We decided to take an Alaska cruise a few years ago, but it took a while to get our finances in order and get the dates we wanted. Originally, my mom was going to come with us, so we were going to get two connecting staterooms. Then I realized that although I am a Gold Castaway Club member with Disney Cruise Line, the rest of my family is not, so if we split up into two cabins I would not be able to book our port adventures at the same time. I looked into a 1-bedroom suite, and it was not that much more expensive than the two connecting cabins, and I figured “go big or go home” – so I booked it. Unfortunately, it turned out that my mom wasn’t able to come with us, but I kept the suite anyway, and I’m glad I did.
Simply by virtue of having a suite, we were afforded Concierge priveleges. This was a first for us, and it meant that I was able to utilize the Shoreside Concierge services to book our post adventures at the earliest possible date. I sent an email to Shoreside Concierge with my requests about a week prior to the booking date (which was the same booking date as Platinum Castaway Club members). The day after the booking window opened, I received an email with confirmation that everything was booked! I was able to get everything I wanted, and I didn’t have to stay up until midnight to do it. Easy peasy. It also meant that we had a dedicated line for check-in at the port terminal, a special waiting area in the terminal, and we were allowed to board the ship before anyone else.
After the entrance announcement (if you’ve never been on a Disney cruise, they announce you as you enter – “Please welcome the Sealey family!” – and the cast members all clap and cheer), we were greeted by someone who whisked us away to the Cadillac Lounge to meet with the onboard Concierge team. This was nice. There were drinks and snacks available, and after a few minutes we met our Concierge host, Glenn. He was fantastic. He gave us a folder that had all of our port adventure tickets, a printed itinerary, another copy of the Navigator, and a list of complimentary DVDs that we could rent. He explained his function (which was basically to handle everything we would need), and reminded us that there would be Concierge gatherings every evening at 5 and 7:30 with complimentary drinks (even alcoholic!) and snacks. He also told us that we could get into our cabin at 12:30 – and since it was now 12:35, we headed there.
We were in cabin 8534, which was on the starboard side, really close to the midship elevators. We never heard any noise from them, though. The suite was incredible. Although I had seen pictures online, it certainly didn’t do it justice. And did you know that the suites have doorbells? And that you can change the chime? We didn’t! Glenn told us there were about 20 different ones to choose from. It was definitely strange hearing a doorbell while on a ship.
When we entered the door, there was a narrow hallway that had a closet on the left. There was plenty of space for all of my son’s hanging clothes and even his suitcase.
On the right was a full bathroom with a shower and nice-sized sink area.
The toilet isn’t pictured, but it is to the right in the above picture.
Just beyond the closet on the left was an adjoining door, and a little alcove with drawers. Just beyond the bathroom on the right was another little alcove with drawers and a mirror above them. Unfortunately, I neglected to get any pictures of those two areas.
Right after that, we entered the living room. The couch was against the left wall, and there were two sets of sliding doors straight ahead that lead to the verandah. The couch opens up into a sleeper, and two adults could fit.There were two chairs in front of the doors in the middle, and then there was a round table with four chairs on the right.
Opposite the verandah doors in the living room was the other wall that had the TV and DVD player, the sink/bar area, and the murphy bed, which is a single.
To the left of the bar area was the murphy bed. My son preferred to sleep in the murphy bed rather than the pull-out couch, so here is what it looked like when open:
Once the murphy bed was pulled out, there were shelves available in the wall where it tucked in, and also a light above the bed.
Just beyond the table in the living room was the door to the bedroom. On the left was another set of sliding doors that went to the verandah and a very comfy chair. Behind that was a wall unit that had storage in the middle behind the door, and then three doors on the bottom where we could also store things.
The bed was to the right of the chair and wall unit. There were nice large nightstands with drawers on either side of the bed.
Opposite the bed was a TV/storage unit.
On the other side of the bed was a wall with a doorway. Just past the doorway was a vanity area with drawers on either side, a chair, and mirror.
To the left of the vanity area was the walk-in closet.
Although not pictured, in the closet to the right was a set of four drawers and the safe. The closet was quite large, and had shelves all along the top. We fit all of our clothes and all of our suitcases with room to spare. In the picture you can see that there were slippers for us to use, and there were also robes hanging in the closet.
To the right of the vanity area was the master bathroom. Double sinks were on the left.
And the whirlpool tub was on the right.
Just past the sinks and tub was the toilet and shower.
The shower is opposite the toilet, on the right. Apparently I neglected to get a picture of it, but it was roughly the size of a phone booth. I felt a little claustrophobic in it. The shower in the other bathroom was actually a little larger.
The entire suite (except the shower in the master bath) was incredibly spacious. There was much more storage than I expected, and having the living room area was very nice. As you might have gleaned from the descriptions, our verandah was huge. It was the length of three regular verandahs, and I was so awed when I first walked out onto it that I forgot to take pictures. There were four chairs, two at each end with small tables in between the chairs, and a lounge chair in the middle – and there was space to spare. We were definitely spoiled.
And speaking of spoiling, the onboard Concierge services were just amazing. Our first day, we received a fruit plate. If you look carefully you can see it all wrapped up on the table in the living room. One day we received mini cupcakes. Another day we received cheeses, crackers, and fruit, and another day we received nuts and olives. Then there were cookies, and then meats, cheeses, and olives. It was fun to come back to the stateroom each day and see what surprise would be waiting for us.
Glenn kept our canned sodas and bottled water replenished (which were all included), and our stateroom host kept our ice bucket full. We really didn’t need anything! One day when he checked in with us I asked Glenn if they had any bagged snacks like popcorn that I could throw in my backpack for one of our excursions. He said that he would bring something by, and we came back to the stateroom to find a shopping bag filled with individual bags of popcorn!
We did go to a few of the nightly Concierge gatherings, but not all. They were lovely too. We got to talk with other Concierge guests, Glenn, and the other Concierge host, Rodrigo, who was also wonderful. We had free alcoholic beverages, and there were snacks provided too. There was one “special” Concierge gathering that we received an actual invitation for. My son and I went, and there was an incredibly large spread of snacks, and Donald Duck came by for pictures and autographs.
Every morning we would receive a recorded message on our phone from either Glenn or Rodrigo that highlighted the day’s activities and gave us the ashore and all aboard times if we were in port. Glenn also checked in at least once per day, either in person or by phone, and we usually saw him around the ship too.
All in all, we were blown away by the Concierge services and the suite. It definitely made the trip more memorable. If you’re going to be planning a once-in-a-lifetime cruise experience, I highly recommend the 1-bedroom suite and the Concierge services.
Have you sailed in a 1-bedroom suite or with Concierge services? I’d love to hear your experiences. Come by the Magical DIStractions Facebook group and let me know! Magical DIStractions can also be found on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ so please take a moment to follow us. You can also sign up for the Magical DIStractions newsletter and watch videos on our YouTube channel. We will keep you up-to-date on all of the latest news!