Disney Cruise Line’s second ship, Disney Wonder, set sail on its maiden voyage August 15, 1999. My husband and I were fortunate enough to be on that voyage. Two adults who had never cruised before, on their honeymoon, setting sail on the maiden voyage of a “Disney” cruise! Sounds absurd, right? Let me tell you - it transformed our idea of vacationing for life. Since then, we have enjoyed cruising on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, as well. We decided to take our kids along on those voyages.
Disney cruising is the absolute best way to vacation as a family. Disney not only plans unforgettable voyages to exotic global locales overflowing with history, culture and beauty, it ensures everyone, regardless of age, has a magical experience. Families, adults, kids, tweens and teens - there is something unique for everyone!
Family time during the day on a Disney Cruise means watching Disney flicks on a huge movie screen by the pool, with a soft-serve in hand and riding the AquaDuck water slide over and over and over again. And, you can be sure to enjoy a dance party on the deck or bump into one of your favourite Disney characters in the lobby atrium. Even the staterooms are designed with families in mind. Privacy curtains, storage space and divided bathrooms with separate sinks in most staterooms make getting ready easier for everyone. Daily Port Adventures include onshore activities such as snorkelling, swimming with dolphins, ziplining or exploring old castles. On our most recent Port Adventure, our family had a spectacular time in Falmouth, Jamaica exploring Dunn’s River Falls and tubing on the river rapids.
Back on the ship, night time on a Disney Cruise brings a whole new set of family adventures. Disney Cruise Line rotational dining (included in the price of the cruise) allows guests to experience all three of the themed dining venues, each of which offers first-class fine dining. We particularly love the food and experience at Animator’s Palate, where you celebrate the art of storytelling and Disney characters come to life before your eyes. We never miss the nightly Broadway-caliber live shows in the Walt Disney Theatre. Among our favourites are “Villains Tonight” and “The Golden Mickeys” on the Disney Dream. And what would family time be without a good game challenge or karaoke party in the D-Lounge? I must admit, it’s somehow more special watching Pirates of the Caribbean in 3D, in the Buena Vista Theatre aboard the Disney Fantasy. Something our family absolutely loves is Pirate Night on both the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. We get to dress up in our pirate finest and enjoy a spectacular fireworks show at the end of the night. “Yo ho, yo ho, it’s a pirate’s life for me.”
Disney Cruise Line offers its younger guests a plethora of fun and unique experiences. “it’s a small world” Nursery provides child care for infants 6 months to 3 years of age. Older kiddos (ages 3-12) enjoy the Toy Story and Millennium Falcon themed rooms (just to name two) of Disney Oceaneer Club and Disney Oceaneer Lab. My daughter, 12 years old at the time, loved Edge - a club where tweens (ages 11-14) could watch movies, play games, and do arts and crafts. Vibe is a teens-exclusive space (ages 14-17), where my 14 year old son loved to chill out, listen to music, watch TV, play group games and enjoy time in a teens-only private pool. Goofy’s Sports Deck is also a popular spot with kids; featuring a miniature golf course, virtual sports simulators and a basketball court. And, that's just a small taste!
Disney is commonly associated with kids and families; however, Disney Cruise Line offers adults spaces and experiences uniquely tailored to mature tastes and needs. The adult-only deck area is where you can find Quiet Cove Pool and Cove Cafe. Whether it’s quiet time in a whirlpool or enjoying a cocktail in the pool, this is where you want to be. I have escaped to Senses Spa to enjoy some “me-time” with a swedish massage and rich ocean wrap, while my husband cultivated his inner connoisseur, at a whiskey tasting seminar. On our honeymoon, we also enjoyed fine Italian cuisine at Palo, the Disney Wonder’s chic adult-exclusive restaurant. On our family vacations, while our children enjoyed themselves in their youth clubs, hubby and I let loose in “Europa”, Disney Fantasy’s passport to “nightlife” – a veritable continent of adult fun. Guests age 18 and older can go “country hopping” among clubs, pubs and lounges that celebrate Europe. When the kids are away, the adults will play!
When the kids are away, the adults will play!
Castaway Cay is Disney’s own private island in the Bahamas. Several of the Disney Cruise Line Caribbean itineraries make a stop at Castaway Cay. We have visited Castaway Cay several times and we would not consider a Disney Caribbean Cruise without making a stop here. Like the cruise ship, Castaway Cay provides unique experiences for families, kids, and adults.
Castaway Cay - Disney's Private Bahamian Island
The family beach includes Pelican Plunge, a 2400 sq ft floating playground with 2 waterslides and Spring a Leak, a 2400 sq ft water play area. Kids aged 3-12 will have fun in Scuttle Cove, a sand & water play area supervised by Disney counsellors. Teens will enjoy their own slice of paradise at the Teen Hideout; a private, teens-only beach and sports play area. This is where my children “hide out” most of the day while on Castaway Cay. And of course, Disney would not forget about the adults. Serenity Bay Beach is an adult-exclusive area on the island. My husband and I enjoy the quiet, calm atmosphere of this tropical oasis. We also pampered ourselves with a couples massage, under a cabana overlooking the crystal-blue Bahamian waters. For lunch we met up with our children at Cookie’s BBQ, near the family beach, where we enjoyed all of our bbq favourites: ribs, chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, fish, salads, corn on the cob and soft serve ice-cream. Every one of us was a happy Disney cruiser.
Best Cruise Line Private Island by the 2018 Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards
Disney Cruise Line was honoured with the distinction of being Best for Families by the 2018 Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards and won the 2018 Editor's Pick Award from Parents Magazine. It was also voted Condé Nast Traveler 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards’ #1 Top Large Cruise Ship Line for the seventh consecutive year. Disney Castaway Cay was voted Best Cruise Line Private Island by the 2018 Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards for the third year in a row.
Disney Cruise Line provides guests with an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind vacation experience, that boasts something for everyone - adults, kids, tweens and teens. It is truly a magical experience that will transform your idea of vacationing forever, just like it did for me! I’m looking forward to July, when we board the Disney Dream once again. On this sailing we are visiting Castaway Cay twice. Serenity Bay here I come!