Disney Cruises currently consists of two classically appointed ships reminiscent of luxury liners circa 1920's. Disney Magic is resplendent in Art Deco, and her sister ship, Disney Wonder, is a beautiful tribute to Art Nouveau. Disney Cruises are especially attractive to families with young children. After all, Mickey and his buddies greet passengers on a scheduled and surprise basis everyday, and there are a myriad of activities designed for children of all ages. Disney's two new ships, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, will launch in 2011 and 2012 respectively. These new ships will each be larger by two decks and increase the number of passengers from 1,754 to 2,500.
For alternatives to Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Lines are generally considered comparable in terms of cruise ship features. However, drawing comparisons between Disney and its contemporaries will raise some degree of ire with Disney die-hard fans -- Disney Cruise Line is a unique product in that it does mix the elements of a Disney experience with a well run cruise line. This is something that no other cruise line can claim, and, Disney, on the strength of its brand loyalty, does bring an audience to cruising who would not likely consider a cruise vacation in the first place.
While Disney provides family friendly entertainment, grown ups not traveling with children are also guests. Visiting the Bahamas and the Caribbean in some of the most spacious staterooms to be found on a cruise is just one reason why. The fact that Disney Magic returns for 5 months of cruising in Europe this year, featuring cruises to the Western Mediterranean out of Barcelona and Northern Europe out of Dover, is also attractive. Here are some of Disney's other highlights:
Castaway Cay: Disney's island provides activities for folks of all ages, and children are immediately signed up once aboard. There's a beach just for adults which has massage cabanas.
Dining on Disney: In addition to three traditional main dining rooms, there's the adults only Palo Restaurant, which features northern Italian cuisine. A highlight for many is dining at at the Animator's Palate where the environment changes from black and white to a rich tapestry of color as the evening progresses. Innovative to cruising is the fact that soft drinks are free in the dining rooms and at the pool side concession.
The Pools: In addition to the small sprinkler pool for toddlers and the children's pool with a 200 foot Mickey water slide, adults get to have their very own pool as well.
Flounder's Reef Nursery: For little ones 0 to 3, this first come, first serve nursery offers child care at 6 USD an hour for the first child, and 5 USD each child there after in a group. This is a very popular option for parents!
Tons of Children's Activities: For a fee, from toilet trained three year olds to 12 year olds, there's the Oceaneer Club (for 3 to 7 year old participants) and the Oceaneer Lab (for children 8 to 12 years of age). Within the club and the lab, children are grouped by age and given developmentally appropriate and interesting activities. Eleven to twelve year old Oceaneer Lab participants, for example, learn about marine biology and send digital postcards to their friends! Check out detailed information about the kid's programs onboard Disney Cruise Line.
PrivateTeen Club: With plenty of comfortable chairs and sofas in their own club, teens have internet access, a large screen TV, MP3 listening stations, video games, and a smoothie & soft drink bar!
Adults Only: Night club activities just for adults include a sports pub, piano bar, and dance club. Disney cruise ships do not have casinos or libraries, by the way.
Movies and Entertainment: In the Walt Disney Theater and the Buena Vista Cinema, passengers watch Disney Corporation movies. Disney Digital 3-D heightens the movie experience with fog, streamers, and lasers! For a G rated show in a TV sound stage setting, guests go to Studio Sea.
Photo Credits: © Disney
Disney Cruises Resources:
Disney Cruise Line Restaurant Menus