The RunDisney Castaway Cay Challenge

Yes hi, I am still talking about all the running that I did in January – I think its because I haven’t done any running since so I’m looking back on better times!

So many people thought that I was mad enough to run a FRICKIN’ MARATHON midway through my holiday in January, and most of these people were even more baffled to find out that only a few days after running the longest distance of my life AND while still on holiday, I ran a further 5K race, but here me out on the logic behind it.

You see, I wanted another medal.. Yep, that’s basically it.

Every January, following the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, the Disney Dream cruise ship sets sail from Port Canaveral for a 4 night cruise. Its the same route and same cruise that the Dream does from Port Canaveral all the time, but this one particular sailing is jam packed full of runners recovering from their weekend races, who have mostly all booked it for the RunDisney Castaway Cay Challenge.

The challenge is this: if you participate in any race during the WDW Marathon Weekend – so this could be as little as the 5K – you can sign up for the challenge, which means that on the morning that the Dream docks at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, you take part in a special RunDisney organised 5K on the island, and as well as receiving the standard Castaway Cay 5K, which any guest can earn on any cruise that stops at the island, challenge participants also receive this challenge medal to round off their collection.

As with all other WDW Marathon Weekend events, bib and t-shirt pickup was done at the RunDisney expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports, but t-shirt exchange and merchandise were only available on the ship itself. Merch itself seemed a little lacking to me, there was a pin, a hanging ornament and a tech t-shirt available in two different colours, and that was all – although you could also buy a normal Castaway Cay 5K t-shirt in the gift shop on the island itself.

The challenge 5K starts earlier than the usual race, and takes a slightly different course around the island, meaning that if anyone is mad enough to want to take place in both 5Ks that will happen that morning, there’s a bit of variety. We had to meet in the ship’s theatre at crazy o’clock in the morning, and there were some drinks and bananas available there. There was a brief introduction and then each corral was led off the ship and to the start line, which was quite a walk away from the boat and it was still pretty dark at the time, but the sun had started to rise before the race kicked off.

Mickey and Goofy led us through a pre-race warm-up, and each corral were set loose on the island. There was only A, B and C, about 700 people participating, so it felt tiny compared to the other races I had done the weekend before, but it felt a lot less pressured with fewer people about. We started and ended on the island’s disused runway, and along the way there a handful of characters including Stitch, Vacation Genie, Captain Hook and Max, which was a nice surprise as I wasn’t expecting any characters on the course.

Despite recovering from the marathon relatively well, I found the first 3k HARD work, but we took it nice and easy and many people were walking – it all felt very relaxed. By the last mile my legs had found their strength again and we ran most of the leg, nicknamed by the cast members as the Ring of Fire, probably because it felt like it went on FOREVER, and then all of a sudden we were at the finish line! The finish line was complete with the usual bottles of water, bananas and snacks – I swear I still can’t face bananas – but there was also a bar set up where guests could purchase champagne and cocktails etc.

Doing the 5K was a really great way to see the island a bit before the rest of the guests descended on it, and you can stay on the island from then onwards, but we were starving and in need of a Cabanas breakfast, so we went back to the ship to eat and shower before the day of fun ahead of us!

Another one off the RunDisney bucket list!

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My January Trip Disney Haul

I’m normally that person who leaves it FAR too long to unpack their suitcase after coming back from holiday, so I’m pretty shocked by myself that I am unpacked with the washing done within only a few days of arriving back. I mean sure, I partly did this so that I could do this haul post, but I usually just unpack the washing and my new buys and leave the rest for as long as I can get away with, so this is impressive for me.

This haul is a combination of buys from Walt Disney World, RunDisney merch and some purchases I made during our Disney Cruise on the Dream!

I felt like I didn’t go too overboard with shopping while in the parks, mainly due to the fact that the big expense of the trip was my Walt Disney World annual pass – Matthew and I are hoping to go back a couple of times this year and with our DVC discount it was much more cost effective to get APs than regular tickets! For this very reason I felt justified in buying a couple of magic bands, millennial pink and light turquoise, as well as choosing an orange AP magic band, just so I’ve got options, y’know.. It also meant that on our final day in the parks, which was the first day of Epcot’s Festival of Arts, we could pick up an annual pass holder magnet from Mouse Gear!

The other things I knew that I wanted was a DVC Alex and Ani bracelet, which Matthew bought for me, and the Its a Small World spirit jersey (because did you ever see anything so ME?!) and I also couldn’t resist buying the new Mickey celebration sipper cup!

The Small World spirit jersey was not the only spirit jersey purchase of the trip.. Well I had to round off my collection with the new RunDisney spirit jersey and the navy/rose gold Disney Cruise Line one, so I now have one of all the Disney spirit jerseys!

As well as the cruise spirit jersey, I also bought the Castaway Cay Challenge pin and this cute little cruise cupcake pin which was in a blind bag, and Matthew also bought me the DCL Alex and Ani!

I always try to be restrained at RunDisney expos, and in all fairness I do tend to be happy with the participant t-shirts that runners are given for taking part in the races, so I rarely buy any extra t-shirts at the expo, but as I’m going to shout about it for the rest of my life, I couldn’t not buy the ‘I did it’ t-shirt for the marathon, as well as the headband, and I also bought the mini medal replica pin!

The bottom two photos are the participant t-shirts for the 10K, marathon and Castaway Cay Challenge, and the ear hat was also given out at the end of the marathon which I was very happy about – I even got it embroidered! (or at least my friends did while I tried to recover from running..)

So mainly pins and spirit jerseys, but I’m pretty happy with all my buys, even if my credit card doesn’t exactly agree..

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Preparing for A Disney Cruise

Today is a very big day, Pascal!

No, I’m not leaving for a Disney cruise today, but I will be this time next week, and I can’t wait to be back on the sea, sailing on the Disney Dream.

This will be my second Disney cruise, and having had the experience from my cruise last year, I feel somewhat more prepared than I did last time. I know what to expect now, I know what I wish I’d done differently on my last cruise, and I’m ready to have the best time at sea feeling fully ready for it! If you’ve never done a Disney cruise before and need a little guidance, or are just interested in seeing how I do it, here are a few of the things I’ve done to get ready for this sailing:

Deciding how to decorate the stateroom door

The stateroom doors on Disney cruise ships are metal, so anything magnetic sticks to them and people really take advantage of this by decorating their doors to the max! We didn’t decorate our door last time, so I really wanted to get involved this year, and ordered some personalised decorations for our group so that we have even just a little something! It also makes things so much easier when you can’t remember what number room you’re in and all the floors and doors look them same..

Researching ports

For our Mediterranean cruise last year, I didn’t do ANY research on our ports or excursions, and relied purely on the rest of my group to decide what to do. Sure, I still had a great time and I was pretty happy doing whatever, but this time I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos of Castaway Cay in preparation!

Packing important things

As well as the usual holiday essentials, and the cruise booklet that you are sent in advance of your trip, there are a couple of things that I would highly recommend packing for a smoother cruise experience. Pack a lanyard or passholder for your room key if you don’t want to carry a bag all the time, I like to bring a travel cup (like the refillable ones you get at the parks, or a travel mug type) to fill up with drinks on deck so you don’t have to use a paper cup every time, and if you are going to decorate your door, don’t forget the decs!

Download the Disney Cruise app

Although it doesn’t do much before your cruise, once you’re onboard the ship and connected to the wifi, the Disney Cruise app becomes your guide to the boat, with daily schedules and timings, plus it has a cute messenger feature where you can chat to your group on the boat!

Plan your outfits

Even if you don’t meticulously plan your holiday wardrobe like I do, there are a couple of things you should prepare for. Every Disney cruise has a Pirate Night, where dressing up is highly recommended – seriously, everyone does it! – so you won’t want to miss out on that, and some sailings also have optional formal or semi-formal nights so plan accordingly. I’ve also planned a special outfit for the sailaway party as ours was cancelled on the last cruise so I want this one to be more special!

Have you ever done a Disney cruise before?

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Things to do on Disney Cruise Sea Days

I’m in shock with the realisation that it’s been almost a whole year since I went on my first Disney Cruise. Where has that time gone?! Disney Cruise Line opened my eyes to a world of holidays that I’d previously considered boring, and now I’m just buzzing to get back on the next ship in January!

One thing that I’ve been asked quite a few times is ‘what do you even do on a cruise when you can’t get off?’, and to be honest I always used to think the same before I actually experienced DCL, and now I live for sea days and all the fun that comes with them. Disney ships are a Dream, full of Magic, Fantasy and Wonder (see what I did there), and there are so many things that you can do on board, aside from lounging at the pool, to fill your days from waking up to passing out.

Character meets

Sea days are the best days for character meets, as they’re the days that they put the most characters out during the day. As well as the standard meets that you’ll be able to find the times for on your navigator, there are often special meets put on which you can book in advance of the cruise, such as Frozen and princess meets.

Kids club openings

While normally I wouldn’t want to go anywhere near a room full of kids, the kids clubs are without a doubt the coolest places on the ships, with themed areas like Andy’s Room, Pixie Hollow and Mickey Mouse Club. These clubs are strictly kids only, but during scheduled ‘open houses’, anyone can go inside to see what’s going on and admire the adorableness!

Catch a movie

If you’re in the mood for a movie, you can either hang out by the pool and watch what’s on the big screen at Funnelvision, or if an outdoor screening doesn’t take your fancy, you can go to the onboard cinema! It’s bigger than most of the screens at my local cinema, and it even plays some of the newest film releases.

Fill your boots!

Sea days are the best days for food. Well, you’ve got more opportunities to take advantage of all that free food that’s included in your booking. You could snack on nuggets and pizza between buffet meals, and don’t forget the self-serve ice cream machines..

Try out the gym

After all that food, you might not want to move, but if you haven’t lived on ice cream all day and fancy it, the onboard gym is fully kitted out for your workout needs.

Pub? Pub.

Pub quizzes, bingo, talks and so much more goes on in the pubs and clubs on the ships, so there’s always something going on for you to do.

Exploring the ship

Sea days are the perfect time to just explore these amazing ships, so have fun!

Yo-ho, Yo-ho, A Pirate Night for Me

Since going on a Disney Cruise, I’ve used the word ‘ahoy’ far too many times but I don’t care.

On every Disney Cruise that sails, guests get to enjoy the festivities of Pirate Night, and this means themed food, a pirate party, and dress up!

Due to some changes in our itinerary, our pirate night actually followed a sea day, so I kept my daytime outfit pretty casual, but still pirate themed, courtesy of this amazing tank top from Maple and Whisky Clothing Co. Pirates of the Caribbean is universally my favourite Disney park ride, and I love the little logo of the iconic dog who has the keys to the pirate cells!

The whole day was crazy blustery, can you tell?!

When it came to the evening, the guests weren’t the only ones who were dressed up! Mickey and the gang were all out in their pirate best and looking super adorable, and I also got to meet Captain Jack Sparrow for the first time ever!

My pirate costume was thrown together last-minute, but I still love how it turned out! I took inspiration from Minnie Mouse, and paired my Minnie skirt with a flouncy blouse and just tied a triangle of black fabric around my waist. Each guest is given a pirate night bandana, so I just tied mine around my head to keep my hair in check!

After dinner is the main event of the evening: the on-deck pirate party! The wind wasn’t letting up at all, so we were actually wrapped up in fleece blankets to watch the show, which featured Mickey and the gang, plus some troublesome pirates lead by Captain Hook and Smee, but Mickey soon got everything under control!

Once the show was over, Mickey announced the start of the fireworks – did you know that Disney Cruise Line ships are the only ships that have permission to let off fireworks?

It was such a fun night, and it was so nice to see so many guests get involved with dressing up! All themed nights on Disney Cruise’s are optional, and on the formal/semi-formal nights there were a lot of people that didn’t dress up, but we hardly saw any guests who hadn’t made some sort of attempt to get into the spirit of things!

I love pirate life..

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Sailor Belle

Ahoy there shipmates! I’m really missing being aboard the Disney Magic, and so I’m sharing my favourite outfit of the trip, my Belle Disneybound.

Yellow is my absolute favourite colour, so when I stumbled across this adorable sailor-style dress in the New Look sale a few months back, I just had to have it – it was only £7! It wasn’t until a few days later that I realised how perfect it would be for wearing on the cruise and doing a sailor-inspired Belle look. Sure, the dress did most of the hard work, but I needed something to bring the outfit together, so I got my thinking cap on..

.. And bought a hat! This is, in fact, just a costume sailor hat which I bought off eBay for about £3, but it seemed to be missing just a little something, so I decided to style it up using one of my Chip patches (available on my Etsy store here!) which ironed-on just nicely!

I love the hat so much that I decided to wear it to dinner too!

I timed this outfit just perfectly, as that evening was our first dinner at Lumiere’s, which was the Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant on the ship. For dinner I traded in my sailor dress for this strapless number from ASOS, which is one of my favourite purchases of this year because its super comfy and flattering, and also so versatile because it can be dressed up for an evening out, but I can also throw on a cardigan and some Converses for going to the shops.

Anyone else suffering from Disney blues at the moment?

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Return to the Sea

Hey guys, today I’m sharing another of my Disney Cruise outfits, and while this outfit was mermaid-inspired, its not Ariel who I’ve been Disneybounding as!

As part of my Disney Sequel Challenge, I finally got round to watching The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, which features Ariel’s daughter, Melody, and so I thought I’d take a break from the classic purple and green mermaid combo!

I was mainly excited about this as Melody’s look is mainly coral, which is one of my favourite colours, and it also gave me the opportunity to dig out my favourite Daisy Street seashell bag. As we were on the boat during the day, my daytime outfit was pretty casual, pairing a seashell print tank top from H&M and my scalloped shorts from ASOS. Oh, and I changed my Fitbit strap to match too!

For my evening/dinner outfit, I wore my urban mermaid crop from from Adorkable Apparel and I made this coral polka dot skater skirt to match.

I’ve made this style of skirt in a few different colours now and its probably my favourite skirt to make so I might at this to the Etsy repertoire as a simple Disneybound component, would you be interested in seeing this available in a full range of colours?

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I Just Want to See the Floating Lanterns Gleam

Hey guys, today I’m sharing another of my Disney Cruise day to night lookbooks, and this was inspired by the lost princess herself, Rapunzel.

My daytime outfit was a very holiday standard tank top and shorts combo, featuring this lantern design from Maple and Whisky, my comfy candy-stripe denim shorts from Forever 21 and my hand painted Tangled inspired Vans which I got from Disney Springs back in February, and I’m also wearing another of my Lillian and Co bangles.

This day was actually semi-formal night, and the night that Tangled The Musical was performed in the onboard theatre, and despite knowing this when I planned the outfit, this outfit tied in perfectly! This is my favourite little black dress, which is a few years old now from Missguided, and accessorised with this gorgeous scarf from Redbubble, and these adorable ballet-style flats from Asos.

I’m probably thinking about dinner or Flynn Rider in this one..

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Things I Would Do Differently on my Next Disney Cruise

Yep, I’ve hardly been back from my first Disney Cruise and I’m already thinking about the next. No, I’ve not got one booked, but I’ve got some plans and ideas, which led me to think about some of the things I learned on this trip, and what I would do differently next time.

Properly research ports and excursion options

I opted for the ‘take each day as it comes’ approach on this cruise, which lead to a nice chilled trip and lots of hanging out on the ship, but I think next time I would want to spend more time going ashore and visiting some of the amazing locations that Disney Cruise’s visit.

Spend more money

Due to having other trips coming up this year, I had to keep to a fairly tight budget in terms of onboard spending. Next time, I’d like to do a few more of the paid experiences on the boat such as dining at Palo, treatments at the spa and have a few cheeky cocktails by the pool!

Wake up earlier

Disney beds are always the comfiest beds, and on the cruise ships that’s no exception, so it was all too easy to sleep in every morning, and while cruising is all about relaxing and not having to always get up early, I sometimes feel like a lie in is a morning wasted, and I want to experience more of the morning activities!

Show more appreciation to the servers

I cannot commend all of the cast members on the ship highly enough, they absolutely raised the bar for me, but the servers were really incredible. You have the same server and assistant server every night, and this means they really get to know you, and you get to know them too. They are all so lovely and hard-working, and while at the end of the trip you get to show your appreciation with tips, next cruise I think it would be really nice to also pack small little gifts for the servers who make the whole experience so special.

Do more activities

Cheesy as it sounds, I kinda regret not going to a game of bingo, and I wish I’d been to some of the interesting talks that they had going on. Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast just hanging out on deck and meeting all the characters but I’m all about getting the full experience so next time I think I’ll be trying out more different ways to spend the time.

Have you ever been on a Disney Cruise?

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You Know Who You Are

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know I love planning the outfits for my Disney trips, and I love sharing them with you, but you may have also noted that prior to my recent Disney Cruise, I didn’t share any of the outfits I had planned for this trip. Well, that’s because I wanted to wait until I could showcase them in all their glory on the beautiful ship that was the Disney Magic.

Cruising produced a whole new world of outfit planning for me, because rather than just one outfit per day, I had to have an outfit for during the day, and then another outfit to change into for dinner and our evening activities! I saw this as the perfect opportunity to do some creative Disney-styling, and each day I took inspiration from one character, and produced both a casual daytime look, and then an evening outfit inspired by said character.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing each day’s looks, and the outfits I’m sharing today are inspired by Disney’s newest addition to the princess family: the ocean princess herself, Moana.

My daytime outfit was pretty cruise casual, and rather than a traditional Disneybound I planned the outfit around a few products of my own design. Here I’m wearing the Ocean Princess tank from The Happiest Fitness Co which I’ve teamed with my favourite denim shorts, decorated with my Ocean Princess iron-on patch, which you can buy from my Etsy store!

I’m also wearing the beautiful ‘You Know Who You Are’ rose gold bangle from Lillian & Co – better pictured below!

My evening outfit was a proper Disneybound of lace on lace and I love it. I combined my red lace bardot body from New Look with a creamy lace a-line skirt from Hollister (a few years old now!) to create Moana’s outfit from the movie, with the lace adding the texture to represent the pattern of her top and skirt.

I’ve written before about how much Moana meant to me as a film, and why this beautiful movie is just so special in my eyes, and stood onboard of this beautiful boat having the time of my life, the line where the sky meets the sea was calling..

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My Disney Cruise Haul

There’s nothing worse than coming home from an amazing holiday and having to unpack the suitcase. Apart from whatever needs washing, I’ve been known to leave my suitcase untouched for weeks, with the exception, of course, of retrieving my haul of souvenirs and purchases.

Now just because I’ve spent a week on a ship, rather than in the parks, that hasn’t stopped me from shopping – there are actually two gift shops on the Disney Magic! Wanna see what I got?

I like to think I kept my purchases fairly minimal, and I only bought things that I really wanted and couldn’t get anywhere else, as quite a few of the souvenirs available are things you can buy in any Disney park. No, your eyes aren’t going funny, that mug actually is wonky – it is a funnel, after all!

The only items that I knew I’d want before actually going on the trip was the cruise tsum tsums, but unfortunately the Magic didn’t seem to have the Minnie one in stock, so I just ended up getting Mickey (psst! Keep an eye on my Instagram over the next week for your chance to win one too!), and I also bought this Mickey print, which is actually a postcard but I thought it was cute and would look nice framed!

My final purchase were the paintbrush knives. These are used in one of the onboard restaurants, Animator’s Palate, and as soon as I saw them in the restaurant I fell in love with them, only to discover that they were also sold in the shop so I just had to get some. They’re used in Animator’ s Palate as butter knives, but they’d also work as cheese knives and I’m so happy I got them!

Not technically purchases, but of course I brought home some of the in-room toiletries, and every guest is given a bandana to wear on pirate night. I also nabbed the postcards from our stateroom as little souvenirs, and to go with that I got a signed postcard from meeting Broadway star Josh Strickland!

The only thing I enjoy about coming home is getting to do a haul post!

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Disney Cruise Log: Til We Meet Again

Following our unexpected sea day, our last full day was spent docked at Marseille, but as the weather was far from lovely, we opted to stay on the ship.

I actually started my day bright and early and was in the gym for 7am, then went for a short run around the jogging track on deck 4, then headed back to the room where our room service breakfast arrived shortly afterwards. Once we’d eaten and got dressed, we went to hang out in the Promenade Lounge for a little while, and then I decided to go to the onboard cinema and watch Beauty and the Beast

Lunch was our final trip to Cabanas, making the most of the buffet, and then we did make our way out onto the deck in the end, sticking to the 18+ area which was nice and quiet. Eventually we plucked up the courage to strip down to our swimsuits, despite the cold, and thought we’d found the courage to do the ship’s more extreme water slide, the Aquadunk, but once the four of us were up there, both Sarah and I chickened out and it was just Chelsea and Tilly who experienced the floor dropping out from underneath them! We all quickly recovered from that in the hot tub though..

Once it was about 4:30pm and had started to rain, we all abandoned the hot tub and went to change for the evening. Before the show we queued to meet Minnie and then Mickey who were out for their final time in their sailor best, and then took our seats in the theatre for Disney Dreams.

The show was sweet, and I teared up here and there but for me it wasn’t as incredible as some of the other shows we’d seen in the week, but it was a lovely ending. After that, Sarah and I both went to D-Lounge for the Q&A session with Josh Strickland, the Broadway star we’d seen perform the night before, and stayed for a photo and an autograph before rushing to dinner, which for the last time was at Animators Palate.

Now I’ve loved everything about Animators Palate on this trip, but tonight’s meal was so cool. Upon arriving at the table, we were asked to draw a little character onto a template, and these were then taken away from us before the food. After we’d eaten, we got to watch our creations come to life on the screens around the restaurant as our little people danced around with Mickey and some other Disney favourites – it was truly magical!

We rushed away from dinner to the atrium to get a good spot for the Til We Meet Again show, which was sad but also slightly underwhelming as it had been quite hyped up, but it was still great to see all the amazing characters and cast members who had made our trip so special. We went to get one final drink as a group, and then all headed for bed.

Disembarkation day came far too quickly, and we had to be up way too early as our final breakfast was at 8:15, and as we had opted to take our own bags off the ship, we had to lug them with us. After we’d eaten we finally had to accept we were leaving the boat, and had to drag our sorry butts and luggage back to the dock terminal and join the huge line of guests waiting for a taxi.

This trip has been really special. Not only have I experienced a side of Disney that I have never seen before, and experienced it with some of my favourite people, but without a doubt I have met the nicest cast members. From our servers and stateroom hosts to character attendants and the characters themselves, I have been absolutely wowed by people on this ship. Thanks for helping me make some truly magical memories.

Disney Cruise Log: An Unexpected Sea Day

So today was our unexpected sea day. Long story short, due to adverse weather it was decided on Wednesday night that we would be unable to stop at our planned port of Villefranche, and instead we would spend the day at sea and instead spend Friday, which was supposed to be a sea day, at Marseille.

This meant we could enjoy a lie in after our disco antics of the night before, and although we had planned to have room service for breakfast, we stupidly didn’t check the correct procedure for ordering so instead we had to go to Cabanas. Due to the schedule change, the onboard activities were also shuffled around, so our pre-booked princess meet was now today, and having a bit of time between breakfast and that, we took the opportunity to do more browsing of the two gift shops.

The four princesses were the same as we’d met on our first sea day – Rapunzel, Tiana, Belle and Cinderella – and we’ve met them so many times now that they all recognise us! After the princesses we went to meet Spiderman again (who also recognised us), and then we split up for a little bit as Sammy went to change and Sarah went to sunbathe, and I took the chance to explore the ship and take photos of as many things as I could, then went to meet the girls up in the adults only part of the deck, where I found them sat with Chelsea and we enjoyed some drinks, sunshine and chatter.

It was past 2pm when we decided to get some lunch, opting now to sit in a slightly more sheltered area as the wind as sea was causing major hair issues. Once we’d eaten, Chelsea left to go to bingo with her family and we headed to our other pre-booked meet with the characters of Frozen. This was set up in Animator’s Palate, and I was so excited when we walked in as having just expected to see Anna and Elsa, Olaf was also there! Warm hugs were had all round.

Did I mention it’s pirate night tonight?! Every Disney Cruise has a pirate night, and this means dress up! We got changed after the Frozen meet, then started the usual routine of trying to squeeze all the characters into the evening as today they’re all kitted out in pirate attire. We met up with Chelsea and Tilly to do the chipmunks, then they went to do Minnie while we attempted some outfit photos, then reunited for Mickey, before going to the theatre for tonight’s show which was a musical showcase from Broadway performer Josh Strickland.

After the show, the rush was on to get to all the characters we wanted to see, but after realising just how long some of the lines were tonight, it became apparent that this wouldn’t be possible, so we settled for just seeing Minnie and Captain Jack Sparrow before dinner, which was at Lumiere’s. Our servers rushed the service a little bit to ensure we had time to get a good spot for the Pirates of the Caribbean deck party, and when we got up there we were so grateful to be handed blankets as it was so windy on deck!

The show included Minnie, Goofy and the chipmunks, all in their pirate best, but it was overrun by Captain Hook and Smee so Mickey just had to come to the rescue! Once the ship was saved, we celebrated with the fireworks show – did you know that Disney Cruise Line ships are the only ships in the world that are allowed to let off fireworks? Disney had to get special permission!

Once the fireworks had ended, most people headed for the bonus buffet at Cabanas, but instead we opted to go to Fathoms to see the performance group Junnk. We weren’t sure how interested we would be in them but the whole performance was actually hilarious, especially when Sarah was picked out of the audience and serenaded! After the show, Fathoms once again turned into DJ night and we partied until the tiredness set in.

Tomorrow is our last day on the boat, stay tuned!

Disney Cruise Log: Chilling on the Med

What can I say, today has been a pretty chilled out day.. We decided to skip going ashore today; I’ve been to Pisa and Florence before so I wasn’t particularly bothered, plus apparently it was a bit of a difficult port to get in and out of, so instead we took advantage of an emptier than usual ship.

After a lie in and breakfast at Cabanas, we headed on deck for plenty of photos, then settled ourselves down by the adults only pool to enjoy the peace, quiet, and gorgeous sunshine. With the exception of getting up to pick up some lunch from Boiler Bites, we stayed on our sunloungers pretty much all day, although Sarah and I did hit up one of the water slides and the kiddy splash area.

At about 3:30pm we headed back to get ready for the evening – by now we’ve learnt how long it can take us all! Tonight was not only semi-formal night, but also Tangled night on the ship, and of course I had an outfit planned for the occasion! Once we were ready, we went out on deck to take some photos in our pretty dresses, then got down to the Walt Disney Theatre to get in line for a good seat for our showing of Tangled: The Musical.

The show was INCREDIBLE and of course because it was Tangled I cried throughout. After the show we met Rapunzel herself, and she loved my lantern scarf and we talked about having the best day ever, then went to see Tiana who brought all kinds of sass, before going to dinner at Carioca’s; just another meal I couldn’t fault, and I ended up having two desserts just cos I couldn’t decide.

After dinner we went to see Minnie quickly before going to O’Gills Pub for the Snuggly Duckling takeover. When we arrived, we were a little confused as we were made to play a twist on Bingo called Thugo, and I was a bit miffed thinking that was all it was gonna be, but then the Stabbington Brothers stormed the joint and it turned into a sorta improv/skit which was hilariously funny! From there we went to see Donald in another adorable outfit, and then we headed to Fathoms for the DJ night.

Living our best lives, as Chelsea would say, we partied past midnight until the DJ started playing songs we didn’t know and then we headed for bed.

So this was Wednesday, and while I had every intention of posting this yesterday, due to an unscheduled change of route as a result of adverse weather, yesterday turned out to be a sea day so no internet! I’ll now be continuing the last few days on a daily basis, they’ll just be shunted back a day each!

Disney Cruise Log: When in Rome

Good morning everyone! Today’s port of call was Civitavecchia, also known as the closest port to Rome, and I was super excited to be going ashore for the first time.

After struggling to get out of bed (they’re so damn comfortable!), we grabbed breakfast at Cabanas and then headed out on our own little adventure. Disney had shuttle buses running from the boat into the town, so we hopped on one of those and then walked to the train station to catch a train into Rome, which was only 10€ for a return ticket. The train took about an hour to get into Roma Termini, which meant we arrived just after midday, and with our return tickets booked for just after 4pm, it was go go go!


We went everywhere on foot, walking first to the Trevi Fountain, via a McDonalds for a toilet stop and with a few quick stops at some of the beautiful squares and buildings we came across on the way. The fountain was, of course, beautiful, but the piazza was also packed with both tourists and street vendors so it was a bit of a struggle getting to the front to sea the fountain, and then to get a photo without someone rudely butting in front.

From the fountain we walked to the second big thing we all wanted to see: the Colosseum. Again, the area around was full of people trying to sell guided tour and ‘skip the line’ tickets, but as we didn’t really know who to trust or not, we just got in the regular ticket line, and despite being told it was probably a 50 minute wait, I think it was no more than 20-30. We paid our 12€ and in we went without any fuss at all.


After wondering the Colosseum’s interior, and doing another loop of the outside, it was time for us to start heading back towards the station, but on the walk back we just had to get an ice-cream, cos when in Rome, right? Well when in Rome you pay 7€ for an ice-cream. Ah well, it was delicious anyway! We were back at the station in perfect time, and started the reverse journey back to the boat: train, walk, shuttle bus. There was a minor mix up with the shuttle bus but we were back aboard at 18:15.

Quick shower and change of clothes, and next on the agenda for the evening was the superheroes who were out for the night. First meet was Thor, and then Captain America, both of whom were lovely and very chatty. Dinner was at Animators Palate again and it was another incredible meal. Our servers our so sweet, and tonight they had commissioned the chef to make an off menu dish especially for Sammy as they were worried she didn’t have enough vegetarian options, so they brought out this huge veggie curry for us all to dig into, as well as our own meals, and it was amazing!

After dinner we rushed to get in line for Spiderman, who again was a very talkative guy, and we met up with Chelsea, Lisa and Carrie while in the queue. From there we all went to meet Donald, and then had planned to go to Fathoms for DJ night, but it seemed the karaoke had run over so instead we decided to postpone our late night antics for another day, all opting to go to bed instead.

What can I say, 20,000 steps walking around Rome really takes it out of you!

Disney Cruise Log: First Stop, Naples

Hey gang! Today we reached our first port, Naples! Due to my poorliness last night, I slept in with Sarah til about 8am, while Sammy headed off for her excursion to Pompeii. 

When we finally dragged ourselves up, we grabbed a quick breakfast in Cabanas, then I dragged Sarah with me to the gym where, to my amazement, she actually stayed! Well, I worked out and she had a bit of a walk on the treadmill and did a few squats while dressed in denim shorts and flip flops, haha! The gym was fab; really spacious and lots of equipment – I was definitely in my element!


After showering and getting dressed, we decided to do a tour of the various kids clubs that were having open houses, as they’re normally off limits to anyone who isn’t of the age range. First stop was Edge, then Oceaneer’s Club (which we both could have stayed at forever) then we went to Vibe before stopping for some lunch. To mix things up, we went to Boiler Bites instead of Cabanas, and also got a slice of pizza from Pinocchio’s Pizzeria, and sat by the main pool watching Jungle Book on the Funnel Vision screen.

As the weather was getting worse and we were getting colder, we decided it was time to cave in and go back to get jumpers, before heading down to the lobby atrium as Captain Hook was due to come out, but as Sammy arrived back early from her excursion starving hungry, we went back up to the deck to get her some food and an ice cream. Once we were suitably full of soft serve, we went back to the lower decks where we bumped into Chelsea and family, and Chelsea joined us for another trip to the kids club open house – where much silliness occurred! – and then to take more photos in various locations before queueing to see Minnie, then went to change for dinner.

Despite a small power outage, the rest of the evening went fairly swimmingly. First on the agenda was the evening show, Walt Disney: The Dream Goes On, then we took photos in the atrium and queued to meet Mickey before dinner at Lumiere’s, which was another incredible meal and I probably walked away twice the size! Once stuffed, we went to meet Donald, followed by Daisy, then ducked (get it) into D-Lounge to see the Saludos Amigos Fiesta, but as it turned out to be more of a dancing lesson than a dance party, we called it a night and headed to bed for some much needed sleep as tomorrow will be a busy day!

Rome, we’re coming for you!

Disney Cruise Log: All Aboard and A Day at Sea

Ahoy shipmates! I’m coming to you today from the Disney Magic as I’m cruising round the Med, and as there’s no signal in the sea, posts are gonna be running a little bit behind my daily updates so bear with me!On Saturday morning I flew to Barcelona with Sarah, and met Sammy at the airport after a minor mix up with terminals, and the three of us got a taxi to the dock. At the dock terminal we had to drop our bags, then go through security before checking in and getting our boarding group number, which decides when we get onto the ship. As it was number 23, and they weren’t anywhere near calling us yet, we went to meet our captain, the main mouse himself!

There was a bit of a delay getting aboard due to weather issues, but once we were on the ship our main priority was lunch, so we went straight up to the buffet spectacular that is Cabanas and filled multiple plates with the various offerings, then once we were stuffed headed down to see our stateroom and unpack – 3 girls with several outfits per day and one wardrobe was a bit of a struggle! After unpacking and chilling out for a little bit, it was time for the mandatory safety drill, which was a bit of a drag but oh well!

As the rain had stopped, we headed from the drill to the top deck to take some (actually a lot) of photos, then down to the lobby atrium to see the sail away party – although we had yet to leave port at that stage – and went on from there to explore the ship for a little while. As we are on the later dinner sitting, it means that we go to the earlier performance of whatever show is on, and it was the Be Our Guest welcome show, which gave us a sneak peak of some of the other performances that will be happening over the coming week, and then after the show we went to change for dinner, via the gift shop!

Our dinner was at Animators Palette, and I couldn’t flaw a single thing – the setting was incredible, the food was amazing, and there was even a magical visitor before dessert! After dinner, we went to meet Donald, and bumped into Chelsea while in the line, and after a quick catch up we headed to bed due to having been awake since 3am!

Sunday morning we were up early as we had a Mickey and pals breakfast booked for 8:30am. This was also in Animator’s Palette, and we saw Mickey, Minnie and Goofy – and again no complaints about the food! After breakfast we went to take some more photos on deck, then went down to the lobby atrium to do the princess meet – we actually had this booked for Friday, but Chelsea’s was booked for today, and as her family weren’t bothered by attending, they let us use their slots so we could meet all the princesses twice! It was Tiana, Cinderella, Rapunzel and Belle, and they were all perfect and the sweetest!

From meeting the princesses, we went to change into our bikinis and headed back to the deck to chill out for a bit, then grabbed an ice cream and a drink, and then after another wander around the boat went to another buffet lunch at Cabanas. Post-buffet, we decided to take part in one of the many onboard activities: the Ultimate Disney Trivia quiz at O’Gills Pub in the over 18s part of the ship. Now I’m a pub-quizzing wiz, but some of these questions were hard! We did win one round of the quiz, but our answers to some of the more impossible questions just didn’t match up to some others so we walked away in around about 5th place.

We got over our loss pretty quickly with another ice-cream, and although still early, we went back to our stateroom to start getting ready for formal night a) because 3 girls and 1 shower = time and b) there were going to be a lot of characters out in their formal night outfits from about 4:30 onwards and we didn’t want to miss out on the photo opportunities, and it was a good job because it actually took us until 4:30 to get ready!

Dressed to impress, we went to see Donald, then Chip and Dale with Chelsea and Tilly, and then after a few photos on the deck in our dresses, we made our way to the Walt Disney Theatre for the first performance of Twice Charmed: An Original Twist on the Cinderella Story. The show was actually much longer than I expected which was great, and the storyline was very similar to one of the Cinderella movie sequels, A Twist in Time, and even included one of the same songs which was cute!

After the show we had to rush to get in line to meet Minnie in her formal outfit, and after seeing her we rushed again to catch Daisy before dinner, which tonight was at Carioca’s. Unfortunately I can’t say much about the food here as due to it being a particularly choppy night, and probably due to my bizarre buffet choices from earlier in the day, I was starting to feel a little (actually a lot) queasy.. I did order a starter and a main, and managed about 2-3 mouthfuls of each but in the end I gave up and took my leave from dinner early. I was pretty gutted as it meant I missed out on meeting Mickey in his formal night attire, but I didn’t want to make myself any worse so early on in our trip, and five minutes after a laid down on the bed I was zzzzz..

Next stop Naples!

What I’m Packing for my Disney Cruise

This time next week I’ll be in sunny Barcelona, getting ready to set sail on the Disney Magic for 7 nights of Mediterranean fun AND I CAN’T WAIT!

As I’ve mentioned before, this is my first ever Disney Cruise, so I’m completely out of my comfort zone in knowing exactly what’s going to happen or what I might need, which has made packing for this trip a little bit of an experiment, but here’s what I’ve got so far!

Outfits

Y’all know outfit planning is one of my strengths, but would you believe on the cruise I’ll be needing two outfits per day?! That’s right, one outfit for day time and then one outfit for dinner in the evening, so your girl got creative and I’ve picked one character for each day, and I’m going to be doing a daytime look and an evening look inspired by said character. To name a few, I’ll be bounding as Melody, Belle, Kida and Moana, and the evening outfits will also include dresses for both formal and semi-formal night, and the cruise’s traditional pirate night!

Swimwear and gymwear

Of course I’ll be taking full advantage of the onboard pools, and I’ve got a few bikinis lined up and ready to do, but I’m also planning on spending some time in the onboard gym too!

Shoes

When it comes to daytime shoes, I’m not really one to stray from my Converses and Toms, and that will pretty much be the case for this trip as well, but I’m also packing some pretty flats and some heels for formal and semi-formal night.

Tech

Camera-wise, I’m planning on bringing both my DSLR and my Sony A5000 compact so I can abuse my 55-210mm lens, but I imagine I’ll probably take most of my photos on my iPhone, and I’ll also bring my iPad for backing up photos and writing blog posts.

Day bags

I’ve been told by cruise experts that its important to have a hand luggage bag packed with any items you might need on day 1, as it can sometimes take time for your suitcases to arrive in your stateroom. With this in mind, I’ll be packing up my Mickey Mouse backpack with a swimsuit, my camera and a few other essentials just in case! I’ll also be packing my new Mickey handbag from the Disney Store, and one or two others for day trips out and evenings.

I’m really nervous that I may have missed some essentials, so if you’re a Disney cruise veteran and have noticed anything that I’m missing, or any nuggets of wisdom, please let me know!

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My Disney Cruise Bucket List

I feel like I’ve hardly talked about the fact that next month I’ll be going on my first ever Disney Cruise – crazy right?!

Because it is my first cruise, I genuinely have no idea what to expect, and I’ve not done a whole lot of research, which is very unlike me, so I’m essentially going in blind, but what is a trip without a bucket list?

  • Take a photo by the funnels – yes, I want that cliche Disney cruise photo, and any other classic photo that I can get
  • Visit the ship’s gym – call me strange, but I love visiting gyms at Disney hotels and resorts, so when I discovered that the Disney Magic has a fully equipped gym, I knew I’d be adding that to the list
  • See Tangled: The Musical – apparently there is a Tangled show on board the ship, so you bet your butt I’m gonna be there
  • Eat as much as I can without bursting – when all food is included in the price, you’ve gotta get your money’s worth, right?
  • Do all the waterslides on the boat – no, the waterslides aren’t just for kids.
  • Meet as many characters as I can – because is it really a Disney cruise if you don’t hang out with Mickey and the gang?
  • Explore every little nook and cranny of the ship – I want to see ALL of it
  • Take ALL the outfit photos – as per every other Disney trip, I have planned a whole bunch of outfits specifically for this trip, and you bet you’re gonna be seeing a tonne of them all over here and my social media
  • Party like a pirate – did you know that every Disney cruise has a pirate night? Well I do now, and I can’t wait!
  • Order room service, just ‘cos – all-inclusive perks..
  • Hang out with my best friends – as well as the excitement of my first ever Disney cruise, I’m going with some amazing people and I can’t wait to spend this time with them! Best trip ever!

If you’ve ever been on a Disney Cruise and have any tips or advice, please drop me a comment!

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