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Bethany’s first Disney cruise – PREP 413

Bethany’s first Disney cruise – PREP 413

Bethany, her husband, and their four kids ranging in age from 14 to 2, joined her brother-in-law’s family for a 4-night cruise on the Disney Wish. She shares what she learned as a first time cruiser and what she will do differently on her next cruise.

Post trip begins: 17 minutes

The Basics

Bethany and her family took their first Disney Cruise with extended family. Bethany’s immediate family is her husband, and their four children ages 14, 12, 9, and 2.

They have two connecting rooms for her immediate family. Her in-laws are in one room one floor below. They are on the 7th floor and the in-laws are on the 6th floor.

They started the trip on May 26th spent time with friends in Melbourne. They rented a car so that they could there. After their cruise, they spent a few days in Legoland.

Arrival (May 26)

They had a very early flight and were up early. Everyone was so excited! Their flight was smooth and uneventful.

They landed at MCO and went to pick up their minivan. However, when they arrived, they were out of minivans. They were put in a very nice Expedition Max and it was great! 

They drove straight from the airport to visit friends in Melbourne. It was about an hour drive. They stopped to pick up a few things on their way and had a wonderful time. 

They stayed the night in a hotel in Melbourne. 

Embarkation (May 27)

They woke up and got breakfast at the hotel. They walked over to Bass Pro near their hotel and spent some time there.

They left their hotel around 10:30 a.m. to drive to the port. At 11 a.m. Bethany got a text from her sister in law that they were letting everyone on the ship.

They arrived at 11:30 a.m. and had a very smooth time getting on the ship. Bethany was expecting it to be more difficult than it was. 

After parking their rental car, they got in line. It seemed very long but it went so quickly. Their port arrival time was 12:45 p.m. but they were in line by 11:45 a.m.

When they arrived, they went up the escalator and her 9 year old really wanted to see the model of the ship. Bethany told him they would see it later but they went off the ship a different way so he wasn’t able to see it.

After taking some photos, they went to get on the ship. It was really fun getting on the ship. They were overwhelmed by the beauty of the ship. They were also able to see Cinderella right away. 

They went to have lunch and went immediately to Arendelle. There was a 5-10 minute wait, which was fine with them. They didn’t wait long and it was well worth the wait.

The rest of their family was also eating there but in a different section. They were seated near the front of the ship and loved the view. Everyone loved the food and they had a longer lunch to enjoy themselves. 

After lunch they went to their room and loved it. Then it was time for their muster drill. There was some miscommunication because they were not checked in and were called out as not being there. 

From the muster drill, they went one deck above the pool for the sail away party. It was just a magical experience. After that they went to the show and everyone really liked that.

They had the later dining so the early show was at 6:30 p.m. Their dinner that night was at Arendelle. It was a great way to begin the cruise. They were seated on the inner circle but close to the walkway. 

They were all seated together with their extended family at one long table. Bethany had a tart as an appetizer. She notes that anything served in a tart was absolutely delicious. 

They visited the kid’s club and let the kids hang out there for a little bit before going back to the room and going to bed. 

Bethany and her family really loved the room. They had two rooms connecting. Their room attendant opened up the balcony between their rooms. Bethany was initially concerned about the balcony with her littlest one. 

They always had the upper locks locked and once Bethany saw how the locks worked, she was okay with everything. The floorplan was perfect and having 4 sinks for them was perfect. There was plenty of storage space for everything. 

Nassau (May 28)

The kid’s club had an open house at 8 a.m. so Bethany took her youngest three kids to see them and how they worked. 

The nursery was opened into the Disney’s Oceaneer Club. Bethany went in there with him to check things out. They had some really neat things in there, but he just wanted to play with the toys. 

Her older kids really enjoyed it as well. They stayed there until 9 a.m. and then they went to breakfast at Marceline Market. It was chaotic. 

They really liked Marceline Market overall. They all found food that they liked and enjoyed the buffet a lot. 

They went immediately to the pool deck after breakfast. They did the Aqua Mouse and spent time in the pool. They took their 2 year old to the Toy Story area. He loved this area a lot. 

Bethany notes that the cruise ship didn’t seem less crowded even though they were at port. There were a few other ships at port. 

They went to 1923 for lunch. Bethany’s youngest took a nap in the afternoon and they spent some time exploring the ship. 

Their kids also spent some time in the kid’s clubs. Bethany says she felt comfortable letting their oldest have some freedom. He was able to text them if they needed anything. Her next oldest didn’t have a phone and Bethany wishes she’d have brought one for her. 

They all handled the freedom well and were able to take themselves to the kid’s club. They went to the Ariel show that night and everyone really loved it. They got their early in hopes to to get seats together, but never quite got there early enough.

They went to 1923 for dinner that evening. They had great servers that made good recommendations. They went to bed early to get ready for Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay (May 29)

Bethany and her family got up early to get breakfast before getting off the ship. They were at breakfast around 7:30 a.m. She’d hoped that they could see characters when they got off the ship, but they didn’t.

They were off the ship by 8:35 a.m. They took a photo and walked to the beach. They got to the second beach and it was still really full. 

They went back to the first family beach to be close to the play area for the kids. Bethany notes that she thought that the second family beach would be less crowded but that wasn’t the case. 

They ate lunch right at noon and it was very busy. The adults were able to take some time walking to the adults-only beach area. It was delightful and beautiful over there. 

Bethany’s husband and older kids did some snorkeling before their 2:30 p.m. Parasailing experience. Everyone loved snorkeling. Bethany stayed back with some of the younger kids and she was able to watch them. 

They had a perfect experience and the weather was ideal. They enjoyed their Castaway Cay experience so much and were some of the last people on the island.

They did shop a little bit on the island and found some unique souvenirs. They got back on the ship, got cleaned up, and did the pirate party. They stood on the main deck in front of the stage. 

They got there early and had a great spot for the party. After the pirate party, the 9 year old boys had Pirate makeovers. They had a really great experience and Bethany says it was well worth it. 

Then they had dinner that night at 1923. After dinner they went to the second pirate show and fireworks. Bethany’s youngest was so tired because he didn’t nap that he fell asleep on her husband’s shoulders during the fireworks show! 

At Sea Day (May 30)

Bethany woke up early and enjoyed some quiet. She enjoyed her hot coffee that she’d ordered the night before. She walked around the ship checking everything out without any people. 

After wandering around, she went to the gym for a while. She went back to the room around 7:40 a.m. and her 9 year old was ready to go to the kid’s club. It wasn’t open until 8 a.m. 

Bethany’s husband took him at 8 a.m. and they played in the kid’s club until breakfast. They spent some time at the pool and Bethany did the Aqua Mouse. They also took their 2 year old to meet Mickey.

It was a really precious interaction and there wasn’t a long wait at all. The bigger kids wanted to spend time at the kid’s club, so they did that. 

Bethany’s husband took their youngest to the pool and Bethany took their daughter to her Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique appointment at noon. She got a gift certificate for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for her birthday. 

Originally Bethany hoped to change this appointment to another day, but ended up keeping it. It was a wonderful experience with great cast member interaction. Bethany’s daughter chose to be Anna and it was magical. 

Bethany notes that her daughter is 12 years old and she is really glad that she was able to do it with her. Bethany loved it as much if not more than her daughter.

They got Marceline Market for lunch and Bethany’s 2 year old napped. Bethany went to the making of the Wish. She thought it was a tour of the ship, but it was watching videos of the making of the ship. 

While walking around the ship, they saw Donald and got in line to meet him. Bethany says this was a really great character interaction. 

They took photos and then went to Marvel for dinner. Bethany find this dining room a little sterile but the kids really loved the experience. 

They had a good character interaction with Spiderman, but Bethany says it was very quick. Bethany got the scallops with pasta and it was delicious. Everyone also loved the key lime cheesecake that night

They left dinner at 9:55 p.m. and the kids wanted to go to the kid’s club. While they went to the kid’s club, Bethany and her husband packed so that they could get their bags out by 10:20 p.m. 

Bethany says that their servers told them the disembarkation information but until that, she didn’t realize they needed to get their bags out by 10:30 p.m. This information was probably in the app, but she didn’t see it.

They did their tipping envelopes and added extra to their prepaid tips. They finished that up in the morning. Bethany went to get her kids from the kid’s club. She says it was very busy around the ship. 

They went to bed and woke up back at the port!

Disembark and Legoland (May 31-June 1)

They woke up and watched the loading and unloading of the ship. Bethany says her kids really loved watching this. 

They said goodbye to the rest of the family and waited for their group to be called to get off the ship. They were off the ship by 9:10 a.m. and collected their luggage. 

They found that the cruise felt short. They knew it would, but it took them about 24 hours to figure things out. Bethany says she wished it had been 6 or 7 nights. Everyone was so sad to leave. 

Bethany says they had the best experience and wonderful cast member interactions. They booked a placeholder for their next cruise. They had some discussion about potentially having rooms across the hall from each other as their kids will be older. 

They got to their car and made their way to Legoland. This was their second time going to Legoland. It was nice to be back! 

They enjoyed spending time together both days. They had closed two of the bigger rollercoasters, which was disappointing. She notes that her younger kids really enjoyed it. 

They hadn’t been to the water park before and they did that this time. They really enjoyed that, including the bigger water slides. 

Fly Home (June 2)

After a wonderful trip, they flew home back to Texas. 


  • Bethany ordered coffee each night to be delivered that night so she could have it ready to go in the morning. 

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