Pirate Night is one of the most talked about parts of a Disney cruise and a great way to show your Disney Side out at sea. During most voyages, we give landlubbers of all ages the chance to act like true seafaring “scoundrels” for an entire evening (without the possibility of having to walk the plank, of course!)
Here are my tips for how you can embrace the pirate lifestyle and make the most of the night’s swashbuckling festivities on your next Disney cruise:
- Brush up on your pirate speak before the cruise. Practicing the delivery of your “ahoy matey” and “yo ho, yo ho” is the best way to ensure the respect of your fellow sailors.
- Pack the garb that best reveals your pirate style. Are you a sophisticated pirate? Consider a suede vest and a satin sash to tie your outfit together. A rambunctious pirate? An eye patch and a plastic sword are essential accessories for your evening attire.
- Spoil your little ones with a trip to The Pirate’s League when sailing on the Disney Fantasy. This ship’s exclusive Bibiddi Bobbidi Boutique transforms on Pirate Night to a place where children can be done up with beards and bandanas, swords and scars and earrings and eye patches. Mini pirate makeovers are also available on our other ships.
- Get a family photo with Jack Sparrow, Pirate Mickey or one of their best mates. How cool would that photo be for this year’s holiday card? And for those of you tweeters, you may even be retweeted by @DisneyCruise if you tag us and include #DCLPhotos.
- Party like a pirate as Mickey’s Pirate Crew leads you in swashbuckling line dances. Kick up your heels and rock out to pirate-themed tunes with the coolest gang of pirates you’ll ever encounter!
- Fill your belly with delicious pirate grub. As tempting as it will be to snack on ice cream and chicken fingers all afternoon, be sure to save room for tasty eats off our special dinner menu, like Captain Hook’s Macadamia Nut Dusted Mahi Mahi and Pirates Golden “Pot Stickers.”
- Do not, I repeat, DO NOT miss the night’s famous buccaneer bash up on deck. A live-action pirate showdown between the good guys and villains culminates with a spectacular display of piratical pyrotechnics – fireworks at sea like only Disney can do!
- Show off the skills you learned earlier in the night at “Club Pirate,” an open-air dance party for the whole family. It’s your final chance to unleash your inner pirate and dance your boots off!
- End your evening with a full plate at the late-night pirate buffet. All that dancing is sure to work up your appetite for a mouthwatering jumbo turkey leg!
Disney cruisers, what other tips do you have for making the most of Pirate Night?
Disney cruisers are no strangers to showing their Disney Side out at sea (arrgh mateys!) And this fall, Pirate Night isn’t the only excuse you have to put on a costume, let loose and bring out the fun in your family during vacation.
Our Halloween on the High Seas voyages are jam packed with fun for the whole family (Mom and Dad … that means you, too!) And the best part? All of it is included in your cruise fare! In this video, hear from Cruise Director Christiaan about the fun you and your family can expect when celebrating Halloween on a Disney cruise.
- You can’t concentrate at work because you’re too busy dreaming of Castaway Cay.
- You find yourself whistling “when you wish upon a star” at 5pm and imagining yourself at the Sail Away celebration.
- Your Throwback Thursday posts are all photos from your last Disney cruise.
- You can’t eat a meal without dessert, especially since every night you dream about Palo’s chocolate soufflé.
- You are considering replacing your home’s windows with portholes and redecorating with a nautical motif.
- Your friends wonder why you keep talking like a pirate and looking for excuses to wear your pantaloons and eye patch.
- You make towel animals and leave chocolates on your kids’ pillows each night.
- You hope every knock on your door is your stateroom host arriving to make your bed and tidy up your house.
Disney cruisers, what else can you add to this list?
We know how much you love to see our exclusive tilt-shift videos, a “miniature scale” of the fun you can have at our parks and on our cruises.
Our first tilt-shift video gave you a glimpse at a journey on the Disney Wonder, and to this day, it is one of our most popular videos. Now, we want to show you some of what you’ll experience over four nights on the Disney Dream sailing from Port Canaveral, Florida to the Bahamas. From Broadway-style stage shows and meet and greets with Disney friends, to fun in the sun at Castaway Cay and a relaxing day at sea, every member of your family will find something just for them.
Check it out … the magic of tilt-shift photography combined with the magic of a Disney cruise!
It may only be September, but I know all of you creative gift-givers are already scheming up some pretty wonderful holiday present ideas for your loved ones. A Disney cruise is always a popular gift, and I’ve heard stories from so many people about the special ways they’ve unwrapped this present for their family.
Whether you’re brainstorming ideas for Christmas morning, or for when you give the gift “just because,” I thought you may be inspired by how some of our current and former Disney Parks Moms Panelists have surprised their families with a Disney cruise …
“Once we surprised our kids with a scavenger hunt on Christmas morning with clues placed all around the house. Each clue was wrapped in a package with items needed for our vacation like bathing suits, sunglasses and even pirate costumes! With every clue found, the kids grew closer to the final package which was waiting for them on the front porch. When they opened it, they found “tickets” for a magical voyage on the high seas with Captain Mickey and a Disney Cruise Line Planning DVD!”
“One Christmas morning, after we exchanged gifts and ate breakfast, I suddenly “remembered” another present that we’d “forgotten.” I told the girls to look on the back porch, and when they opened the door, there were two suitcases with big Mickeys hand sewn on the front, mouse ears and giant Mickey and Minnie plush to greet them. I think my neighbors two blocks away could hear them screaming. “We’re going to Disney!” What they didn’t know (until they opened the suitcases) was that we were going on a Disney cruise! The suitcases were packed with new swimsuits, outfits and pillowcases monogrammed with our sail dates and the name of the ship.”
“We wanted to announce our surprise Disney Cruise Line vacation to the kids in a unique way, so we sent them on a scavenger hunt throughout the house and yard for clues. Each clue they found related to the trip, such as “Do you like warm weather?” and “Did you SEA that your bags are packed?”. The final clues were our itinerary for our Disney Magic cruise and their Magic Bands for our stay at Walt Disney World Resort. They couldn’t stop screaming to know we were leaving right then for a land and sea vacation with Captain Mickey!”
Have you ever given the gift of a Disney cruise? Tell us how you did it in the comments!
Even though you’ve heard there is something for everyone on a Disney cruise, do you still wonder if that truly means for you, too? Of course you know your kids will love it, but as parents, will you enjoy it?
You know my answer is “absolutely!” But we also caught back up with Disney Parks Moms Panelist Dolly to get her take on this frequently asked question. Hear what she has to say in this video…
What’s your favorite way to recharge on a Disney cruise?
For more about cruising with Disney from a mom’s point of view, visit these posts:
Today, Captain Mickey and the Disney Magic arrived to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to kick off our brand-new Southern Caribbean sailings.
These 7-night voyages mark our first-ever itinerary departing from Puerto Rico. San Juan will be the homeport of the Disney Magic for the next four weeks until the ship returns to Port Canaveral for 7-night Western and Eastern Caribbean sailings.
To see some of the incredible locations Disney cruisers can visit in San Juan and our Southern Caribbean destinations, check out this video…
To learn more about our Southern Caribbean destinations and Port Adventures, visit these posts:
One of the perks of my job is getting to join you in sailing to incredible destinations around the world. From my experience, I’ve learned a thing or two about packing for a Disney cruise – most importantly that there are some must-have items you never want to forget. Six to be exact …
- Pirate attire - Arrgh mateys! Disney cruisers go all out for Pirate Night, and if you don’t bring your own costume, you’ll wish you had! Bandanas and eye patches are available onboard, but this night is the perfect excuse to pull out that Jack Sparrow wig and those pirate pantaloons.
- Smartphone or tablet – Our newsletter of daily activities, the Navigator, is available as a mobile app. You’ll have a list of what’s happening every minute of every day and a map of the entire ship in your back pocket.
- Wrist watch – This one is especially important if you don’t bring #2… Most people recommend you leave your watch at home during vacation, but on a Disney cruise, you won’t want to miss any of the planned activities! A waterproof watch is even better so you can leave it on at the pool and during our water ride.
- Day bag – Put a few essentials, like a swimsuit, sunscreen and medications, in a small bag to keep with you when you board the ship. Then you can check the rest of your luggage to be delivered to your stateroom later that day. It can also serve as a beach bag for Castaway Cay and extra space to bring home your souvenirs.
- Autograph book – The number of Disney characters onboard never ceases to amaze new cruisers. Bring a keepsake for them to sign, and make sure it’s large enough to hold autographs from all of your favorites.
- Camera – There’s no shortage of picture-perfect selfie spots onboard and at Castaway Cay! Plus our crew members are always happy to snap a family photo for you on your personal camera.
What else has your family learned to always brings on a Disney cruise?
Any Disney cruiser will tell you all about the magical memories they are making on their voyage, complete with fun family activities, delicious dining and awesome entertainment. But as much as there is to talk about, there are some things you’ll never hear anyone say aboard a Disney ship …
- “I’m not sure a worry-free vacation is right for our family.”
- “One ride on the AquaDuck is enough for me.”
- “I don’t want any free ice cream.”
- “There’s not enough space to store my luggage!”
- “I’ll just wait to see that new movie back home in a theater.”
- “I totally didn’t cry at the end of Disney’s Believe.”
- “But I like to pay for room service!”
- “I wish the serving team wasn’t so good at keeping my kids happy during dinner.”
- “There aren’t enough fruity drink options.”
- “It’s Castaway Cay day? I think I’ll stay in my stateroom.”
I know you can relate, Disney cruisers! So tell me, what would you add to list?
It’s almost time to kick off the holiday fun aboard all four ships! Whether your favorite holiday is Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s, we have something special for you on either our Halloween on the High Seas voyages or Very Merrytime Cruises.
If this year is your first celebrating onboard with us, you’ll definitely want to read on. We asked our fans on Facebook and Twitter for their best holiday cruise tips, and we got some pretty awesome responses! I read through all of them (hundreds!) and pulled out my favorites.
Here are the best tips you gave for first-time Disney holiday cruisers:
- Dress for the occasion… Who says you can only dress up on October 31? Bring a different Halloween costume for each night of your cruise. Pack that tacky Christmas sweater and the family’s matching flannel pajamas. And as always, go all out for Pirate Night!
Stacy: “If you’re going for a Halloween cruise, make sure the adults bring costumes! The contest is for the adults and not the kids!”
Nichole: “Excited about dressing up for Halloween this year! Don’t forget your pirate clothes for pirate night!”
Colleen: “Bring costumes…even Christmas themed ones.”
Lorelei: “Bring your Christmas pajamas for holiday photos by the tree!”
- Get in the spirit and decorate… We’ll have the ship decked out from bow to stern, but you can never have enough decorations! Most stateroom doors are metal, so magnets are the perfect accessory to dress up your space. Just remember to follow the guidelines for decorating on disneycruise.com.
Tina: “Don’t forget the decor for your room… It really makes a difference!”
Suzanne: “For Christmas we decorate the door with Mickey and Christmas magnets. We also get a miniature Christmas tree and miniature ornaments for our room.”
Yvette: “Show your Disney spirit! Don’t forget your Mickey magnets and all things Disney to decorate your cabin door!”
- Join the festivities… From trick-or-treating to costume contests on our Halloween voyages, and the atrium tree lighting ceremony to meet-and-greets with Santa on our Very Merrytime Cruises, the celebration never ends! Plan to attend as many holiday-themed activities as you can for non-stop fun.
Lorie: “Read the Navigator so you won’t miss anything!”
Gail: “If there is more than one age group in your party get a couple of extra navigators at guest services. There’s so much going on every day you need to co-ordinate your activities and highlight the ones you don’t want to miss.”
Katie: “Sign up for free gingerbread house decorating as soon as you can. Fresh baked gingerbread houses! Tasty and make your room smell delicious!”
- Pack light… Swim suit, sunscreen, dinner attire, costumes and camera… You won’t need much else! We even provide toiletries in your stateroom and towels for the pool and Castaway Cay. Less stuff in your suitcase means more room to take home souvenirs and gifts you purchase for loved ones back home.
Traci: “Don’t over pack. Is the number one error of first time cruiser. Save room for the souvenirs.”
Salvatrice: “Half as many clothes and twice as many bathing suits than you think while packing!”
Bev: “Don’t overpack, you can do laundry onboard easily and it’s great to come home with clean clothes”
- Just relax and have fun… It is a vacation after all! The busyness of the holiday season will be waiting for you when you get back, so until then, take the advice of these very smart Disney cruisers …
Laura: “Just relax and be a kid again”
Anabel: “Have lots of fun take plenty of pictures.”
David: “Bring yourself, bring your imagination, tell your inner child he or she is coming out for some exercise and enjoy!!! Never, never (really never) be without the camera!!!”
Gene: “No matter the holiday, go ALL OUT! Dress up, sing louder, be merrier (or scarier). Holidays on a Disney Cruise are the best!!”