Sarah A. sailed concierge on the Disney Wish with her husband, two children, parents, sister and brother-in-law to celebrate her parents’ 35th anniversary. Shannon chats with Sarah to learn more about their four-day sailing that included a cabana on Castaway Cay, Palo dinner and brunch, a martini tasting, and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
They also discuss the fun non-park activities Sarah and her family enjoyed at Disney World both before and after their time on the Wish. Sarah shares her strategies for taking young children to many fine dining restaurants and the surprise she and her sister arranged to thank their parents for their cruise.
Sarah, her husband, and their two children: 5 year old daughter and 3 year old son, took a multi-part trip to Florida that included a few days in Tampa, a few days on Disney property, and a 4 day Disney Cruise!
They met her sister, brother-in-law and parents at Walt Disney World after 2 days in Tampa on February 24. Sarah’s family and her sister’s family stayed at Caribbean Beach and their parents stayed at Yacht Club.
The Disney portion of their trip included some park days for Sarah’s sister, brother-in-law and parents but her family did not have park tickets. They had several magical extras including a fireworks cruise, various dining reservations, and even family photographs taken at the Yacht Club.
On February 27 the whole group boarded the Disney Wish for a 4 night cruise! They stayed in three rooms but all concierge level and had a few exciting reservations. After their cruise, Sarah and her family have one more night at Coronado Springs, a few dining reservations, and some Disney Springs time.
Tampa – (February 22-24)
Sarah and her family went to Tampa to visit her sister in law and meet her new baby.
Drive to Walt Disney World (February 24)
Sarah and her family drove from Tampa to Orlando and arrived at Caribbean Beach at 1:15 p.m. just as she got an alert that their room was ready. They were in the Jamaica section and were very happy with the location.
While they were on their way they mobile ordered at Old Port Royale to pick up quick service for lunch. They ate outside by the water, which was lovely.
After lunch, Sarah walked with the kids to their room while her husband drove their car to the room. Once they unloaded, they took a quick swim at the pool in the Jamaica section.
Sarah’s parents were at Magic Kingdom and met them for dinner. They have a reservation at Citricos as a family that evening at 5:10 and 5:15 p.m.
They had a slow dinner, but it was really lovely. They loved the service and the food. They especially loved the tilefish and strawberry salad. Everyone also liked the drinks.
The children’s meals came with ice cream sundaes but there wasn’t time to eat them. Their waitress packaged them up so they could take them with them.
After dinner they have a private fireworks cruise departing from the Grand Floridian. Their captain was Dimetrio and he was wonderful.
This was a surprise for her parents for their 35th wedding anniversary. They didn’t tell her parents until they arrived at the marina. They got to drive around the resort area for about an hour before the fireworks began.
Sarah says they learned that there are bat caves and Disney releases 500,000 bats to help with the mosquitoes. It sounds unbelievable!
The fireworks began and they really enjoyed the view! After the fireworks they got to watch the Electric Water Pageant. Sarah said it was worth every penny.
After the fireworks cruise, they did some shopping at the Grand Floridian before heading back to their room and going to bed.
Rest Day (February 25)
Sarah’s sister, brother in law, and parents will be going to Epcot today but they will have a rest day.
They got up and went to Whispering Canyon Cafe at 9:05 a.m. It was a big hit for everyone! The food was delicious and very filling.
After breakfast they walked around the resort and relaxed a bit. After seeing the resort, they went back to the resort to nap.
They took the skyliner to the boardwalk for their 1:10 p.m. Beaches and Cream reservation. They were still very full from breakfast so they all just got ice cream.
After ice cream they took the skyliner back to their resort and went swimming. Unfortunately, they had to do some pool cleaning so their swimming was cut short.
While they waited for the pool to reopen, the kids played in the splash pad. Before going back to their room, they went to the playground, which was very fun.
Because of the location of their room, they took the skyliner to their 7:45 p.m. reservation at Topolino’s Terrace. After dinner, they were able to watch Harmonious from the terrace. They had the music piped in and enjoyed it.
After the fireworks, they took the skyliner back to their room.
Rest Day (February 26)
They were back on the skyliner in the morning for their breakfast with everyone at 7:50 a.m. at Topolino’s Terrace. They had done the character breakfast before but this was the first time with autographs.
After breakfast, they took the skyliner to their room to freshen up for their family photographs! Everyone met at the Yacht Club for their photographers. Their family photos were at 11 a.m. with MTP Photography. Because Sarah’s parents were staying at the Yacht Club, they were able to take photos there.
They had a really great experience and got incredible photos (179!). Sarah highly recommends MTP Photography. They were great with the whole family!
After their photos, Sarah, her sister, and their family took the skyliner to Riviera and got lunch at Primo Piatto. It was a delicious meal, especially the cookies.
After lunch, they all went back to the room for naps. They left the room at 4:30 p.m. to head to their dinner reservation. They needed to check in at 4:45 p.m. and were told to leave 90 minutes of travel time.
They took a bus from the Jamaica bus stop to the Magic Kingdom and then took the boat to Fort Wilderness. When they got off the boat, Sarah took the kids to the playground while the rest of the family checked in.
They had reservations at 6:15 p.m. for dinner at Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue for everyone. They could only book Tier 1 for their party of 8. This was something they did when Sarah was a child, so her parents were really looking forward to it.
Everyone loved it. It was great entertainment and really good food. Sarah loved how silly it was.
After the show, they took a Minnie Van back to their resort. Sarah called for the Minnie Van while the show was wrapping up. When they got back to their resort, they all went to bed to get ready for their cruise in the morning.
Embark on the Wish (February 27)
Away We Go will transport Sarah’s sister, brother-in-law, and parents. Sarah and her family will drive their rental car. Sarah and her family had breakfast at Ale & Compass. It was a wonderful breakfast.
They followed the van from Away We Go, leaving Yacht Club at 8:40 a.m. They arrived at Port Canaveral at 9:45 a.m. The van dropped off everyone and Sarah’s family dropped off their luggage. Sarah’s husband took their rental car to the parking garage.
They started taking the bags at 10 a.m. as they waited for Sarah’s husband to come back from the parking garage. They got in the concierge line, which was lovely. They were able to wait in the concierge lounge and get some bottled drinks.
At 11:15 a.m. they were able to get some photos taken with the photographers. They were also given the schedule for the concierge lounge and found out that their room would be ready at noon. They also found out that they could arrive to the shows 40 minutes early and were let in to pick their seat before they opened the doors.
Sarah and her family boarded the cruise at 11:35 a.m. and it was magical. There was an option for a sitdown lunch, but they decided to go to the lounge instead. They had very substantial food there and they made a meal out of that.
At 12:30 p.m. they made their way to their stateroom. Their view was perfect because their room was dead center – right above the captain’s view! Their fridge was stocked with water.
They changed into their bathing suits and went to the pool. Sarah and her daughter did the aqua Mouse and LOVED it.
After swimming they went back to the room to change and decorate their door. They decorated it in an Encanto theme.
Then they went to the Kid’s Club open house. The kids got special bands for the kid’s club. Sarah’s youngest is just 3 so he is the youngest allowed in the kid’s club. During the open house, adults can ride the slide into the kid’s club!
After the kid’s club, they went back to the lounge for some drinks. The kids got some blue glittery sparkling juice. It was very cute and they loved it.
Their next stop was the in-person muster drill. From there, they went to a spot above Minnie’s pool for the sail away party. Sarah’s youngest son took a nap and everyone went to Sarah’s parent’s room to check out their room.
In the concierge lounge, they all got drinks because there is an open bar. They took their drinks and went to dinner. That night their dinner was in the Marvel restaurant. The food was really good. Their servers Dwight and Jonah were incredible.
After dinner Sarah went shopping. She got a Pandora charm and they got a model of the cruise ship. They went to the show and it was the perfect show for kids. It was only 30 minutes and the kids loved it.
The sea was rough tonight and Sarah’s sister was not feeling great. They could feel some noises and the kids were a little upset about it.
Sarah’s room had a king bed, pull down couch, murphy bed, and a bunk bed. They opted to not use the bunk bed. There is also a big blackout curtain between the adults and the kids.
Nassau Port Day (Day on the ship) – February 28
They woke up at 6:45 a.m. and got coffee from the concierge lounge. They have espresso machines, so it was delicious!
Then they went to Sarah’s parents’ room for breakfast. They were able to order hot food from room service, so the night before they all ordered food (Mickey waffles for the kids!) to her parents’ room.
The kids really wanted to go back to the Kid’s Club, so they dropped the kids off and at 9:20 a.m. the adults lined up for the Incredi-course. It was very fun!
After that they went back to their room and changed into bathing suits for the Aqua Mouse. The theme had changed from Under the Sea to the snow theme. There wasn’t much of a line at 9:50 a.m.
They did Uncharted Adventures scavenger hunt next, which was fun. Sarah noted that there were some glitches and it didn’t work on her phone at all.
Before heading to lunch, Sarah picked up the kids from the kids club around 11 a.m. They got lunch from the pool deck quick service location. They got barbecue and pizza for the kids.
Eating lunch early was a good move because there wasn’t much of a line or wait at 11:30 a.m. After lunch they did some swimming in the various pools. On Deck 14 there is a Chip and Dale pool, and they liked it there because it was a bit quieter. They also played at the Toy Story splash pad.
Around 1 p.m. they dropped the kids off at the kid’s club and changed in the room for their martini tasting. All of the adults did this together. They were able to try 5 different martinis.
They did more Uncharted Adventure before picking up the kids and heading back to the room. By 4:30 p.m. the kids were hungry so they went to the lounge for some fruit. They went back to the kid’s club again. Sarah and her husband got drinks at the lounge and enjoyed them on the deck.
They picked up the kids and went to their Frozen dinner. They had a table close to the stage, which was wonderful. They really liked the scallop dish and the sea bass. The characters and entertainment was wonderful.
After dinner they went to Luna for Family Game Show. They really enjoyed this because of the interaction.
After that, they went to the lounge and got drinks (apple juice for the kids!) around 8 p.m. The show that night was the Little Mermaid, but they opted to skip it because it was an hour long.
Instead they went to the kids dance party in Luna. It was delightful and Sarah’s kids loved it.
Everyone was in bed by 9:30 p.m.
Castaway Cay (March 1)
This morning Sarah and her family got breakfast at Marceline Market at 7:30 a.m. They sat in a section toward the back where no one else was, it was quiet and peaceful.
Their breakfast was okay and if you go to the juice bar, Orchard’s Best is pog juice! Everyone liked the pog juice. They went back to the lounge for coffee because it was so good.
They walked off the ship around 8:45 a.m. Sarah and her immediate family got off earlier than the rest of her family because she knew they would want to get photos taken on their way off. They also stopped to get a Castaway Cay Christmas ornament.
The night before they’d been given wristbands for their cabana. They got their snorkel gear and a golf cart drove them to their cabana. When they got there, the cabana had floats, towels, a fridge with sodas and water, and a fan. It was a comfortable spot.
At 10:10 a.m. they went back to the other side of the island for their paddle boat reservation. They took the tram back afterward and then took a golf cart back to their cabana.
They spent the rest of the day relaxing. The beach right in front of their cabana was very quiet and it was wonderful. The kids loved it – this was their first time in the ocean.
They went to Cookie’s for lunch and it was good. Many people take food back to the cabana to eat lunch, but that was too much with the kids, so they just ate there.
Sarah really enjoyed floating in the ocean in a tube. They pressed the button in the cabana to order drinks that afternoon which was fun.
Around 2:30 p.m. they got back on the ship. They took a golf cart all the way back to the ship, which was lovely. The weather was great – high 70s – and the water was slightly chilly but it was wonderful.
Their first stop was to get ice cream at the pool deck and then took a rest in the room. Around 4:30 p.m. Sarah’s husband took the kids to get pizza for the pool deck for dinner. The adults had reservations at Palo that night.
They all had their pirate clothes on so they took some photos before taking the kids to the kid’s club. After dropping the kids off, Sarah and her husband really wanted to do was get Old Fashioneds at Hook’s Barbery.
It was a really neat experience and they had their drinks smoked! Sarah got a cherry spiced one and her husband got a more classic Old Fashioned. It was very fun. Sarah recommends going early because it can get busy.
The adults all met in the Lounge to go to their Palo reservation. At 5:50 p.m. Sarah’s son wanted to be picked up from the kid’s club. Her husband went down to check on him and he was fine.
Their server at Palo was Brandon and he made the whole experience wonderful. The meal was one highlight of their trip.
That had the most delicious meal. It was a very long dinner and they loved it. They got the kids from the kid’s club at 8:45 p.m. They went to the lounge for some snacks for the kids before going to get a spot for the Pirate Party at 10:15 p.m.
The kids loved it. It was really fun and Sarah highly recommends it. They ended the night around 10:45 p.m.
Day at Sea (March 2)
Sarah and her family woke up and got some breakfast at the Lounge. They had a brunch reservation at Palo later in the morning so the kids ate a big breakfast but Sarah and her husband just had a little something.
At 9 a.m. they had a Royal Gathering booked. They were able to have this booked before everyone else because of their concierge status. Sarah’s son had to go to the bathroom but he didn’t mind missing it.
Sarah and her daughter got to meet Moana, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Belle. It was very special to just be the girls. After that, they dropped the kids off at the kid’s club before enjoying some quiet time on the sun deck.
Their Palo reservation was at 10 a.m. and at 9:55 a.m. they got a text from the kid’s club that their daughter needed to speak with them. She was just upset that her brother wouldn’t play with her.
They went to their brunch at Palo and had Brandon as their server again. They really enjoyed it. Sarah had truffle cheese the night before and really loved it so Brandon brought that out for her again.
Brunch took a while, so they weren’t done until around 1 p.m. They got the kids from the Kid’s Club and got them pizza to eat in the room. They also got some snacks from the concierge lounge.
Everyone took naps for the afternoon. At 4 p.m. the kids had their Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique appointments. They both really enjoyed it. They were dressed as Minnie and Mickey.
They took photos with Pluto and Captain Minnie before dropping the kids off at the kid’s club for a bit. They went and got Old Fashioneds again before getting the kids from the kid’s club for dinner.
Their dinner this evening was at 1923 and it was good. At 7:15 p.m. they stepped out and Sarah and her son got pictures with Captain Mickey. They got back to the table just in time for dessert.
They skipped the show again this evening and instead sent the kids to the kid’s club. The adults went to the concierge lounge and soaked their feet in the hot tub. It was lovely. The kids had a dance party with Mickey and Minnie in the kid’s club.
Sarah began packing up and her husband picked up the kids. Sarah ordered some chicken wings and watched a movie.
Disembark and Disney Check-in (March 3)
Breakfast in the concierge lounge at 6:30 a.m. It wasn’t a hot breakfast, but there were a lot of options. Sarah said they were able to make a full breakfast out of it.
Sarah’s parents had snow back home so they moved their flight to earlier in the day to avoid the snow. They were able to change their pick-up with Away We Go and got off the ship and to the airport without issue.
Sarah and her family had a more leisurely breakfast and got back to their room at 7:30 a.m. They did not choose to leave their luggage out the night before. Because they were concierge, they were able to receive help take the luggage off the ship.
They were able to easily walk off the ship and were in the rental car by 8:15 a.m. It was a very quick process.
At 9 a.m. Sarah received a text that their room at Coronado Springs. They arrived to their room at 9:30 a.m. They went to the main pool and had a blast. Sarah’s daughter loved the water slide.
After playing for a while, they went back to the room to change before going to Sanaa for lunch. The kids were exhausted and fell asleep in the car on their way.
After lunch, everyone took a nap! Sarah walked around the resort and loved it. She also noted that the room was lovely and much better than Caribbean Beach.
They took their time getting ready for dinner and then drove over to the Contemporary for their 7:15 p.m. reservation at California Grill for the 50th anniversary tasting menu. They did some shopping and checking out the Contemporary while they waited for their table.
The kids were able to get fruit as their appetizer and filets with macaroni and cheese for dinner. Sarah and her husband enjoyed the filets as well. They had a table near the window to watch the fireworks.
After dinner they went back to the room and went to sleep.
Disney Springs (March 4)
They had a slower morning because they were still tired and needed to pack up. They got a light breakfast at the Barcelona Lounge.
They arrived at Disney Springs at 9:45 a.m. and got in line at Gideon’s at 9:50 a.m. They were in line for about an hour. While they waited, Sarah walked around with the kids while her husband waited.
They got a lot of cookies to bring back and Sarah loved the peanut butter cold brew. Sarah says it is the absolute best!
They went to World of Disney next for the kids to get souvenirs. Next they went to their noon Lego Mini-Fig reservation. It was a really neat experience. The kids really liked it.
Thoughts on Concierge
Depending on when you sail, booking a concierge room can be double the price of a regular ocean-view room. If it is worth it is depending on your own personal circumstances. Sarah’s family loved having the lounge and quiet spaces to retreat to. Her dad really liked the quiet space and his room.
They also loved having a Cabana at Castaway Cay and express disembarking.
Sarah’s parents paid for this vacation, so it was a lovely gift. Sarah’s immediate family will likely not sail concierge again because it would mean less vacations. They would rather go on more vacations.
- Staying concierge level does increase the gratuity by $1/person/day gratuity for stateroom attendants. There is also a gratuity for the lounge staff of at least $8+/person/night for the concierge staff tips.
- When you cruise concierge, you have the earliest embarkation time. 130 days before the trip, you can send an email to the shoreside concierge with a list of everything you want booked. It can still be competitive, so you want to be sure to send it right at midnight. Sarah recommends watching Time.gov and sending your email right at midnight. There are a lot of concierge rooms on the Wish, so it can be competitive.
- Bring your easy pass.
- When you are traveling and staying in multiple places, Sarah’s tip is to pack in separate bags. She had one bag with everything they needed for the whole trip, one bag with just toiletries, and then separate bags for each leg of the trip.
- Bring water shoes to Castaway Cay because the ocean is a bit rocky.
Leave me a message(including trip report submissions)
Please use the SpeakPipe link below to leave us a message with your first name, location, and trip info.
You can do that using your computer or phone at https://www.speakpipe.com/WDWPrepToGo
Subscribe to get new episodes
There are a few ways to get new episodes of WDW Prep To Go (if you’re used to listening on the website, subscribe so you can take new episodes with you on your phone)
- Subscribe in iTunes (and please leave a review!)
- Subscribe in Google Podcasts
- Subscribe to the feed
- Listen on Stitcher
Follow on social media
The following products and services give us a commission on sales.
Get our free Quick Start Guide
Have our guide delivered right to your inbox with our 6-step Disney World planning process to make it less overwhelming. Snag our free guide ➡️
Take our course
Check out our course that will help you learn all about Walt Disney World planning with dozens of videos and downloadables for each step along the way. Get access now ➡️
Our recommend travel agency
We partner with Small World Vacations, Diamond Level Authorized Disney Vacations Planners in business since 1996. Get a quote now ➡️
Want to stay deluxe on a moderate budget?
It’s 1 of our top fave ways to save! By renting DVC points, you can stay in deluxe accommodations for a fraction of the price. Check availability ➡️
Private car service
Quicksilver Tours will transport you in style. They assist with luggage at the airport, provide car seats, and include a free grocery stop. Book your car ➡️
Need a stroller, wheelchair, or scooter?
Buena Vista Scooters is a company with a great reputation who offers in-person resort drop off and pick up of strollers, scooters, and wheelchairs. Book your rental ➡️
- Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon: Comparing the Disney World Water Parks - September 29, 2023
- What’s coming in late 2023 and early 2024 – PREP 376 - September 26, 2023
- Dishing with Bethany Vinton – PREP 375 - September 19, 2023