Thursday, February 13, 2014

Castaway Club comes home!

Some exciting changes are on the horizon for Disney Cruise Line's Castaway Club!

Currently, as soon as you disembark your very first Disney Cruise Line Vacation, you become a Member of the Castaway Club.

Typically you get a welcome letter, with your official Castaway Club Member cards!
Yes, that's you are an official "card carrying" member:)

But, what does this mean?

It means that every time in the future, when you embark on a Disney Cruise Line Vacation, you will have just a few "perks" on that sailing.

They vary from time to time, and they vary according to your "level" of Castaway Club membership.
(in other words, the more you cruise, the more your perks might be!)

So, now, as it stands you receive your Castaway Club member gifts in your stateroom, on each sailing.

But...after that first cruise....really, just nothing :(

So, in an effort to bring a little bit of the "Disney Magic" home with you, now you will receive a "welcome home" gift as a part of your Castaway Club welcome!

Disney Cruise Line has commissioned a few artists to help bring their vision to your mailbox. The artists, inspired by the four Disney ships, have created an exclusive set of 5 Castaway Club art cards to be a part of this series.

In addition to the artist's prints, there is also a new car magnet on the horizon.

The new Castaway Club members will receive the artist card.

And when a current Castaway Club member graduates from their current status to a new level (ex: silver to gold or gold to platinum) they will receive the car magnet in their mailbox! Just a little something fun to sport around town!

You know...brag to your friends, and all :)

Ok, more details to follow, but this was just too fun not to post!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Disney Cruise Line - must do vacation!

It's just no secret that I am a lover of all Disney Vacations.

However, it's very clear when someone says "so what about a Disney Cruise?!" and my eyes just light up.

Don't get me wrong, I love being in the parks, and everything that goes along with that, but I think as my kids have gotten older and life is just "busier" and we are all very much a slave our electronic leash (you know, the phone or the upgrade we just HAVE to have!!!)

Anyways, as life has progressed, I think I love to partner a Disney Vacation, with a complete disconnect from the rest of the world.

We have great dinners together, we play together, we focus on each other, and yes...we even take a nap or two!

So, then, when I finish convincing you that you MUST try a Disney Cruise Line Vacation, then come all of the "must-do" items.

So, I thought I would list a few here:

But, of course, I must say....don't book a Disney Cruise on your own! Use an Authorized Disney Travel Planner. The tips and resources they can offer are priceless! Oh, and I just happen to know an amazing Authorized Disney Travel Planner!!! :)

Things you MUST know before going on a Disney Cruise:

1. The staterooms are "small". They are much larger than other cruise lines, because they are made for families, but even still. They are small. Pack tight!

2. Be sure when you book your cruise, you go ahead and login to your Planning Center online.
Don't procrastinate on this one.
You want to go ahead and reserve your Port Adventures.
Register your children for the Oceaneer Lab or Oceaneer Club (even if you think they will never go in there! This will save lots of time on the ship, if you have done all of this in advance!)

3. Plan to dress up for Pirate Night!! Even if you only wear Pirate Patches and a fun pirate tshirt! Play along! There aren't many opportunities that you have to look crazy as a family, and it's totally acceptable (and you'll be glad you did!)

4. Bring a cup. Preferably a travel-style cup with a lid.
Coca-Cola products, coffee, hot cocoa are available on the pool deck with unlimited refills, however, the cups that are provided aren't great for the journey back to the room, or for sitting in your beach chair!

5, Room Service is free!
Yes, that's right. It is included in the price of your cruise.
It's great for breakfast on your Castaway Cay morning, so you can get off of the ship early.
Or it's great late at night, for a late Giant Cookie or Mickey Ice Cream Bar!!
You will want to bring a few dollar bills with you, to tip your Room Service Host.
(Coca-Cola products, and bottled water are not complimentary with room service)

6. Disney Movies!
This is a great time to catch up on a movie that you haven't had time to see just yet! There are always the most recent first-run Disney movies playing in the Buena Vista theater.

And then tons of other classic favorites playing on the pool deck, Funnel Vision!

7.  Bring sunscreen.
Yes, I know. You have a bottle in the beach bag.
But, please, bring 2 more! atleast!
That Caribbean sun is H.O.T!!
 (you can thank me later when you aren't paying $12 per bottle)

8. Pre-pay your gratuities!
This will save lots of hassle while you are on board.
If you do this before you leave home, then you've already budgeted it in, and one less expense you have to pay onboard.

**Also, you are going to LOVE your servers, so you might want to play to bring extra $$ for them**
We always feel like they are our family by the time disembark.

9. While in port:
If you have already been to Nassau, or if you are only on a 3 night cruise, you might not want to get off of the ship!
This is a great time to stay on board, and enjoy a very empty ship!
Watch a movie, go to the Fitness Center or play Croquet with Alice in the Atrium!

10. Highlighters.
We have found that highlighters are a prized possession for us while on board.
We keep a Personal Navigator in the stateroom and we each have our own color.

Then we highlight what we hope to not miss, and this helps us keep track of the day, and each other!!