In case you missed any of the trip report posts, here they are:
Day 1: Savings, Splurges and Getting There
Day 2: Legoland Florida
Day 3 Part 1: Embarking the Re-Imagined Disney Magic
Day 3 Part 2: First night on the ship
Day 4: Nassau
Day 5: Unexpected Day at Sea
Day 6: Castaway Cay
Days 7-8: Art of Animation
Conclusion and Final Thoughts:
Now that we are back home, I go through my post-vacation ritual of making a music video, blogging and creating a photo book. Because part of the fun is remembering what we did on vacation.
If you are considering a Disney cruise or any other vacation but you think it's out of financial reach, I encourage you to research before you give up. If we had just pulled up the price of a Disney cruise during the summer, and had to tack on hotel and airfare on top of that, I guarantee we never would have gone on this vacation. Usually, there are ways to reduce the cost of any trip. Check out travel websites like disboards.com, tripadvisor.com and cruisecritic.com. Ask your travel agent about specials and sales for a resort you are considering.
* My husband and I prefer a Disney Cruise over the Disney parks. While our kids like both equally, the parks are much more work. The parks are exhausting. On a cruise, we all have a chance to relax. Everything we need is close, and the service is outstanding.
* I will continue to pull our kids out of school for off-season vacation prices until my oldest goes into middle school. Which is sadly only two years away.
* There are still many things I haven't had a chance to do or see on a Disney Cruise, including:
-- a spa appointment
--the Rainforest Room
--Midship Detective Agency
--Disney Vacation Club presentation
Maybe next time! We are going on our first 7-night voyage in the fall for our 10-year anniversary.
* Spending alone time with my husband is a priority. Even though it is challenging to accomplish with our current situation, I really believe that getting a few hours to ourselves on vacation strengthens our marriage. If you have access to free childcare and can take a trip with just your spouse, take advantage of that!
* We are currently accumulating frequent flier miles on American Airlines and hope to get free flights in 2015 to either Hawaii or the Caribbean. We are in process of researching land resorts that have kids clubs for a future vacation. If you have any recommendations, please share!