I love the lists that start popping up at the end of each year sharing highlights of the past 12 months, don’t you? It got me thinking how Disney Cruise Line had yet another big year, so I thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of our biggest moments in 2013.
I narrowed my list to 13 highlights, but I’d love to know what you’d add. Check it out and keep the list going in the comments!
Inaugural Miami Season
The Disney Wonder kicked off this year with our inaugural season from Miami, the newest US homeport for a Disney ship, marking our first time cruising from southern Florida. Voyages to the Bahamas and Caribbean from this iconic city will continue on the Disney Wonder or Disney Magic in 2014 and 2015.
New 2014 itineraries Unveiled
WIth the expansion of our fleet the past two years, this year we announced even more itinerary options, including voyages from Puerto Rico to the Southern Caribbean in 2014. We also unveiled Venice as a brand-new homeport and cruises that visit destinations in the Greek Isles and Sicily for the very first time.
First Calls on New European Ports
Our return to Europe this year was enhanced with exciting new destinations in the Mediterranean. During our summer season, we made first calls to Mykonos in the Greek Isles, Athens, Venice and Dubrovnik, Croatia. The Disney Magic’s call on Venice marked the ship’s first return to her birthplace since construction.
Captain Tom Named First Commodore
Captain Tom Forberg, our first and longest-serving captain, was named the first Commodore in the history of the company. With this honor, given to accomplished and distinguished leaders of military, commercial and cruise fleets, Commodore Tom now serves as the highest-ranking Disney captain.
Royal Court Royal Tea Introduced on the Disney Fantasy
We rolled out one of our newest family-friendly experiences, Royal Court Royal Tea, an exclusive event that gives Disney Fantasy cruisers the chance to interact with Disney princesses like never before. At this whimsical royal tea party, families are personally greeted by the princesses and entertained by lively hosts with stories, dancing and singing.
First Call on Jamaica
As part of our cruises from Galveston, Texas, this year, for the first time ever we called on Jamaica, home to beautiful beaches, lush green forests and mountain vistas. Stops at Falmouth, one of the Caribbean’s best-preserved Georgian towns, will continue in 2014 on 7-Night Western Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, Florida.
Halloween on the High Seas Celebrated on the Disney Dream
Halloween festivities are always fun on our ships, but this year we took it to a whole new level on the Disney Dream. Our extra-spooky celebration, Halloween on the High Seas, treated cruisers to special experiences like Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party, A Nightmare Before Christmas—Sing and Scream, Haunted Stories of the Sea and much more.
Disney Magic Received Magical Transformation
Our flagship vessel got a massive makeover this fall, one of the largest transformations ever performed in the cruise industry. The majority of this project took place in dry dock at the Navantia shipyard in Cadiz, Spain, with work happening in shifts around the clock to bring to life a host of magical enhancements.
Re-imagined Disney Magic Set Sail
The re-imagined Disney Magic set sail from Miami with an extra dose of magic onboard, including brand-new spaces and experiences for kids, adults and families. Some of the highlights include the AquaDunk thrill slide, transformed Oceaneer Club and Lab, new fun just for adults, Carioca’s dining room and “Drawn to Magic” dinner show.
Kids Enter the Marvel Universe on a Disney Ship
The relaunch of the Disney Magic marked the first time the super hero icons of Marvel have been introduced on a Disney ship. Inside Marvel’s Avengers Academy, kids can be part of a multi-day training experience, which includes virtually putting on Iron Man’s suit and learning the “Avengers Assemble” call sign from Captain America himself.
Very Merrytime Cruises Brought Holiday Cheer Earlier Than Ever
More guests had the chance to celebrate the winter holidays onboard this year with our Very Merrytime Cruises kicking off in early November. All four ships were transformed with sparkling decor, families came together for special holiday events and Disney characters put on their best Christmas attire – for almost two full months!
Fans Award Disney Cruise Line with Prestigious Honors
We received several prestigious honors this year, thanks to our fans, including Top Mega-Ship Cruise Line in Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards for Families, making it the fifth consecutive year to be ranked in the number one spot. Plus, Condé Nast Traveler readers named all four of our ships among the top large cruise ships in the world, with the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder and Disney Dream highest on the list.
New Disney Friends Sailing
Several new Disney friends joined our fun this year, including our newest visitor, Princess Anna, who’s been visiting all four ships as a special holiday treat. Jack Skellington and Sally added to the spookiness of the Disney Dream’s festivities this Halloween, and Captain America is now sailing on the Disney Magic, making special appearances in Marvel’s Avengers Academy for the kids and around the ship for cruisers of all ages.