Welcome to the first part of the 2017 Disney Cruise Trip Report! As you may know, when we have gone on cruises, those trips have often been followed by rather lengthy, hopefully interesting trip reports. For example, you can read about our most recent Disney Cruise in 2015, along with our adults-only Carnival Cruise to Mexico in 2016. Those are good for memories, and hopefully they provide some information for others either considering similar cruises or planning what to take and what to do on their upcoming cruise. This 2017 cruise was no different, and this is the beginning of that trip report.
Today, we start with a look at who we are, why we went on the cruise, and some other important information that you may or may not want to know, along with the tale of our travels from home to Port Canaveral. Or actually to nearby Cocoa Beach, where we spent a little time first. Read on…
As you may know if you are a regular reader of the Burnsland website, we have been on a few cruises before. By “we,” I mean me (Steve) and my wife Laura, who have both been on four previous Disney cruises and a Carnival cruise as well. Our son Jaylin has also been on two of those Disney cruises. As you might guess, we enjoy cruises. Otherwise, why would we keep going on them?
A year or two ago, my parents began talking about going on a Disney cruise for their 50th anniversary in 2017. But they were not just talking about the two of them going. They were talking about their two children and their families also going along. None of the others had ever been on a Disney cruise before, and actually my parents had not been on a cruise at all before. But they all like going to Walt Disney World, and they had heard about all of the fun that we had been having on our Disney cruises, so it was eventually decided that we would all go.
Steve and Laura on our first Disney Cruise way back in 2003!
We got together to pick out a date, and June 2017 turned out to be the best time that all of us could go, even though my parents’ actually anniversary is not until August. School schedules keep that from being an ideal time for most of us, because we are still those kinds of people who don’t believe in taking our children out of school for frivolous trips and such. A friend from church happens to be a Disney travel agent kind of person, so she got everything set up for all of us. Everyone either got new passports or got their existing passports renewed (our old ones would expire right around the time of the cruise, wouldn’t you know), and we were all set to go.
So here are the people involved in this trip, in case you need a scorecard:
Us - Steve, Laura, and Jaylin, as previously mentioned
My parents - The elder Burnses, the ones celebrating the anniversary
The Bramletts - My sister Beth, her husband Lewis, and their boys Andrew and Daniel
The Jamersons - Daniel and Maggie, and their children Andrew and Piper. They are not technically a part of our family, but they are a part of our church family, so that counts, right? While they were not in our immediate group, they happened to book the same cruise that we would be on, so we were looking forward to spending some time with them as well. The more the merrier, right?
The Burns and Bramlett families that would be taking this trip (along with my grandmother, who would be holding down the fort at home)
We continued to make our plans as the time for the cruise drew closer. We ended up with the earlier dinner seating, which was a first for those of us Burnses who had cruised before, but we figured it would be fine. And we did not plan any shore excursions, instead choosing just to enjoy whatever we found to do at each of the ports.
This cruise also had something different from our previous cruises: two stops at Castaway Cay, the private Disney Cruise Line island. Instead of Nassau, Castaway Cay, and a day at sea, this cruise would be Castaway Cay, Nassau, and then Castaway Cay again. While I have enjoyed our previous days at sea, with their extra time to relax and their time to explore the ship more, I have also greatly enjoyed Castaway Cay, as have Laura and Jaylin. Besides, after having a nearly perfect day at Castaway Cay during our first cruise, we have had rain on our Castaway Cay day on each of our following cruises. So maybe with two stops there, at least one of them might be sunny. Maybe?
Another slight change was the departure day. Our first three Disney cruises all departed on Sunday and ended on Thursday, while our most recent cruise departed on Monday and ended on Friday. This time around, the cruise would depart on Wednesday and end on Sunday. Not a big deal, just another difference to throw out there for anyone who might be interested.
As the time for our cruise approached, we waited as patiently as possible, looking forward to all the fun that we hoped would lie ahead.
Of course, that is just the beginning. Or rather, that is actually before the beginning. Check for more of the 2017 Disney Cruise Trip Report soon for the actual beginning of our trip.