Embarkation day for your Disney cruise is quite exciting. If you’re like me, you want to get to the port early even if you have a later check-in time. But where will you go? Is there food available? Will you have to lug your luggage around with you? These were all questions I had the morning we were to set sail from Vancouver to Alaska. I’m happy to tell you that Canada Place is in a great location set up to help keep you comfortable and entertained while you wait to board.

  • Food and a Quick Break: Immediately across the street from Canada Place is the Waterfront Centre Food Court, complete with Tim Horton’s, McDonald’s, and plenty of other offerings where you can grab a bite to eat and relax. Restaurants open early, wi-fi is available, and youcan make a quick stop to the restrooms.
  • Stowing Luggage: Make sure you have secured your luggage tags to all bags you plan to check in. Cross the street to Canada Place and veer down the ramp to the right. You will find guests who have just come off their cruise and are exiting the port. As their luggage is cleared out, Disney Cruise Line will accept your luggage to check-in. You may be able to check your luggage in as early as 10 am depending on how busy the port is. Be sure to keep all your travel documents, id/passport, medication and all other necessities in your day bag that you will carry onto the ship with you.
  • What to Do: The port has great views across the bay if you like to sit and watch boats and sea planes go by.
  • Checking In: Have your documents and passports ready to check in. You will also be asked to fill out a quick survey regarding recent illnesses or symptoms. This is all part of Disney’s on-going commitment to guests’ health and safety.
  • Waiting to Board: Once you are checked in, you can advance into the general boarding area where you will sit until your group number is called. You can usually find Mickey and a couple of his pals for a quick photograph. There are bathrooms available, but there isn’t much else to do. Bring a book, a game for the kids, or talk to your neighbors.
  • Make New Friends: If meeting other people from all over the world is part of your fun while on vacation, take the time to chat with other guests around you. You will likely see many of them again on board, and you can compare adventures and highlights during your trip.
  • Just Have Fun! Getting all set and settled is just part of the process to getting to your adventure. As soon as you embark on your cruise, you can go straight to the buffet or the restaurant for a good meal before you start exploring the ship and the real fun begins!

Nancy Wideman

Travel Specialist

 

Every summer Disney Cruise Line sails one of its ships to Europe for one of the most special sets of itineraries available. Disney Cruise Line separates their European itineraries into Northern Europe and Mediterranean itineraries. This summer my family was able to experience the unique 7 night re-positioning cruise that connected these guest experiences. We started in Dover, England and ended in
Barcelona, Spain and it was a vacation we will never forget and recommend to all interested in visiting Europe with their family.

IMG_2441

Visiting Europe on a Disney cruise allows families to visit multiple countries and cultures in a short time while keeping a home base on the ship. The tours offered by Disney’s port adventures team allow for the interests of all ages with varying tour lengths to accommodate your needs.

On our particular cruise, we docked in Le Havre, France; Lisbon, Portugal; and Cadiz, Spain with 3 full days at sea. All of these countries were new to our family so we took advantage of the tours to see all we could while we were in port. Le Havre is located in northern France and about a 2 ½ to 3 hour drive from Paris. With a 16 hour stopover, there was plenty of time to take an adventure into Paris and see the main sights of the city. Lisbon’s city tour showed us how important the city and its inhabitants were to navigation of the oceans and the discovery of the new world. Cadiz’s town square, just steps from the dock, allowed us a walking tour of the city that dates from the time of the Phoenicians, about 1100 BC. Another amazing sight was seeing Africa as we sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar late one evening.

PicMonkey Collage

Families of all ages can be found on Disney’s European cruises. If you have young children, exposing them to the historical locations, introducing them to new languages, and giving them a fun time each day is a great introduction to Europe. Tweens and teens will get excited when they recognize places and people that they’ve studied in school and then when they are back on ship the excitement doesn’t stop when the meet up with new friends in Edge and Vibe.

What makes Disney’s cruises so special to experience Europe is the fun, family friendly atmosphere. From the shows, to the on board events, to the age appropriate port adventures, to characters that dress in the native clothing of the ports, you will find everyone young and old enjoying each day of the cruise from morning until night.

Going on a European Disney Cruise Line vacation is one of the most memorable vacations that a family can have. Disney’s European itineraries are available for booking by contacting your Me and the Mouse travel agent.

Michelle Browne – travel specialist

1061-1522814-Classic CL Mickey Sailor 4 FWD-25421_GPR

 

If you are sailing on a Disney Cruise and looking for adult onboard activities, Disney offers tasting events for guests that are at least 21 years old. This is a fun activity that you can experience on select days, generally sea days. I have personally experienced the tastings with a group of friends, but I have also signed up for wine tastings by myself. It is a fun and comfortable environment and a great way to meet other people on your cruise.

Disney Cruise Line Tastings!

Here are a few examples of the types of tastings offered, but they can vary by sailings and the length of the cruise:

 

  • Wines Tasting hosted by a sommelier
  • Beer Tasting
  • Martini and Tequila/Margarita tastings
  • Rum Tasting
  • Cognac Tasting
  • + A variety of other options based on availability

 

Beginning July 13, 2017, you are now able to reserve our tastings online after your booking window opens in the “Onboard Fun” portion of the screen. This is an easy way to start planning your activities prior to leaving home. If the sessions are booked when attempting to schedule them online, you can check with Guest Services after you board and they will direct you the location to see if spots have become available.

Disney Cruise Line Tastings!

Happy sailing and we hope you enjoy your cruise!

If you’re ready to book your next Disney Cruise, contact a Me and The Mouse agent today! We’d love to help plan your next voyage, and help you figure out the ins-and-outs of a Disney Cruise!

Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specialist

Taking a vacation at sea does not mean it will be a vacation without your daily gourmet coffee. Disney Cruise Line has the Cove Café, which is an adult only location on each of their cruise ships which offers gourmet coffees such as lattes, cappuccinos, espressos and hot tea. One of my favorite ways to start the day on a Disney Cruise is to stop in and grab a pastry and an Americano. This is also a great place to try something different from your typical routine! You can find the Cove Café, on the Disney Magic and Wonder, on Deck 9, and if you’re on the Dream and Fantasy, it is located on Deck 11 adjacent to the adult pool.

Cove Café - Disney CruiseThe Cove Café isn’t just for morning coffee and breakfast treats. You can visit it all day long for different delightful treats! Throughout the day, they offer snacks and desserts as well as light hors d’oeuvres prior to dinner.  It is also a great way to end the day with their full bar service in a quiet setting.

The Cove Café is the ideal place for any adult looking for a quiet space to relax. This is the perfect place to visit and watch the news, read the newspaper or log into the internet. Outside are comfy cushioned chairs that make the perfect spot to enjoy a warm day and curl up with a good book.

If you’re on the Wonder, the Outlook Café is located upstairs from the Cove Café. This is the perfect spot to visit when sailing on an Alaskan cruise. The Outlook is surrounded by windows and ideal for watching the scenery and keep a look out for whales while staying warm inside.

It is important to note that beverages are an additional cost, but the food items are complimentary. One tip we can suggest is to pick up the “coffee card”, which entitles you to your 6th coffee free after you purchase 5.

Cheers and happy sailing! 

Are you ready to plan your next Disney vacation? Contact one of our incredible travel specialist today!

Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specialist

The anticipation of a Disney Cruise can be grand. There’s so much to plan, and for most travelers, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist will guide you in the best options for your travel party: before, during, and after your cruise.  One such option, is visiting the Walt Disney World Resort for a few days before embarking on your cruise that leaves from a Floridian port!

 

There are benefits to visiting the Most Magical Place On Earth BEFORE your cruise… Here are the Top Five!

 

  1.  5 Reasons To Visit Walt Disney World BEFORE Your Disney Cruise!You will be too relaxed (and tired) to visit the Walt Disney Resort after your cruise!

Cruising changes your mood, and changes your routine, to a Hakuna Matata lifestyle!  To then switch gears and amp up for a theme park visit is exhausting. Rest your tired feet, be pampered, and end your vacation refreshed!

 

  1.  By arriving a few days early, you will not have to worry about trip delays with airlines or traffic.

Day-of arrivals for cruises can be extremely stressful, as any major delay could keep you from boarding your cruise on time, or could prevent you from boarding at all!

 

  1. 5 Reasons To Visit Walt Disney World BEFORE Your Disney Cruise!You will experience world-class amenities at the Walt Disney World Resort hotel of your choice!

Not only will you enjoy perfectly themed rooms and resorts to fit your needs, but if you are flying, you will experience free Magical Express transportation from Orlando International Airport to your resort.  Transportation from your resort hotel to the port can also be arranged, but for a nominal fee, either with Disney transportation or with a private car service.  All of which, your Travel Specialist can assist with!

 

  1.  Room and package discounts often make a WDW stay cheaper than an off-site hotel!

And who doesn’t like to save money on vacation?  

 

  1. If you are that close to the Magic…why not?

5 Reasons To Visit Walt Disney World BEFORE Your Disney Cruise!Get the chance to experience an attraction, dine at a restaurant, or meet a character you’ve always dreamed of!  There’s no better time to do so!  Whether your first visit or your umpteenth, your Walt Disney World memories will stay with you forever.  Kids, and the “Kids-at-Heart”, agree that the opportunity to visit WDW along with the Disney Cruise was a great decision.  Every Disney experience is unique and worthwhile! Why not combine the best of both worlds and make unforgettable memories on Land and at Sea?  Especially if this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip!

 

You’re never too old to experience all the Magic that Disney has to offer!  Let your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist guide you through a few easy steps to add your Walt Disney World experience to the start of your cruise vacation, and add more memories that will last a lifetime! If you’re not yet connected with a Me and The Mouse agent, visit our contact page, and we’d love to pair you with one of our incredible specialists!

 

Amy Sowinski

Travel Specialist

Woohoo!! Your cruise is booked but now you are wondering how you’re going to get to Port Canaveral. No worries – we’re here to help! It is highly recommended that you fly in at least one day prior to your cruise!  This may impact the means of transportation you chose. Here are a few options to consider.

Disney Cruise Line Transportation

Transportation to and from Port CanaveralDisney Cruise Line shuttles passengers from the airport (MCO) to the port. The cost of the ride is $35/person each way, however it only runs the day of embarkation and debarkation.

If you are flying in the night before and staying at a local hotel and are utilizing this option, I would suggest staying near the airport. The Hyatt Regency is located inside the airport and will be an easy elevator ride down to the bus. Otherwise, a hotel that provides shuttle service to and from the airport is also an easy option. Simply catch the shuttle back to the airport the morning of the cruise.

Renting a car

Some rental car companies have rental locations near the port. This brings a few options. You can either rent the car at the airport and park at the port or you can return the car to the rental location in Cocoa Beach and then pick up another vehicle on your return. The second option will save on parking fees, but will add an additional step since you will need to get the rental shuttle to get to and from the rental location to the port. It’s a simple step, but does add a little time.

Private Transfer

If you have 4 or more people in your party, your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist will be able to arrange a private transfer company. It will be approximately the same cost as Disney transfers. The benefit of the private transfer company provides you flexibility to be picked up at a time that you want and arrive at the port at your convenience. Transportation to and from Port Canaveral

Also, if you fly in the night before, a private transfer company can pick you up at the airport and bring you to a hotel in Cocoa Beach. Your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist will be able to help locate a hotel that provides a shuttle from the hotel to the port the morning of your cruise.

All Me and The Mouse Travel Specialists are highly trained! They would love to help you find the best transportation option for your cruise vacation. Ready to make the move to take a Disney Cruise? Contact a Me and The Mouse agent today! We’d LOVE to plan your dream Disney vacation!!

Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specialist

I’ve Booked My Disney Cruise…Now What?

Keeping the excitement of a future cruise – especially one that is over a year away – can be difficult unless you are sailing with Disney!  Once you have booked your cruise with Me and the Mouse Travel, here are some things to do or consider.

1. Join the cruise Facebook group. 

Each Disney cruise has a Facebook group organized by an individual or group of individuals on the sailing, usually a DCL veteran.  In the Facebook search toolbar, type the name of your ship and year of your cruise i.e. Disney Wonder 2017, and you should be able to locate the group.  Groups are typically “closed” and a request to join is necessary.  It is a great way to get to know your fellow Guests, and many groups schedule a group meet-up or other private events on board.  It also serves as a wonderful resource to ask questions.

2. Join a Fish Extender or Secret Mickey group. 

Within each Facebook cruise group, an individual coordinates a gift exchange program.  Guests sign up and provide family name, cabin number, and additional information.  Many gifts are homemade and personalized, and you receive a set number of cabins to gift while you receive gifts from your group of cabins.  The Secret Mickey exchange is similar to Secret Santa, and you exchange with only one other cabin.  The recipients do not know who is giving the gifts until the end of the cruise or even after returning home.

 

3. Watch videos. 

Official and unofficial Disney Cruise Line videos can be found on YouTube to help keep you excited and see adventures posted by other Guests.
What to Do Before Your Disney Cruise

 

4. Download the DCL Navigator app. 

While on board, the app will provide activity schedules, ship information and maps, dining room menus, free texting capability with other guests or groups, and more.  At home, a countdown clock is visible anytime you open the app once you enter your sail date.  Visit the iTunes or Google Play store to download the app for free.  A note about the messaging capability:  Guests do not share personal information.  Guests provide a designated chat number to other guests they want to be able to message.  Even if the chat number is shared, no personal information is provided to the recipient.  Parents have the capability of granting messaging access to children.

 

5. Schedule a character call.

Each reservation gets the opportunity to have a generic pre-cruise character call.  These are great to use for surprising kids with the trip.
What to Do Before Your Disney Cruise

 

6. Review Personal Navigators from similar sailings. 

You can find Personal Navigators {daily activity schedule} from previous cruises here.  The more recent the sail date, the less the activity schedule changes.  These serve as a great resource for advance planning.

 

7. Submit dining room requests. 

If you would like to be in a specific dining room on a certain night, you can have your Me and The Mouse agent submit your request to DCL.  If you have severe food allergies, those can also be submitted in advance.

 

8. Book onboard activities and shore excursions. 

Each Guest has an individual booking window depending on their frequent cruise club status.  Click here to calculate your window.  Booking opens at midnight Eastern, so adjust accordingly to where you are located.  Any changes that are needed can be made until approximately three days before sailing without cancellation fees, depending on the item or excursion reserved.
What to Do Before Your Disney Cruise

 

9. Complete your online check-in. 

You can complete this up to two days prior to sailing.  Have your travel itinerary, passports {if applicable}, and credit card ready.  Many people like to complete check-in when it opens at the same time as the booking window in order to get the earliest port arrival time possible.

What to Do Before Your Disney Cruise

 

10. Review DCL gifts and photo opportunities available. 

Visit disneycruise.com and you can see the gifts available for purchase that can be delivered to your cabin or someone else’s cabin.  You can also make advance photo purchases, which offer savings versus while on board.

Don’t Forget: Pack and complete final preparations. 

Your Me and The Mouse agent will supply you with a packing list before you set sail.  If applicable, be sure to check in for your flight in advance and allow plenty of time to get to your airport.

 

You’re now ready to set sail!

Jenniffer Sheldon
Guest Contributor || Disney Cruise Platinum Guest

Summer 2018 Itineraries
Book Now!

Disney Cruise Line is offering some amazing destinations and experiences in 2018. DCL will be offering new itineraries and new ports, in summer 2018. For the first-time, they will offer destinations to Italy and Ireland. Disney Cruise Line offers incredible tours of Europe and special visits to the Mediterranean, northern Europe, Norway, and Iceland. They will also offer their classic cruises to Alaska, the Caribbean, and the Bahamas.

Disney Cruise LineGuests, will be able to become more engrossed in the incredible culture of Barcelona and unique history of Rome in one cruise. For the first time, on June 16, 2018, the Disney Magic will set sail on a cruise from Barcelona to Civitavecchia {Rome}. Then, on June 23, 2018, it will set sail again on a seven-night cruise from Civitavecchia {Rome} to Barcelona. Also, making its first appearance on a Disney Cruise is Genoa, Italy. Genoa is an incredible historic port is the passageway to the gorgeous, Milan and the beautiful, Portofino.

The fun doesn’t stop there, the Disney Magic will also visit Cork, Ireland. This incredible adventure is a seven-night British Isles cruise. It departs on September 2, 2018. There are several additional ports visited on this sailing, including: Dublin, Ireland; Greenock, Scotland; and Liverpool, England. The summer will hold several other European adventures on the Disney Magic. It will include: Baltic, Norwegian fjords, British Isles and the Mediterranean.

Don’t forget, the newly re-imagined Disney Wonder will return to Alaska for the summer as well!

If the Caribbean is calling your name, the Disney Fantasy will be embarking on special 11-night itinerary. It will depart on June 30th and visit the dreamy and tropical destination of: Aruba, Barbados, Martinique, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico and Disney Castaway Cay.

Castaway Cay has been consistently rated as a top-destination location. The Disney Dream will sail on a series of cruises. It will include two stops at Castaway Cay {double-the-fun}! This is such a fun and incredible opportunity as guests will be able to enjoy more of the beach, sand, and sea, and they will also see more of the pristine island paradise!

Contact us to learn more about these incredible cruises or to let us take all the stress away from your planning! We’d love to help plan your dream Disney cruise.

Elizabeth Hollman

Owner & Travel Specialist

It wasn’t until my oldest son, who is living with Fragile X, was almost 3 that I began to have a greater understanding of his sensory integration challenges.  Fragile X is the leading cause of inherited intellectual impairment and the leading known genetic cause of Autism. I was attending an education workshop, and I participated in an exercise that helped me understand what someone with Fragile X/Sensory integration challenges experiences. I began to view the world with a different perspective. Sensory Overload

On our next trip to Walt Disney World, It was as if I was experiencing it for the first time.  Guests are immersed in their experience even before entering the gates.  Our senses are constantly bombarded.  As my son grew older, it was clear that the sensory input, at times, was too much.  If we wanted to continue to enjoy traveling to Disney destinations, we needed to come up with a plan.

Over the years, we have used many strategies to lessen the sensory bombardment. Trial and error is worth the effort and can lead to developing a great plan.  Try to utilize strategies that are used at home/school/work and modify them for use while on vacation too! Here are a few of the strategies that we have used over the years.

  1. Social Story:
    Search the Internet for examples or reach out to your speech therapist to help develop one for your upcoming trip.
  2. Videos:
    There are many options available.  Disney Park’s has a wide variety of video’s to help those of us who are visual learners! Check out Disney Parks’ YouTube Channel, here!

  3. Review Disney resources throughout the planning process:
    Check out the WDW Cognitive Guide, here!

  4. Visual schedule:
    Search for “images” of Disney destination attractions/dining/parks/transportation. Many digital applications allow you to add photos to create the schedule on the go.  Prior to having a digital device, I pasted those images into a word document, printed them out, laminated and then placed Velcro on the back.
  5. Noise cancelling headphones/ear phones.
    This allows your child to either eliminate overwhelming sounds or decrease the level of auditory input.
  6. Biting options:
    If your family member tends to bite on items, chew on gum, or has a preferred snack, bring those items with you. Gum is not sold on property.  If your family member has brand specific preferences, I suggest bringing your own snacks.
  7. Downtime/waiting activities:
    Bring some preferred activities to help pass the time: pictures (of preferred people works for us), digital devices (wifi is available for FREE), card games, travel size versions of games (magnetic options), coloring book/crayonsSensory Overload
  8. Back pack.
    Utilizing a back pack (moderately weighted works best for us) helps to provide the needed sensory input that helps your family member combat the overwhelming input. It is also a great place to keep all your items above.

 

The key is to integrate a familiar strategy with new options and modifications, and your next trip will be a success!!!

 

Missy Zolecki

Travel Specialist

You have finally managed to save enough for this magical vacation. You have put months of work into planning every detail so things are perfect! You can’t wait to see the smiles and hear the laughter of your kids but that all could change if you don’t plan for the waits. It is just a given, if you are going to Disney, you are going to wait in lines at some point during your trip. A little extra planning beforehand can save you a major meltdown while on your magical trip. Waiting in Line at Disney

Here are some helpful hints that will hopefully make waiting in line more tolerable:

  • Start preparing your kids months before you leave. When you are waiting in line to see a movie or buy a toy, explain that this is what it will be like at Disney. But also, explain the reward at the end of the wait makes it worth it!
  • Make sure the kids have used the restroom before you get in line. There is nothing worse than being so close to the entrance and having to get out of line to take a kid to the bathroom or worst of all, them having an accident.
  • Use the time in line to feed the kids either a meal or a snack. On your way to the attraction, find a restaurant or snack stand. By eating in line, you won’t waste any more time having to sit down to eat. Great way to kill two birds with one stone!
  • Play games in line. You can play trivia like asking who can name the most characters or movies. Bringing card games from home is helpful. Or you could look for hidden Mickeys.
  • If worse comes to worse, you may need to bring out the electronics. Disney does have some great free apps.

Bottom line is there is no way to avoid lines at Disney. But preparation prior to the trip and utilizing the Fastpass system will hopefully make the wait more manageable. The wait is worth the reward especially at Disney!

Lori Steinnerd

Travel Specialist