Archive for Disney Cruise Line

The Disney Magic, Disney Cruise Line’s first ship, recently debuted after a major refurbishment. I had the chance to experience the ‘new’ Disney Magic on a recent 2-night cruise.

Click Here for 2013-2014 Disney Magic Itineraries and Destinations!

This past April when I first learned of the extensive dry dock renovation, or “re-imagineering”, the Disney Magic was scheduled to undergo, I immediately began following the transformation process.

As the news of each innovative new feature of the Disney Magic was announced – from the AquaDunk, to the re-imagined Oceaneer’s Club to the fresh, new restaurant, Carioca’s – I knew I had to get onboard. Luckily for me, I was able to set sail on the exciting 2-night inaugural of the newly re-imagineered Disney Magic! Unfortunately, it was a short 2-night voyage, but it was nonetheless packed full with all of the extra doses of magic and excitement Disney is known for.

First Re-Imagined Impressions

First impression? The Disney Magic looked just as beautiful – maybe even more so – than Disney’s newest ships, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. I recently sailed on the innovative Disney Fantasy this past December (you can read my Disney Fantasy review here). So, with that Disney cruise fresh in my mind I was able to immediately recognize the similarities in design to the newest ships in Disney’s fleet, as well as the distinguishing characteristics that make the Disney Magic unique.

Grand Atrium Lobby

The extent of the ship’s massive renovation was evident immediately – as soon as I stepped onboard. The spectacular three-story Grand Atrium Lobby was completely transformed with new chandeliers, carpet and color schemes. The lobby’s centerpiece and famed statue, “Helmsman Mickey,” which has stood in the atrium since the ship was launched, received a special makeover bringing new luster to its golden hue.

Helmsman Mickey – Disney Magic

It was also clear that all of the ship’s textiles, carpeting and furniture had been replaced – it was spotless. On the second day, I even noticed some fuzz making its way to the top of the carpet (new carpeting is prone to shedding fuzzy puffs of material). So much had been updated and replaced, the crew even remarked how it felt as though they were working on a brand-new ship. The ship even had a brand-new-car smell, seriously! Features that were not replaced included hardy fixtures. One in particular I noticed were the sinks, they showed some age but in a way that added character to the ship.

Let me reiterate, the Disney Magic’s design and architecture is absolutely beautiful.

Top Pooltacular Decks

Next, it was time to explore the ship’s decks. I have sailed on the Disney Magic many times before, so I thought I knew my way around. However, that was not entirely the case! Some staircases were moved, and with other upgrades and replacements, it was almost like exploring a brand new ship! The crew was still in the process of putting finishing touches on the deck like banners and signs, but the deck itself looked wonderful.

Goofy’s Sport Deck

Up on the pool deck, lots of splashtacular fun was added. The classic Mickey Pool, that was shaped like Mickey Mouse, has been totally replaced by the 1,800-square foot AquaLab (ages 3 and up) and new Nephews’ Splash Zone (up to age 3) that stars Donald Duck’s mischievous nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie. This was a little bittersweet for me, as I was fortunate enough to grow up swimming in the Mickey Pool on family cruise vacations, but the AquaLab and Splash Zone is actually a really nice change. The deck feels much less crowded, more open, and the actual swimming and splash zone is larger.

Twist n’ Spout Waterslide at Night

The Mickey slide was replaced with the Twist n’ Spout water slide featuring 250 feet of sliding fun, loops and turns. Located adjacent to the Aqualab, it is a kid-friendly waterslide, a little less daunting than the monstrously exhilarating AquaDunk (I will get to that added fun in a second). The Twist n’ Spout is loads of fun for everyone, and the ride down is actually pretty long!

Frozone Ice Cream – Raspberry Swirl

Before I forget, I want to make a quick notable mention to a very welcome addition on the Disney Magic – Eye Scream and Frozone Treats, 2 new quick-service venues. Originally debuting on the Disney Dream, Eye Scream offers up soft-serve ice cream (complimentary) and Frozone Treats mixes up refreshing, frozen fruit smoothies (nominal charge).  But, seriously. All-you-can-eat ice cream? Now that is vacation (especially when raspberry flavor is around)!

Okay, back to the AquaDunk. Imagineered by the crafty Huey, Duey and Louie, the AquaDunk is a crazy, wet-and-wild thrill slide, and a tribute to the wildly popular AquaDuck aboard the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. Without enough room to build a full AquaDuck water coaster, Donald’s nephews still managed to create an exciting, brand-new three-story body slide. Guests are propelled from a near-vertical launch (the floor drops from beneath like a trap door!) on a fast ride in a translucent tube that extends 20 feet over the side of the ship. As evident from the long waiting line for the slide, they did an excellent job designing the AquaDuck’s worthy successor.

Let me tell you…it was worthy alright. This was one of the new features I was most excited to try, so I anxiously awaited my turn in line. My nerves really didn’t get the best of me until I reached the top of the line, which is in the iconic, non-functional smokestack of the ship.

When I saw the person in front of me enter the slide’s chamber, the nervous butterflies came. You are actually enclosed, and stand on a transparent floor. Then Huey, Duey, and Louie count down from three. Next the floor drops out from under you as you practically free fall until the slide catches you and jettisons you on a 212-foot-long  thrill ride, including  20 feet over the side of the ship, before a splashy finale.

Once I got to the end of the slide, I knew I needed to go again. The incredible rush of adrenaline and adventure makes it a must-do experience for any and all passengers. Don’t let your nerves take over, I highly recommend you stick it out – a great experience and feat of engineering!

New Magical Dining

We had lunch in the casual buffet; previously Topsider Buffet this dining venue is now re-imagined as Cabanas, similar to the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. The Australian setting of the Disney-Pixar animated classic “Finding Nemo” inspires the décor with hints of the film’s fishy and feathered friends throughout the restaurant.

The options of food and beverage stations were plentiful and decadent. Lamb chops, chilled mussels and crab, swordfish, ribeye, salmon, and so much more. It was almost too much to choose from.  Key word: ALMOST. I, of course, had to try everything and was not disappointed. The lamb chops were a standout and hit among the members of my family and fellow cruisers. We are still talking about them!

That evening, we had dinner in the main dining room, Lumiere’s. The restaurant is elegantly themed after the hit Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast. Our overall experience was just as amazing as ever.  All tables, tablecloths and chairs were replaced, and the wait staff was still dedicated and friendly, having already committed our names and any dietary restrictions or allergies to memory.

The delicious French-inspired fare means a lot of options on the menu; so, of course, I had to try it all (or close enough to it). I particularly enjoyed the “Mrs. Potts” French Onion Soup and the Fried Brie, along with the Grilled Beef Tenderloin and Slowly Braised Lamb Shank. And yes, I know what you’re thinking. Lamb chops twice in one day? Yes, I cannot be yet lamb-chopped-out! Dessert was a Grand Marnier Soufflé with Vanilla Sauce, which was just as superb as it sounds.

Slowly Braised Lamb Shank – Lumiere’s

The other main dining room has been changed to Carioca’s, named after Donald Duck’s parrot friend in “The Three Caballeros,” Jose Carioca. During the day in this Rio de Janeiro-inspired restaurant, there is a festival theme but at night the atmosphere transforms into an after-hours scene of Rio de Janiero. Carioca’s replaces Parrot Cay that was previously on the Disney Magic.

The second evening of our cruise, we dined in the updated Animator’s Palate which received new animation-adorned walls and a larger screen to provide the best views of the animation magic that takes place all around. The restaurant’s black and white “blank canvas” explodes into full color as favorite Disney and Disney-Pixar characters, such as Rapunzel from “Tangled” and Remy from “Ratatouille,” come to life right before guests’ eyes as the meal progresses.

Scenes from a variety of movies are displayed as you are taken on an emotional journey through all of the iconic Disney movies. I may, or may not, have almost cried when they showed the obligatory “heartbreak scene” of each movie all at once!  As dessert begins to loom, color is continually added to the moving characters until the lights dim and they come to life! For the grand finale, Mickey comes out to the musical score of Fantasmic! accompanied by your wait staff, now adorned with colorful ties.

New Entertainment Roundup

Each evening at 6:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. there is a high-caliber show featured in the Walt Disney Theatre. The first night, we were treated to Twice Charmed: An Original Twist on the Cinderella Story, which is somewhat of a sequel to Cinderella starring Lady Tremaine (the Wicked Stepmother) and the Two Ugly Stepsisters. The show was an imaginative, enjoyable spin on the story, much better than the actual sequel to Cinderella. The actors and singers were spot-on, engaging and talented.

Twice Charmed – Disney Magic

The second night of our cruise, we went to a performance of Disney Dreams – An Enchanted Classic, Disney Cruise Line’s award winning show celebrating the value of dreams and starring Peter Pan along with many of your favorite Disney characters. I was almost surprised by how much I still enjoyed this show. I have seen Disney Dreams before, but I realized it is a show you can see time and time again. The cast, laser and pyrotechnic effects are unsurprisingly professional and entertaining.

The first night, we were also treated to the Pirates in the Caribbean Deck Party! I must say, I enjoyed the this Deck Party more on my Disney Fantasy cruise, but the show was still done well on the Disney Magic. This on-deck party is full of music and dancing, featuring pirate-themed festivities and starring Mickey and Pals along with Captain Hook and his motley crew. The highlight is when Mickey swings down from funnel to funnel to save the day, and then shoots off spectacular fireworks! The show was not set to the music of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean, or any other Disney movie in fact, so that was a bit strange but in true Disney fashion, it was still very impressive and very much enjoyable.

Exciting New Characters and Children’s Programs

The Disney Characters onboard the Disney Magic were super. Princess Aurora even remembered me from my cruise on the Disney Fantasy; she called out me, “Oh, Prince Nico!” I was able to take pictures with Belle, Aurora, Snow White, and Cinderella, all of whom I did not have to wait long to see.

Something your little superheroes will be very happy about – with Marvel now a part of the Walt Disney Company family, the super hero icons were introduced on the Disney Magic! The newest, and one of the most highly anticipated, character aboard Disney Cruise Line is Captain America straight from The Avengers! We did have to wait to see him, but it was worth it. We were able to take a number of pictures, and he even remembered my name, acknowledging me in passing later that day!

Disney’s Oceaneer Club, open to 3- to 12-year-old children featured fun new character experiences. Young crime-fighters are transported to a high-tech command post used by The Avengers for special missions and operations training. The Avengers Academy is a multi-day, immersive entertainment experience in which children interact with the Marvel characters and unleash their inner super heroes. It comes complete with inspiration from Iron Man’s armor, Captain America’s Shield, and Thor’s Hammer!

In addition to the new Marvel experience, other new magical realms include Toy Story characters in Andy’s Room, Tinker Bell in Pixie Hollow, and Mickey in the Mickey Mouse Club. Disney’s Oceaneer Lab was also added, a pirate-themed area allowing children the chance to discover and explore new adventures. This area is similar in design and activities to the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, including an area where you can ‘drive the ship’. And, okay, I may have spent more time in the Lab than I care to admit. Other games are available, such as Fix-it Felix Jr. from Wreck-it Ralph!

Oceaneer Club – Disney Magic

Another major addition to the children’s program on the re-imagined Disney Magic is the It’s a Small World Nursery. Available at an additional charge, the youngest cruisers, ages 3 months to 3 years, have a place to play safely with professionally trained Disney counselors.

Though our Disney Magic cruise was only two short nights, it was not short in fun or family memories. The re-imagined Disney Magic is just as magical as I was hoping it to be.  I wonder how they will re-invent the Disney Wonder, next!

SEE ALSO: Cruise Through Imagination, Disney Fantasy Ship Review

What ‘re-imagined’ feature of the new Disney Magic are you most excited about? Share with us in the comments below!

Nico DiPerna is a 20-something Internet Marketing coordinator for iCruise.com. He has traveled on over 18 cruises and in that time formed a love affair with all aspects of cruising; from the smallest elements in the design process to the delicious food to be had onboard. He also is an advocate of taking the stairs while at sea!  Nico’s latest cruise adventure was a two week quest aboard both the Carnival Dream and Disney Fantasy.

Only Disney can provide the necessary magic to create a vacation experience unlike any other. Indulge in extravagant entertainment, legendary service, gourmet dining, adult only escapes and energetic kids club full of Disney storytelling.

Sailing with Disney Cruise Line won’t be the cheapest cruise you’ve ever taken, but if you’re considering the overall value for your dollar and experience than a Disney Cruise is extremely valuable.

I can assure you, it is worth every. single. penny. Every one.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sail with Disney Cruise Line 7 times, and I wanted to share with you a few tips that will enable you to make the most of your Disney cruise!

  1. Keep your Personal Navigator on you at all times. This is your daily newsletter that will be delivered to your stateroom (you can ask your cabin steward for multiple copies!). The number of activities available onboard is amazing, you will want a copy hand in order to keep up with it everything you’d like to do!
  2. Please, don’t miss the shows! Disney is world renown for their entertainment and it is no different on their ships –they offer the highest quality shows at sea. Disney’s Aladdin, Disney Dreams, and Villains Tonight are some of my favorites! There will usually be 2 showings each evening, sometimes 3 (check your Personal Navigator). Try to get a seat early!
  3. Ride the AquaDuck water coaster during dinner hours! The lines are the shortest, and sometimes even non-existent!
  4. Get to know your dining room Head Waiter; you never know what sort of information they can provide! Discover tips on the best places to visit in port or even their top suggestions for the evening’s entertainment if you just can’t decide what you’d like to do and see.
  5. Arrive early to take pictures with your favorite characters. Many passengers don’t take the time to plan and just try to take a picture with them on a whim – which usually doesn’t work. The times and locations of each Disney character will be listed in your Personal Navigator. But many times you will see more characters out and about than listed – they enjoy taking time to mingle and talk with guests.
  6. See a first run movie! Enjoy the latest Disney movies like Iron Man 3 and The Lone Ranger. The best part? They’re included in your cruise fare.
  7. If you find something you like in the gift shop the first day, pick up as quickly as you can. Popular items do sell out. However, if your itinerary includes Disney Cruise Line’s private island, Castaway Cay, there is a chance you will find it in its gift shop onshore.
  8. Head to the best party at sea early, the Pirates in the Caribbean! The day of this exciting deck party, complete with fireworks, depends on each individual sailing, but guests are encouraged to dress up as Pirates! Even the crew gets in on the fun! Ask a Crew Member on which side of the ship they are going to shoot off the fireworks, and stand on the opposite.
  9. Take the kids to the complimentary children’s program and spoil yourself with adults only time in the spa, by quiet Cove Pool or in the amazing adults only restaurants, Palo and Remy! The Nursery, Kid’s and Teen programs are so magical they’ll have just as much fun as you, if not more.
  10. Listen to the onboard announcements! You’ll never know when something quirky or special will happen. For example, the Captain may decide to play all of the ship’s fun horns!

Bonus! If you’re a Disney Vacation Club Member, stop by the DVC desk every day to get some interesting goodies such as vintage pictures of Walt Disney, Disney Planners, and even some Pins!

Two things I make sure to do on each of my Disney cruises is get the soft serve ice cream on Castaway Cay and plunge myself down the Mickey Slide. The magic of Disney has a knack for making you feel like a kid again!

Have you sailed on a Disney Cruise? Do you have any advice for other cruisers?

Nico DiPerna is a 20-something Internet Marketing coordinator for iCruise.com. He has traveled on over 15 cruises and visited Disney World more times than he can count. In that time he has formed a love affair with all aspects of cruising and Disney vacations; from the smallest elements in the design process to the delicious food to be had. He also is an advocate of taking the stairs while at sea!  Nico’s latest cruise adventure was a two week quest aboard both the Carnival Dream and Disney Fantasy.

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Photos Courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

The Disney Magic, Disney Cruise Line’s first ship, is scheduled to undergo a “reimagineering” transformation during dry dock September 7th – October 10th, 2013 in Cadiz, Spain.

The Disney Magic always provided guests a magical experience, but extra doses will be coming with new spaces, reimagined areas and exciting additions for the whole family. A new grand atrium, two new restaurants, superhero debuts, nursery, splashtactular water fun and more are set to await you on the redesigned Disney Magic.

“Storytelling is at the heart of everything we do,” says Joe Lanzisero, senior creative vice president for Walt Disney Imagineering.  “Walt Disney was a master storyteller and knew how to engage people’s emotions into stories.  Our job is to take what we learned from Walt and apply it to the experiences on board our ships.”

“We have always been committed to reinvesting in our fleet and continuously making shipboard enhancements that elevate the guest experience,” said Karl L. Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line. “What we’re doing with the Disney Magic is yet another step forward in our commitment to delivering the absolute best family vacations at sea.”

New ‘magic’ in store for the Disney Magic this fall:

Grand Atrium Lobby

The spacious and spectacular three-deck lobby features hand-tufted, custom-made carpet that dazzles in a palette of vibrant coral, blue and aquamarine seashell-inspired designs.  The art deco atrium chandelier is inspired by rays of the sun and the glisten of the surface of the ocean. Opulent furnishings, a grand piano and giant portholes recall the days of early 20th century ocean liners.

The lobby’s centerpiece is a cold-cast bronze statue of “Helmsman Mickey,” ever-smiling and keeping watch as guests stroll past.  The famed statue, which has stood in the atrium since the ship was launched, will receive a special makeover bringing new luster to its golden hue.

Exciting New Characters and Children’s Programs

Disney’s Oceaneer Club, open to 3- to 12-year-old children will feature fun new character experiences. Something your little superheroes will be very happy about – with Marvel now a part of the Walt Disney Company family, the super hero icons will be introduced on the Disney Magic!

Marvel’s The Avengers will make their presence known in an epic way aboard the Disney Magic, with Marvel’s Avengers Academy calling Disney’s Oceaneer Club its new seaward home. Young crime-fighters will be transported to a high-tech command post used by The Avengers for special missions and operations training.

Throughout the base, displays featuring some of the equipment that helps to make The Avengers the earth’s mightiest heroes – Iron Man’s suit of armor, Captain America’s shield and Thor’s hammer — inspire super hero “recruits” through their academy missions. Avengers Academy is a multi-day, immersive entertainment experience where children interact with Marvel characters and unleash their inner super heroes. Can I go?

Other characters have new magical realms including the stars of the “Toy Story” trilogy in Andy’s Room, Tinker Bell in Pixie Hollow and Mickey in the Mickey Mouse Club. Disney’s Oceaneer Lab will also be added, a pirate-themed area allowing children the chance to discover and explore new adventures. Each space will transport children to brave super heroes, adventuresome toys, whimsical fairies and goofy, creative fun!

Another major addition to the children’s program on the reimagined Disney Magic is the It’s a Small World Nursery. Now the youngest cruisers, ages 3 months to 3 years, have a place to play with trained counselors.

Splashtacular Fun and Water Adventures

“From small children to teens to adults, everyone will have a space to have fun in the sun and water.  We added more water play areas, dynamic slides, interactive elements for the kids, and more shade,” says Lanzisero.

The brand new three-story body slide, the AquaDunk, will thrill guests  from the near-vertical launch (the floor drops from beneath like a trap door!) to the fast ride in a translucent tube that extends 20 feet over the side of the ship.

In the AquaLab, children ages 3 and up can chase each other through pop jets, geysers and bubblers in this large, 1,800-square-foot play area. The Twist n’ Spout water slide features 250 feet of sliding fun, loops and turns.

For the youngest cruisers up to age 3, they can now play in the new Nephews’ Splash Zone that stars Donald Duck’s mischievous nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie.

New Magical Dining

The popular Animator’s Palate will receive an update with new animation-adorned walls and larger screen to provide the best views of the animation magic that takes place all around.

A “Drawn to Magic” experience will debut at Animator’s Palate. The restaurant’s black and white “blank canvas” explodes into full color as favorite Disney and Disney-Pixar characters, such as Rapunzel from “Tangled” and Remy from “Ratatouille,” come to life right before guests’ eyes.

On every Disney Magic cruise, guests will have an opportunity to experience the tremendously popular “Animation Magic” dinner show that celebrates the magic of Disney animation and allows families to create and participate in an innovative way. First unveiled on the Disney Fantasy, “Animation Magic” invites guests to create their own characters that magically spring to life, become fully animated and join the show onscreen.

Two new restaurants will be added to the Disney Magic, Carioca’s and Cabanas.

Carioca’s is named after Donald Duck’s parrot friend in “The Three Caballeros,” Jose Carioca. During the day in this Rio de Janeiro-inspired restaurant, there is a festival theme but at night the atmosphere transforms into an after-hours scene of Rio de Janiero. Carioca’s replaces Parrot Cay current on the Disney Magic.

Cabanas, which will replace the Topsider Buffet, is a new casual dining venue with food and beverage stations during daytime hours and table-service at dinner. The Australian setting of the Disney-Pixar animated classic “Finding Nemo” inspires the décor with hints of the film’s fishy and feathered friends throughout the restaurant. More inside space is being added, a huge expansion of nearly 3,400 square feet.

Palo, the popular adults only restaurant will also receive a makeover with stylish fixtures, glass artwork and new stone floors. Red and white striped poles reminiscent of those found throughout the canals in Venice are a design feature.

New Entertainment Roundup

After Hours, a nighttime adult entertainment district, will replace Beat Street currently on the Disney Magic. An all-new lineup of clubs includes venues for dancing, comedy, music and variety shows.

Fathoms night club is a celebration of the sea that utilizes special effects, lighting and sound to create different atmospheres from early evening to night.

In Keys piano bar and lounge guests can relax with a cocktail and the soft sounds of a piano or “wind down” after an evening of dancing and revelry.

Pub days of olde are recalled in O’Gills, an Irish pub and sports bar designed with traditional decor. Live televised athletic events are on tap for sports-lovers.

Another reimagined area, D Lounge, offers a variety of family-friendly games, shows, dances and activities designed for all ages.  Colorful and contemporary, this space encourages creative and kinetic fun.  Families can enjoy entertainment, game shows and activities together in D Lounge which replaces Studio Sea, currently on the Disney Magic.

Enhanced Senses Spa and Salon

The pampering spa will be expanded by 725 square feet for a new total, amazing size of 11,500 square feet. Redesigned with a sleek and contemporary style, this haven of personal harmony provides an unmatched ocean-view environment.

Chill Spa will have treatments especially for teens 13-17years of age, Smile Spa will give you new pearly whites with their teeth whitening services and a new barbershop offers services for the gentlemen onboard.

Stateroom Surprises

The reimagined Disney Magic staterooms will be redesigned to provide more space for families. Bed frames will be lifted for storage underneath, freeing up space in the cabin. The bathrooms include the split-bath feature that Disney introduced to the cruise industry.

Enjoy all of the new enhancements beginning October 2013. Disney Magic itineraries include fall sailings from Miami to the Caribbean, winter sailings from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas and summer 2014 Mediterranean departures from Barcelona and Venice.

If you have any questions or would like to make a reservation on the reimagined Disney Magic, please call an iCruise.com Cruise Specialist by dialing 800-i-CRUISE [800-427-8473]. Or send us an email!

A common, and important, frequently asked question of ours at iCruise.com is “How old do you have to be to take a cruise?”

For the safe and security of every passenger, each cruise line has a minimum age requirement in place for many areas of the ship, from actual embarkation to fitness centers.

We’ve put together a guide of each area onboard that implements an age restriction. Please note that this was the most accurate information at the time of this article, policies are subject to change. Please discuss any concerns with your travel agent.

Cunard Line Age Requirements

Guests under the age of 18 are not permitted onboard unless:

  • Traveling in the same stateroom with an individual 21 years of age or older
  • Traveling with a parent or guardian in a stateroom directly next door or directly across the hall

Do note:  A guest’s age is established upon the first date of the sailing. Any guest eighteen (18) years of age or older on embarkation day may travel unaccompanied on Cunard Line.

Guests under the age of 18 are not permitted to gamble or enter the casino.

Guests who are under 18 years of age are not permitted to purchase or consume alcohol on board. However, while in U.S. waters, Cunard Line enforces and abides by the U.S. legal drinking age of 21 years.

 

Infants at least six months of age are welcome on most Cunard voyages; on Transatlantic Crossings, Transpacific voyages (including voyages to Hawaii) and World Voyages (including Segment Voyages), the minimum age is one year.

  • This requirement is due to the limitations of medical care onboard, especially prenatal and early infant care facilities. Treatment may be required that is not obtainable during the cruise or in ports of call.
  • Guests must bring their infant’s birth certificate on embarkation day. The child may not turn six months during the cruise; it must be by the first day. Example: if cruise departs March 5, the child must be at least six months on or before March 5.
  • Denial of boarding for infants who do not satisfy these minimum age requirements may also result in the denial of boarding for one or more guests sailing with that infant.

Cunard Line offers a full children’s program, aged two to 17 years throughout the day, and also offer free group supervision in the evening.

Children between the ages of 1-2 years, traveling as a third or fourth guest in a stateroom, sail for free with Cunard. A nominal fee will be charged if land, hotel or air is purchased for the child.

 

Disney Cruise Line Age Requirements

Guests under the age of 18 are not permitted onboard unless:

  • Traveling in the same stateroom with an individual 21 years of age or older
  • Traveling with a parent or guardian in the same stateroom

The parent or guardian of any minor not traveling with a parent or guardian must appoint an adult to have custody and control over the minor and to contract on their behalf in connection with the Disney Cruise Line vacation. A minor authorization form must be signed by a parent or legal guardian prior to embarkation.

After 9:00 p.m. adult entertainment districts are restricted to Guests 18 years and older.

Guests who visit the beautiful Vista Spa & Salon onboard the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder must be 18 years of age or older.

The Senses Spa & Salon onboard the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy is reserved for Guests 18 years of age and older. Chill Spa is a separate spa for teens located inside Senses Spa & Salon. Offering a wide variety of spa services and treatments, including facials, massages, and manicures, it’s the perfect place for teens to relax and rejuvenate while onboard.

The drinking age aboard the ship is 21. Valid photo I.D. is required. Disney Cruise Line reserves the right to refuse sale and/or service to anyone.

 

Infants must be at least 12 weeks of age at time of boarding.

  • This requirement is due to the limitations of medical care onboard, especially prenatal and early infant care facilities. Treatment may be required that is not obtainable during the cruise or in ports of call.
  • Guests must bring their infant’s birth certificate on embarkation day. The child may not turn twelve weeks during the cruise; it must be by the first day. Example: if cruise departs March 5, the child must be at least twelve weeks on or before March 5.
  • Denial of boarding for infants who do not satisfy these minimum age requirements may also result in the denial of boarding for one or more guests sailing with that infant.

The United States Public Health Service requires that only children who are toilet trained are permitted to enter swimming pools and spas aboard cruise ships. Children who are not toilet trained are welcome to enjoy Nemo’s Reef and Mickey’s Splash Zone, where they must wear swim diapers. Please note, swim diapers are not permitted in the pools, the hot tubs or spas, the AquaDuck and the AquaLab.

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Building on the classic style of her sister ship the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy is the regal fourth cruise liner in the expanding Disney Cruise Line fleet. This 130,000-ton vessel offers:

  • 14 towering decks
  • 1,250 staterooms
  • The capacity to comfortably accommodate 4,000 passengers—along with the over 1,450 Cast and Crew Members who tend to the needs of every cruise Guest each day
  • Total ship length of 1,115 feet and a maximum width of 125 feet

I had the chance to experience the wonder of Disney at sea on an Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the brand-new Disney Fantasy.

Enchanting Memories

So here I am walking around the Fantasy’s 3-deck atrium, reminiscent of grand ocean liners of the Golden Age, when I happen to overhear Snow White talking to a young girl about the importance of hearts and love.

When the girl happily walked away, Snow White turned to me and said, “Why hello there Prince Nico.” I was completely shocked she had remembered my name as I’d only met her once before. So I was puzzled as to how she happened know my name seeing as she takes pictures with hundreds of people daily.  And even more amazing, not only did she remember my name, but she recalled where I was from…who I was there with…!

And it wasn’t just Snow White that remembered my name, but other characters did as well: Ariel, Belle, Aladdin, and Aurora. They could even call back to previous conversations from days before. Aurora noticed me and actually called up from the bottom of the atrium, when I was way up at the top.

      

This was the Disney difference at work here. Not only did the princesses impress me with little details, the entire staff on board went out of their way to make sure every individual passenger experience was of the highest quality. And this kindness was a genuine friendliness that went above and beyond what I could have asked for on a cruise.

Cruise Activity Staff

The Cruise Staff, the employees in charge of all guest activities, took the time to get to know you, to converse, to make sure you were having fun. As a cruiser traveling just with my family, I wasn’t too keen on going to the singles meet and greets. Cruise staff members personally introduced me to similar travelers with whom I became good friends and we were able to enjoy the cruise together. The Cruise Staff themselves eventually became some of my favorite people to spend time with on the ship, some of which I will continue to stay in touch with.

 

Dining Prepared with a Dash of Disney Magic

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The cruise industry is continually innovating and creating amazing experiences at sea – things we never thought possible are becoming at reality at sea. You can rock-climb, ice skate, surf, have a picnic on a real lawn…it really is extraordinary what memories the cruise lines are able to inspire for their passengers.

A recent focus for a few major lines has been their ship’s pool decks, adding essentially an entire water park full of H20 adventure.

A water park, in the middle of the ocean. It happened. We can now add that into the value of a cruise vacation!

Carnival splashed onto the scene with their Carnival WaterWorks.

Three stories high, these two waterslides are the centerpiece of fun on a Carnival cruise ship. Slide down the Twister Waterslide, hundreds of feet of spiraling, yes twisty, steep, super fast water awesomeness. Now that you’re a speed racer, challenge a dear family member or friend to a duel in the side-by-side racing slides; a little friendly competition.

Then there is the DrainPipe, PowerDrencher and splash zone if you needed any more soaking.  Shrieks of excitement will be heard not only from the kiddos onboard, adults have just as much fun!

Water park configuration varies by ship, available on : Carnival Breeze, Carnival Dream, Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Fascination, Carnival Imagination, Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Sensation and Carnival Magic.

Not to be outdone, Norwegian Cruise Line added a waterslide to four ships:

Norwegian Jewel, Jade, Pearl and Gem.

But they really went wet and wild with the debut of the Norwegian Epic.

The Epic Aqua Park features a tube slide, twisting and turning down three stories.  The largest bowl slide at sea, the Epic Plunge is a family raft ride that sends you spinning around the inside of a huge bowl only to then quickly drop you 200-feet into a splashdown lane. There is a third waterslide for the smaller cruisers, they slide straight through the rock-climbing wall!

On their newest ship, the Norwegian Breakaway, the waterslide ante has offically been upped.

The Breakaway’s Aqua Park is scheduled to offer five waterslides, five. Two of the waterslides will be side-by-side and have a starting area, you will stand above a trap door (eeek! <—scared but excited eeek) that then opens from underneath, propelling you into a steep drop and then loop around.

Another set of side-by-side waterslides fly you down a multi-story spiral. The waterslide for smaller cruisers, or those that need a break from the steep, fast, insane-in-a-good-way slides, will also be a part of the Breakaway’s Aqua Park along with two pools, four hot tubs, and other special water features.

Another innovate aquatic leap was made by Disney Cruise Line on the Disney Dream.

The Dream’s AquaDuck is a water-coaster, the first of its kind – which the Disney Imagineers that developed it are good at. The AquaDuck travels 765 feet through a clear, acrylic tube, sending you on a journey around the ship – even off the side– followed by a massive drop into a nice and lazy river. Try and keep those eyes open because the views on this journey are pretty amazing, the ocean and ship at a birds-eye view.

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“What ever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.” — Walt Disney

Disney Cruise Line combines their reknowned children’s program and youth experience with an adult’s dream of a luxurious, pampering, the-world-is-yours vacation. Disney has shown they certainly know how to make dreams come true, time and time again.

Their ships are elegant, modeled after ocean liner’s of the past, but innovative and modern to cater to the family, couple, and solo cruiser alike.

With the introduction of the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy, Disney Cruise Line is now able to offer even more departure ports and itineraries to choose from. Their flagship, the Disney Magic, just relocated to Galveston, TX for the first time this past September where she will depart for 4-8 night Bahamas and Caribbean cruises.

And even better than closer-to-home-to-save-on-airfare departure ports?

Disney Cruise Line and iCruise.com just revealed a Galveston Kids Sail Free offer.

What does this mean?

Well, wonderfully, amazingly, magically it means children under 17 sail FREE*. Yes, the cruise fare is free, plus you don’t have to pay a deposit or any cancellation fees!

The number of staterooms for this offer is limited on select Disney Magic sailings from Galveston January – February 2013:

6 Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Galveston starting from $750pp

8 Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Galveston starting from $1000pp

*The offer applies to cruise fare only, taxes and fees must be payed at the time of final payment. Valid on new bookings only.

At iCruise.com, we are happy and honored to help you find your way to a magical vacation of a lifetime. In addition to our position on the Travel Agent Advisory Board for Disney Cruise Line, we are aso recognized leaders in planning vacations to both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. We also have agents who have graduated from the Disney College of Knowledge.

For more information on the Disney Cruise Line Kids Sail Free from Galveston deal, visit us at iCruise.com or call us with any questions you can think of at 1-800-i-CRUISE [ 800-427-8473 ].

Sep
11

Watch Disney Cruise Line Announcement Live

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Watch the special webcast of the Disney Cruise Line Announcement live at

http://www.disneycruiselineevents.com/2011/

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Sep
11

Disney Cruise Line to Alaska!

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Guess what boys and girls? Disney Cruise Line is going to be sailing to Alaska! There has been a ton of waiting and rumors for this announcement. Most of us had it pinned between Hawaii and Alaska. I’m sure those of you who follow us on Twitter or Facebook have seen our push for Disney Cruise Line to be headed to Alaska.

At D23, Disney Cruise Line Presidet Karl Holz kept us in anticipation while speaking about DCL’s amazing Mediterranean and Northern Europe itineraries. Then called on Donald (Fauntleroy) Duck to help unveil Disney Cruise Line’s new destination – a life-size ice sculpture of the word “ALASKA”.  The Disney Wonder will depart Vancouver and visit Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau, and Tracy Arm Fjord. These are ports of call you’d find on most cruises to Alaska… but the key difference here, is the Disney Magic that sets it apart from the rest.

All this week there have been quite a few unofficial announcements of Disney Cruise Line headed to Alaska – of course none of them from the mouths of Disney Execs and the like. The biggest development prior to the official announcement was last night (09/10/09) from the Vancouver Sun stating “Disney Cruise Lines will introduce departures from Vancouver to Alaska…”.