When I first learned about ‘at sea’ days during a Disney cruise and having never cruised before, I wasn’t so sure how I’d feel about being “stuck” on the ship without being able to get off. Would I be able to redirect my thinking from, “oh my gosh, I’m on a ship in the middle of the ocean and can’t get off” to “wow – there are so many things to do on this ship that I wish we had another at-sea day”?
Here’s what I learned and why I think that some of the best days are the at-sea days.
Sleeping In – I don’t know about you, but when I’m on vacation, one of the things I truly enjoy most is turning off my morning alarms before crawling into bed. When you’re heading to a port of call for the day, those mornings can start awfully early, which is great in essence because you want to make the most out of your day and see all there is to see, but staying in bed is most fabulous too. I still wake up fairly early; i.e. 6:30-ish, even when my alarm doesn’t go off, but the not having to be presentable for public viewing so early is the best, in my opinion.
In-Room Dining – On a Disney cruise ship, room service is included as part of your cruise fare, although I feel it’s important to mention that gratuity is not, so please tip the cast member who delivers your order to your stateroom. You can choose to use the door hangers provided and select your options along with the time you’d like your meal delivered then hang it on your stateroom door before bed or you can simply call in your order when you’re ready for it. I always feel so luxurious when I can order room service – it’s one of those things that makes me feel like I’m on a real vacation! While some folks probably like to order room service on in-port days, we like to zip upstairs for a quick breakfast at Cabanas on those days then leisurely enjoy an early bite and lots of coffee on our veranda on at-sea days.
Special Classes and Activities – While there are always a lot of activities offered on a Disney cruise, you will notice that there are a lot more offerings on at-sea days than there are on any other day of your cruise. Of course, this is due to all passengers remaining on the ship and looking for things to do. Among the many options are things such as a class that teaches you towel folding, drawing like a Disney Animator, and cooking classes. On our cruise, one of the cooking classes was learning their Chilean Sea Bass recipe which happens to be my favorite dinner entree from Enchanted Garden. The class was full by the time we decided that we might go, but there’s always next time. And, trust me, there will be a next time! There are also first-run movies available to watch so be sure to see what’s playing that day!
Spa Day – This one is actually a bucket-list item for me, but I love the whole idea of having a couples massage on a Disney cruise ship! I mean, what could be better? You’re already basically living on the lap of luxury with the stellar service and outstanding dining options. When you add a spa treatment or two to all of that, it just gets better in my book. Senses Spa offers a large array of treatments at all different price ranges.
Brunch at Palo – I had been reading hype for years about the brunch that’s served at Palo, one of the adults-only premium dining experiences available on the Disney ships. Because everything I read had folks ranting and raving about how excellent this meal was, I didn’t think twice about spending the extra per-person cost on the experience. While rotational dining and quick service dining are included in your cruise fare, there is a separate charge to dine at the signature restaurants which include Palo (Italian cuisine) and Remy (French cuisine). It’s highly recommended that you make dining reservations as soon as you are able to but fear not, if there are none available prior to your cruise, stop by Guest Services as early as you can once you’ve boarded the ship to inquire. Disney typically holds some availability for those who didn’t reserve early.
I have to say, this brunch service is the most exquisite I’ve ever had. The offerings on the buffet were not only beautifully presented, but every single thing I ate was fresh and delicious. There is something for everyone and what we especially loved was that a buffet attendant took us through and explained what everything was so we’d know exactly what we were getting. In addition to the buffet, you can order your entree from the menu. There are so many delicious things to choose from! All the staff went above and beyond what we expected to make sure that we had an enjoyable meal and with our seats facing the ocean, the entire experience couldn’t have been any better.
What are your favorite things about an at-sea day?