Post by: Nathaniel C. Nelson
Some of my earliest memories are those of the times my family and I were visiting Walt Disney World. In fact, these early memories are also some of my favorite ones, as I have always been one who believes in the magic of Disney and all that it represents. Even as a young child I recognized that Disney had this uncanny ability to bring my family together; it was always assured that everyone would enjoy their time while on a Disney vacation. So, at an early age I realized that I needed to fulfill two dreams of mine when I had my own family. First, I needed to take my future love (i.e., the “one”) to dinner at the Mexican pavilion in EPCOT. And second, I needed to take my family to Disney… many times.
I was blessed enough to satisfy my first dream while on my honeymoon. And, following the birth of a daughter last November, I made haste to plan her first trip to Walt Disney World. My wife convinced me to wait until our daughter was a year old but that didn’t stop me from planning. So, I began researching and studying all the tips for traveling to Disney World with a baby. However, as I read and as we talked, we realized that we were faced with the vision of what we wanted to do at Walt Disney World (based on our experiences going as a couple) and what we could realistically do as parents with a one year old. And, we thought, if we take our daughter to Disney World, we want her to be able to appreciate it as well! So we decided to postpone our daughter’s first trip to Disney World and began thinking of alternative family friendly vacations. We thought that a cruise might be a good choice for baby-friendly fun for the whole family. All our research pointed to Disney Cruise Line – a magical solution for not going to Disney World at this time but still giving our daughter the Disney experience!
All that Disney Cruise Line has to offer for our daughter, my wife and I as a couple, and our family as a whole, pleasantly surprised us. From the Disney-character inspired diaper-friendly infant splash-area and character meet-and-greets to the opportunity of a romantic dinner at Disney Cruise’s unique adult-only restaurants (Palo and Remy), there seems to be plenty to satisfy our itch to introduce our daughter to Disney, while still enjoying time for ourselves as a couple. The idea of everything being self-contained on a ship is actually calming to us. Though it would be worth the hassle, the thought of lugging an infant with her stroller and bags upon bags of baby things around between monorails and Disney World parks seems quite tiring to us new parents. Further, we are more comfortable taking advantage of the Disney Cruise Line babysitting service knowing that our cherub won’t be too far away. In fact, paying for a babysitter on the Disney cruise is much cheaper than it costs at home!
Our decision was finalized when we learned three final things. First, Disney has the largest staterooms in the business (25% larger than the industry standard) – so we’d have plenty of room for her to play and sleep, use the bath tub (another unique feature), and do whatever else it is babies do in a stateroom. Second, we could pay for our cruise using our Disney dollars that we earned through our Disney Visa card. Third, what other cruise line has a pirate party and lets you visit a private island?
So, in short, I’m really excited about our upcoming trip, which will be the 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Disney Fantasy. I get to create new Disney memories with my daughter and her mom while we visit a new Disney venue for all of us! The Disney Cruise Line appears to be a combination of all the things that makes Disney completely family friendly for children of all ages. It’s another wonderful destination in the Disney family where, as Walt Disney strove for, parents can go with their kids and enjoy quality time, together.
Plus, getting new Disney cruise clothes is half the fun!