Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Disney Alaskan cruise vs Disneyland

To help me better decide on our Disney vacation plans next year I have decided to make up a pros/cons list for both options. I don't know about you but it makes it so much easier for me to have things laid out like this. Blogging helps me clear my head and make sense of things, so it only makes sense for me to do this here and share it with anyone interested :)

Disneyland PROS:
- Warm sunny weather! I could even get a tan laying by the pool...
- Character meet n greets for the boys (and me)
- Rides!
- We would get to check out the new Cars Land.
- Not stuck on a boat with two wandering children (more space to roam)
- Possibility of getting into the Grand Californian Villas. Once in a lifetime opportunity?
- Great entertainment!
- Grandparents would come and help (sharing hotel suites)
- It's just plain magical!

Disneyland CONS:
- Requires a plane trip of 2.5 hours each way plus airport transfers.
- My toddler can't stay awake past 7pm and may be too old at this point to sleep in a stroller.
- Have to go back to our hotel room every afternoon for naps.
- Toddlers early bed times (affecting our late night plans)
- Travel time (though mininal) to and from hotels rooms/parks.
- Food isn't spectacular.
- Tiring! Getting up early everyday and crashing every night.
- Potential meltdowns in ride lines.
- I've been 7 times already (not that thats a bad thing!)

Disney Alaskan Cruise PROS:
- We could pretty much walk right onto the boat since we are local.
- Gorgeous scenery.
- Character meet n greets for the boys (and me)
- The food. Need I say more?
- Babysitting availible between 8am-11pm.
- Clubs for Toddlers to run around (supervised by us)
- Great Entertainment!
- Get to see 3 Alaskan cities (one of which hubby and I have never been to) and another glacier.
- Grandparents would come and help (connecting rooms?)
- Being that entertainment, food, etc is all on board everything is very close. It would be easy for hubby and I to switch off and on and go enjoy something while the other watches the kids.
- the toddlers would probably love to roam the ship decks and look out the windows.

Disney Alaskan Cruise CONS:
- Toddlers may not/probably won't sit through dinners.
- Toddlers early bed times (affecting our late night plans)
- Port activities may be out with toddlers.
- Toddlers not allowed in pools until potty trained.
- Colder weather.

Hmm, they seem pretty close don't they?

Disney Cruising with toddlers?

Cruises have majorly been on the brain lately. Maybe it's because my parents and siblings are currently on an 11 day cruise of the Souther Caribbean (lucky bums!) Perhaps it's because I received an email this morning letting me know that there was currently a 25% off deal on the local Disney Alaskan cruise for Canadian residents. Or maybe it's because I read a lot of fellow Disney bloggers blogs and one is big on Disney Cruises (thanks Williams family...)
Whatever the cause may be, I have officially added a cruise with Disney to my lifes bucketlist.

It's been about two years since our last cruise. It wasn't with Disney and it was to the Caribbean. As fun as it was, I really wasn't a fan of the cruise line (Carnival.) The entertainment was more something you'd see at a Vegas adults only show and the food was just okay. Hubby and I's previous cruise back in 2009 was with Celebrity to Alaska and that was incredible! Everything was absolutely top notch and I would not hesitate to sail with them again.

The problem (and yes, my husband reminds me that this is a first world problem) is that pretty soon we will have two very young kids. Now I always said I wouldn't let kids slow me down as far as what we wanted to do. The problem is more that we just can't afford to vacation like we use to as we currently work our way towards our goal of moving out of a townhouse and into a 'house house.' We get one big vacation in the next 5 years or so. We have already decided that this will be a Disney vacation as it appeals to both myself and the children and we have been planning on Disneyland. And I am totally excited about that! But then I think to myself, 'Hmm, a cruise would sure be nice again.'

A Disney cruise from Florida is out. As much as I'd love to be soaking up some sunshine at Castaway Cay, there is just no way I am flying all day there and back with two kids under three for a week long vacation. Not my idea of relaxing. We'll add that to the bucket list for later.
A Disney cruise to Alaska could be a definite possibility. There was talk of this cruise being no more but dates for 2014 have now been released! It wouldn't require flying anywhere for us since the boat leaves from our home city. And I know Disney caters to children, even young ones as far as entertainment, food/dining and by providing things we would need like strollers, highchairs and teeny tiny utensils. There is even paid babysitting available if we wanted it. Several family members have expressed interest in doing an Alaskan cruise and we almost booked one last year, but we opted for Disneyland instead.
And again now, we are looking at heading back to Disneyland next May. I love Disneyland and I know we would have an amazing time in the sun, staying at a nice hotel and running around the parks. Both of our kids would be young enough still that we wouldn't have to pay for them either.

I guess I'm just wondering to myself what would be easier. In talking to other Disney vacationers on message boards who have travelled with toddlers, they insist the cruise is still way more relaxing then doing Disneyland. But I just don't know! Either location would require making the kids sit down for meals at times or to be isolated to a hotel room or stroller. Pricing for either vacation isn't that much different, but they are two totally different kind of trips.

Maybe I need to make up a pros and cons list? Check it out HERE

As always, suggestions and advice are welcome :)