A Disney Vacation · 18 August 2013

Cruising, especially Disney-style, is the way to vacation.

My wife, The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi, and I have never really agreed on what vacation really means. She thinks it means “sunny beaches” while my definition is just “being with family.” She wants the ocean and sunshine. I just want to be with my siblings and give our kids opportunities to hang out together. We met almost all our requirements (no sunny beaches and one of my brothers was missing) when we recently went on a Disney cruise to Alaska.

My parents had their fiftieth wedding anniversary this past February. My Mom wanted to celebrate by taking a cruise with all the family. Mom and Dad had already been on a cruise before and wanted us all to enjoy the experience together. We had a great time even though one of my brothers and his family were not able to make it.

Mom chose to go on a Disney cruise so that the kids could have a great time too. Since we have been home, The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi and I keep telling people we would go again. Even without the kids.

There many activities to choose from each day. Whether we were at sea or at a port of call, there was a full docket of choices on and off the ship. There were lessons on line dancing, folding towels, cooking, and drawing. There were game shows, parties, and live theater. There was even Bingo. I am sure that all the other cruise lines have these sorts of events and adventures, but Disney also had first run movies. And of course, the Disney characters.

Mom likes to go go go, so the full schedule was great for her. We got daily schedules the night before and so we could see what we wanted to do the next day. We did not always coordinate with my parents or siblings, but that worked out well too. Even if we did not see each other on the ship for several hours, we would always get to have dinner together as a large family. Mom and Dad and all of us really enjoyed and appreciated those nightly gatherings. Especially since we would usually go to a show together after supper.

One of the greatest things about the cruise was the entertainment. We had live performances and stage shows almost every night. And they were clean. Even when it was an adults only performance, entertainers were not swearing up a storm or telling off-color jokes. The productions were first rate as well. The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi even commented that if live theater was anything like the ones on our Disney cruise, maybe we have been missing something. Even the three teenage boys enjoyed the shows.

That was another big draw for the cruise. Our teenage boys (two were ours and one was my brother’s) could sleep in some days. They would meet up and hang out all day. There were activities geared toward them, but their age groups were not quite meshed up so they just hung out as a threesome. They played foosball and ping pong and even got to hang out in a bar playing cards (at least it was a bar at night).

All this togetherness and even apartness fit my needs for vacation. We were missing our oldest son (who, by the way, would have enjoyed himself too), but we were together as a family with our larger extended family. My boys got to hang out with their cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. My vacation needs were certainly met. (We even got a short road trip thrown in as a bonus since the ship left from British Columbia, Canada.)

The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi’s requirements were met too. We got to have small adventures seeing glaciers and icebergs, panning for gold, braving -40° cold (simulated in a large freezer), and exploring Alaska towns. We even got sunshine most days (many of the locals said that it was the best weather in months). The only thing we were missing from my wife’s definition of vacation was the beaches.

Fortunately, the Disney characters made up for the beaches.

The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi got into the action of getting her picture taken with the princesses and other characters around the ship. She started innocently getting her picture with Minnie Mouse after we had waited in line with our niece and her parents. Then, we got pictures with princesses, Goofy, Mickey Mouse, and others. I even had my picture taken with my brother’s namesake because we missed him. My wife had to make the boys take their pictures with Mickey, but she got pictures with whichever character was available. For her, the only vacation that would have been better than seeing Disney characters every day is having Disney characters with us on sunny beaches every day.

The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi and I may not have the same definition of vacation, but we had a great time on my parents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary cruise. (Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!) However, we do agree that cruising with family, especially Disney-style, is a great way to have a vacation.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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