If you are like me, once you book your Disney cruise you start planning all the fun activities you will do on the ship and in the Ports. Our latest Disney cruise was four days to Castaway Cay, Nassau, and Key West. We were very excited to experience this itinerary, and were especially looking forward to participating in the Castaway Cay 5k and having a massage on the adult only beach. Ah the best laid plans!
As our cruise drew near, we started watching the weather and discovered Hurricane Joaquin was heading toward the Bahamas. We are eternal optimists and decided that the hurricane would not affect our trip and we would enjoy all the activities we had spent a year planning. Hurricane Joaquin had a different idea, however. Not long after boarding the ship Captain Tom informed us that we would be switching our itinerary to visit Key West first and Castaway Cay last. We were glad that Disney Cruise Line had the safety of its passengers and crew as its top priority and didn’t mind the little switch at all.
The original time for us to be in Key West was Noon to 6:00pm, with the quick switch the time changed to 8:00am to 2:00pm. This was a little disappointing based on our plans, but we made the best of it. We were the first in line to disembark the ship which gave us plenty of time to take a walk to the Southern Most Point in the USA. The best part of our day was meeting a group of couples all traveling together from the Orlando area. If we had spent the first day on Castaway Cay, we probably wouldn’t have met them and wouldn’t be planning a Spring Break trip to visit them.
We got back on the ship at the very last minute because we were having such a good time on Key West. It wasn’t long before Captain Tom made another announcement, Hurricane Joaquin wasn’t moving away from the Bahamas so we were going to Cozumel and we would also have a day at sea. That announcement meant we weren’t going to stop at Castaway Cay which is always my favorite. This cruise we were going to able to enjoy the adult beach and run the 5k, so we were disappointed.
As the ship set sail toward Cozumel we realized that since there would be a Sea Day, we could make reservations for our favorite meal, Palo Brunch! Who cares about an adult beach and a 5K when you can enjoy mimosas, sticky buns, and the best chicken parmesan in the world! We almost ran up to Palo to make our brunch reservations, luckily we didn’t miss out.
Despite our disappointment, the change in itinerary turned out to be as much, if not more fun than the plans we had originally made. Sailing during hurricane season means there is always a chance that the itinerary can change. Disney Cruise Line cancelled all the missed port excursions with no charge. We were also given a small refund due to the change in port fees which we used to enjoy a couple cocktails at the pool. I love that the ships can sail around the storms and my vacation isn’t ruined by bad weather. Passenger and Crew safety is always the top priority for the Captain which I appreciate tremendously. The passengers on the ships also need to understand that itineraries can change and be flexible, you never know how great the new experience will be!
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