“Come sail away…Come sail away…Come sail away with meeee.” I knew I loved cruising since my first cruise back in 2007. I’ve always been pretty loyal to a *different* cruise line, but had started selling more Disney cruises. That’s when I had the brilliant idea to scrap my plans to spend a week with Harry Potter and the gang at Universal Orlando Resort and book a Disney Cruise Line trip. Did I mention that I did this 4 weeks prior to sailing? And that debarkation day was on my birthday? Rude. And I would be totally alone.solo.party of 1? This will forever go down as one of the most amazing and magical trips EVER!
Does the idea of a solo vacation, especially a cruise, make you grit your teeth in agony or jump for joy at the possibility? I had done shorter solo trips to Walt Disney World, but never a week-long trip and never a cruise, where there was the potential for a lot of downtime. I was a tiny bit nervous that I would get lonely or bored…yeah, right!
My 3 takeaways for cruising solo:
1) New friends: Before we had even left the terminal, I made friends in the D-Lounge at Disney trivia. I won them over when I knew the names of all 3 Caballeros. We were even able to use the Navigator app to message each other to make plans together throughout the week. Because it’s the 21st century, we all are now “friends” through the world of social media and can keep up with each other post-vacation, too.
2) Stick with Disney: I did everything through Disney and always felt safe. I used Disney’s motorcoach to get to the cruise terminal and was picked up promptly at my Walt Disney World resort. We were escorted everywhere we needed to go, my bags went from All-Star Music to my cruise cabin, and the whole process was seamless. I also booked my excursions directly through Disney. This way, I was always with a group and had a guarantee that I would be back on the ship by the correct time.
3) Stay alert: I did not do an excursion at every port. In fact, my favorite port was St. Thomas, and that was because I mainly enjoyed the ship that day. I went ashore for maybe an hour to do some shopping, but didn’t go off the beaten path and stayed inside the terminal shopping area.
If you are still with me, here is where we dive in with my 3 favorite aspects of DCL:
Yes, I did turn 39 on this trip, and yep, I was alone, but characters were a priority for me. Where else can we see our favorite pals dressed in their cruising finest, their pirate outfits, their formal attire, and their beach gear? The Navigator app does a great job listing every single activity available each day. Definitely add the character meet and greets to “My Plans” so you know when there will be characters in the atrium. It will be the same (large) rotation of characters throughout the sailing, but their outfits change A LOT! Also, there was almost always a photographer with the characters, which was perfect since my selfie game is lacking. Photo package for the win!
Disney Cruise Line dining is unique in that you have a rotation of restaurants instead of one main dining room. You keep the same servers for the duration of the cruise, so you still get that personal connection throughout the week, but you get to enjoy multiple restaurants. Of course, it’s Disney, so expect top-notch service and themed dining with restaurants like Animator’s Palate (my personal favorite).
Activities and Entertainment
These are most definitely NOT just for kids - the kids at heart will LOVE all that a Disney cruise has to offer. There are multiple nighttime Broadway-style shows that will knock your socks off. One perk of being a solo traveler is easily filling those single seats in the prime sections of the theater without arriving an hour before showtime. Aside from the shows, I most enjoyed the animation classes and trivias that were offered multiple times throughout the week. Again, you can add all of these to “My Plans” in the Navigator app and even get alerts before the start of these activities. Finally, I encourage you to enjoy the ship on port days; don’t feel like you have to book an excursion at every port. I’ve sailed many times, so the biggest priority on this trip was enjoying all the ship had to offer. Possibly my favorite day was the day that I spent onboard while in St. Thomas. I was easily able to find a shady chair on the pool deck and enjoyed watching Ratatouille on the big screen, napping a little, reading a little, and basking in the magic.
If you want to see what it’s all about and if this could be a trip for YOUR family, click HERE for a free quote. Why not see if it’s possible for you?