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Five Things to Know Before Your First Disney Cruise

posted on September 22nd, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

How do you know if a Disney cruise is the best vacation option for your family? There are many things to consider when choosing how to make memories with your loved ones. As you explore whether your next family adventure will be with Disney Cruise Line, or if you’ve already decided “yes” and aren’t sure what to expect, here are five things to know before your first Disney cruise:

Disney Dreams… An Enchanted Classic

1. Meals and entertainment are included. And we make sure everyone can enjoy them! Our innovative rotational dining concept ensures you won’t miss out on a meal at any of our three family dining restaurants. We reserve your table and serving team, so all you have to worry about is showing up hungry. Plus, we offer a different show every night in the Walt Disney Theatre. Since the nightly entertainment, including live musicals, is shown twice each evening, you can go ahead and promise your kids they’ll get to see their Disney friends on stage before or after dinner. All of this is in addition to our famous Pirate Night where cruisers of all ages party like swashbuckling pirates!


2. Kids of all ages have activities just for them. Traveling with a baby, preschooler, teenager or all of the above? We’ve got you covered! Our youth clubs are supervised by specially trained counselors and cater to specific ages, meaning the care and fun is tailored to their needs and interests. Up on deck, we have different water-play areas so you can have splashtacular fun even with your smaller swimmers and littlest ones in swim diapers. On the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream, teenagers have a pool to themselves, supervised by youth counselors, at the ultra-cool Vibe teen club. No matter the ages of your kids, you can cruise in confidence that they are having the time of their life!

After Hours - Keys

3. Adults have plenty of things to do, too. You aren’t assuming a Disney cruise is only the vacation-of-a-lifetime for the kids, right? One of the best parts about having super fun kids clubs on the ship and at Castaway Cay is that parents can look forward to time for themselves. Some of the onboard areas just for adults include a relaxing pool, tranquil spa, state-of-the-art fitness center and specialty coffee shop. After the sun goes down, adults have the nighttime entertainment district to themselves to enjoy live music and shows by comedians and other performers. Also just for adults, our fine dining Italian restaurant, Palo, is on all ships, and our exquisite French restaurant, Remy, is on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.


4. Castaway Cay is your own private island paradise. Only Disney cruisers can visit Castaway Cay in the Bahamas, making it a truly special experience with touches that are sure to “wow” you. The island has areas for every age group, including a beach for families and one exclusively for adults. There’s everything you need for a perfect beach day, such as chairs and umbrellas, towels, an all-you-care-to-eat lunch buffet, places to get cold beverages, and even cabanas you can rent for privacy and royal treatment. Your time here is worry-free, and you don’t even need to bring a watch since the ship’s horn sounds when it’s time for you to come back aboard. Speaking of, getting on and off the ship throughout the day is easy, as we’re the only cruise line with a dock at our private island.


5. The Disney Difference is what you’ll remember most. The destinations you visit with us will no doubt be memorable, but it’s the magic in the details that are sure to be unforgettable. We offer family-sized staterooms that include a sitting area, plenty of storage and a split bathroom with two separate sinks. The all-you-care-to-eat dining is hosted by a personalized serving team that travels with you to each of our elaborately themed restaurants. Plus, with Wave Phones that let you call and text fellow cruisers while onboard or at Castaway Cay and entertainment like only Disney can do – you can count on your experience with us to be different from any other vacation at sea.

Stay tuned for my top 10 tips for first-time Disney cruisers. In the meantime, tell me, what surprise did you enjoy most on your first Disney cruise?

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How to Talk Like a Pirate on A Disney Cruise

posted on September 19th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Ahoy, land lubbers! Does “Talk Like A Pirate Day” have you thinking about setting sail on the high seas? With our Pirates In the Caribbean deck party and swashbuckling fireworks spectacular, there’s no better place to party like a pirate than on a Disney cruise!


Watch this video to brush up on ye pirate speak, and then test it out on your next Disney cruise.

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A Day-by-Day Guide to Dining on a Disney Cruise

posted on September 17th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

With so many options for dining on a Disney cruise, from family-friendly and specialty adult-only restaurants, to buffet-style and quick service stations, it’s easy to add variety to where you eat throughout your voyage. Some dining locations are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, giving you a new experience each time you visit.


Of course you won’t want to miss dinner at any of our elaborately themed family restaurants, and our unique rotational dining ensures that will not happen. A concept that remains exclusive to our fleet, rotational dining gives you the opportunity to eat at a different restaurant for dinner each night, accompanied by the same servers.

Using your assigned dinner rotation as a starting point, I suggest mapping out a day-by-day dining plan at the beginning of your cruise. As a guide, I put one together for a four-night Disney Dream cruise. Next time you’re on vacation with us, try out your own version of this plan for a taste of all the deliciousness we serve.


Lunch: Cabanas – This free-flow casual dining restaurant is the perfect place for your first meal on a Disney cruise. Made-to-order and à la carte dining options offer a unique culinary experience. Food stations serve everything from sushi and pasta to make-your-own salads and decadent desserts.

Dinner: Royal Palace – Inspired by Disney classics like “Cinderella” and “Beauty and the Beast,” this elegant dining room looks like it’s out of a grand palace. And the feast isn’t just for the eyes. You’ll enjoy French cuisine fit for a monarch, including lobster, escargot, rack of lamb and beef tenderloin.



Breakfast: Enchanted Garden – At breakfast, this whimsical restaurant inspired by the gardens of Versailles is bright with the light of a blue-sky day. The cuisine matches the crisp and airy feel with a seasonal menu featuring market-fresh ingredients, served buffet-style during breakfast.

Lunch: Royal Palace – With mid-day light flowing in from port holes in this restaurant, you’re sure to pay closer attention to the ornate details of this beautiful space. The elaborate décor complements the royal treatment you’ll receive during open table service for lunch.

Dinner: Animator’s Palate – This signature restaurant, open only for dinner, brings the magic of Disney animation into the dining room. Spectacular entertainment like only Disney can do is a part of mealtime, so you won’t want to miss your opportunity to dine here.



Breakfast: Cabanas – Just like at lunch, Cabanas serves a variety of fresh food favorites during breakfast. With indoor and outdoor dining, ocean views all around and countless options for every taste bud, you’ll be energized to get your day started right.

Lunch: Enchanted Garden – During your buffet-style lunch, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to the rolling hills of France with the restaurant’s garden inspired décor. Lunch is served here on select days, so be sure to check the Navigator to determine which afternoon you’ll dine like French royalty.

Dinner: Palo or Remy – At least one night of your cruise should be reserved for an adult-exclusive meal. In addition to impeccable service and top-notch cuisine, these two restaurants offer incredible ocean views, rich décor and intimate dining rooms for a sophisticated dinner experience.



Breakfast: Room Service – Chances are you’ll feel like sleeping in on the last full day of your cruise. Enjoy a continental breakfast of toast, cereal, muffins and doughnuts from the comfort of your stateroom. Sitting on your verandah with a hot cup of coffee in the morning is a great way to start the day!

Lunch: Flo’s Café – The day you’re at sea is the perfect time to grab a bite on the pool deck. The quick-service stations themed to the Disney•Pixar film “Cars” – Luigi’s Pizza, Tow Mater’s Grill and Fillmore’s Favorites – serve burgers, chicken tenders, pizza, fresh fruit, salads and sandwich wraps.

Dinner: Enchanted Garden – In the evening, Enchanted Garden’s illuminated ceiling transitions into a nighttime constellation of twinkling stars. Dinner here is a full-service, plated affair with specialties such as slow-roasted prime rib, pan-seared sea bass, oven-baked salmon and roasted wild boar tenderloin.



On the final morning of your cruise, you’re sure to be feeling sadness that your vacation is over. But there’s no reason for you to feel hungry, too! Your serving team would love the opportunity for one last meal with you in the restaurant you dined in the night before.

Stay tuned for my post next week when I’ll give you tips on how to add even more variety to mealtime on a Disney cruise.

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Planning Next Summer’s Disney Cruise Vacation

posted on September 16th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Now that your family is back into the school and work routine, do you find yourself already daydreaming about next summer’s vacation? It’s never too early to start planning your next Disney cruise! Once again, we’re heading to incredible destinations around the globe in the summer of 2016. Here’s a look at just some of your options for exploring the world with Disney Cruise Line…


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Top Five Ways to Spoil Your Grandkids on a Disney Cruise

posted on September 14th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

A big shout out to all of you grandparents who add so much happiness to your family’s lives! Yesterday we celebrated a very special holiday – National Grandparents Day – and to keep the fun going, today’s post is dedicated to you.


Most grandparents will tell you that part of the joy of having grandkids is loving on them with special treats and experiences. We see that all the time with grandparents who bring their families on vacation with us. If you’re the grandparent (or great-grandparent) of little cruisers, here are five ways to spoil them on your next Disney cruise

Disney's Oceaneer Club - Andy's Room on the Disney Dream

1. Join them for playtime: Quality time is the number one gift you can give your loved ones, and if you’re already on vacation with them, chances are you know that! Look for ways you can spend time together doing things your grandkids will enjoy, like playing in our elaborately themed youth clubs. Open House is the perfect opportunity for you to join their world, whether they’re into superheroes, fanciful fairies, intergalactic spaceships or seafaring treasure hunts.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

2. Give them a magical makeover. Both little girls and boys love to play dress up, especially when it transforms them into royalty or a swashbuckling pirate. At Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, you can give your grandkids the full fairytale treatment with pixie-dusted new looks. Even you can get into the fun at this very special salon on Pirate Night when it becomes The Pirates League. What a great bonding opportunity… A young and young-at-heart pirate duo ready to “argh” the evening away!


3. Treat them like a prince or princess. Living in a fairytale world is easy on a Disney cruise, especially with special experiences that celebrate the “royal” in everyone. Give your grandkids the royal treatment by escorting them to the princess gathering in the atrium lobby or taking their photo while they pose with Queen Elsa and Princess Anna during our exclusive Frozen meet-and-greet. On the Disney Fantasy, hosting them at the Royal Court Royal Tea is an unforgettable way to show your first-class affection.


4. Teach them how to explore the world. Port Adventures make it easy for families to have fun together in the destinations we visit. You’re already setting a good example by showing them the importance of exploring the world; now let us show you the best ways to experience other lands and cultures through immersive Port Adventures. Give your grandkids a voice in choosing which excursions the family will do together in port to spark their interest in learning about the places you’re visiting.


5. Leave them with a memento. It’s fun for cruisers of any age to look back at a keepsake and remember all the fun had on vacation. Browse the merchandise stores onboard and at Castaway Cay for that perfect gift you can give your grandkids after the cruise. Better yet, let them pick out a favorite item that will remind them of the things you did together. And be sure to get something for yourself, as it will no doubt be a vacation you’ll never want to forget!

Grandparents, I want to hear from you! What are the things you like to do with your grandkids on a Disney cruise? Or what are you looking forward to most on your first voyage with them?

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Six Tips for Dining With Kids on a Disney Cruise

posted on September 10th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Since dining is one of my favorite parts of a Disney cruise, I have a quite a few tips I like to share with family and friends to make their experience the best it can be. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing those dining tips with you, starting today with suggestions specifically for those of you traveling with children.

Mealtime on a Disney cruise vacation is a great opportunity for families to connect, and there are things you can do onboard to enhance that quality time together. Here are my top six tips for dining with kids on a Disney cruise …

Royal Court

1. Let your servers serve you. All you need to do is sit back and relax. Do the kids need their food cut up? Your servers are happy to do that! Do you need a wine-pairing recommendation? Your dining team is at your service! The beauty of having them stay with you as you visit different restaurants and enjoy new menus each night is that they can provide personalized service and hospitality tailored to your every desire and need.


2. Say “yes” to your kids playing at dinnertime. Mealtimes are meant to be memorable entertainment experiences on a Disney cruise, which is why we include a full course of fun with dinner shows at Animator’s Palate. When else can you talk to a sea turtle with your mouth full or draw your imaginary friend to dance on screen beside Disney characters? Even your servers get in on the fun with magic tricks that are sure to stump the whole family.

Animator’s Palate – Drawn to Magic

3. Use your electronics at the dinner table. Gadgets and gizmos might typically be a “no-no” during family dinner, but some rules should be broken on vacation. Dinner is an opportune time, while you have your family’s attention, to plan out your schedule for the next day using the mobile Navigator app. Plus, with surprise appearances from Disney pals like Mickey and Crush at Animator’s Palate, bringing your camera to dinner is a must.

Champagne Brunch at Remy

4. Reserve an adult-only brunch or dinner at Palo. Our signature restaurant at sea is known for its exquisite modern Italian specialties during brunch and dinner. Set aside time to experience one (or both!) while the kids eat in the youth club. Chances are you’ll have more energy for your family after you’ve been able to recharge with your significant other over outstanding cuisine, first-class wine and sweeping ocean views.


5. Dress for the occasion. Themed dining provides a one-of-a-kind experience every night. The Pirates IN the Caribbean menu celebrates “a pirate’s life for me” with Caribbean cuisine, and wearing a bandana and eye patch during your meal is highly encouraged! On 7-night or longer cruises, the Captain’s Gala menu gives you a great excuse to dress to the nines for a family photo opp before savoring world-class cuisine such as baked lobster tail and oysters Rockefeller.


6. Take lessons from your kids. Dinner is often an opportunity for parents to teach children manners at the table. But on a Disney cruise, it’s your chance to learn from the kids. Notice how they’re carefree and energetic and can’t stop smiling? See how they never say no to dessert? That right there is the “proper way” to behave when you vacation with us!

Next week, I’ll share with you a day-by-day dining guide for four nights on the Disney Dream. Until then, let me know if you have tips to add for dining with kids on a Disney cruise.

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‘Descendants’ Star Sofia Carson on the Disney Fantasy

posted on September 9th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Actress Sofia Carson, star of Disney’s “Descendants,” had the chance to meet Captain Mickey when she was on the Disney Fantasy. Starting this week, Disney cruisers can watch Descendants on Funnel Vision (the jumbo screen by the family pool) aboard all four ships to see Sofia in her role as Evie, daughter of the Evil Queen.


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Behind the Scenes: Backstage at Rehearsals for ‘Tangled: The Musical’

posted on September 3rd, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

As development is in full swing to produce brand-new music, stunning costumes, storybook sets and more for “Tangled: The Musical,” the incredible Disney Magic cast is putting the finishing touches on the show to get it ready for audiences this November.

We asked two of the key creative players to “take 5” during rehearsals and tell us more about the production. Show director, Gordon Greenberg, and choreographer, Connor Gallagher, told us all about the immersive and interactive environment they’re creating for the stage. Check out the video below for more details and never-before-seen footage from cast rehearsals!

For more inside looks at the development of this production, see the rest of this series:

Can’t get enough “Tangled”? Check out the recently released “Tangled as told by Emoji” video for another cool new way to experience this hair-raising adventure story. Best. Emojis. Ever!

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10 Things Not to Do on a Disney Cruise

posted on August 26th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

The recipe for a great Disney cruise is pretty simple: show up, relax and have fun! But there are some other things you’ll want to make sure you do right so your family can have the ultimate Disney vacation. Take it from me, someone who has cruised many, many times with Disney, here are ten things not to do on a Disney cruise …


  1. Carry your own luggage onboard. We’ll do it for you! Whether you arrive to the cruise terminal on Disney Cruise Line transportation or in your own vehicle, we offer services that keep you from having to lug your suitcases onto the ship. Just bring aboard a day bag with your personal items, and we’ll deliver your luggage to your stateroom in the afternoon.
  2. Live out of your suitcase. Our staterooms are designed with families in mind and offer lots of storage space, including a place to tuck away your suitcases. One of the perks of cruising is visiting multiple destinations and only unpacking once, so make yourselves at home on the first day by assigning closet space and drawers to each member of the family.
  3. Clean your stateroom. As difficult as it may be to break your daily habits, now’s the time to try! Forget about making the bed each morning, and don’t worry about washing your towels and taking out the trash. Our stateroom hosts are there to make your stay as pleasant as possible, and if there’s anything you need, just ask.

Royal Court

  1. Introduce yourself to your dining servers each night. Your serving team stays with you as you visit different restaurants and enjoy new menus each night. That means only one round of introductions are needed. And chances are their personalized service and hospitality will make your servers unforgettable.
  2. Miss out on time for yourself. It’s your vacation, too! Activities for families to do together are endless on a Disney cruise, but there’s also no shortage of fun just for adults. The kids clubs are supervised by trained counselors and have the longest operating hours at sea, so there’s no excuse for parents to not take advantage of adult-only dining and other experiences.


  1. Worry about your kids in the youth spaces. See number five. We have the most extensive youth activity spaces of any cruise line, with age-specific areas and interactive programs to entertain children up to 17 years old. Getting your kids to leave the kids clubs may be the one challenge of your cruise.
  2. Throw away the Navigator. Your only excuse for tossing this daily activity guide is if you already downloaded the Navigator app on your smart phone. With so many activities happening throughout your cruise, you’ll want Navigator info handy at all times. It gives you the scoop on what’s happening every minute of every day and even categorizes the fun for kids, adults and families.


  1. Watch our fireworks at sea through your camera lens. This show is so spectacular that it’s completely understandable you’ll want to capture every moment on your camera. Resist the urge and just enjoy the moment! If you take your eyes off the fireworks, it should only be to glance over at the smiles on your family’s faces.
  2. Head back to the ship for lunch while at Castaway Cay. We’re the only cruise line that docks at its own private island, so it’s easy to go back on the ship throughout your day at Castaway Cay. But if you want to maximize beach time, head to one of three all-you-care-to-eat lunch buffets served under the shade of the island’s covered pavilions.
  3. Explore destinations on your own. Port Adventures are the best way for your family to have an unforgettable experience ashore. Along with the peace of mind that comes with having all the planning done for you, we offer one-of-a-kind activities that you can only experience through Disney. Many excursions even offer just-for-kids components, so parents have a little time alone.
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QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Disney’s Private Island, Castaway Cay?

posted on August 19th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

It’s time to move from the sea to the shore and test your knowledge of our private island, Castaway Cay. Think you’re an expert? Take our quiz to find out.


Disney’s Private Island, Castaway Cay

Which of these can you find on Castaway Cay?
A ride vehicle from what former Walt Disney World attraction can be found in the snorkeling lagoon at Castaway Cay?
Which Disney captain can often be found wandering Serenity Bay?
Which Disney character inspired the new Summertime Freeze smoothie station at Castaway Cay?
The Disney Fantasy docks at Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the tropical waters of the Bahamas, reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests. In a setting of crystal-clear turquoise waters, powdery white-sand beaches and lush landscapes, the 1,000-acre island offers one-of-a-kind areas and activities for every member of the family.
The Castaway Cay 5K, a fun run offered the morning the ship is at the island, gives runners the chance to run on what unique surface?

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