Subject: Disney cruise
Hello to Everyone:

I've never posted after one of our trips, but I thought I would since it didn't seem like many had been on a Disney cruise when I checked before our departure. This was a family cruise with fourteen members (five children) We booked a year ahead of time and things went very smoothly coordinating fourteen people driving and flying from different parts of the U>S>. The Disney cruise is definately a family oriented vacation. The first night they gave us the break down of people on board--900 plus children, 950 staff and about 1200 adults. This particular cruise went to St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Castaway Key (disney owned island) This was our first cruise. Over all I liked the way the staff interacted with the cruisers. I was especially pleased how they treated the children and families, many of whom had special needs. The staterooms were quite nice-we had a veranda, large bed, sofa that could convert to another double bed, lots of drawers and closet space. Two half baths - one with a sink and shower and one with a sink and toilet allowed each person to get ready. Things were clean and orderly. For those of you with children they have much for the kids to do. There is a nursery and two "clubs" for ages 6-9 and 10-12 plus activities for teens. It appeared that the younger children (under nine) were happy with their activities. I observed in our family and others that the 9-13 year olds seemed "at sea" (no pun intended) - they didn't seem to be interested in what was set up for their age group. There were three swimming pools and non stop snacks for the families swimming and sunning for the day.

Food was ok, not spectacular as I had heard, but certainly tasty. There was plenty of entertainment but mostly geared to families. They did show the movie Chicago but other movies and entertainment was disney or geared to families. I had hoped there would be classes or lectures or something of that sort and there really wasn't - alto they had some "classes" on napkin folding, entertaining, etc. Lots of Disney characters all the time available for photo ops and this was a very popular part of each day. The stops on each of the islands were long enough to put in a day of shopping or to take advantage of shore excursions which needed to have been planned ahead of time. There were of course tour guides on the islands for last minute adventures. Castaway Key was another day with excursions as well as just relaxing. There is a family beach and adult only beach and the staff provides a hugh bar-b-que on the island.

We are intrigued with the idea of another cruise (alaska perhaps) but would look for something with more land and sea sightseeing.

The weather was perfect i. e. no storms or rough weather and I was grateful because I am afraid of boat travel and worried about rough seas. Summer is definately not the time to go if you are bothered by heat.

So now here we are back in Michigan planning for our driving trip out west this fall, and perhaps another cruise.

Barb in Grand Rapids.