Last month, we headed out on our big annual family vacation – a Disney cruise. Since we took the 7-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary last year, we decided to book the 7-day Western Caribbean itinerary this year. The ship made stops at Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Falmouth (Jamaica), and Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island in the Bahamas). Just like last year, this trip was absolutely fantastic, and we are excited to venture out on another Disney cruise next year. If you are thinking of taking a 7 night Disney Cruise, this is definitely a great option.
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The Disney Fantasy’s Western Caribbean Itinerary
As usual, we flew into Orlando International Airport the night before our cruise started. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in the airport, and took Disney transportation to the port. Upon arrival, we checked in, and set the kids up with the kids’ club, then waited for our boarding group to be called. After a quick wait, we were on board!
I love arriving early for a cruise, since that first day counts as a day on the ship. We had a delicious dinner at the buffet in Cabanas, and signed up for a wine tasting seminar for later in the cruise.
I had called to request our favorite server for this cruise, and we were anxious to see if we’d been assigned to him. As we were seated for dinner, we were thrilled to see that he was our server for the week!
Unlike the 7- night Eastern itinerary trip we took last year, this itinerary only had two days at sea. So, we really tried to maximize our time on the ship. My family wakes up early, so we would eat breakfast and head to the pool deck for a fun morning in the sun. When the Aquaduck opened, my kids would be one of the first in line. One day, they rode it 10 times in a row!
We also took advantage of the numerous activities on board, like the animation classes, bingo, trivia, game shows, and more. In the afternoons, the kids headed to the kids’ club for a while and I enjoyed some quiet time reading a book in the adult areas of the ship.
Although my kids are a little over character appearances, they still wanted to greet their favorites, like Stitch, Minnie, and Dopey. We didn’t spent too much time in our stateroom, but loved coming back in the evenings to the fun towel animals that our stateroom attendant made.
On the evening of our Falmouth stop, we had pirate night, which is always exciting on a 7-day cruise. Pirate night is held on the shorter Caribbean cruises also, but it seems to be more fun on the 7-day. Guests, characters, and servers dress up in pirate garb, and are treated to a variety of parties, including the Buccaneer Blast – fireworks at sea. My kids always have a difficult time staying up late at night, but they never want to miss pirate night festivities.
I’ve never visited Mexico before, so I was eager for our first port of call – Cozumel, Mexico. Because we wanted to see as much as possible, we booked an excursion that would take us to many of the sites.
Grand Cayman is one of my favorite places on earth, so I was so happy that it was our second port of call. I really just wanted to enjoy a relaxing day on Seven Mile Beach, so we booked a day stay at our favorite Grand Cayman resort – the Westin Grand Cayman. I wrote about our day in Grand Cayman here.
Our third port of call was Falmouth, Jamaica. I’d never been to Jamaica, but after two days in ports, I wanted to do something more low key. We arrived in port early – before 8am – and spent the morning on the ship. Then, we headed out to the Margaritaville right in the port. There’s a large pool and margarita-shaped jacuzzi (out of service when I was there), along with a swim-up bar. Bring your own towels. The kids loved playing in the pool, as I enjoyed my margarita poolside. Credit cards were not accepted while I was there, but they usually are.
After enjoying time in Margaritaville, we walked around the shops in the port. My daughter also had her hair braided before we headed back on the ship.
On Friday, our last full day of the cruise, we arrived at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island. The weather was expected to be nice all day, with the chance of a shower in the afternoon. We enjoyed a morning of fun on the beach, but it was apparent by noon that we were in for a big storm. We settled in at a picnic table under a shelter with our Cookie’s BBQ lunch just before the sky opened and the rain came down. Unfortunately, that was the end of our day in Castaway Cay, but the ship’s staff did a great job of adding additional activities on the ship to keep everyone busy.
Despite being on the ship for seven days, we weren’t ready to leave on Saturday. We loved every part of our trip. Thankfully, we booked another Disney Cruise Line adventure for next summer.
When booking a Disney Cruise, I recommend booking with Get Away Today. Plus, when you mention Family Travel Magazine, you get an extra $25 on board credit! Give their agents a call at 877-510-2929.