Surprise Disney Cruise

Have you ever wanted to surprise your family with a Disney Cruise?  My husband and I planned our first Disney Cruise for over a year completely unknown to our children.

How in the world would we keep such a fun secret for such a long period of time?  How would we pick excursions and make plans without asking the kids their thoughts?  How would we contain our extreme excitement?

We started having late night conversations, trying to stay as quiet as we could so the kids wouldn’t hear anything we were saying.  We also had many, many email and text conversations picking our excursions on Grand Cayman and Cozumel.  Would they like swimming with sting rays?  Do you think they would like snorkeling better?  How would we sneak pirate costumes into our luggage?

The year flew by and we had done it!  We had made all the plans, kept cruise packing secret, and had managed to keep them in the dark.  All that my children knew was that we were driving to Florida to visit Grandma and Grandpa for Thanksgiving.  They didn’t even know how long we would be gone on this vacation, I can’t believe they never even asked when we would go home.

On the Friday after Thanksgiving we packed up the car, told the kids we were staying that night near the beach, and headed to Port Canaveral.  We decided it would be best to arrive after dark so they didn’t see any cruise ships that may be in port.  At this point we were beyond excited not only to tell them our surprise, but excited for our DISNEY CRUISE!

My husband was “too excited to sleep” and was up bright and early.  He drove over to the Port to scout out a spot to take the kids to “just look” at the Disney Fantasy and spotted the ship just after sunrise.

JR Blog cruise Fantasy sunrise

We woke the kids up, told them to put their swim suits on so that we could go for a swim (left out the details of where!), then went down for breakfast.  At breakfast we told them that the Disney Fantasy was in Port and asked if they would like to go see it.  They weren’t super excited to just look at the ship, but agreed to go.

After breakfast we loaded them up in the car, drove to the spot my husband had found and pulled over to let them get out and take a look.  The ship took my breath away and I was holding back tears as we gazed for a minute.  I couldn’t keep the surprise in any more, we asked them if they would like to go on board.  They looked very confused.  Then we asked if they would like to go on board for seven days and travel to Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Costa Maya, & Disney’s private Island Castaway Cay.


JR Blog cruise Fantasy

I will never forget the next few minutes as long as I live!  My daughter screamed in excitement then jumped into my arms.  My son who was looking forward to the lunch he had ordered at school on Monday was actually a little angry and said he didn’t want to go.   Once we told him about the Aqua Duck and the free unlimited ice cream he came around and couldn’t wait to board.


JR blog surprising kids       JR Blog cruise Aquaduck

The cruise was amazing!  We enjoyed everything about the Disney Fantasy from the stateroom, to the food, the Aquaduck, the adult areas and the incredible entertainment.  I think surprising the kids made this vacation even more magical. I’m still amazed that they never questioned how many suit cases were in the car, or how long we would be gone and even more amazed that they loved most of the excursions we planned.   The sting rays at Sting Ray city were a little “gross” for them, but they loved our snorkel trip in Cozumel.  I don’t think we could ever pull the wool over their eyes again, it sure was fun when we did.

I would love to help you plan a surprise Disney Vacation for your family.  Whether it’s a Disney Cruise, a visit to Walt Disney World, or an Adventures by Disney extravaganza, I have fun ideas to make the surprise extra special.  Follow my Wishes Family Travel – Juli Russ Facebook page for great Disney information of all kinds, including surprising loved ones with a Disney Vacation.


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