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A warmhearted "Hello" to you friend. My name is Sarah Claire! Welcome to my corner of the internet.  As an Upstate South Carolina Destination Wedding and Portrait Photographer, here you will find beautiful images, touching client stories, and updates on my personal life! 

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Cruise and Disney Trip Experience | A Dream Vacation


Cruise and Disney Trip Experience | A Dream Vacation

HOT DOG! This cruise and Disney trip experience was one of our favorite and most relaxing trips to date. David and I finally felt like we could relax on this trip! Back in September we went on our second Royal Caribbean Cruise AND went to Disney World for two days! Dreams came true on this trip as well as ultimate relaxation. 

Cruise and Disney Trip Experience | A Dream Vacation

The Two Highlights From This Cruise Have To Be:

  1. Meeting my FAVORITE Princess, Rapunzel after being her biggest fan for over 13 years – it was MAGICAL! Especially after walking down the aisle to I See The Light. (Seeing the lanterns for the first time and her beautiful painted murals just hit a deeply satisfying cord in my soul! More on this section of our day at Magic Kingdom.)
  2. Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at Coco Kay was AMAZING! The most relaxed we have felt since our honeymoon, if you can believe it!? There was so much to explore. On top of that, the water felt perfect and the views were breathtaking!

Getting There:

We boarded a flight from Greenville to Orlando, FL. Then hopped in a cab to Port Canaveral and hit the official relax button! We got to our hotel room and ordered some door-dash sandwiches and ate them by the pool. We realized the Disney Wish was also sailing out of the same port that day and had a similar itinerary to us! It got us excited to see Disney World after our cruise wrapped up.

Cruise and Disney Trip Experience

Boarding was easy, as always. As we boarded our cruise, we felt the weight of the world fall off of our shoulders. We had a rush of excitement hit us as well, as we went to our muster drill station. After that, we walked around the ship admiring the different levels and checking out the different decks! We loved this class of ship on our last cruise, therefore, we knew we would love this one! Independence of the Seas had everything we expected, plus a bit more. We watched the ship sail away from the top deck in an ocean view hot tub. It was the most relaxing sensation watching the land disappear in the distance and watching the waves roll over the horizon.

The Cruise

Of course, the sun on our backs was always welcomed when walking on the upper decks. But something I LOVED were the hot tubs that went off the side of the ship facing out towards the ocean. That is something we didn’t have on Freedom of the Seas. We also loved the fish and chips that were quite tasty and complimentary up there on the pool deck. The night views on the top deck are breathtaking! Between the neon lights and calming music that they had playing while it was quiet, it was perfection. We loved sitting-up there and watching the stars above us. At one point, we could see another ship in the distance as well as the party going on in one of the lounges that night! We loved walking along the jogging trail and holding hands as we felt the cool evening breeze blow through our hair.

Per usual, the food service was phenomenal. Our server Sudana always greeted us with the biggest smile and maybe a joke or two. He also always brought us extra entrees or deserts just because, which was a nice touch. We asked him lots of questions about his life outside of work and he let us know about his sweet family back in Asia and how much he loves and misses them on the ocean.

The main dining room was themed very elegantly and we had a porthole view almost every night! I hurried us back on the day we went to COCO Cay because I wanted us to catch the sunset as we ate and It. Was. Breathtaking.

The Ports:

Speaking of Ports, our first stop was not my favorite. The walk to the beach is a bit questionable, but the water felt nice. My favorite day by far was when we went to Coco Cay, Royal Caribbean’s private island. That was the most relaxed I had felt since our honeymoon. All of the beautiful beaches and cool water of the pools was just so incredibly calming. The foliage was lush and beautiful! David got to play some volleyball with other cruisers that afternoon and really loved it! We had made some sweet friends on our trip and got to relax in the ocean with them!

Every night we also tried to make it for karaoke! We hung out with our friends and cheered them on when they duetted. There was one amazing rendition of Midnight Train to Georgia. David of course sang a few songs too. He is a big Boys to Men fan and jammed out to a few of their songs!

Disembarkation and getting to Orlando:

Our last day we packed up and got off the ship by 7:30 am. Though it was early we knew we had a fun day ahead of us! We get off quickly and hopped in an Uber for an hour trip to our Vrbo in a very cozy resort about 20 minutes from Magic Kingdom. First, we took a good nap after check-in and rested until around noon. We then called another Uber and also got our Genie Plus set up for our half day at Hollywood Studios!

Disney Day 1, Hollywood Studios:

We were super tired but also really excited to experience Disney together that day. We filled up our water bottles, packed our disney day bags and geared up for such a fun day! Our first stop was, of course, Batu. We waltzed through the beautiful Main Street of Hollywood Studios and made sure we were heading the right way. The views were super intricate and full of color! I absolutely loved how it got even prettier at night. Our first meal was at Ronto Roasters where we got some delicious sausage link wraps! I enjoyed walking through the little market there and exploring around Batu. I of course had my little Grogu in his cradle. We took some pictures and then got our blue milk 👌. We made this video to commemorate us getting it… IYKYK.

David FINALLY got to ride Rocking Roller Coaster while I stared into space and almost fell asleep sitting up… LOL. I wandered through the shops too. By the time he got back, I expected a sweet hug and description of the ride. Instead, I was greeted with a super refreshing mango bubble tea! Let me tell you, this stuff was liquid GOLD.

We then had our reservations for Rise Of The Resistance. It was such an experience! I hated the drop and simulator at the end, but I am so glad we rode that one. We loved relaxing in the Walt Disney education center and also loved the Nom Nom Cookie at the little food kiosk there. We got to meet Mr. and Mrs. Incredible! They were a joy to meet and we almost met Jessie and Woody, but instead, we decided to ride Toy Story Mania and battled it out for our high scores! 

An Enchanting Evening at Hollywood Studios

Afterwards, David and I had some reservations at the Sci Fi Movie restaurant and had about an hour and a half to kill, so we waltzed around Hollywood Studios at night and admired the absolutely dazzling spectacle of all the shops at night lit up in neon lights! It was cool in the evening and really romantic getting to admire it all together. The cherry on top was getting to rest my head on David’s shoulder at dinner in a vintage style car booth. Our waiter was really kind and the burgers and milkshakes were amazing! We tiredly ordered our Uber and got to bed quickly for our big day at Magic Kingdom.

Disney Day 2, Magic Kingdom:

This day was literally SO magical. I am not kidding. There was something in the air y’all. The way the light was hitting the castle, and the way I dressed for the occasion couldn’t have been more perfect because today was the BEST DAY EVER. First things first, I got to meet a princess I have waited to meet for over 13 years: RAPUNZEL!!! It was like looking in a mirror you guys! We even said a few of the same lines at the exact same time in the same excited way! We twirled, we cried and I think we both made each other’s days! Similar to how her dream was to see the floating lanterns, one of mine was to meet her 🥹.

This was the most important part of our Disney trip to me, and it was even better than I expected. However, that wasn’t the only dream that came true!  I also got to meet TIANA. Like, what??? That will be a core memory for years to come.

The Dream Day Comes To A Close

Naturally, we enjoyed lots of the rides with our Genie Plus too, like Peter Pan’s Flight, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Carousel of Progress, and the People Mover. David got to ride the new Tron Ride as well.  At night, the fireworks at the Castle were so beautiful! There is nothing quite like watching the fireworks at the end of an eventful day in Magic Kingdom!

After the emotional firework show, I got to live a moment in time that will always be a tear jerker … I got to see the Tangled lanterns light up the night sky. I jumped for joy and walked underneath them with tears in my eyes. These images don’t even do it justice, but it was such a calming and ethereal moment for David and I. After 13 years, one of my dreams came true – I got to meet one of my muses AND see her beautiful lanterns! I get glimpses in my mind even now as they glisten through my memory. I was warm and real and bright y’all.

We cheated and stayed way longer in the parks than we should have! Taking our time and savoring the moment, we walked slowly around the shops and even got a root beer float at the ice cream parlor before they closed. We chatted it up with a few employees and just admired all the cute autumnal decor. Our feet were killing us and it was really humid after the rain that hit during the fireworks! But we left feeling SO content.

*Content was the word that kept coming to mind at the end of this trip.*

I started this blog so I could document all kinds of things that happen in my life. From milestones to trips, I want to write about as much of my personal life as I can. I want to show my personality on here and share my heart! I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post about our really exciting, and fulfilling trip last September!

Interested in learning more about my portrait photography?  I’d love to hear from you! Please contact me today to learn more about how I can preserve your beautiful memories! 

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If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

Our First Cruise Experience |  Royal Caribbean’s Adventure Of The Seas

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