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  • Jon Watkins

Are Disney Cruises Worth the Cost?

Jon and Jenn have so much to talk about when it comes to cruising with Disney! They share their tips for boarding early, decorating your room and making sure you are on the Disney Cruise Facebook page.

Transcript from Part 1 of our Disney Cruise podcast:

Disney Cruise Part 1

Jon: Do you wanna just start with like the wine or drinking since you have been trying to pronounce it before we started recording?

Jen: Oh God, I don't remember Beaujolais.

Jon: Beaujolais.

Jen: Beaujolais.

Jon: Yeah. Good morning. Hey, good morning, welcome to the podcast. It's not morning; my wife is not drinking wine first thing in the morning, 'wink'

Jen: I had mimosas earlier. Gosh

Jon: This is Our Savings Starts Tomorrow; my name is Jon, my wife, Jen sitting next to me. She drinks the wine while I push record over here and what are you drinking there?

Jen: I'm drinking a Stéphane Aviron.

Jon: Okay. You definitely sound like; you know what you're talking about?

Jen: Yeah. It's French. Mm. No big.

Jon: Okay. Was it a gift?

Jen: It was a gift.

Jon: Okay. <Laugh> we're drinking free wine today, Beaujolais

Jen: Beaujolais. Isn't Beaujolais, I think it’s a region, I looked that up, but also, I think that Beaujolais isn't that like the first batch isn't that what the first batch of wine is? We went to an event that was a--

Jon: What?

Jen: Yes.

Jon: What?

Jen: Yes. <laugh> okay.

Jon: No.

Jen: We'll take this offline. <Laugh>

Jon: We'll put a pin in it later. Because the whole point of this podcast is to tell you about our travel stories, adventures, disasters, and everything in between. Yeah. Give you a few tips along the way, from what we've learned and talk about the tips that we stole from other people and whether or not they work or not. I think a lot of them do work. We just don't do 'em, right?

Jen: Yeah, that’s fair.

Jon: You know, also I was thinking we're gonna talk about Disney cruises today. We like to say all the time on this podcast that we're not Disney people. --

Jen: I know.

Jon: But now I'm scrolling through like our different episodes from the first season. And guess what?

Jen: Disney, Disney

Jon: They're all yeah. And then not too long ago, you were telling me how you wouldn't mind traveling to like Disney Paris.

Jen: I know.

Jon: Disney Sea in Hong Kong.

Jen: I know, well, let me preface that.

Jon: Oh yeah, please. Well not like me and you go.

Jon: Oh okay.

Jen: It has to be with my kids. --

Jon: With the family,

Jen: Nothing against those that want to go without their children. I just would prefer to see the magic with them.

Jon: But you want to do all the Disney.

Jen: It would be kind of cool. Well, we watched all those like --

Jon: Documentaries,

Jen: Documentaries, and now it looks very interesting.

Jon: It's not even the ...we just wanna see the haunted mansion in all the different countries. Yeah, that's what it is. Because it's different just depending on like what the belief system is. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> in that area.

Jen: Yeah. Like the one in Japan,

Jon: It's like a lucky monkey.

Jen: Yeah. Mm-hmm <affirmative>.

Jon: And the one in Paris is different, I don't know what is there. They drink Beaujolais actually, while you're on the ride.

Jen: I'm down with <affirmative>

Jon: But this is actually about a Disney cruise. I want you to know that Disney cruises when I was a kid, it was something I wanted to do. <Laugh> when I was like nine years old, I would actually go into travel agencies and ask for Disney cruise line magazines. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> so I could take home and I could read them mm-hmm <affirmative> in my room. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> why are you judging me with that?

Jen: I ain't judging

Jon: You were looking at me

Jen: It’s so cute.

Jon: And at the time it wasn't even Disney cruise, it was called The Big Red Boat.

Jen: Oh.

Jon: Yeah. And then later on Disney actually opened up their own brand mm-hmm <affirmative> and they had these... So, I was very excited when we decided to surprise the kids with this trip.

Jen: Yes.

Jon: For me.

Jen: I know for you,

Jon: Not the kids,

Jen: You know what we've talked about, cruises and how, like we've done an episode about cruises, which cruises are not to cruise. We enjoy them. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> realizing what kind of people we really are. But anyways, I enjoy the cruise and we've heard nothing but great things about the Disney cruise. So, we figured if we're gonna take the kids,

Jon: Let's do it. Yeah, and really, we were doing it for the ship itself. We didn't really care about the ports as much as we wanted the experience of a Disney cruise line. And let me tell you Disney cruises, way more expensive than--

Jen: Oh yeah.

Jon: --Like a carnival,

Jen: But it's just all the things that they offer.

Jon: There is not one square inch of paint that's like sun soaked on that ship. They're constantly, constantly keeping this thing, --

Jen: Painted.

Jon: Looking and new, --

Jen: Clean,

Jon: Clean. Yeah. Like we actually were next to a different cruise line and that one looks so crappy compared to mm-hmm <affirmative> the one that we were on. So, I mean, yeah. It costs more, but I do think it's a higher quality experience.

Jen: And also, the Disney cruise in itself is the experience.

Jon: Yeah, exactly.

Jen: Like we actually chose the ... like we actually chose this cruise mm-hmm <affirmative> knowing that it's poor that you and I have been to before.

Jon: Yeah.

Jen: So, we weren't missing out on anything. It really was all about just like getting the taste of the Disney cruise.

Jon: Yeah. And we wanted to kind of do a little bit ahead of time. This was before we went to Disney world, even mm-hmm <affirmative> so we actually flew in what a day or two ahead.

Jen: Two days early,

Jon: Two days early. I'd recommend that.

Jen: Yes, actually, that was one of my things that I was gonna recommend.

Jon: Oh, that's your thing go for it.

Jen: Yeah. Tip number one, if you can try to go in a day or so early. Because we got in two days early that evening, we like checked into our hotel. We did not stay on property. But there's tons of other hotels to choose from. So, we didn’t stay on property, but we, you know, all of them have cool pools and stuff. So, you know, we did the pool that night and then we woke up early and we did a park. And that was just like a fun way to like kick it all off.

Jon: Got us in the mood for like Disney. We went to the magic kingdom. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> so kind of like the OG feel. We took like an Uber or a Lyft from the hotel we were at right there... It was way easy. There's like buses, you can wait for, we're not smart enough to figure all that out.

Jen: I know, that's why I we did the Disney cruise and then we went to Walt Disney worlds. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> like months later. So, I feel like we kind of got it a little bit more. Yeah.

Jon: We got an idea. Cuz it's so big. It's vast And I mean, you could get lost or you might miss something. So, I'm glad we kind of just had like a little appetizer of Disney world and then went back for it. So, so we did that for a day. I also thought what was good that first night everyone was kind of in a ... we were a nest show because like we're on we gotta go to sleep, go to the park. We didn't even stay at the park all day. Kids were so tired. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> went back they gotta splash around in the pool for a bit. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> fell asleep again. So, the next morning when it was cruise day, we were actually kind of rested and I felt like we were, we had our bearings.

Jen: Yep. Now if you stay on property or if you don't come early, you can take Disney transportation to and from the port. Like they have transportation free. Like if we stayed on Disney property, we could have gone from our hotel to the port to where the ship was for free. We did not stay on Disney property. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and we didn't go directly from the airport. So, we ended up getting a car service.

Jon: Yeah. Which was expensive. <Affirmative>.

Jen: It was expensive.

Jon: It was the same price as the Lyft

Jen: It was and you know what? It was kind of nice.

Jon: It was just us

Jen: It was just us, especially on the way back was really nice because the way that the flights worked out, we either needed to spend the night, which kind of would've been a bust because we wouldn't have been able to go to a park or anything that day after you get off the ship. So, yeah, so we flew out like later in the day and it was weird. And because of the car service though, we were able to go to downtown Disney.

Jon: Oh Yeah Disney Springs.

Jen: Disney Springs. And they like held all of our luggage for us. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and then we just like walked around. We had lunch and did more shopping

Jon: The benefit of the Disney buses though, they have like TVs that have little propaganda the whole way.

Jen: Disney propaganda.

Jon: Yes. It at least keeps you busy, like we didn't have anything like that. Obviously with the car servers, we just sat in the back of a car and had awkward conversation with our driver mm-hmm <affirmative> who turns out was an employee or cast member of Disney and wanted to share all of her adventures.

Jen: All of her propaganda.

Jon: Yeah, exactly. So, either way we got hit with Disney hard.

Jen: Yes.

Jon: Before we even go there.

New Speaker: Okay. But, okay. So, my tip number two mm-hmm <affirmative> for the Disney cruise is actually getting on early.

Jon: Now this is like an option when you're booking. Is that how it works?

Jen: Yes.

Jon: Okay. Why do you... you're the one who booked the cruise.

Jen: I know <laugh> I think, yes. I think it is an option to like get in early, but if you can get on early, get on early. And that's another thing is that I think it takes into account like when you fly in.

Jon: Oh, I see.

Jen: And so, because we were already there, --

Jon: We were able to get, ...

Jen: --We were able to like get in early. And so, when you get there and you get on the ship early, you can't get into your room.

Jon: No, they're cleaning 'em.

Jen: They're cleaning, 'em getting 'em ready. So, like there's a lot of the ship that you can't access Uhhuh <affirmative> but it's still really cool. Like we wore our swimsuits on and then it's like a great time to like check out the pool and do the really cool water Slide.

Jon: The Disney... we were on the what? The Disney dreams.

Jen: We were on the dream.

Jon: The water slide on 'The Dream is like a roller coaster. You sit in a raft. You don't actually ever like get in the water and it takes you around the outside of the pool. And it's like a clear tube.

Jen: Well outside of the ship. It's like the perimeter of the ship. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and it's a clear tube.

Jon: And I will tell you once the cruise starts, it's an hour plus line. To go and we got, we went on like four times in a row because we were one of the first ones on the ship. Also let us kind of get a spot and figure out where we wanted to be at the pool for the rest of the, the cruise. We were so early though. They were still getting people off the ship. So, that just, it was like 11:00 AM or something like that. And you don't, disembark till what like 4:00 PM mm-hmm <affirmative> so it is a long time. You gotta just make sure you have kids who don't need to go back to a room, a room or anything.

Jen: Yeah. Yeah. Like, like you can have like a little carry, like we had a, our backpacks. And it's had like change of clothes and you know, things like that. But it also, it just kind of gives you like the lay of the land also It's so fun.

Jon: It is.

Jen: Like the vibe on the ship is really Fun.

Jon: Well, Mickey mouse like greets you as you're walking on the ship.

Jen: Oh yeah. And they like announce your whole family.

Jon: And there's like a line of... you know, like Beauty and the Beast. Like the dancing for you as you walk on the ship, there's someone announcing and then like, all these people are lined up, like applauding you.

Jen: Yes. They're like the Watkins family. And it's like, it's so magic. It really is so magical.

Jon: And so, you get that whole experience right away when you get on site. And then also they're playing a Disney movie from like the jumbotron screen have on the pool deck. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. So, if you don't wanna be in the pool or anything, you can just zone out and watch that. What I did was I started buying booze.

Jen: Well, that, yeah. So, that's also a great time to buy your booze Packages.

Jon: Yeah, they don't have like an all you can drink package. No, but they do have they give you like this ice chests and it was like 20 beers or something like that. And then you could carry this ice chest with you back to your room or throughout the week, they'd refill it for you. You could buy another 20. And I didn't think the it was like a tote bag. That thing was amazing. We still use it.

Jen: We use it all the time. --

Jon: For picnics and everything. So, it was great. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> but then we did finally go back to the room. Later on, they, finally like blow a whistle or something like that. I'm like right off you go

Jen: After your, The,

Jon: The mustard drill.

Jen: Yes.

Jon: No, no. We got to our room first.

Jen: Did we?

Jon: Yeah. We got to our room first and you had the whole thing decorated?

Jen: Yes, I did have it decorated it was our son's birthday. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> actually my birthday as well, but it was our birthday that week. And so, I just thought it would be like a little extra magical, like having it decorated. And so, it was really cute how they did it. And then... what else did we, oh, I also got 'em like little cupcakes, but like ahead of time, you can like preorder all this stuff. Like if we wanted to pre-order wine or beer to our room, if we wanted to have a meat and cheese plate, or if we wanted to have --

Jon: Anything,

Jen: Anything literally anything like there was all these different gift options. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> that you could like have ahead of time in your room. So, it was just like a little added thing I will say. Totally not necessary, but.

Jon: Totally not necessary.

Jon: You hear how exciting Jen is about it was cute.

Jen: Oh my God. It was, it was expensive for some paper mâché streamers.

Jen: Oh really? Did we not reuse them?

Jon: We reused them so, much.

Jen: So, many times.

Jon: Every birthday.

Jen: Yes.

Jon: Also, you bought these magnets for the door, which you didn't buy from the Disney cruise line. You bought them.

Jen: No. And that is like tip number three.

Jon: Oh, I'm sorry.

Jen: If you're counting.

Jon: Yes.

Jen: Is you've got to buy magnets for your door. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>

Jon: It sounds silly.

Jen: It does sound silly.

Jen: We get it we know. Oh my gosh. I know. But you can like... I just searched on Etsy. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> for Disney cruise, like Disney cruise magnets door decor. Okay. Basically. And there are so many shops that make Disney themed magnets, cuz like the doors are metal mm-hmm <affirmative> and so, and like everyone has 'em everyone. Literally everyone has them. And so, it would've been sad if we didn't have 'em because everyone. So, what there's like a big one. I got a big Disney head. This is the Watkins family, Disney cruise. And then like the date. And then each of us have our own individual magnets that have like different and we got 'em in different characters, whatever. It's really cute. We'll have to post a Photo.

Jon: Oh, that's a good idea. Yeah. That way you can see it. So, make sure you follow us on Instagram. Wasn't there some kind of thing on the doors also. I don't know if we didn't participate or we weren't in invited to.

Jen: Yeah, no. So, it's the fish extender. It's like this whole other inside Disney thing where you can like buy little gifts for each other like different families. So, then every day you have like little gifts. I don't know. It was too much for me. I was like, I'm already packing enough things.

Jon: Did we have to sign Up?

Jen: So, I will, this is kind of like another tip.

Jon: Oh, okay.

Jen: If you will. But I would definitely, if you know like booking a Disney cruise, I would search on Facebook.

Jon: Oh yeah.

Jen: Because I guarantee you, someone has created a Facebook page specifically for that cruise.

Jon: For your cruise.

Jen: Yes.

Jon: For your cruise, it'll be like Disney dream, you know, February 7th through the 12th or whatever. Like it'll be specifically for your cruise. And I joined that and actually was like people like, cuz some of them, I mean, some people have been on cruises like 10, 15 times.

Jon: I know isn't that Crazy?

Jen: Like a lot,

Jon: So, many times,

Jen: So many. But they all had like really good ideas. Yeah. And then if you wanna participate in this Disney, phish extender, that's how it works. Then somebody like was, you know, putting that together and put together the list and Whatnot.

Jon: Tell them the moment you book your cruise, the Facebook page it's up. Oh yeah. Because these, the people who run do these, they're the ones who go on like 10 times they get a book ahead of you mm-hmm <affirmative> and they create these pages right away.

Jen: I don't know. I assume that these people have jobs because it costs a lot of money to do the cruise, but they spend a lot of time.

Jon: A lot of time on Facebook.

Jon: Yeah. So, we get to the room. You, have like a few seconds to breathe and then you have your mustard drill. Yes. Which is like any other cruise ship there's nothing Disney about it. It's not fun. It's boring. It is what it is. It's safety, I guess. I don't know. You know what actually, you can't drink a lot before doing it because then you sit there at the mustard drill and.--

Jen: Sober up.

Jon: Yeah.

Jen: Oh yeah.

Jen: What a waste.

Jen: And you're like in close proximity to people and it's hot and <laugh>

Jon: You're just standing in a line for a while. But the coolest thing is the ship pushes off the ships' horn is when you wish upon a star.

Jen: Oh my God.

Jon: And it really is amazing. Cause most times it's just like, but this one was [crosstalk16:19] That was actually sound like that from our cruise. Oh yeah. I recorded it when we were there. Yeah. Okay. So, what's your next tip?

Jen: You know, and we only did this one time that evening. So, the cool thing about a Disney cruise is actually the room service. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> like you, you can have room service for free. So, if you don't wanna go into the restaurants to have dinner or whatever, you can have it brought into your room if you're just like tired or whatever. We went to the restaurants every night and all of the restaurants were, I thought phenomenal,

Jon: Well, they're all themed and so there's like this one the animation studio one, which is where you actually have like the art that moves around mm-hmm <affirmative> while you're having--

Jen: That was so cool. And they'll actually like some of the cartoons will start talking to you.

Jon: Yes. It's interactive.

Jen: Yes. Yeah. That was cool. They had they had like an Allison in Wonderland one. They had a bunch of different themes mm-hmm <affirmative> restaurants. So, it, it was fun for us just to see

Jen: Like what theme we were getting. And you also get the same waiter every night. I mean, it's, in some ways this is similar to any other cruise, right. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> except for the rooms are themed like Disney.

Jon: But you ordered some room service for the first night.

Jen: I did order reserves for the first night and I got milk and cookies mm-hmm <affirmative> and it really was super cute. I mean they literally sent warm chocolate chip cookies. And you got to choose the kind of milk that you wanted and we just like snuggled in bed mm-hmm <affirmative> and it was just,

Jon: And the TV has it's like this was before there was Disney plus. The TV was Disney plus though. Oh yeah. Like all the Disney movies.

Jen: Anything you wanted.

Jon: It had cartoon tunes, all of it was already there. I bet now it's just Disney plus that's on there, but like, so, we gotta watch a Disney movie mm-hmm <affirmative> eat milk and cookies. And then like the wall folded out into a bunk bed for the kids. Then we had a bed and it was perfect. You know, we got the, the handicap room. That's where they placed us. Yeah.

Jen: I let them choose our room. Yeah. I just said that I wanted at least to have a port hole and they, this is the room that we, we got and it was so nice.

Jon: It's huge, the bathroom.

Jen: Yes. Because it was a handicap wheelchair access. It was really large. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>, which was nice. And we got two porthole and yeah, it was actually a pretty big room.

Jon: And what's crazy is that we've only told you about the first day, not even a full 24 hours on the cruise.

Jen: I know there's so much more.

Jon: There's so much more, so what we'll have to do is next week. We'll continue to tell you all about the Disney cruise, the ports that we went to Jen's many more... Do you have more tips? I don't know, I'm teasing. Like we're gonna be able to talk. Do you have more stuff?

Jen: Yeah. Have fun. A lot more tips.

Jon: All right. And we're gonna talk about the movie theater, popcorn and all that stuff. Okay. But not yet.

Jen: No.

Jon: Next week.

Jon: Next week. Okay. So, if you want, we're gonna put some photos from our trip on the Disney cruise up on Instagram. Our Instagram handle is Our Savings Starts Tomorrow. Bye bye.

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