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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Are You Worthy of a Disney Cruise?

Are you worthy of a Disney Cruise?  The short answer is “yes.”

This topic has been percolating in my head for a few days.  Maybe it was my sick day when I was home in bed and watched the Oprah Lifeclass shows I had DVR’d.  Maybe it was hearing about others’ Disney cruising experiences or reading trip reports.  Or, maybe it was thinking ahead to our next Disney cruise.

Are you worthy of a Disney Cruise?  Definitely.

Do you feel worthy?  That is another question entirely.

Being pampered and served on board a luxurious vessel equipped to provide you food, fun, and entertainment literally around the clock requires that you are able to accept that service.  The Cast Members on board see serving you as their number one mission; their reason for being a Cast Member on a Disney Cruise ship.  Guests who are unable or unwilling to receive their service either won’t enjoy their trip, will make Cast Members uncomfortable or frustrated, or both.

I’m not talking about going overboard (pun intended) with requests or special service, just the everyday assistance of a stateroom host/hostess visiting your stateroom at least twice daily to tidy up, refresh your towels, make and turn down your bed, and restock your toiletry supply.  Or your dining room servers who quickly learn your drink and dining preferences so that they can anticipate your needs.  Or the shop clerk who answers your questions about products and purchasing.  Or the entertainment staff member who helps you navigate the line or schedule to meet characters.  Or, the guest services attendant who helps you settle your account or answers your questions with a smile even if it is the 100th time they have answered that same question that day.  I could go on and on. . .

Trust me, we’ve seen and heard the overboard requests and they aren’t pretty.  We’ve witnessed a mom telling her child in a shop on board a Disney ship something like this, “see, sometimes it pays not to be nice.”  We later saw that same parent arguing with a lifeguard supervising the Mickey pool about her child’s diaper.  She then whipped the diaper off, threw it, and put her child back in the Mickey pool.  We’ve see a dad arguing with a ship’s officer because his child wasn’t tall enough to go on the Aqua Duck and of course, the dad had promised his child that he would be able to ride—no matter safety issues and rules.  I was glad to see the officer didn’t back down.  I’m wondering if these people felt worthy of their Disney cruise.

There can be lots of feelings attached to a Disney cruise, and after 4 cruises, we’ve probably run the gamete.  I can remember trying to get to our first Disney Cruise.  We flew the day before, but had flights with minimal time in between and went rushing from one gate to another at an airport.  We then arrived to a packed Hyatt at Orlando International—due to a snowstorm on the East Coast that had flight passengers stranded.  We got up the next morning and eventually made it to Port Canaveral using Disney transports, but by the time we got on board, the husband needed a time out!  Not literally, figuratively.  We had anticipated getting into our stateroom right away—now we know better!  And, plan better!  The whole process of getting to your ship and in a timely smooth manner can be overwhelming!

Disney Cruise Line does its best to help guests with that overwhelmed feeling by streamlining the check-in process, limiting choices when guests first come on board, etc.  Yet, nevertheless, those feelings can take over, almost hijack you, for lack of a better word, and require some time to pull yourself together.  Even on our last cruise, the husband went to a “shopping in Nassau” session by himself after we got on board.  He needed some time away from us (yes, that happens) and it gave the boy and I time to explore the ship—and eat ice cream! 

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it is difficult to feel worthy of the experience.

Keeping a family on track at home, is difficult—with varying schedules, priorities, etc.  Routines take over some of the decision making and smoothes out differences in expectations.  All bets are off when that same family goes on vacation.  There are no routines to fall back on, rely on, or predict what will happen.  It is all about making decisions.  Decisions that not everyone may want, enjoy, or agree with.  This is where some Disney Cruise planning comes into play and helps build positive anticipation for an upcoming trip.  Many of our conversations center around what people want to do (click here to read about one of our top 10 lists).  Then, it is usually my job, to put those priorities into our vacation.  Luckily, and thankfully, many are the same—characters, dining, and port adventures combined with relaxation.  The photo taking priority is mine and the husband the boy go along, as they know they are going to get to do what they want—like pin trading, or going to the kids’ club. 

Making all of those decisions while on vacation can be taxing and sometimes, downright exhausting.  There are times when I tell the husband that I’m done deciding;  done leading.  We know then it is time to take a break or “another goose needs to fly to the front of the V” to lead the flock so to speak.  And, this is after many Disney trips!

That’s why we try to make as many decisions ahead of time as we can.  We then adjust as needed.  No need to feel like air traffic controllers—who make tons of decisions—while we are on vacation.  Again, this can lead to not feeling worthy of your Disney cruise.

So, are you worthy of a Disney Cruise?  You bet!

Do you feel worthy of a Disney Cruise?  Of course!  You are willing to accept and appreciate the service on board the beautiful ship and shake off any uneasiness or anxiety getting to the ship brought on.  You have planned, made decisions, and compromised with your family prior to arrival so that everyone has a clear picture or vision of your Disney Cruise Line vacation.  And, yet, you are willing to accept any magical surprises that may appear and adjust your plans.  You’re going to be in the moment and enjoy rather than keep your mind racing to the next event or portion of your vacation.  I can put myself at Castaway Cay right now, relaxing on a float at Pelican Point while the husband pushed and pulled me through the water.  Ah, I can feel the sun, the breeze, the water . . .  Okay, I’m back.  That’s my point.  Allow yourself to be totally immersed in those moments!

Are you ready to enjoy your Disney Cruise?  I am!

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