Home Walt Disney World #DisneySMMC Recap – Disney Social Media Moms Celebration Land & Sea Part 2 Aboard Disney Cruise Line

#DisneySMMC Recap – Disney Social Media Moms Celebration Land & Sea Part 2 Aboard Disney Cruise Line

written by familyadhd

Some of the destinations/events mentioned below were complimentary or a media rate was extended as part of our attendance at Disney Social Media Moms Celebration–an invite-only event held by Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line. 

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017 Recap

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration Land & Sea Part 2 Recap

We recently recapped the first part of our time at Disney Social Media Moms Celebration and after nearly a week of sorting and editing the remainder of our pics and video we’re finally ready to recap the second half of our experience!

As we mentioned previously, Disney Social Media Moms Celebration was separated into two parts this year–land and sea. While the first half of our trip was held at Walt Disney World, the second half was aboard the Disney Wonder cruise ship, which sailed from Port Canaveral and made a stop at Castaway Cay.

This was our family’s first cruise together and we were extremely excited to sail with Disney Cruise Line, which we’ve regularly seen rated as one of the top cruise lines! Being new to the cruising world, we approached our trip with a number of questions (some of which were answered during my pre-trip research) and left with a whole new understanding of how things work.

Don’t forget to check out part 2 of our video recap of DisneySMMC including exclusive footage we haven’t shared anywhere else:

Tips From Our Experience During the Cruise Portion of Disney Social Media Moms Celebration as First-Time Cruisers

  • Register and check-in in advance online. You must do it within a few days of your cruise, but I suggest doing it as early as possible to get it out of the way.
  • Set up your excursions and book cabanas far in advance. We didn’t end up booking any excursions during our day at Castaway Cay because we wanted to explore as much of the island as possible, but we saw many of the excursions fill up quickly and all of the cabanas were taken long before we received our reservation.
  • Download and set up the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App ahead of time. This will enable you to see your cruise schedule once you board as well as use their messaging system between guests–similar to text messaging.
  • Wifi is available in some spots on the ship, but is worth purchasing if you plan to stay connected throughout your trip.
  • If you don’t want to purchase wifi, talk to your cell carrier to see if you can get cruise coverage for your trip.
  • Set up after-cruise transportation if you aren’t driving to the port yourself. Disney offers ground transportation options to the airport and resorts for a fee. Car rental companies are also often located at cruise ports.
  • Bring coins for the penny press at port when you check in ($.51 each).
  • Sanitizer, sanitizer and more sanitizer! Cruise ships are notorious breeding grounds for different illnesses and Disney does a great job of providing hand-washing and sanitizing stations everywhere, so make sure you use them! Keep in mind that sometimes there’s a bit of a wait, so make sure you bring plenty of your own sanitizer and sanitizer wipes so that you can sanitize when/where you need to. We didn’t get sick after the cruise, but we know many that did, so I think with some serious germaphobe habits (yes, I’m a germaphobe) you can get through a cruise without bringing any viral mementos back with you!
  • Condense your luggage. Our cabin pleasantly surprised us with its size–roughly the size of a small hotel room in NYC. Keep in mind that with multiple people in your room you can keep luggage underneath the larger bed, but you don’t want to trip over other bags while you’re scooting around furniture. Pack as few bags and suitcases as you can!
  • Bring suction cup hooks and/or magnetic hooks for additional hanging space. While there was a decent amount of storage space in the Disney cabin we stayed in, you could add even more by bringing things that hang alongside magnetic and suction cup hooks. Anything that adheres to walls and surfaces by any other means is not allowed.
  • Join a Fish Extender group well in advance! We were totally new to the whole Fish Extender deal so we’ll be doing a separate post on it in a bit to explain that in depth, but the general gist is that it’s a gift exchange in which those cruising can choose to join groups that exchange gifts by leaving them in each other’s Fish Extenders (generally, crafted hangers that hang off the small fish on the wall to the side of your cabin door). We joined a group very last-minute because I didn’t even know such a thing existed until a couple weeks before our cruise, but we pulled off making our own Fish Extender, creating some pretty kick-butt gifts and bringing tons of Pixie Dust (random little gifts to hand out to anyone). More on that later!
  • Bring water bottles and a case of water if possible. We like to travel with water whenever we go to Disney (it can get quite pricey to buy it on-resort) and while water is available on the ship at different stations, we found it easier to have a case of water with us that we could simply fill our water bottles up with whenever we needed to.
  • You cannot get directly into your room upon boarding, so plan to grab a meal and/or head to the pool while you wait to keep busy! Pack your carry-on accordingly.
  • Luggage is brought to your room progressively for the first several hours after you board, so make sure to keep anything you need on you for the first few hours in a carry-on bag.
  • Take the stairs! Not only is it often faster than waiting for an elevator (we timed it multiple times), but it helps burn off some of those free-flowing ice cream cones.
  • Ice cream cones galore! Speaking of ice cream cones, an ice cream cone station was accessible on the upper deck 24/7 and there was also at least one on Castaway Cay, so if you’re gluten-free (or simply love ice cream) you at least have that as an indulgent option if your sweet tooth gets the best of you.
  • Register your child/children for Oceaneer Club in advance and get their wristbands after boarding.
  • Pay attention to the Navigator flyer left on your bed each night. This will tell you not only your schedule for the next day, but also what activities and events are available throughout the next day. It was really cool!
  • Consider purchasing a photo package from Shutters if you plan to do a lot of character meet and greets and/or have the kids in Oceaneer Club (they take pictures of them while there and when they have exclusive meet and greets).
  • If you’re traveling with kids consider choosing the earlier dinner time, which tends to primarily be families. This also gave us time to see shows after we ate and didn’t leave us waiting until 8 pm for dinner. These guys couldn’t have held out that long! Let’s be serious, Patrick and I couldn’t have waited that long either.
  • Your server will remain the same throughout your dinners aboard your cruise ship, so make sure you let them know your preferences because they will remember!
  • Bring cash if you’d prefer to tip your room attendant, servers, etc. with cash at the end of your cruise
  • Consider purchasing the water pack for sale when you first debark at Castaway Cay as it’s easy to get dehydrated. For roughly $20 we got an insulated Disney Cruise Line bag and 6-pack of water–not bad!
  • Bring the post cards in your stateroom (or bring additional ones from home) to Castaway Cay so you can send them from the post office! Keep in mind that the post office isn’t always open (it wasn’t when we were there).
  • Consider walking instead of taking the tram on Castaway Cay! Not only will you burn off some calories (which means you can eat more ice cream, right?), but you get a really great view and plenty of photo ops along the way.

Can you get seasick on a cruise ship?

Almost everyone I’ve spoken to since getting back has asked if we got seasick. For the most part … no! Patrick and the boys did really well and, with the help of a medicated patch and a lot of Dramamine, I made it through the entire cruise vomit-free. I’m the kind of person that gets immediately seasick on a boat (unless it’s moving incredibly fast). Something about that rolling-bobbing motion… Just thinking about it is making me nauseous! Before leaving, a number of people told me I’d be fine.

“A cruise ship is too large,” they said.

“Don’t worry, you won’t feel a thing,” they said.

Well, here’s the cold, hard truth. I felt it! A lot of people felt it. But with some pharmaceutical help I did okay! Moral of the story, folks, is that if you get seasick in general you may get sick on a cruise; so be prepared.

Day 1 Aboard the Disney Wonder for Disney Social Media Moms Celebration – Check-in, Blogger-Only Artist’s Palette Lunch, Dinner at Tiana’s, Golden Mickey’s show, Upper Deck Movie and Ice Cream

The first day aboard the Disney Wonder was also our last morning at Walt Disney World. After our exclusive preview of Born in China we boarded buses and headed off to Port Canaveral. There, we went through security and checked in to our cruise, which was a pretty straightforward process. The line was fairly long, but moved quickly.

Note: We have been to two different cruise ports for Disney Cruise Line and so far both have had restrooms near check-in, which is very helpful in my opinion if you have to wait to board (or if you’ve just come off an hour drive like we did).

#DisneySMMC Disney Wonder Check-In

The magic of Disney Cruise Line really began the moment we went to board. It started with an adorable Mickey-shaped entrance and ended with a personal announcement (which you can see in our video above) in which crew members announced our arrival by name and clapped for your family. Patrick and I had attended a previous Disney Cruise media event, so we knew it was coming, but the boys had no idea and were totally delighted!

We were also able to take a family picture between the Mickey entrance and actually boarding the ship against a cruise-themed backdrop. Photos taken during the cruise could be purchased from Shutters a la carte or through a package. We didn’t opt to purchase a photo package, but had the boys spent a lot of time in Oceaneer Club I definitely would have because they took a number of photos there of the kids and of exclusive character meet and greets they held.

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Entrance

Heading onto the Disney Wonder! (Quick camera pic because my camera was packed!)

#DisneySMMC Blogger Lunch at Animator’s Palette & the Boys Lunch at Cabana’s

Immediately upon boarding I had to jet off to a blogger-only lunch at Animator’s Palette followed by a welcome reception, so Patrick took the boys to get lunch at Cabana’s, which was the equivalent of quick-service dining. Cabana’s offered buffet-style options (chicken fingers, meat, fruit, salad, etc.) that were made-to-order. Cabana’s could also be chosen in place of our main dining restaurant if we wanted (offering dishes served at the main restaurants), but we didn’t go that route.

We’ve extensively covered Animator’s Palette in a previous post, so check that out if you’re curious!

It’s important to note that a 3-day cruise is different from a 5- or 7-day cruise in multiple ways, including the fact that the show at Animator’s Palette does not include animation of your drawing if you do a 3-day cruise. The boys were super bummed, but hopefully in the future we can do a longer cruise and they can experience it first-hand! Patrick and I had the opportunity to do it at a media event last year and it was amazing!

Checking Out the Upper Deck & Getting Into Our Room

While I was having lunch at Animator’s Palette and attending the welcome reception, Patrick and the boys headed to the upper deck after eating lunch to explore.

FamilyADHD Aboard Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder

Our room was available to us at 1 pm (you can’t go immediately to your room upon boarding the ship), so Patrick and the boys headed there after checking out the upper deck (you can see our room tour in the video above).

I met up with them in our room after the welcome reception and was impressed by how well Disney Cruise Line fit so much in such a condensed space. During the day, our room consisted of a water closet, second bathroom with shower (2 sinks between both rooms), sleeping area with large bed, small living room and balcony. At night, the living room converted into a second bedroom separated by a curtain with a bunkbed that folded out. This was assembled for us each night by our amazing room attending who happened to be from Indonesia on an island not far from the island Patrick grew up on.

It really is a small world after all! 😉

Disney Cruise Line Mandatory Assembly Drill

We had a mandatory assembly drill early that afternoon during which we were instructed on where to meet in case of an emergency. We were there for roughly 20+ minutes, so make sure you wear some sunscreen and bring a hat in case you’re in direct sun like we were!

Note: If you have sensory kiddos this is very loud and you’ll want to be prepared to shield their ears. It can also be quite hot as you stand on the deck in the sun (depending on which side you face) for some time while everyone is accounted for.

Dinner at Tiana’s Aboard Disney Wonder

Once the drill was over, we headed to our first dinner of the cruise at Tiana’s! Inspired by The Princess & The Frog, Tiana’s offered a lively Louisiana-style dining experience with some of the cutest restaurant decor we saw during the cruise. Check the video above for a peek of Tiana’s ring in its adorable walnut shell box, which was on display!

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Tiana's Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Tiana's Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Tiana's

Overall, dinner was pretty good! Disney Cruise Line consistently offered a gluten-free option for each course at every dinner, so while I didn’t have as many options as other guests, I wasn’t forced to eat salad the entire time–always a plus! At the end of our meal I had to run off to get wifi set up on one of our phones, so Patrick and the boys stayed for dessert without me and participated in the fun musical parade (included in the video above). The big crowd pleaser at Tiana’s was of course the beignets, which Patrick and Seamus tried and loved! They weren’t Mickey-shaped like the ones at Disneyland, but they were just as tasty according to them. Liam, ever the chocoholic, opted for a delicious looking chocolate cake.

You can see more of our meal in the video above, but here are a couple quick shots. Lighting in the restaurants was not good for food photography, so we didn’t take many!

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Tiana's Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Tiana's

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Tiana's Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Tiana's

Disney Wonder Entertainment – The Golden Mickey’s Live Show & Wreck It Ralph on Upper Deck

After dinner, we headed to one of the theaters for The Golden Mickey’s Live Show. This show had a Hollywood award show theme with a heavy dash of Disney’s broadway-like flair. If you’ve never seen a Disney show aboard one of their ships they’re quite impressive! Even if you’re not into musical theater (which I am), they’re incredibly entertaining. Patrick and the boys enjoy these shows as much as I do, so that says a lot.

Once the show was over we headed to the upper deck to catch the second half of Wreck It Ralph and the boys had their first of several ice cream cones during our cruise. Those ice cream stations were dangerous! They were easily accessible day or night, delicious and just … dangerous. 😉

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Upper Deck movie

From there we went to bed because we had to be up super early the next morning. As we mentioned above, the room converted into a 2-bedroom at night with a bunkbed for the boys, which they were thrilled with!

Day 2 Aboard the Disney Wonder for Disney Social Media Moms Celebration – Good Morning America, Blogger General Sessions, Upper Deck Pool, Dinner at Triton’s, Disney Dreams an Enchanted Classic and Pirate Night

Day 2 of our cruise was definitely one of the longest stretches we were separated from our families during DisneySMMC. While I spent the majority of the day in general sessions with some really cool Disney, Pixar and ABC professionals, Patrick and the boys hung out at the pool, grabbed lunch and had a really chill day!

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder

#DisneySMMC on Good Morning America

We were invited to participate in a clip for Good Morning America, who happened to be filming on the ship while we were there. We got up bright and early and managed to get all four of us (we were allowed to bring our families) to the upper deck by sunrise where we cheered our little hearts out for quite a long stretch for GMA (it was harder than it sounds!).

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder on Good Morning Amreica

The upside to having to get up so early? Not missing out on this sunrise!

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder on Good Morning America

Gang’s all here!

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder on Good Morning America Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder on Good Morning America Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder on Good Morning America Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder on Good Morning America

We haven’t seen the clip we were in yet, but we heard that a quick shot of the cheering was included so if I can find it I’ll share it with you guys later!

Once that was done, we had about 20 minutes to grab breakfast at Cabana’s before I headed off for blogger-only sessions. I scarfed down some protein, blew the boys some kisses and headed off.

#DisneySMMC General Sessions Aboard the Disney Wonder

General Sessions for bloggers went from around 8 am to just before 3 pm, with a break for a private lunch. During these sessions we heard from a number of interesting speakers primarily about upcoming Disney projects as well as tips on inspiring engagement and creating quality content. We were also given lap desks at gifts, which couldn’t have come at a better time, and Disney Social Media Moms Celebration held a number of drawings for various prizes–one of which I won!

The first speaker, and my personal favorite, was Dave Mullins of Pixar. He told us a little background on how he came to be a Short Film Director and Animation Supervisor at Pixar. We got to see an exclusive viewing of his upcoming short Louwhich we weren’t allowed to film or photograph (and can’t even go into too much detail on), but it was absolutely amazing! If you’re a fan of Pixar shorts like we are, you’re going to want to see this one. It is everything you’d expect of a Pixar short–so many of us were choking back tears by the end!

Disney Social Media Moms Speaker Dave Mullins

Dave Mullins talking about his childhood–such a genuinely sweet, funny guy!

 

Disney Social Media Moms Speaker Dave Mullins of Pixar

Dave Mullins shared with us how watching Tron inspired him to pursue a career working in computer animation!

After our exclusive viewing of Lou, Disney professionals like Content Director Thomas Smith and Director of Disney Parks Synergy Chris Ostrander took the stage to discuss digital content, Disney Parks, upcoming Disney films and more!

Disney Social Media Moms Speaker Thomas Smith Disney Social Media Moms Speaker Thomas Smith Disney Social Media Moms Speaker Chris Ostrander

Disney Social Media Moms Speaker Chris Ostrander

So many upcoming Disney films! See anything you want to watch?

After a break for our bloggers-only lunch we headed off to D-Lounge where we got to hear from several other speakers including leading female meteorologist Ginger Zee of Good Morning America and ABC. She shared how she juggles both a career and family, her social media tips and plenty of encouragement for us to keep creating content that’s true to ourselves.

Disney Social Media Moms Speaker Meteorologist Ginger Zee

Meteorologist Ginger Zee of Good Morning America and ABC

Once our general sessions were over we were given another amazing swag bag (this one I didn’t have time to photograph before packing–sorry!) and headed off to meet up with our families.

Dinner at Triton’s Aboard the Disney Wonder

That night dinner was held at Triton’s, Disney Wonder’s Little Mermaid themed restaurant. The decor was very pretty and the mosaic on the back wall of Triton and Ariel was stunning! Of the three restaurants, this one was the least lively of the three dinners, but it was actually nice to have a more mellow meal. The fact that we got to eat at Triton’s on Pirate Night was pretty funny! Everyone was dressed up in their pirate garb at dinner surrounded by oceanic decor–it worked out well.

Disney Wonder Pirate Night Disney Wonder Pirate Night Disney Wonder Pirate Night

Disney Dreams: An Enchanted Classic Show Aboard the Disney Dream

After dinner and before heading off to party like a pirate, we saw Disney Dreams: An Enchanted Classic in one of the theaters. Video and photography are never allowed at these shows, so we don’t have pics to share, but it was really well done! I can’t stress enough how much it’s worth taking in as many of the shows available on Disney Cruise Line while you sail with them.

With the show over, we headed to the upper deck for Pirate Night!

Disney Wonder Pirate Night – Party Like A Pirate & Fireworks at Sea

This was our first ever Pirate Night, being our first Disney cruise, and we weren’t sure what to expect. The party started late (after 9 pm) with a massive game on the upper deck. The boys can be hot and cold about participating in big groups, but they were very enthusiastic about playing the game!

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Pirate Night Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Pirate Night Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Pirate Night

After the massive pirate game, the dance party began! We mentioned this in part 1 of our recap, but Disney takes its party throwing seriously. The music was pumping, lights were flashing … it was like a club for kids!

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Pirate Night Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Pirate Night Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Pirate Night

Then the fireworks began right off the upper deck! In our experience, there are few places in the U.S. that do fireworks like Disney!

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Pirate Night Fireworks at Sea Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Pirate Night Fireworks at Sea Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Pirate Night Fireworks at Sea

You would think that by now we would have been too tired to do much more than drag our exhausted bodies to bed, but we actually went to one of the theaters to catch part of Rogue One! We didn’t make it all the way through, but the part we saw was pretty good.

We headed back to our stateroom completely spent, but it was all worth it!

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Bunkbeds Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Bunkbeds

Day 3 Aboard the Disney Wonder for Disney Social Media Moms Celebration – Castaway Cay, Dinner at Animator’s Palette, Frozen A Musical Spectacular and Packing to Debark

Day 3 was our most relaxed day sailing on the Disney Wonder, largely because we didn’t have anywhere we needed to be aside from lounging somewhere on Castaway Cay! Not bad a bad schedule, right?

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Day

Disney’s Castaway Cay Private Island

We took our time that morning and didn’t debark until around 9:30 am. Meandering off the ship we grabbed some towels, bought a pack of waters with an insulated bag (we recommend doing this) and headed off to explore!

As a family we love the beach, we love tropical vibes and we love shelling, so we were very excited to spend some time on Castaway Cay. I had read a bit about Castaway Cay prior to our trip, but the majority of posts I read discussed character meet and greets, photo ops and food. I didn’t see many posts focus on the interesting vibe at Castaway, which was one part Bahamian and 2 parts Disney in nature. In our experience, if you travel someplace tropical you can often find small vendors and locals mixed in with larger touristy business. Castaway Cay was interesting in the sense that, being a private island, it felt more like “Disney’s Castaway Cay” and less like just an island in the Bahamas. There were a few Bahamian shops along with several small Disney shops, so visitors had their pick in that sense. It was a different experience! It definitely felt safe (which can be an issue when traveling abroad) and was very clean, but contrasted to other experiences we’ve had traveling to tropical areas south of the U.S. I can see why it appeals to families.

We hung out on some hammocks, checked out the VIP beach DisneySMMC set up for us (that’s where the pic above is from), played in the water and explored a good stretch of Castaway Cay. The weather was perfect (to me anyway). Being February it was a breezy upper 70s with a strong sun. I tried to stay in the shade as much as possible (my dermatologist would be so proud) and thankfully Disney provided plenty of it!

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay

View from our balcony of Castaway Cay!

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Food on Disney’s Castaway Cay

There were multiple places to grab smoothies and drinks, fresh fruit, ice cream (that dangerous ice cream!) and two BBQ places for lunch–Cookie’s and Cookie’s Too. Cookie’s was located closer to where we debarked, while Cookie’s Too was located on the extended family beach. We were told by a staff member at Castaway Cay when we asked for directions that Cookie’s Too was for adults-only so we didn’t go, but the next day we were told that wasn’t true. Oh well!

For the most part, food, drinks and snacks on Castaway Cay were included with our cruise–alcoholic beverages, smoothies, etc. were extra. Cookie’s BBQ offered a variety of proteins, hot sandwiches and sides. I asked about gluten-free options and was told that my server on the ship would have had to have set something up for me, otherwise I kind of had to pick through what was available in the cafeteria-style BBQ offerings (I didn’t see obvious labels on things stating whether or not they included wheat when it came to the food). This was a little confusing to me because I had specifically put down in my profile long before going on the cruise that I was gluten-free, so I’m not sure if what he said was true or if he was misinformed, but I was told he was the supervisor so … I guess it must have been true? Either way, lunch on Castaway Cay was probably my most limited meal on our Disney cruise as I tried to choose what few things looked least likely to include wheat. Kind of a bummer!

Patrick and the boys enjoyed their lunches though, so that was good.

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay

Character Meet and Greets on Disney’s Castaway Cay

Character meet and greets were mostly held in the first couple hours of the day and while we made it to Pluto, we missed the others because we were off exploring. I wish they’d had a set in the morning and set in the afternoon, but sadly we missed some of the ones that only made appearances on Castaway Cay like Jack Sparrow. We were told by one staff member that they did a character meet and greet by the entrance to the ship as we boarded after our day at Castaway Cay, but later found out that wasn’t the case. Too bad!

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay

Beaches on Castaway Cay

There were two long stretches of family beaches and one smaller 18+ beach off by itself. The beaches had plenty of chairs, umbrellas and some cool play structures. However, when the tide went out they closed off the structure near where we settled and it stayed that way until we left.

There was a splash pad for smaller kids as well, but since our guys are older we didn’t go there.

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay Castaway Cay Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay

Excursions on Castaway Cay

There were a number of excursion options on Castaway Cay ranging from a stingray experience to jet skiing, but we decided not to schedule any of them so we could explore at our leisure. We almost went jet skiing (we love it), but maybe next time! The giant water trikes were really neat looking, too.

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay

Picture-Perfect Photo Ops on Disney’s Castaway Cay

Disney is always so clever with their strategically placed photo op spots at the parks, so it came as no surprise that they set up some foolproof photo spots on Castaway Cay! We shared some additional shots of different spots on our Instagram, so make sure you check those out as well.Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Castaway Cay

After a relaxing day on Castaway Cay we headed back onto the ship for our final night!

Dinner at Animator’s Palette

As we previously mentioned, we’ve been to Animator’s Palette on another ship and covered that dining experience in detail, so definitely check that out if you haven’t already! The primary difference we saw between dining at Animator’s Palette on a 3-day versus 5+ day cruise is that the show during dinner is different. The boys were super bummed, but maybe next time! On the plus side, Sorcerer Mickey made an appearance.

Check out our video above if you want to see what that dinner show looked like! Lighting was very dark and constantly changing, so I didn’t like how any of the pics came out from that show.

Frozen, A Musical Spectacular Show Aboard Disney Wonder

After dinner we went for our final show aboard the Disney Wonder–Frozen, A Musical Spectacular. Patrick and I had seen Disney Cruise Line’s version of Tangled at a prior media event, so we were really excited to take the kids to see that version of Frozen. It didn’t disappoint! The sets, actors, actresses and overall performances were seriously phenomenal. No pictures or video were allowed, so sadly no pics to share! You’ll just have to see it for yourself if you can catch it in time.

I recently heard they’ll be doing a Beauty and the Beast show on Disney Dream at the end of this year, which should be really awesome! I’d love to take the kids to that one if we end up on another Disney cruise.

One Last Character Meet & Greet

The final night on Disney Wonder there was one last chance to meet Mickey, a handful of princesses and some other characters in the main atrium. We had missed most of them throughout the cruise, so we made a point to bring the boys and get some cute shots! We also brought some things to have signed.

Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Mickey Mouse Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Minnie Mouse Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Goofy Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Captain Hook

Packing, Putting Luggage Outside for Pick-up and Tipping Staff

The night prior to debarking guests had the option to either put their luggage out by 10 pm so that it could be sent off ahead of them to custom or to keep it with them and manage it themselves during breakfast and off the boat. We debated because we had an early breakfast time (breakfast was based on your prior dinner times) and a bus to catch to the airport to pick up our rental car, but in the end we decided to send our luggage off that night. We were so glad we did! We still had our carry-ons filled with our pajamas, toiletries, meds, fragile electronics, etc., but thankfully didn’t have big suitcases to tote around.

We would definitely recommend going this route if you plan to eat breakfast on the boat before debarking! Just make sure you keep anything you need until you get off the ship in a carry-on with you. You don’t want to accidentally pack meds or your clothes for the day and send them off to customs!

Quick Tip: A day before you debark you’re given little envelopes for tipping your servers, room attendant, etc. You are also given surveys to fill out on each of those crew members along with luggage tags for your luggage. You’ll want to take care of these as soon as you get them so you’re not scrambling at the last minute. Keep in mind, the tags you’re given indicate how the crew organizes your luggage at customs if you leave it outside for pickup, so if your plans change make sure you double-check with the customer service desk!

We’d like to quickly mention how amazing all of the staff we had regular contact were, such as our servers and especially our room attendant. He turned our room over multiple times a day, left plenty of toiletries for us as a family of 4 and made the coolest towel and blanket art–from a hanging monkey to an upright snake! He was awesome and so nice.

Towel Art Aboard Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder Towel Art Aboard Disney Cruise Line Disney Wonder

 

Day 4 Aboard the Disney Wonder for Disney Social Media Moms Celebration – Final Breakfast at Animator’s Palette and Debarking

The morning you debark, you have to check out of your room fairly early, so we had to make sure our carry-ons were totally packed and we’d left nothing behind before heading off to our 7 am breakfast.

You eat breakfast at the restaurant you ate at the night before, so for us it was Animator’s Palette. There was no show and breakfast was fairly quick, but it was nice to have one last meal aboard the Disney Wonder before leaving.

There weren’t too many gluten-free breakfast options, but honestly they could have handed me a piece of dry gluten-free toast and I wouldn’t have noticed (and I hate toast). It had been a whirlwind trip and I was definitely feeling it! Patrick and the boys seemed to enjoy their breakfasts, though I’m not sure how awake the boys were at that point.

We finished eating, said good-bye to our servers and sleepily walked off the Disney Wonder down to customs. The luggage process through customs was extremely smooth. A number of staff were waiting to assist guests with not only getting luggage that had been picked up the night prior from outside our rooms, but walking it through customs with guests on a dolly. We handed over our passports, scanned our bags through the x-ray machine and were on the bus to the airport extremely fast. My fastest customs experience by far!

Final Thoughts On Disney Social Media Moms Celebration Land and Sea

Attending Disney Social Media Moms Celebration would have been a crazy experience as a first-timer regardless, but the fact that we simultaneously got to attend plus experience our first family cruise was really unique! We took in so many cool moments, made some new friends and learned a lot about Disney all while navigating DisneySMMC as an ADHD family–successfully I might add.

As a first-timer I’ve never experienced the former years where DisneySMMC remained at Walt Disney World, but I can see benefits to both formats. While at Walt Disney World, we had to be very careful to make sure we made our buses (and that our families made their buses) to keep things running smoothly. It took longer to get from place to place at Walt Disney World compared to the cruise, but there were also so many more places to go on the resort. On the other hand, I heard a lot of fellow bloggers say that they felt the cruise was easier on their families because of the Oceaneer Club and how easy it was to get from one area of the ship to another. Rather than worrying about which park your family was at, you just simply had to figure out which deck they were on. I think seeing more behind-the-scenes at Walt Disney World would have been cool, too.

In the end, I’d be down for either format in the future if they invited us back for DisneySMMC!

Do I have any final advice to someone attending DisneySMMC for the first time now that we’ve recapped the entire experience? I’d say … get lots of rest beforehand and plan to stay a few days after to enjoy some additional time at Walt Disney World with your family. That was a big regret for some other bloggers we talked to that didn’t stay afterwards and we were very glad we did.

Would we attend Disney Social Media Moms Celebration again?

Yes, if invited back we definitely would!

I think that about covers it, guys! I’m not sure I could possibly fit any more into this post without it turning into a novella (has it already reached that length?). Hopefully I’ve answered some of your burning questions about the mysterious Disney Social Media Moms Celebration and given you some insight on what you can gain by attending. If you have any questions you can always comment below or find us on Instagram, we’re more than happy to answer!

Have you ever been on a Disney cruise? Are you thinking about taking one?

FamilyADHD on Disney Wonder Cruise

Note: Events mentioned above were part of Disney Social Media Moms Celebration Land and Sea. Some events and items were complimentary, while others may have been offered at a discounted rate. All opinions are our own.

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43 comments

Mindy March 3, 2017 at 8:36 pm

Wow, epic post! It sounds like you had an amazing time! Disney Cruises are the best!

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familyadhd March 3, 2017 at 9:24 pm

They really are pretty awesome! And thank you 😀

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Brooke Pakulski March 3, 2017 at 8:45 pm

That’s a fabulous tip about getting cruise coverage on your phone! This looks like such a fun time, I hope we can go on a Disney Cruise some day!

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familyadhd March 3, 2017 at 9:25 pm

Thank you! It really was a fun time, I hope you get to go sooner than later!

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Kate | Life of a Ginger March 3, 2017 at 9:25 pm

Oh wow! What an adventure. My family has never been on a cruise and I haven’t been to Disney in ages. It looks like you had an amazing time!

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familyadhd March 4, 2017 at 11:47 am

It really was a great time! If you’re ever on the hunt for a good family cruise I definitely recommend checking Disney Cruise Line out based on our experience!

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Lisa Heath March 3, 2017 at 10:48 pm

What an incredible experience! So many beautiful photos and your boys looked like they had a blast!

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familyadhd March 4, 2017 at 11:47 am

Thank you! Yes, they definitely had a lot of fun–they want to know when we’re going on our next cruise! lol

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Phyrra March 4, 2017 at 12:25 am

Castaway Cay looks like it would have been amazing. I really want to try a Disney cruise now. Thank you for sharing your experience!

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familyadhd March 4, 2017 at 11:48 am

You’re very welcome! You should definitely go, they have so many options for adults (including tons of adults-only entertainment and an adults-only beach on Castaway Cay), so it definitely isn’t just for families! 🙂

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candy March 4, 2017 at 11:23 am

We have never been on any type of cruise and your list of tips seems very extensive. I worry tons about the sanitizer on ships because we have heard of so many people getting ill from going cruises. Tons of ideas you gave give us to explore and think about.

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familyadhd March 4, 2017 at 11:49 am

I definitely think when it comes to the spread of illnesses on cruise ships you have to be diligent, but it’s totally possible to go and not get sick in our opinions! We were extra careful and made it out 100% sickness for 🙂

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Kathy Myers March 4, 2017 at 12:17 pm

We are planning to go on the Disney cruise in the next year. Thanks for these tips. With three grandsons, I will need all the help I can get!!

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familyadhd March 5, 2017 at 6:33 pm

Oh perfect! I hope you have the best time and that some of our tips help 😉

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Danik March 4, 2017 at 12:40 pm

I always thought I can’t be bothered to do anything DISNEY (nothing against them) but that island looks really cool. I would actually reconsider doing the cruise and the island trip now! Great post 🙂

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familyadhd March 5, 2017 at 6:34 pm

I get it, the parks aren’t for everyone 🙂 I do think the Disney Cruise Line has broader appeal in the sense you don’t have to be in love with Disney (like we are) to really enjoy yourself!

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Maria Adcock March 4, 2017 at 3:17 pm

Great tips, video, and pictures…was such a fun time!

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familyadhd March 5, 2017 at 6:35 pm

Thanks, Maria! Glad we got to enjoy it together 😉

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Jacqui S March 4, 2017 at 11:38 pm

Looks like a wonderful time! The pictures are amazing! My sister and her husband went on a Disney cruise before and they loved it!

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familyadhd March 5, 2017 at 6:35 pm

Thank you! I believe it, it’s quite the experience!

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Marysa March 5, 2017 at 8:44 am

My kids would absolutely love this cruise! Looks like you guys had so much fun. Definitely plenty to do!

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familyadhd March 5, 2017 at 6:36 pm

I bet they would! Yes, there was SO MUCH to do! Each day had so many possible activities, I wish we could have been in multiple places at once because we couldn’t even do half of it lol

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Terri Beavers March 5, 2017 at 11:31 am

My son and his family just returned from a Disney cruise. I’ve never been on one but I want to take the grand kids sometime this year.

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familyadhd March 5, 2017 at 6:37 pm

How cool! I bet you’ll have a blast if you do 🙂

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Donna Ward March 5, 2017 at 12:09 pm

What a great story post and wonderful images and video documenting your great time – I would love to go! We have stayed at our local Disneyland and their hotels are so much more special!

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familyadhd March 5, 2017 at 6:37 pm

Thank you so much! Yes! The Disney hotels are always so magical, we love staying at them 🙂

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Bites for Foodies March 5, 2017 at 2:50 pm

I cannot wait to take my kids to Disneyland! They are 4 and 6 and I’m made the decision to wait until they’re at least 10 and 12…I want them to remember every moment of it!

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familyadhd March 5, 2017 at 6:38 pm

I totally get it! We actually waited until our kids were 4 and 6 before going for the first time for the same reason. It’s been fun to watch them grow and be able to go on more and more rides over the years 🙂

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Emma Spellman March 5, 2017 at 5:23 pm

I took my kiddos about 2 years ago. They were 1 and 3 and they had fun, but I will take them again in a couple years when they can really enjoy it. Looks like you all had a blast.

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familyadhd March 5, 2017 at 6:39 pm

They’ll have so much fun!

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Jennifer Van Huss March 5, 2017 at 5:53 pm

What a dream experience! I have just been to Disney for my first time and I can’t wait to go again! Hopefully one day I will be part of DisneySMMC!!!

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familyadhd March 5, 2017 at 6:39 pm

Oh how special! I went as a kid, but the first time we took the boys years ago was so COOL!

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Jeanine March 6, 2017 at 1:40 pm

Wow looks like such a really great time! We’ve never done anything Disney before, and probably won’t until the kids are much bigger if we do…. and I’d love to do the cruise instead of the parks, would be awesome!

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familyadhd March 7, 2017 at 12:29 pm

It’s definitely a different experience, but if you want something more contained with no lines it’s the way to go 😉

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ashley March 7, 2017 at 10:08 am

Ahh, this sounds like such an amazing time! One of my bucket list goals is to go on a Disney cruise and this is why! It looks like a blast for all ages.

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familyadhd March 7, 2017 at 12:30 pm

I hope you get to go! It really was a blast for our entire family 🙂

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NAmy March 7, 2017 at 10:35 am

Oh my God how fun iwas this. I would love to have a similer experinece with kids

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rika March 8, 2017 at 1:08 am

What a fun getaway! Looks like you had such a magical time! I have never been on a Disney cruise.

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familyadhd March 8, 2017 at 9:54 am

It was super magical! I hope you get to go on one someday 🙂

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Diana Ajih March 8, 2017 at 11:56 am

What an amazing experience! I’m so jealous. I’ve always wanted to go on a Disney Cruise.

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familyadhd March 9, 2017 at 7:33 pm

Such an amazing experience! I hope you get to go for yourself soon 😉

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Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen March 8, 2017 at 4:01 pm

I have never been on a cruise ever because I was scared of the water but thinking of a Disney Cruise Line and seeing everything on your post makes me wanna chuck up my fear and take my kids there!

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familyadhd March 9, 2017 at 7:33 pm

Yes!!! I think you’d love it and any fear you had would quickly fade away while you had SO MUCH FUN! 🙂

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