Are you going on your first cruise and wondering what to expect?
You're not alone—many of your fellow cruisers will also be on their first cruise. We remember our first cruise well—we had only "The Love Boat" reruns and stories from friends and family to rely upon. We fretted over getting seasick, which wasn't a problem at all. We worried there wouldn't be enough to do, but in fact there was too much—a cruise is quite overwhelming (especially for first-timers) and we wished we had more time. We were even concerned we'd feel like "poor relations" mingling with wealthier cruisers, but we fit right in.
Life aboard a Disney cruise ship is unlike most land-based vacations, unless perhaps you live the lifestyle of the rich and famous. Even if you're staying in budget lodgings, you'll receive the same level of luxurious, personal service as the deluxe guests. Your stateroom attendant will keep your room ship-shape (cleaning twice a day), see to your special needs, and turn down the bed every night (perhaps leaving a cute animal made from towels). You may form a personal relationship with your dining room team, who'll tend to you at every shipboard dinner (apart from Palo and Remy).
And you'll eat! Nearly all food and soft drinks onboard are included in your Disney cruise—meals, snacks, room service, more snacks—so order anything you want, even if it's "seconds" or two different entrees.
The ship hums with activity, from sunup to the wee hours. Parties, live shows, children's programs, recreational activities, first-run movies, seminars, and guest lectures ... nearly everything is included in the price of your cruise fare, as is the right to do "none of the above."
Some say that modern cruise ships are "floating hotels," but "traveling resort" is a better description. Each day brings new vistas and often a new port. No matter how distracted you may be by onboard activities, the subtle vibration and motion of the ship whispers that your luxurious little world is going somewhere. Unlike long road trips or jet flights, your life doesn’t go into an uncomfortable state of suspended animation while en route to your destination. Getting there can be far more than half the fun!
Our advice to first-time cruisers is twofold: Learn as much as you can about cruising, and then leave your expectations at home. Keep an open mind and be willing to try new things. You can rest assured that Disney has taken the needs of first-time cruisers into mind and considered your needs even before you realized you had them.