I promise we’ll get to the pictures, but first, a little background story.
My family has always been big Disney fanatics. We’ve been going to Disney World since before I can remember. Tricking my scaredy-cat cousin onto the Tower of Terror, grim grinning ghosts in the Haunted Mansion and screaming with delight on Space Mountain are all memories of the wonderful times on our Disney vacations.
To afford these amazing times at Disney, we did Disney on the cheap. Which for me meant eating peanut butter crackers while other kids had ice cream cones and watching other children’s balloons and twirly-thingys with little kid envy. However, it never bothered me that much, because I felt so lucky to even be at Disney World, when so many of my friends had never even been before.
One fateful day we got a Disney Cruise Line VHS TAPE (so retro) in the mail and I was hypnotized. The Disney Cruise looked like living inside the Disney parks… for a week! I watched it over and over, begging my mom to take me.
It was just the two of us at that time. Us against the world. Little kid me figured if she could afford to take me to Disney World, she could definitely take me on the Disney Cruise… It was not the case.
See, we weren’t the most well off family. She did her best on a non-profit salary to give me everything I needed and, to her credit, I didn’t really realize we didn’t have a lot of money until I was older. She always made me feel like I had everything I wanted. All the Disney VHS tapes and Barbies I could handle. I couldn’t understand why we weren’t going on the cruise with it’s character meals and private island and private kids deck. But, my mom promised that she would take me when she had the money. Fifteen or so years later, she made good on her promise and I finally got to experience the magic of the Disney Wonder.
When she told me that she was selling my childhood home and wanted to use some of the profits to go on the cruise she had promised me so long ago, I honestly didn’t know what to say. Then she told me we were taking my sister Maddie, too, and it just kept getting better.
I’m sure my mom made a lot of promises to me as a kid. Ones that I don’t even remember. Thank you, mom, for keeping this one. You’ve made a little girl’s Disney wishes come true. I am so glad we got to go on this adventure together.
Anyway, I promised to get to the photos and now here they are!
Our ship at port in Cape Canaveral. From the top deck, we could see NASA. Pretty cool.
We got to meet Ariel right outside her father’s restaurant, Triton’s, home of the best Souffle ever.
Isn’t Madelyn so beautiful?!?!
And my mom, too! Straight up gorgeous!
And that sunset over the ocean… sigh.
My favorite restaurant was the Animator’s Palette. It was there that Maddie, a burgeoning baker and pastry lover, met the executive pastry chef of the whole ship! He was so kind and even took us on a behind the scenes tour of the kitchens. On our last night he made us this gorgeous (and delicious) dessert. Thank you, Ibrahim!
But one of my absolute favorite parts of the trip was visiting Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay. I have never been to a more serene and tropical place. I felt as if I were in a dream or a movie or a movie about a dream. The water was so blue and the weather was perfect. I could’ve stayed there forever, but only if Alec had flown out to meet me there.
So to sum up my favorite parts of the trip, here’s a list:
- THE FOOD. I have never eaten so much good food in my life and every restaurant had multiple vegetarian options. I think we ordered every dessert they had.
- The shows. Photos of the shows weren’t allowed, but they were amazing. The sets, the singing and the spectacle of it all. Very cool.
- The adults only section. In a place that’s really geared for kids, it was heavenly to have a pool with no splashing for maximum relaxing. The quiet cove had a chill atmosphere and was perfect for just chatting and enjoying the sun and sea breeze.
- Castaway Cay. Obvs. Best beach I have ever been to, hands down. We also spent all of our time at the adults-only beach, Serenity Cove. I didn’t want to leave.
That’s all I have for now. Hope you enjoyed this little slice of magic. 🙂
See ya next time!