Walt Disney World Favorites for Adults

Going to Disney World as a child is a very different experience than going to the parks as an adult.  As a younger child, Disney World’s lively characters and intricate theming truly transport you into a fairy tale. Still, going back to Disney as an adult doesn’t mean your experience will be any less “magical”. Disney does a great job including a wide variety of attractions that appeal to every member of the family.  

Last May, my husband, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and I went to Walt Disney World for a 4 night stay over Memorial Day weekend. I have been to Disney World many times throughout my childhood, high school, and even once in college. For this trip, we stayed at Disney’s Art of Music Resort and visited The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. For those thinking about a trip to Disney World, this is an adult’s perspective of visiting these particular parks while sharing our trip highlights.

Magic Kingdom

For our first park, we visited Magic Kingdom. With Cinderella’s castle, popular Disney characters appearing throughout the park, and classic attractions, Magic Kingdom is the most “Disney” of all the parks. While many of the attractions are more popular for younger children, there are still a few notable thrill rides like Tron Lightcycle Run and Space Mountain, which are roller coasters. Nothing beats the nostalgia that is experiencing Magic Kingdom and seeing your favorite movies come to life through the different attractions. Even as an adult, I can still appreciate the classic slower rides like It’s a Small World. Although the song may get stuck in your head, It’s a Small World is a relaxing boat ride that showcases different regions of the world with adorable animatronic characters. For adults that have never been to Disney World, Magic Kingdom is definitely worth a visit.

Hollywood Studios

For our second day at Disney World, we went to Hollywood Studios. In my opinion, Hollywood Studios shines for older teens and adults. Attractions like the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror were awesome thrill rides, sure to impress any thrill seeker. The Rock ‘n” Roller Coaster is a thrilling launch roller coaster in the dark while The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is an exciting drop ride with a spooky backstory! In addition, Star Wars Fans can look forward to seeing Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge which makes you feel like you’re really in a galaxy far far away! We were especially impressed with the attraction Rise of The Resistance because it really made you feel like you were in a Star Wars movie. I won’t spoil the ride, but trust me when I say it is a must do for any Star Wars fan! Besides those attractions, there are countless other shows and rides that appeal to guests of any age. Some of my other attraction favorites for guests of all ages include The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular show and Toy Story Mania. Overall, Hollywood Studios is a park that will have older teens and young adults coming back for countless visits in the future.

Epcot

For our third and final park visit, we headed to Epcot. We were lucky enough to visit during Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival, which meant even more food/drink options and beautiful floral displays throughout the park. For us, the biggest highlight of our day was going to the World Showcase. The World Showcase is one part of the park that features 11 countries that you can walk around and explore. We loved snacking at all the different countries while trying some tasty cocktails! There is endless shopping throughout the World Showcase with some rides sprinkled in throughout a few of the countries. For adults going to Epcot, the World Showcase should be a priority. The other attractions in Epcot outside of the World Showcase were also entertaining, and we especially liked Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind. This was an exciting roller coaster dark ride with plenty of twists, turns, and surprises! The ride Test Track is always a classic as well, and we had fun making our own vehicles and zipping around the race track. However, we still felt that the most exciting part of our day was the World Showcase!

We really had an amazing trip and I even got to see and do some new things that I hadn’t been able to experience on previous trips. Magic Kingdom really gives you that classic Disney experience, while Hollywood Studios has thrilling experiences, and Epcot lets you experience several countries in one day! No Disney trip feels the same, and there is always something new to discover. Disney World truly is a place for the young and old, and is the best “magical” vacation out there!

Western Caribbean Cruise Ports and Excursions

On my last cruise aboard the Norwegian Breakaway, my husband and I had the opportunity to stop in some exciting ports. Our cruise was 7 nights long, and we docked in 4 ports total. The ports we saw are very common for Western Caribbean cruise itineraries, so I wanted to share our experience to help other cruisers plan their trips and excursions.  

Port 1: Cozumel, Mexico

We started our cruise with sunny Cozumel, Mexico. We had an excursion booked through our cruise line that would take us to a resort called Passion Island for a beach day.  My husband and I were up bright and early to meet our tour guides, just at the end of the dock from our cruise ship. Shortly after, we were ushered on a boat for a scenic ride to Passion Island. 

After arriving on Passion Island, we quickly settled into some beach loungers and ate fish tacos and tortilla chips while sipping on margaritas. Lunch was complimentary with our excursion ticket, which was a great bonus. We had a gorgeous view of turquoise blue water from our chairs and loved the relaxing feel of the resort. The beach never felt crowded, even with multiple tours coming and going throughout the day.

 After it was time to go back to the ship, our tour guides carefully counted us to make sure we all got back on the boat, and we were dropped right back off where we started. My husband and I were impressed how organized the tour was. The tour guides did a great job making sure everyone was taken care of and was having a good time. If I went back to Cozumel, I would absolutely go on this excursion again. It is great for families, couples, and friends alike. 

Port 2: Roatán, Honduras

For our second port, we stopped in Roatán, Honduras. We had a planned excursion that we booked through the cruise line to go on the Jolly Roger catamaran snorkeling excursion. Once again, we had to get up early to find our way to the tour meeting place. After getting through the crowds of cruise passengers to find our tour group, we boarded a bus that took us to the catamaran. 

The bus ride was fairly short and we were soon greeted by the Jolly Roger crew that helped us board the spacious catamaran. The boat ride to the snorkel spot was about 30 minutes long and gave us time to take in the views of Roatán and the sparkling water. The crew handed out our flippers, life vest, and snorkel mask, before carefully helping us into the warm water. Coral and colorful fish were everywhere covering the ocean bottom.

After an hour of snorkeling everyone got back on the catamaran hungry for lunch, which was included in our ticket. Overall, my husband and I loved how we had complete freedom to swim around and snorkel where we wanted to near the boat, while still under the watchful eye of the crew. The crew even gave us Honduran currency as a souvenir to take home! This was easily our favorite excursion, and we would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys snorkeling.

Port 3: Harvest Caye, Belize

Harvest Caye is Norwegian Cruise line’s private island in Belize, and we didn’t have anything planned for that day. After two busy port days catching timed excursions early in the morning, we were happy to just relax and not do anything on a schedule. 

Harvest Caye boasted a beach, giant pool, wildlife attraction, watersports, shopping, and more. We first headed to the wildlife experience, which had a beautiful butterfly garden. The butterfly garden was full of Blue Morpho butterflies, which were the most beautiful butterflies I’ve ever seen. I could have spent so much more time there! 

From there, we headed straight to the pool. Although the beach on the island was well maintained and had plenty of beach chairs, we felt as if we just wanted to relax by the huge pool on the island instead. We enjoyed sipping a cocktail by the pool for a little bit, before doing some shopping, and heading back to the cruise ship. 

While this was an enjoyable port day, we wished we had gone to see more of Belize than a private island. If I were to go back, I would have taken the ferry to the nearby town of Placencia to see more of what Belize has to offer. Still, for families needing a relaxing pool/beach day, this port is a perfect choice. 

Port 4: Costa Maya, Mexico

Costa Maya was our fourth and final port on this cruise. Like Harvest Caye, we did not have anything planned for this day and planned on walking around the port as our activity. The port had tons of shopping, food, and even a pool, but it was raining so we did not stick around long. We only spent 30 minutes on land before deciding to spend the rest of the day in the spa aboard the ship. 

If it had been nicer out, it would be easy to grab a taxi to the nearby village of Mahahual, which has plenty of spots to relax on a beach. We enjoyed the beach in Mahahual on a past trip, and it also had plenty of food, drinks, and shopping available. Even with the rain, we still had a fun day. The moral of the story is to not feel pressured to book an excursion or go somewhere every port day on your cruise. You can still have tons of fun and not even leave the ship!

We truly had an amazing experience on our cruise and were very happy with our itinerary. While we loved our snorkeling experience in Roatán the most, cruises offer endless excursions that appeal to every interest and every family member. With careful research, you can ensure that every day in port is a memorable one. Hiring a travel agent can help significantly in picking a cruise itinerary and excursions that are right for you and your travel party. It’s safe to say I would happily go on this cruise and visit these wonderful places again!

Cruise Cabin Comparisons

When planning a cruise vacation one very important detail to decide is picking your cabin. While this seems relatively simple in theory, there are many factors to consider. From the type of cabin (interior, oceanview, balcony, suite, etc.), to the location of the cabin (aft, mid-ship, forward), and even how many cabins to reserve for the number of passengers in your family, picking the right cabin can make or break your trip. 

Starting with cabin type, for cruisers that do want to splurge on a suite, there are generally 3 main cabin categories on most cruise ships. Interior cabins are the most inexpensive and are great for cruisers that want a great deal and don’t plan on spending too much time in the room. If you don’t mind the lack of natural light and lack of an outside view, this may be the right choice for you.

 Oceanview cabins are a great compromise for cruisers that may not want to pay a premium for a balcony, but still want a view of the outside of the ship. I have sailed in an ocean view personally, and I really liked the ability to see the ocean and where we were. I don’t think I would have liked how dark an interior cabin gets with no natural light.

Balcony cabins can be the priciest out of these three categories, but in my opinion are completely worth it if you can afford it. There is nothing like being able to watch the ocean go by as you sail away or having breakfast while watching the sunrise on your own private balcony. On my last cruise, my husband and I agreed that it was worth the extra money! However, if a balcony doesn’t fit in your budget or you simply don’t care about having a balcony, interior and ocean view cabins are still great options. 

The location of your cabin can also have a big impact on how smoothly your vacation runs. While it may be tempting to choose the cheapest cabin location offered or to just let the cruise line pick your cabin for you (which is also often the cheapest option), it may put you in a place on the ship that could be inconvenient for you and your family. For example, for people that get sea sick easily, picking a cabin mid-ship and on a lower deck of the ship is often the best to minimize any rocking feeling while you rest. 

Considering what is around you can help you pick the best cabin. Checking a ship’s deck plan can help you see how close any elevators or stairs are to your room as well as what is immediately above or below you. Ideally, you don’t want to be sleeping right below a nightclub or any super loud space. 

You may want to pick a cabin that is close to amenities that you plan on using frequently. In my case, our last cruise cabin was a few floors directly below the buffet so we could hop on an elevator and be at the buffet in only a minute or two from our cabin. Using a travel agent (like myself!) can be very helpful in making sure you are where you want to be. 

Finally, considering how many cabins to get for your family and how much space you need can help ensure everyone is happy in your travel party. While many cabins can fit up to 4 guests, this can be incredibly cramped, not to mention having to share one bathroom! While this is doable, and the most budget friendly, it can be tough to share such a small space. Pay attention to the square footage of the cabin(s) you are booking so you can determine whether it makes sense to get an additional cabin. Like hotels, some cabins are adjoining so you can be together with your family without being too crowded. Still, you can save a lot of money by simply sharing one cabin, and if you pick a bigger cabin type depending on what is available on your ship, this can work well.

It may not seem like it at first, but picking a cabin is a big decision that can ultimately affect your budget and your vacation as a whole! From picking the cabin category, to the location, and even how many cabins you need for your travel party, it can be a little confusing! This is why I recommend using a travel agent that can guide you through picking a cabin and simplify the process. I personally love cruises, and I want my clients to have the best cruising experience and best cabin for their needs! Happy Cruising!

Fla. Seller of Travel Reg. No. ST37113.