One of the questions I get asked all the time is: why do you only cruise with Disney? I usually smile at that question and say it is because of the magic and wonder aboard all the ships. That is my typical short answer response and this blog is the detailed response that I wish everybody knew. Cruising with Disney is a vacation of a lifetime and these are my top three reasons why.
#1 The Shops are Breathtaking and Innovative
The first reason I cruise with Disney is because all of their ships are breathtaking. The design of the ships are set to resemble the classic ocean liners with two red funnels. Other cruise ships look cheaply made and depressing to look at. There are four ships in the line and they are the Disney Magic, Wonder, Dream, and Fantasy. Each ship tells a different story, but offers the same cruising experience. Disney ships are elegantly designed to showcase the classic way of cruising. When you board the ship, you will enter through the lobby atrium. The lobby atrium’s on all of the ships are three levels high with a gorgeous chandelier hanging from the ceiling. The atrium is luxurious, elite, and offers story telling at its finest. If you look closely, you can see famous Disney characters etched in the railings and other spots. Look for the hidden mickeys! I would consider the lobby atrium as the heart of the ship. Every night there is live music and characters waiting to interact with all the guests. It is also serves as a great photo opportunity.
Once you start exploring, you will find spaces dedicated to kids, adults, and families. One of my favorite locations on the ships is the top deck. There is a giant television screen that sits on the forward funnel. You can lay in the sun and watch your favorite Disney movies. They even show major sporting events on the screen! There is nothing like cruising the ocean and watching Finding Nemo or the Little Mermaid. There are pools and hot tubs on the ships, but the most impressive part is the water innovations. Disney is known for their creative thinking and they brought that to their cruise ships. The Disney Fantasy and Dream have a water coaster on it called the Aquaduck. You board a float and travel over the side of the ship in a clear glass tube. On the Disney Magic, there is a water slide called the aquadunk. This slide is when you stand on a platform and it suddenly drops. Once the platform drops, you slide around the side of the ship and make a splash landing.
#2 Pirate Night
During the majority of all Disney Cruise voyages, there is one night that is dedicated to the pirate within. Pirate night is a tradition aboard Disney Cruise Line, which celebrates the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise. The night starts off when pirate bandanas are left in your stateroom. The entire crew aboard the ship dresses like pirates and so do the guests. On my last cruise, we brought pirate costumes for the night to wear. It is something that everybody does and is really fun! I suggest dressing up! Once you put your bandana and pirate gear on, you can meet all your favorite Disney Characters in the lobby atrium. It is super fun to see Mickey and Minnie in their pirate gear. The Pirates of the Caribbean film score plays throughout the ship as Captain Jack Sparrow walks around and mingles with the guests. He will ask you where the rum is. The dinner menu for the night is Pirate themed as well. I suggest trying the treasure of the seas grilled shrimp and seared scallops. After dinner, the Pirates IN the Caribbean deck party begins. This is a deck show featuring Jack Sparrow, Mickey Mouse, Captain Hook and other pirate friends. At the end of the show, the Disney ships shoot fireworks into the sky. Disney Cruise Line is the only cruise line in the industry to have fireworks at sea. It is incredibly epic to be in the middle of the ocean, watching fireworks shoot in the sky as the Pirates of the Caribbean theme music plays. Following the show, the deck becomes a dance party with a DJ. If you’re looking for a late night snack, there is a pirate inspired buffet set up, which includes turkey legs. To end the pirate night celebration, the film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is played on the screen by the pools. By the end of this night, you’ll surely be singing “yo ho, yo ho, a pirates life for me.”
#3 Castaway Cay
When you cruise to the Caribbean and the Bahamas with Disney, there is a special destination waiting for you. This destination is located in the Bahamas and is called Castaway Cay (Pronounced Key). Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island and it is truly amazing. The ship docks directly at the island, which means that there is a short walk to the fun. As far as beaches go, there are several. For instance, there are two beaches for families, one for adults, and special sand areas dedicated to children of all ages. The beaches are as white as can be and the water is pure aqua blue. I have been to many islands over the years and Castaway Cay is my favorite. It is gorgeous and showcases Disney’s ability to go over and beyond for its guests. While on the island, you can parasail, jetski, rent water bikes, play with stingrays, snorkel, and much more! There is a large lagoon that guests can snorkel within and if you go far enough you will find submerged statues of Mickey and Minnie. A fun activity on the island is Pelican Plunge. This is a water slide in the middle of the ocean. You swim out and then climb stairs and plunge into the ocean. If you enjoy peace and quite, you can head over to Serenity Bay, which is the adults only beach. For the majority of the year, the sandbars are prominent in the adult beach area. This means you can walk all the way out to where the reef hits. You can even rent private cabanas. So, as you have a day ashore, what will you eat? Disney provides a barbeque lunch on the island. There are hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled chicken, steak, ice cream, cookies and everything you would expect at a barbeque. Castaway Cay is visually stunning and the perfect cruise destination. I always like to spend my time on the ships, but when I am at Castaway, I spend all my time on the island. There is nothing like it and if you are not sure about a Disney Cruise, this should be the decision maker.
There is so much to see and do on a Disney Cruise and this post does not come close to giving the vacation justice. I Disney Cruise because the experience is like nothing I have ever experienced in my entire life. I did not even get to talk about the food, spa, live Broadway shows and the wonderful crew. There is so much to do and I encourage you to go on a Disney Cruise because it will change your life. Cruising with Disney changed my life in 2012 and I cannot imagine where I would be without it. For even more information, follow the links below. As Mickey Mouse himself says, “see ya real soon!”
Michael Fracassa | Writing Contributor
B.A | Media Studies | Bowling Green State University
M.A | Film & TV Producing | Chapman University
Michael Fracassa is a Michigan native who recently moved to California to pursue his dream of producing children’s television. Currently, he attends Chapman University where he is obtaining his masters in Film and Television Producing. He is passionate about all things Disney, Marvel and Star Wars. You’ll find him adventuring around Disneyland or swimming in the ocean. Instagram @Fracassaaa | View My Blogs
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