only will you save some cash, but all in all your experience will be that much better. Bon Voyage!
A friend of mine said starting in January 2018, I’ll need a passport even to fly in the US!! Is this true?!
--- Pensive in Pennsylvania
Well, as of right now, your friend might be correct. Beginning on January 22, 2018, TSA will require passengers traveling within the US to have a REAL ID. The new regulation for such an ID was actually passed more than 10 years ago, but many states still haven’t made the switch. To see if your state has already made the switch to REAL IDs, go to this government website for details: www.dhs.gov/real-id#
For those who wish to fly within the US and live in a state that isn’t compliant with the REAL ID regulation, they will have to have a passport in order to board a plane, whether they are flying overseas or just from one state to another.
You can check with your local DOT to see what’s need to get your REAL ID, if your state is one that issues them. For Wisconsin residents, you can go here:
Miles B Jetting