Many of you may have read my article on Planning for Your First Land and Sea Adventure in which I outlined some of the key factors in preparing for a combination Walt Disney World trip and Disney Cruise Line trip. My husband and I planned this trip to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary despite the fact that I’d always had a fear of cruising. I told myself I could conquer this fear and the vacation went beautifully! Before the trip, though, I had some questions. They are questions that you might also have so I thought I’d help by give you the answers! Here is what I learned on my fun “surf and turf” anniversary adventure:
- How do you get to Disney World from the Orlando Airport? And then how do you get to Port Canaveral from Disney World? And finally, how do you get back to the airport from Port Canaveral? Well, the answer to all three of these questions is “Disney’s Magical Express”. Disney’s Magical Express is Disney’s transportation system in Orlando, Florida. When you land at the Orlando Airport (MCO), you can go directly to the Disney’s Magical Express counter on the bottom floor of the airport and Disney’s Magical Express will actually collect your luggage (with the luggage tags provided by Disney already attached or you can give them your baggage claim tickets) and deliver your luggage directly to your hotel room at the Walt Disney World Resort. Disney’s Magical Express will also transport you from your Disney Resort Hotel to Port Canaveral to board your Disney Cruise ship (this must be arranged in advance so be sure to have your travel agent arrange this). And finally, Disney’s Magical Express will transport you from Port Canaveral to the Orlando Airport (MCO) following your cruise. It’s an amazing (you might even say, magical) transportation system!
- Is two days really enough time at Walt Disney World? This is a tricky question to answer. If you are going on a Disney Cruise either before or after your two days at Walt Disney World, then two days can be sufficient. I’ve even spent two days at Walt Disney World when I wasn’t going on a cruise and it’s pretty chaotic if you’re trying to cover all four parks at the Walt Disney World Resort. But, if you’re going on a cruise immediately after as we were on this most recent trip, then two days is sufficient to “scratch your Disney itch”. We focused on Character Meet N Greets and riding our favorite attractions while on land and then once onboard the cruise, we focused on other things like relaxing and exploring the ship. For the most part, we skipped the characters on the Disney Dream because we’d seen so many characters at the parks. The most important thing is to make sure you have Park Hopper tickets while at Walt Disney World so that you can move between the four parks as much as you want during your two days. We even had time to see the Magic Kingdom Fireworks all three nights from our resort. It’s all in the planning. And if two days isn’t enough for you, then go ahead, plan for three or more!
- Did you feel the rocking of the ship? Did it make you sick? The answers are “yes” and “no” respectively. And both answers surprised me! I did not expect to feel the movement of the ship, but I did. I half expected to feel some seasickness and I did not. My husband and I grew up on small boats on the lake and never felt “seasick”. But, as a young bride on our honeymoon, I felt horribly seasick on a small boat on the ocean out for a diving excursion. So, while I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised. The very first night as we left port, my husband said he didn’t feel sick, but wanted to have something on hand in case he started to. We stopped by one of the gift shops onboard and the crew member was glad to give us our options. We purchased some of the “Sea Bands” bracelets, but never needed them. In fact, I still have them and will send them to the first client who purchases a cruise from me! It was good to know, though, that the crew is prepared for such a need. Interestingly enough, I will let you know that we “felt” the movement of the ship for days after we disembarked.
- Is there enough to do on a cruise ship to keep you busy for four nights and five days? Oh, my goodness, YES! I had no idea of all of the activities offered onboard. I think I told you in my planning stage that my expectation was to relax while onboard. And you can certainly do that if you’re so inclined. However, I’m quite the “joiner”. If you tell me there is an activity going on that sounds even remotely fun, I will be there. At home, I go to bed early. But, on that ship, I woke up fairly early every morning, didn’t miss a meal or activity, not even the 11pm to 1am movie playing in the movie theater every night! My husband had to make me plan some down time in our days! I loved the live entertainment and the Bingo! You can always find something going on- a show, a game, or a Character Meet N Greet.
- Isn’t it awfully expensive to do two vacations at one time? I was surprised at the affordability of our dual vacation. Of course, on the Walt Disney World part of our trip, I took advantage of one of the many discounts offered and booked right away. We included the Dining Plan and stayed in the concierge building of one of the Deluxe Resorts. We certainly could have saved if we’d stayed at a Value Resort and not included the Dining Plan, but my point is that there is a Walt Disney World vacation for every budget. This trip, we splurged a little as it was our anniversary. As for the cruise, we chose a less busy time (February) and limited our time on the ship to four nights. Your budget will be stretched a bit more if you sail on one of the longer sailings (7 Nights or more) or if your travel during Spring Break, Summer, or the Holidays.
So, now we’ve done it, we’ve conquered the Land and Sea Adventure! Wouldn’t you like to plan your own Surf and Turf Vacation? I’m Jeri May and I’m willing to send you those Sea Bands if you’ll email me at Jeri@TravelwiththeMagic.com, call me at 1-800-670-4312 x147, or find me on Facebook!