FantasyI just took my first cruise ship vacation on the Magical Preview Cruise on the Disney Fantasy.  Since I had never been on a cruise ship before and the words legionnaires’ disease were throbbing in my head, I was a little nervous.  I shouldn’t have been.  I was traveling with Disney, for pete’s sake!  They’re not going to let anything bad happen.  Only good things.  Only pixie dust…

As I mentioned in a previous post, I forgot to bring my purse.  I knew I should have, I just packed too many shoes to add another purse.  Didn’t need all those shoes…

Here’s What I Learned:

You can order two entrees
: I know this must sound obvious for those who’ve been on a cruise before, but when I didn’t know which entree (or dessert) to order, my experienced Traveling Moms advised me to order both.  That’s America!  (Disney is actually catching on to the idea and has dessert samplers — three small portions of that night’s desserts.) I did order both (desserts and entrees) on more than one occasion. The trick is not to eat all of both.

RookieCruise3All you really need is your room key card — for everything!  Not only is the card the key to your room (magnetic strip), but it’s also got a photo of you, taken as you board, identified with it. When you leave the boat, that’s all the ID you need to get back on.  You can also buy drinks with the card, as it’s attached to your room account. It’s truly a magical Disney room key card.

Alcohol is NOT included.  But it’s not like you’re buying a drink in New York.  No $27 martinis on a Disney cruise ship.  

Seasickness Patch Rules!  I stuck one of these behind my ear as soon as I got on and even though I felt the movement of the ship, I never once felt queasy.  And I was waiting for it.  Don’t think twice: call your doctor before you leave and get the patch.

Don’t Bring Shampoo/Conditioner/Soap:  Unless you are super particular about these products, you can use what they provide on the ship.  If you’re on a nice ship like the Disney Fantasy, the products were really swell.  And I am picky.  For three days, I can forego my own conditioner so as to leave extra room.  (For face products.)

Don’t expect to get online: and if you do, it’s a pleasant surprise. I connected to the wifi on the ship, but it was extremely slow (it’s a satellite — and shared by thousands of people on board) and truly, not worth the time. You will connect when you get back.  Be on the ship!  Be present! It’s your vacation, so stop emailing and texting.  Your loved ones back home will understand.

Bring a hat with a strap!  You’re out at sea.  It can be windy.  Or, bring a hat you don’t love.