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Cruising, from a Child’s Perspective

By Lauren Woody, age nine

You are the best vacation planners ever, Mom and Dad! It was so much fun. No, it was more than that -- it was a blast! You always make vacations fun, but this was the best. I will remember this one forever. You know why? Because it was lots of vacations all wrapped up into one. Who knew you could do so many things in one place but not stay in one place? I kept thinking we were in a hotel, but we weren’t. It was actually the Disney Wonder, a beautiful ship with lots of extra-special touches that make it so magical.

Swimming, ice cream, movies, computer games, pizza -- all those things make vacations great. But it was so much better on board the Wonder. The Mickey pool had a slide. And the ice cream was self-serve! There were lots of food choices at different places on the ship. Basketball courts were on one deck, shuffleboard on another. A special place for only kids offered computers, magic shows, cookie baking, and games. And I made new friends! I saw Disney shows, like The Golden Mickeys and Toy Story - The Musical, with all the great Disney characters. And speaking of my Disney friends … well, they were all on board to sign autographs and take pictures every day. That was fun! My favorite activities were waving at underwater Mickey while we were snorkeling, our family bike ride, feeding and touching beautiful stingrays, playing on the beach, and napping in a hammock. And that was all on Disney’s private beach, Castaway Cay. What pretty, clear blue-green water! My great experience another day was in Nassau, Bahamas, where we petted and kissed a sea lion! I learned so much about the sea lions, it made me want to become a marine biologist.

Our servers, Zoe (from Australia) and Deniz (from Poland), made every night special because they magically appeared wherever we ate dinner! And every dinner was special. Animator’s Palette had to be my favorite. The food and show were really cool!

Our room was great, and we got to see so much from our patio -- dolphins swimming, the moon, and all the people it takes to pull the ship up to the dock. And I really liked the stores (thanks for giving me my next month’s allowance early!) and the chance to buy Disney pins and even trade with the cast members. I have some really great souvenirs of our trip -- and great memories and pictures. And all that was on a four-day cruise!

So, I have a favor to ask. When you start thinking about next summer, don’t order a bunch of brochures about places and spend a lot of time trying to figure out where we should go. Plan our next vacation the same way you planned this one -- just make it the seven-day cruise instead!
A brief shout-out from Lauren’s parents regarding the Disney cruise: Regardless of the snapshot presented by our daughter, we think this adventure is actually designed with the adults in mind but has just enough Disney magic infused into it to make the kids think that it is all about them, which is brilliant. We were happy to find that this was not a Disney theme park presented within the confines of a ship. It was a sophisticated, elegant, and, most importantly, relaxing atmosphere. The accommodations, cuisine, entertainment, and activities paralleled those of a five-star resort, and age-appropriate venues designed to entertain family members of all ages, especially (just between us) the parents, were mixed in throughout the ship. This is such a great way to vacation that, to be honest, we’ve even talked about booking this cruise again … just for the two of us. Yes, we would love to enjoy the magic just by ourselves. Wish us luck with that!