|Disney Cruise ship docked at Castaway Cay|If you want an incredible family vacation that everyone will be talking about for years to come, with the least amount of stress possible, then a Disney Cruise is definitely for you!! My family and I just went on an Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Disney Fantasy along with four other families (a total of 26 people!) and Disney Cruise Line could not have made it any easier for us to coordinate our plans.
Here are my top 10 ways Disney Cruise Line accommodates for large groups:
1. They Link Your Reservations:The very first step your Kingdom Konsultant travel agent will do for you is link all of the reservations together in the system. This basically lets Disney know that you are all traveling together, and they will accommodate your entire group at the same time. This makes coordinating things so much easier!
2. The Navigator App: Make sure to download the Disney Cruise Navigator App on your smart phone before you leave for your cruise. Not only is the Navigator App important because it lists all of the activities that are going on for the day (along with the weather and other important information for the cruise!) but everyone can communicate for free through the messenger portion of this app. This is a great way to communicate and find each other when you're on the ship. We were always using it to find out where everyone was eating, sitting at the pool, etc. This is an invaluable resource when your phones are limited to "airplane mode," and much simpler than send 90's-style text messages through your cabin's wave phone.
3. Wave Phones: Each stateroom gets two "wave phones." Wave phones are basically cell phones provided to you which can be used on the cruise ship and Castaway Cay. They're great because then you can call (or text the old fashioned way) other people in your party to see where they are. More importantly, if any of the Youth Clubs needs to get a hold of you this is how they will communicate.
4. Rotational Dining: You don't have to worry about making dining reservations for your large group every night and wonder if you will get seated together. Since your reservations were linked before the cruise, you will have dinner together for the entire cruise! Rotational dining is great because you switch restaurants every night, so it's a different experience each meal.
5. Group Dining: On my last cruise, because we were such a large group, we had three tables assigned to us. We ended up seating the children together at the largest table and then the rest of the couples alternated between the two smaller tables. This was perfect for our group. We are still not sure who had the better time...the children who felt independent, or the adults who enjoyed some grown-up conversation! 6. Wait Staff: Your head dining server and assistant dining server will rotate with you each night to your new dining location. They will get to know what your family needs, and want, while you dine.
|Adults only dining at Palo|
7. Adults Only Dining: Disney has some of the BEST restaurants on their ships. We always eat at Palo. When we made a group reservation we were given the private room! Not only was the food superb (like mouth watering, write home to tell everyone you know good!) but the private room was beyond beautiful with attention to the smallest details. This is a must-do for all of my cruises but especially for a group cruise!
8. Late Dining: Most people prefer the earlier dining option but I always prefer the late dining with a large group. When you have the later seating you will be able to see the early show. The early show is usually much less crowded and easier to get seats together as a group! PLUS, with late dining the Oceaneer Club counsellors come in at 9:00 p.m. to take any children (ages 3 and up) to the Oceaneer Club. This gives the adults the chance to enjoy the rest of their dinner in peace and they can even go straight to an after dinner activity! We took advantage of this a lot. Our kids could not wait to go to the Oceaneer Club for "Kids Night" (that's what they called it!) and then the adults finished their dinners and wine before going to the adults-only section of the ship for the evening! It was a win-win for everyone!!
|Andy's Room - Oceaneer Club|
9. The more, the merrier!
You will always have friends all over the ship--your kids will know others in the youth clubs, pools, at different activities such as miniature golf, Pirate Night, bingo, etc. Let's face it - waiting in line whether to meet a character, or ride the water slide, is much more fun when you're waiting with family or friends!!
|Our group aboard the Fantasy|
10. Disney exceeds cruise standards: With or without a group, Disney Cruise Line makes everything magical! Traveling with your extended family or friends certainly makes it extra special though. Going on a Disney cruise is one of the easiest and most memorable vacations you'll ever take with a group! -Agent Stacy DeYong
Ready to plan your next Disney Cruise? Contact us today at [email protected] for a free quote! You can email Stacy if you have any questions about cruising with large groups.