At Pit Stops for Kids, we cover all modes of family travel. However, there’s one major category of family travel we’ve neglected (until now): family cruising. On March 26th, the Pit Stops kids and I will be embarking upon the brand new ship in the Disney Cruise Line, the Disney Fantasy. We’ll be reporting on our experience here and for Expedia.com.
There’s only one problem: we don’t know what the heck we’re doing. We’re complete cruising newbies at Pit Stops for Kids: while we love the open road, cities, and National Parks and wilderness, we’ve yet to tackle the high seas. How do we prepare for something we’ve never experienced?
Learn what to expect.
Preparation is key to any family vacation, so from now until departure day, I’ll be following my own advice and researching our destination(s) extensively. To prepare for our trip, I turned to the same resources I hope you’re all using to plan vacations: family travel bloggers. The Disney Fantasy has yet to embark upon its first public sailing, so I read up on coverage of its sister ship, the Disney Dream. Hip Travel Mama offers a great overview of what to expect on-board from a parent’s perspective, and Ciao Bambino lists their top ten surprises on the ship. Also incredibly helpful are these tips on getting the most out of a Disney cruise. This video of the AquaDuck water roller coaster from The Vacation Gals was enough to get my kids jumping up and down, and for specific questions, I’ve always found the Disney Moms Panel to be a useful resource.
Identify concerns, then be proactive.
We have the following concerns (all of which we’ll be addressing post-cruise, in case you do, too):
1. Will the ship feel too crowded for our tastes?
2. Will Calvin, notorious for losing his lunch in both cars and on planes, suffer from seasickness?
3. Will our outdoor-adventure loving style of travel be stifled on board a ship?
4. Will a large-ship cruise be ‘green’ enough to appease our eco-conscience?
To ensure a good vacation experience, I’ve purchased Sea Bands, researched the Disney Cruise Line green initiatives (more on that to come), and learned as much as I can about any itinerary stops ahead of time (internet connection is notoriously unreliable onboard, so last-minute research may be frustrating). This way, we can get off the ship and explore the way we prefer to.
Lastly, I want help from you!
If you’ve taken a family cruise, please share a tip in the comment section below, on the Pit Stops for Kids Facebook page, or on Twitter @pitstospforkids! I’ll be retweeting one suggestion per day up until the day we embark, and after our trip, I’ll be featuring the top ten reader suggestions in a video on Expedia.com!
Photos courtesy of Disney Cruise Line.