Sunday, September 28, 2014

Surf and Turf - aka- Disney Cruise and Disney World

Surf and Turf you ask?  No, not shrimp and steak.  Well, yes.  You can have shrimp and steak too, but what I am referring to is quite the double header.  I'm talking about hitting up Disney World and taking a Disney Cruise all in the same vacation.

A couple of years ago my family of 3 was a Disney virgin.  We decided to hit up Disney World and take a Disney Cruise.  Talk about jumping in full force.  I read lots of articles on how you need more than one day to do the Magic Kingdom and all the wonderful tidbits and advice.  I listened, but didn't exactly follow all of the advice.

There was one thing that I never read in all of my article reading.  The tip that one should not go on the cruise first, but rather go after hitting Disney World.  This would have been wonderful to have known ahead of time and we have never made that mistake since.

So we head off to Orlando all packed (over packed as usual) and ready to be introduced to the wonderfulness of Disney.  Once we got into Orlando we hit Downtown Disney since it was free and we only had a few hours until bedtime.  The next morning we got up and caught the Mickey Express to Cape Canaveral.

We took a short 4 night cruise on the Dream.  Mistake number 1.  Well, not so much as a mistake, but more like a lesson.  Four glorious days on the Disney Dream is just not enough.  It was so magical and fabulous and over the top that it just seemed like we got on the boat and before we knew it we were packing to get off.

We headed to our offsite hotel.  Mistake number 2 and I really mean mistake!  Lesson learned.  Pay the price to be on Disney property folks!  After being spoiled on the Disney Dream for 4 nights non-Disney accommodations are not pleasing.  Service is terrible and rooms are about as bad.  It's your vacation.  Do it right!

The next day we got up bright and early and headed to Disney World. Mistake number 3 and as we all know, 3 strikes you're out.  I must say, I was already exhausted.  I took advantage of those 4 nights on the Disney Dream.  I wanted to get my monies worth.  So I tried my darnedest to do absolutely everything on the Navigator (the list of activities available each day on the ship).  I also tried my darnedest to eat absolutely everything (this is where you can eat steak and shrimp until you can't take one more bite) that looked good.....which was everything.

So instead of relaxing and sitting by the pool or hanging out on deck 4 and watching the ocean go by I was on port adventures and doing arts and crafts and going to shows and playing basketball and playing mini golf, and ....... well, you get the idea.  I was BEAT!

Nonetheless we hit Disney World the next day and it was definitely magical.  We had a fabulous time and since it was our first time we really didn't know what we were doing or what we were missing.  We aimlessly walked the park and would get a fast pass or ride a ride as we came upon it.  Yeah, no plan whatsoever! We spent the entire day there and even made it to the fireworks.  We rode It's a Small World on our way out that evening and sang the song in our heads for the next week.  We didn't realize how much we missed until we got home.

The next day we were planning on hitting Epcot.  I was so tired I honestly could have cared less if we went anywhere.  Did I seriously just type that?  Yes, I did.  I could have just laid in bed all day and been happy, but the husband said we must go.  He is the kind of guy that is GO, GO, GO, gotta see it all.  I am very glad we did go, but honestly I can't remember much of it.  I was a walking zombie for the entire time.  We didn't even make it to fireworks.  I think we left around 4 or 5pm.

The next day the rest of the family agreed with me and we went nowhere.  We just stayed at the crappy non-Disney hotel and wasted a day in Orlando.  We learned our lesson.  Never do the cruise first.  Do it after going to Disney World.  Since then we have always done the parks first.  It works out magically this way.  We are full of energy when we get to Orlando and going to the parks and deciding where to eat is not exhausting.  By the time we get on the ship we don't have to go anywhere or decide anything.  We know what restaurant we are eating at that night and everyone can find something wonderful on the menu.  We have entertainment options all the time.  If we are tired we can just sit and relax.  It is the perfect ending to a fabulous vacation!

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