Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line

The Magic Is In The Details
Disney Cruise Line Microsite

Learn more about life onboard, dining, special programs and the ships.
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A Disney cruise most definitely meets the high standards developed over many decades of theme parks and media entertainment.

For families with young kids, no other cruise line can touch Disney, which custom-designed its vessels, its onboard experience and even its shoreside programs for them. In true Disney fashion, everything is orchestrated to produce a specific sense of fantasy and wonder. Where Disney’s parks are centered around a fairytale castle, Disney cruises are centered around its ships — Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy — ships that were designed to evoke the fairytale world of early 20th-century ocean liners, with their sharp bows, art deco and art nouveau interiors, and even multiple funnels, even though one of those funnels on every Disney ship is fake — but they sure do make a cool place to hide the teenagers’ clubs.

The heart of the Disney cruise experience is the kids’ and teens programs, which have no equal in the cruise business. Staffed by dozens of Disney-trained counselors, the programs cater to kids from age 3 months to 17 years, with supervised activities available from about 9am to midnight. Aboard each ship, about half a deck is devoted to play and learning areas for kids, including a nursery for babies and toddlers and the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab for kids 3 to 12, where kids can take part in princess- and pirate-themed activities, put on shows or listen to storytelling sessions, watch movies, work on art and animation, conduct fun science experiments, and just generally play.

Outside the kids’ areas, activities aboard the Disney ships are mostly family oriented. During the day, there are basketball games, trivia contests, drawing classes, backstage theater tours, screenings of Disney movies, and tons more, plus some adult-oriented activities like wine tastings and cooking classes. As you’d expect, Disney is one of the best lines at sea for family entertainment, staging elaborate shows that draw on beloved Disney characters and storylines. There are also film screenings, meet-and-greets with Disney characters, and special deck parties such as “Pirates in the Caribbean,” in which Captain Hook and his crew swing in from the funnels and lead the crowd in a round of dancing, before they’re rescued by Captain Mickey. The evening ends with fireworks launched right from the ship.

The dining experience aboard Disney’s ships is different than at any other line, in that guests automatically rotate among several different restaurants, and bring their waiters with them. On one night, guests dine in the ship’s elegant main restaurant; on the next, they’re in a second, more whimsical restaurant with a tropical or enchanted-garden theme. And the next night, they dine in Animator’s Palate, a kid-oriented restaurant themed on a film animator’s studio. There’s are also restaurants for adults – one on the Magic and the Wonder, and two on the Dream and the Fantasy.

At night, moms and dads can check their kids into the children’s centers and nurseries until midnight, and enjoy a little downtime at the ships’ dedicated adults-only zones, which offer dancing, piano music, jazz, comedy, and other diversions in a range of lounges, from sports bars to chic cocktail clubs.

When it’s time for everyone to hit the hay, Disney’s staterooms cater to families like no others in the cruise world. Standard cabins are extra-roomy, able to sleep at least three or four through fold-out couches and bunks that pull down from the ceiling. The majority of staterooms come with two bathrooms — one with just a toilet and sink, the other with a bathtub and sink. There’s also a little fridge, lots of storage space, and subtle Disney themes worked into the classy decor. If you need them, Disney will even provide cribs, playpens, strollers, bottle sterilizers and Diaper Genies. They really do think of everything.

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