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8 Things that Went Right on the Disney Cruise

My favorite tips for family vacation on the Disney Fantasy - Star Wars Day at Sea info - Eastern Caribbean itinerary - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com

I can’t tell you how therapeutic it was to write that last post on our crazy week at sea. And while this wasn’t the most relaxing trip I’ve ever been on (ahem – Archer, throwing Jude’s underwear and anything not nailed down over the balcony), it did solidify the fact that I can’t get enough of the Virgin Islands.  We did this same itinerary last year on the Disney Fantasy and we loved exploring these beautiful islands. So here’s what went right.

TORTOLA

This island in the British Virgin Islands is rough around the edges and but utterly charming in an off-the-rails sense: rustic and unrefined, with wind-y, twisty roads, crystal clear water and screensaver-worthy beaches. Beach shacks with wild chickens running to and fro, and goats munching in the brush. We passed an entire beach that was empty except for the giant herd of goats. WHAT.  It’s kind of what I imagine Neverland to be with its Lost Boys, Mermaid Lagoon and pirates climbing the rocks.

disney fantasy cruise 2017-40 My favorite tips for family vacation on the Disney Fantasy - Star Wars Day at Sea info - Eastern Caribbean itinerary - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com My favorite tips for family vacation on the Disney Fantasy - Star Wars Day at Sea info - Eastern Caribbean itinerary - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com My favorite tips for family vacation on the Disney Fantasy - Star Wars Day at Sea info - Eastern Caribbean itinerary - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com My favorite tips for family vacation on the Disney Fantasy - Star Wars Day at Sea info - Eastern Caribbean itinerary - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com My favorite tips for family vacation on the Disney Fantasy - Star Wars Day at Sea info - Eastern Caribbean itinerary - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com

I had low expectations for this island, especially with a toddler.  The plan was to rent a Jeep and find some remote beaches. The island in general can be counted on for death-defying drives with hairpin turns, absolutely zero street signs when you need them most, driving on the opposite side of the road (because it’s Great Britain!)  and breathtaking views around every corner. Unpretentious and divinely beautiful.

And somehow? This was Archer’s best day. We’d settled into a better routine and he was starting to understand the fun of the ship. And this day was no exception; we rented the most bare-bones Jeep you’ve ever seen (I mean BARE – raw metal between you and the ground with zero carpeting, allowing the heat of the engine to radiate up your legs) and luckily were able to get a carseat as well. Strapped in and ready to go, we zipped around the perimeter of the island to find a secluded beach before the tour buses showed up. With pina colada in hand (NUTMEG ON TOP MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE!), we enjoyed the enormous spreading palm trees, pristine white sand and that aqua water.

My favorite memories of this day are of hidden beaches where there is only one other couple in sight, naps under the mangroves with the baby in my arms (albeit brief), bobbing in the water as it rolls over and down, finally swooshing us up onto the beach.

ST THOMAS

My favorite tips for family vacation on the Disney Fantasy - Star Wars Day at Sea info - Eastern Caribbean itinerary - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com

St Thomas, I’m coming back to see you, and SOON. I can’t get enough of those candy colored houses, powdery beaches, and gorgeous aquamarine views.  We went over to the Marriott and checked out their pretty beach and lounged languidly for hours.

Just kidding – did you read my last post? NOPE.

My favorite tips for family vacation on the Disney Fantasy - Star Wars Day at Sea info - Eastern Caribbean itinerary - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com

It was more like dashing back and forth from the water to the beach, then walking an overtired baby back and forth and back and forth to get him to go to sleep in his stroller. And then swapping places with Simon so I could play in the water with Jude.

Here’s Archer marching Jude out to show him where he threw J’s underwear overboard. #truestoryMy favorite tips for family vacation on the Disney Fantasy - Star Wars Day at Sea info - Eastern Caribbean itinerary - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com

Aside from the natural beauty, it’s such an easy trip in silly ways, like being able to use your cell phone since it’s US territory. And the loads of jewelry shops loaded with shiny things doesn’t hurt either.

My favorite tips for family vacation on the Disney Fantasy - Star Wars Day at Sea info - Eastern Caribbean itinerary - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com My favorite tips for family vacation on the Disney Fantasy - Star Wars Day at Sea info - Eastern Caribbean itinerary - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com My favorite tips for family vacation on the Disney Fantasy - Star Wars Day at Sea info - Eastern Caribbean itinerary - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com

STAR WARS DAY AT SEA

My favorite tips for family vacation on the Disney Fantasy - Star Wars Day at Sea info - Eastern Caribbean itinerary - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com

One day of our itinerary was devoted to the Star Wars Day at Sea. Internet, I enjoy Star Wars. But clearly I don’t enjoy it as much as most of the other people on our ship did. Because peeps went ALL. OUT. We were slumming it with BB8 jammies and a rickety Amazon Prime’d costume while people were in full hair and makeup all day long.My favorite tips for family vacation on the Disney Fantasy - Star Wars Day at Sea info - Eastern Caribbean itinerary - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com

But the absolute highlight for the boys (in addition to storm trooper sightings here and there) was an epic light saber battle in the main atrium. Two solid hours of thwacking and cheering and ARGHHHing and “LUKE I AM YOUR FATHERRRRR”.

My favorite tips for family vacation on the Disney Fantasy - Star Wars Day at Sea info - Eastern Caribbean itinerary - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com

And, of course, nonstop Star Wars movies on all the movie screens and sooo much Star Wars music over the speakers. Which is, frankly, a little bit ominous while you’re having your morning coffee.

My favorite tips for family vacation on the Disney Fantasy - Star Wars Day at Sea info - Eastern Caribbean itinerary - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com

I’m still scratching my head at how people possibly were able to pack some of those costumes …

MORE DISNEY CRUISE FUN

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Surprisingly Archer wasn’t freaked out by characters and it was so fun to stumble on Mickey or Pluto in the hallway. It’s one of the major perks of the cruise – bumping into Peter Pan or Stitch and getting in a hug and a quick photo.

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Jude’s big favorite is pin trading and he made loads of new friends. I ordered a big bag of pins off eBay so he had plenty to share and trade.

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One of my most favorite things was stealing away with Jude one evening once Archer was in bed. We rode the Aquaduck four times in a tow in the dark and then bobbed in the pool underneath the stars, watching a movie and giggling. Pure magic.

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So there you have it. Moral of the story? Probably definitely don’t take a 2 year old on a Disney cruise if you want to have a vacation too.

But even with all the crazy, there was a whole lotta fun to still be had. 😉

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