We are less than 90 days away from our cruise to Alaska, and as I mentioned in a previous post, we have booked all our excursions for each of the days we’re in port. We have some fun things planned, including a ride on the train in Skagway (for Colorado Boy) and a whale watching excursion in Juneau. But, the question I often get is what about things to do on the ship when you’re out at sea? The good news, is there is PLENTY to choose from and you can always find the most up-to-date information in the personal navigator delivered to your stateroom every evening. Here are a few of my family’s favorite activities along with info about which things you need to make sure to schedule ahead of time:
Dining at Palo/Remy: On all four of the Disney ships, you can find Palo, an upscale, adults-only dining room where you can enjoy a fantastic meal while the kids hang out in the kid’s club. In addition to Palo, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy have Remy, a super-duper exclusive adults-only restaurant that I can’t wait to try sometime soon. While both Palo and Remy are open for dinner, I also recommend trying Palo for either brunch or high tea. Only available on sea days, both brunch and high tea provide you with an opportunity to enjoy Palo while still being able to go to your normal dining rotation in the evening. We haven’t done high tea, but brunch was the highlight of our cruise last time and we’ve got it booked again for June. Reservations go fast, so make sure to either book online when your booking window opens or check for availability as soon as you board on departure day.
The Spa: Another adults-only location on the ship, Vista Spa (on the Magic and the Wonder) and Senses Spa (on the Dream and Fantasy) provide full spa services and lots of pampering. It’s an additional cost, and can be a little pricey, but both Colorado Dad and I thoroughly enjoyed our spa time during our last cruise. This time around, we’ve booked a couple’s massage on the last day of our cruise to ensure that we are fully relaxed before going back to the real world! Another cost-effective option is to get a pass just for the Rainforest room, which includes heated tile loungers as well as a sauna room, all for $15/day. Again, spa appointments fill up fast, so it’s not a bad idea to book something online beforehand if you know what you want to do. There are daily spa specials that come in your personal navigator, so watch out for those as they can be pretty good deals.
Game Shows: The cruise staff are a busy group as they usually have several activities going during the day, especially on sea days. Some of our favorites are the game shows like “So You Want to Be a Mouseketeer” and “Mickey Mania” which are typically trivia-based “gameshows” with lots of audience participation. The whole family has a great time at these, but if you can, I also suggest trying to get down to the adult-only area in the evening when they run adult-only versions of some of the games. Colorado Dad and I did these on our last cruise and I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in a long time. Not sure if we’ll be able to swing the adult versions on our June cruise, but will definitely take in some of the family versions.
Bingo: Disney doesn’t have a casino onboard, but don’t worry, you can get your gambling fix by playing bingo! Colorado Boy and I were sucked in to this on one Caribbean cruise and it’s what he seems to be the most excited about for June. (“Alaska will be neat, but I can’t wait to play BINGO!” is what he told me the other day ) There are a couple bingo sessions each day and there are both cash prizes as well as giveaways like pins, spa certificates, etc. In addition, there’s a grand prize jackpot that accumulates throughout the cruise and is given away on the last day. The cruise staff who run the games are hilarious and it’s something the whole family can participate in, if you’re ok with the kids being involved in this type of activity. You don’t have to sign up for it ahead of time, just show up a few minutes before the session starts so you can buy your cards.
Tastings (Beer, Wine, Mojitos, etc.): These 30-minute sessions provide you with an opportunity to learn about a particular type of alcoholic beverage while tasting some things that you might not be familiar with. On our last cruise, Colorado Dad and I did the mojito/caipirinha tasting and we learned a lot of new information and I tried a caipirinha for the first time. Obviously these are adults-only sessions, but if the kids are busy in the clubs and you have 30 minutes or so to spare before dinner or your evening show, I recommend doing at least one of these. There is a bit of a fee – I think it was $15 each, but it’s a pretty good deal for the experience. And, it never hurts to become more acquainted with the bartendars around the ship!
So, these are some of our favorites, but I’d love to hear from you. Do you have a favorite cruise activity?