Selecting a room on a cruise ship is kind of like a trip through Goldilocks and the Three Bears for me. Everything has to be just right. Not too high, not too low. Not too close to the fore and not too close to aft. Not too far from the elevators, but not too close, either.
We ended up selected two adjoining cabins for our trip: 7608 and 7610. Midship, on a middle deck, the perfect distance from the elevator banks and on the port side. They were each classified as a Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah. Obviously, we had a balcony with sliding glass doors, but we also enjoyed 50 square feet more space in the room (total of 299 sq ft), split bathrooms, and sleeping accommodations for up to five, including a queen size bed, a pull out couch, a murphy bed in the wall, and a bed than pulled down from the ceiling.
So let’s begin.
Lots of Disney cruisers take advantage of the metal doors to decorate and personalize their staterooms with magnets. We found these cute decorations at MBPandMore and ordered a set for us and one for Nana and Papa Bear.
Upon entering the room, guests must put their Key To The World card in a slot next to the light switch to activate any of the lights in the room. The risk is that you may forget your KTTW when you leave, so we skirted the issue by bringing our room key from the hotel we stayed at the night before to use in its place.
To the left was a closet, complete with hangers, drawers, the room safe and life jackets.
To the right was the split bathroom. One room housed the toilet and sink,
while the other contained the shower, round tub and another sink.
Towels were replaced regularly, even when we hung them to use later in the day (we showered a lot).
The bed was pretty comfortable. I was lucky enough to have a birthday runner and card displayed on ours.
Beyond the bed was a privacy curtain that could be tied up during the day and let down at night.
Then there was a couch and coffee table (which afforded more storage) and a dresser/desk combo with a chair, and plenty of built in shelving. A small TV was attached to the unit, although we barely touched it.
Last but not least, the verandah.
We were able to have our Stateroom Hostess, Patrice (who was amazing), remove the divider between our room and my parents’ to enjoy one large, connected balcony. It was perfect.
There were several options for little man’s sleeping arrangements: the convertible couch, a pull-out murphy bed in the wall, and a bunk that dropped from the ceiling. We thought he would get the biggest kick out of sleeping up top, and we were spot on. He loved it.
Patrice stopped by our room twice daily. We try to keep things pretty tidy, but things were spotless after her visits.
During the day, she would leave things that pertained to that day’s events, like a birthday button and bandanas for Pirate Night,
and each night, with our turndown service, she would leave blanket animals, the next day’s Personal Navigator and chocolates.
Also, on the last night, we had a gift from Guest Services. Remember how, on boarding the ship, we dropped off a bag at Guest Services with a baseball and photo mat, along with some giant candy bars? Well, Mickey and the Gang and been hard at work, signing our goodies.
Each stateroom is entitled to two items for the purposes of character autographs. They make for great gifts and unique souvenir options.
Last, but not least, we participated in a Fish Extender gift exchange with some other cruisers.
Fish Extenders are a series of hanging pockets that can be hung on the “fish” (or in our case, “seahorse”) over stateroom numbers.
They can personalized or plain, sewn from fabric (like Nana so graciously did here), purchased from Etsy, or crafted from pencil cases or hanging toiletry bags. There are so many great options that I’ve seen.
Members of exchange groups then go around and give little gifts to other members of the group. The gifts can be for the entire stateroom, for individuals, for each night of the cruise, for the duration… really, there is no end to the options. We found our group via a Disney message board, and then joined a Facebook group for our sailing date, where the final groups were organized.
Each group got lists of cabin numbers and the occupants of those cabins, including names, genders, ages, some likes/dislikes, favorites and occasions to be celebrated. We were free to use that information for gift giving or not.
We were in a group of about 12 cabins, for a total of over 30 people. It was a little overwhelming, both in the planning of gifts and the delivery.
I decided to go with a small gift every night. The first night, each person got magnets for their door: Mickey hands with their names on it, as well as a Disney bottle cap magnet and a Mickey ear button magnet.
The second night, I did little bags with a pirate eye patch and a handheld maze game for the boys, and lip gloss and nail polish for the girls.
On the last night, I painted wooden frames for each family
and supplemented with magnetized polaroid-style frames for the kids.
In return, we got all kinds of neat stuff: beaded jewelry, key chains, bottle cap necklaces, picture frames, a set of Lego to build the Disney Dream, play packs, glow sticks, cups, crayons caddies… there were some thoughtful and creative gifts in our Fish Extender and it was a lot of fun to see what was waiting for us when we got back to our room.
For those who have the time and the resources, it was a fun thing. I’m not sure if we would do it again (it was time-consuming and I got a little stressed over it), but if we do, I have some great ideas for gifts for next time.
And there you have it.
We didn’t spend a ton of time in our room, but we were very comfortable for the time we were there.
What is a feature you must have in a hotel or ship room?
Do you prefer verandahs or inside rooms if you are cruising?