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10 Things to Know Before Sailing Disney Cruise Line

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By Jess Meissner

Disney Cruise Line continually ranks highest in guests’ minds on service, entertainment, and overall cruise experience for families.  The line is unique in many ways, and boasts experiences that can’t be found elsewhere; the fireworks at sea, for example.  If you’re considering booking a Disney cruise for your next vacation, here are ten things you need to know.

1. The Disney Vacation Planners lead the way

Planning any vacation can be overwhelming, and a Disney cruise vacation is no exception! There are four different cruise ships, with destinations and ports all over the world. How do you even begin to know what is right for you? Contact a Disney Vacation Planner like myself who works for an Earmarked Agency, like Mickey World Travel. Being Earmarked means that we are trained by Disney and that our agency has Disney’s “stamp of approval.” The best part: when you book through us, there is absolutely no cost to you at any time. That’s right, it’s a free service! Our job is to help make sure that you have as stress-free of a vacation as possible, and have the time of your life. Time to focus on each other, enjoy the magic of Disney, and make memories that last a lifetime.

2. On Disney cruises, meals and entertainment are included.

From the time you are welcomed aboard with a huge lunch buffet, to breakfast the morning you arrive back in your home port, there is food galore and always available. Amazing, mouth-watering, deliciously prepared and presented foods for any type of diet and even the pickiest eater. Hungry at 2 am after you have danced away the evening? Want to start your day with coffee as you watch the sunrise over the ocean? Call room service! Yes, even 24-hour room service is included in your Disney cruise. Disney is known for their entertainment, and on the cruise ship that is well evident. You have your choice of a nightly Broadway-style performance, or take time to listen to the world-class music performances that take place every evening in the night clubs or in the foyer on Deck 3.

3. Disney cruises have something for everyone.

Yes, you can meet Mickey and Pluto and all their friends. Want to talk with Cinderella or Elsa? That is possible too! There are also kids clubs, tween and teen clubs, interactive onboard ship games, and family pool and water areas. However, Disney is not just for families and kids! My husband and I loved our Disney cruise as just a couple. Disney has adults-only areas on the ship such as a top notch spa, an adult-only area consisting of a pool, swim-up bar, hot tub, and lounge area, as well as adult-only restaurants and night clubs. On Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island in the Bahamas) there is even an adults-only beach area for you to enjoy!

4. Pirates and Fireworks

Although entertainment was already mentioned, this topic deserves a number all its own! During your cruise, one night is Pirate Night. Join your cruise mates in dressing up as a pirate and take in the pirate party after dinner that evening. You may even be joined by Captain Jack Sparrow or Barbosa! That evening (weather permitting), Disney Cruise Line also does something that no other cruise line does…fireworks at sea. It is truly a spectacular sight! Afterwards, there is a dance party and pirate buffet to finish off the night.

5. Disney Staterooms

Disney really does think of everything. Ever try to fit two people in the bathroom at once to get ready for the day? How about comfortably fitting a family of 5 in one room? Disney has figured how to do it! Disney Cruise Line staterooms have split baths. This means there is one bathroom with a shower/tub and sink and one bathroom with a toilet and sink. This allows for more than one person to get ready in the morning simultaneously. Disney Deluxe Family Staterooms also have a hidden murphy bed so that not only is there a very comfortable queen size bed, and a lovely couch that becomes a double bed, but also a hidden murphy bed for another guest. The housekeeping service is amazing, too. The staterooms are cleaned daily and fresh towels, soaps, etc. are replaced as often as needed. When you come back to your stateroom after dinner, you will find that your housekeeper has left you a good night treat, as well as maybe a new decoration to enjoy for the night.

6. They have rotational dining.

Disney does what is called “rotational dining.” That means during your cruise you will experience three different themed restaurants for dinner. Although each is amazing and the food is out of this world, that isn’t my favorite part. My favorite part is that your main server and their assistant are with you for the duration of your cruise. That is right, they go with you through your rotation to each restaurant! They quickly learn your favorite drink, how you like your meat prepared, if you are allergic to anything, and call you by name. Personally, I loved that our server had pomegranate lemonade waiting for me each evening, knew I liked my meat medium-rare, and that I am allergic to honey (it allowed him to check with the chef each night before I arrived at the table). I also loved it because we got the opportunity to know our server and the assistant a little bit better too; they were more than just a name. We got to the point that we asked them what their favorites were on the menu, what the best activity to do that evening on the ship was, and even talk with them about their families and experiences.

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7. Ports of Call & Port Adventures

One of my favorite parts of a Disney cruise is the different ports of call that you can visit. You can stay local to the United States with your cruise and go to the Bahamas or Caribbean, journey to Alaska and see some of the glaciers, or visit some of the coastal shores of Canada. If you have more of an adventurous heart, you can take a Disney cruise to ports in Iceland, Norway, Ireland, Scotland, and many others as well. While in those ports of call, you have the option of choosing to just visit the port on your own or, for an added cost, doing what Disney calls a “Port Adventure.” This is your chance to try something different, really learn about the country you are in, or just add in something really special to an already magical vacation. Plus, who can forget about their private island Castaway Cay.

8. Plenty to do onboard and off!

One of the most common worries I have heard is that people are afraid they will be bored on the ship. Not on a Disney cruise! There is so much to do; shopping, swimming, onboard interactive games, clubs for the kids, clubs for adults, movies, a full-service spa, shows… the list goes on and on. Seriously, there is so much to do, you could leave your stateroom at 8 am and not come back until midnight and still not do it all.

9. The have fabulous customer service.

Disney is known worldwide for their customer service, and once you have experienced a Disney cruise you will understand why it applies here too. From the moment you arrive in port to embark, to the second you are back and heading home, you will experience it with each person you meet. Everything is clean, well-organized, and first class. You are more than just a customer to a Disney Cast Member, you are Ohana (family) and they do everything they can to make sure that you love your time with Disney Cruise Line.

10. There is tons of Disney magic.

It is the “little extra” that you feel from the first moment your name is announced as you board the ship. It’s the out-of-the-ordinary little things like the housekeeper adding an extra set of shampoos because they discover you love the smell, or making your blanket into a sea turtle because they discover your spouse loves them! It is the reaction you experience when your favorite character interacts with you and makes you feel like the most important person in the world. It’s the attention to every detail from the clean, fresh towel hand delivered to you by the adults-only pool, to the beautifully presented meal set before you at dinner. It is watching your child experience it all for the first time and hearing all about their magical moments in the clubs just for them. It’s the way you are really treated like Ohana and no question or concern is ever a bother. It is all of this and so much more! Disney magic is what happens when you allow yourself to relax and enjoy all that is offered and find that child inside yourself. It is something that you won’t find on any other cruise line; it is what in fact makes Disney rated the best cruise line by US News and World Report.

What tips do you have for guests considering sailing with Disney? Leave us a comment below!

Jess is a travel planner at MickeyWorldTravel. You can learn more on her Facebook page: facebook.com/mickeyworldtravelJessMeissner

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Disney Cruise Line Brings Back Popular Marvel and Star Wars Days

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Disney Cruise Line’s Star Wars Day at Sea and Marvel Day at Sea have proven very popular, so the line is bringing back the special itineraries in 2019.

Star Wars Day at Sea

From January to early March 2019, special seven-night sailings on Disney Fantasy will transport guests not only to the Caribbean, but also to a galaxy far, far away.

Guests can celebrate the legendary adventures and iconic characters from the Star Wars saga with Jedi, Wookiees, droids, Stormtroopers, and others during the day-long celebration. Activities will include a themed deck party with fireworks, family and kid’s activities, unique food and drinks, and special merchandise.

Star Wars Day at Sea will only be offered on nine Disney Fantasy seven-night sailings from Port Canaveral. Western Caribbean cruises depart on January 5 and 19, February 16, and March 2, and ports of call will include Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Falmouth, and Castaway Cay. Departing January 12 and 26, and February 9 and 23, the eastern Caribbean itinerary includes Tortola, St. Thomas, and Castaway Cay.

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Marvel Day at Sea

Also from January to early March, special five-night sailings on Disney Magic will take guests to the Caribbean and Bahamas, and include an action-packed celebration of the Marvel Universe.

Marvel Day at Sea combines the thrills of Marvel comics, films, and animated series with the excitement of a Disney cruise to summon everyone’s inner super hero for a fun day at sea. Occurring on one day during each of the select cruises, Marvel Day at Sea will see both superheroes and villains assembled on the ship.

The event features interactions with some of the mightiest Marvel superheroes and the foes who opposite them, a deck show spectacular, Marvel-themed kid’s activities, special merchandise, and unique food and beverage offerings.

Marvel Day at Sea will occur on 10 Disney Magic Caribbean and Bahamian cruises from Miami. Departing January 6 and 20, the western Caribbean itinerary stops in Grand Cayman and Castaway Cay. Departing January 11 and 25, February 8 and 22, and March 8 is the Bahamian itinerary, which includes Key West, Nassau, and Castaway Cay. Departing February 3 and 17, and March 3, the western Caribbean itinerary includes Cozumel and Castaway Cay.

Photos: Disney Cruise Line

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Disney Cruise Ship Will Have a New Tangled Restaurant

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Disney Cruise Line’s ship Disney Magic is going into dry dock early next year, and will emerge in March with some redesigned areas and new theming. The highlights of the renovation will include an adults-only café, transformed teen club, and a new family dining venue.

Rapunzel’s Royal Table

At the new dining venue themed around the story of “Tangled,” characters and live entertainment will transport guests to the kingdom of Corona for an evening of music and fun featuring Rapunzel and the mischievous thugs from the Snuggly Duckling.

Guests step inside a regal ballroom-themed space, lit by glowing lanterns and adorned with colorful drawings that reflect Rapunzel’s artistic talent. Throughout dinner, guests will be treated to spirited singing and dancing led by the maître d’, a band of musicians, the thugs, and Princess Rapunzel herself. The fun is complete with themed menus, special activities, and a lively parade. The charm of “Tangled” in Rapunzel’s Royal Table is the perfect pairing for “Tangled: The Musical” which is performed on each sailing.

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Redesigned Teen Retreat

Vibe, the space for teens 14-17 is being transformed into a space with an urban loft feel. Teens will enjoy a new coffee and smoothie bar, play video and virtual reality games, and participate in a DJ spin-off and movie making.

Adults-Only Escape

Adults will be able to relax at Cove Café, an adults-only retreat that will be redesigned in a sophisticated tropical style. It’s a great place to sip tea or coffee during the day, and wine or a cocktail and light bites in the evenings. Drink tastings are also available at select times here for an additional fee. Just steps away, the Signals Bar will also be renovated with a similar design.

Elsewhere around Disney Magic, other highlights include the addition of Club Disney Junior in the Oceaneer Club for kids, and a redesigned Rainforest Room with steam and hydrotherapy in Senses Spa for adults.

The enhancements will debut aboard the ship starting March 9, 2018 on sailings from Miami, Florida. The four and five-night cruises visit Key West, Nassau, and Disney’s private island Castaway Cay. On May 14, Disney Magic will reposition to Europe for the summer season.

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Disney Cruise Line to Return to San Diego

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Disney Wonder – Photo: Disney Cruise Line

In early 2019, Disney Cruise Line will be returning to favorite destinations on a variety of itineraries, including an expanded two-month season from San Diego to the Baja and Mexican Riviera. There’s also a notable range of options to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Florida, as well as cruises to the southern Caribbean from San Juan, Puerto Rico. From January to May, all cruises departing from Florida will feature a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

San Diego

Disney Wonder will return to San Diego for an extended season from March to May 2019, with a variety of cruises to Mexico where guests can enjoy a large array of activities. Two, four, five, and seven-night voyages are all on the schedule, so there’s something for everyone.

Most sailings to Mexico’s Baja peninsula call on the coastal city of Ensenada, known as the “Cinderella of the Pacific” with turquoise blue water and rugged mountainous terrain. Two-night cruises to Ensenada have Friday departures from San Diego, giving guests the perfect weekend getaway. Four and five-night Baja options include a visit to Cabo San Lucas, a destination favored for its arid climate, sunny weather, white-sand beaches, and dramatic rock formations.

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Seven-night cruises to the Mexican Riviera call on Cabo San Lucas and feature snorkeling and scuba diving hot spots Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán. Guests can soak up the history and Old World charm of Mexico’s Pacific Coast, and take in the beauty of stunning beaches and the nearby Sierra Madre Mountains.

San Juan

In January, three special Disney Wonder cruises will sail to the southern Caribbean from San Juan. The ship will arrive in San Juan after a five-night journey departing January 9 from Galveston, Texas with a stop in Falmouth, Jamaica. On February 3, after the three cruises from Puerto Rico, a four-night cruise will take guests to Port Canaveral from San Juan, just an hour away from Walt Disney World.

Port Canaveral

With three Disney ships in port and cruise itineraries spanning three, four, and seven-nights, vacationers looking for a getaway in early 2019 have a lot of options from Port Canaveral, Florida.

Disney Fantasy continues to sail seven-night Caribbean voyages, with eastern Caribbean itineraries visiting Tortola and St. Thomas, and western cruises calling on Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Falmouth. Disney Dream embarks on three and four-night Bahamian cruises to Nassau and Castaway Cay, and Disney Wonder will alternate similar three and four-night itineraries throughout February.

Miami

To kick off the year, Disney Magic continues sailing from Miami with four and five-night voyages to the Bahamas, plus five-night western Caribbean cruises. Castaway Cay awaits guests aboard every one of these sailings, and other ports of call on the Bahamian voyages include Nassau and Key West. For western Caribbean, a stop in Grand Cayman or Cozumel.

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