Disney Cruise: The Different Choices You’ll Have if You Set Sail on a Disney Cruise
Everyone wants a little magic in their vacation and when it comes to kids and travel, that magic usually involves Disney. While millions have enjoyed the Disney parks for decades, nearly a decade ago, fans of the world’s most famous mouse began to discover the joys of cruising with Disney. A Disney cruise offers the ultimate in cruise experiences and with ships named “Magic” and “Wonder”, who could go wrong?
The Walt Disney Corporation took the plunge into the world of cruising in 1998 when it introduced its first ship. With Mickey at the bow, the Disney Magic was enthusiastically received and cruise and Disney aficionados alike began singing the praises of these wonderful voyages, which bring smiles to the faces of everyone who steps on board, regardless of age. The Wonder was christened a year later and the Disney cruise quickly became one of the most popular in the industry.
With the name Disney, of course, comes impeccable service and attention to detail. Whether it’s that never-ending smile on the face of your cabin steward or the eager-to-please server at one of the three themed restaurants on the ship, a Disney cruise offers the amazing and friendly service you’ve come to expect from the Disney name.
The ships themselves are quite lovely. Built in Italy, they’re nearly a thousand feet long and boast 875 Disney-themed (yet elegant) cabins. Nearly three-quarters of the cabins feature an outside view.
But most visitors don’t return again and again for the pretty and spacious cabins. For the children, it’s all about them! Nearly every cruise line that welcomes families offers a children’s activities program, but the Disney Cruise line goes several steps further in offering a 24-hour-a-day Disney-esque atmosphere that will delight kids from toddlers to teens.
Three levels of kid’s programs are offered on the Disney cruise ships. The Oceaneer Club, housed in a replica of Captain Hook’s ship, caters to young ones up to age 7 and offers everything from crafts and movies to lots of interactive play. The Oceaneer Lab keeps pre-teens happy, with science experiments, animation lessons, and much more. Teens have a place or two all to themselves and many new friendships are formed while hanging out at “The Stack” or “Aloft”, teen-only domains that keep them dancing, watching movies, or playing Disney-approved video games. Parents can rest assured that attentive, trained staff will keep the kids entertained and safe all day long.
Equally as many adults, however, sing the praises of a Disney cruise. Disney doesn’t skimp on their amenities for mature travelers, offering top-notch spas and fitness centers for a little body-pampering, salons, and adult-only pools and hot tubs, surrounded by a poolside bar where adults can enjoy a cool afternoon drink. The myriad of children’s activities offered onboard also give parents plenty of “alone time”, if so desired.
Of course, you’ll never know when Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, Goofy, or the rest of the Disney gang will show up to frolic with you or your kids, so you’ll want to have your camera ready to capture those perfect Disney cruise moments whenever possible. The characters are part of the charm of a Disney excursion and you’ll find that, unlike the parks where nabbing a photo with your favorite character may involve standing in a long line, you’ll have more photo opportunities with the Disney personalities on the cruise ship.
Because Disney has maintained just two cruise ships, their itineraries aren’t as extensive as other lines, allowing them to concentrate on providing the best service possible in a specialized market without spreading themselves thin. Travelers can choose from a 3- or 4-night Bahamas cruise, 7-night voyages to the Eastern or Western Caribbean, and a 7-night land and sea package that includes 3 days in Disney World prior to the cruise. Ports of call include Nassau, Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, St. Maarten, St. Thomas/St. John, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. Since Disney has chosen not to add additional ships to their fleet, advanced planning is essential so as to secure a place on the Disney cruise of your choice.
John Brennan is a travel writer who enjoys spending his free time in the most beautiful vacation spots in the world. He has two kids and a loving wife and cute little dog name Elfie.
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