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Disney Cruise Line Premieres Messaging Through Onboard Mobile App

posted on November 25th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Our mobile Navigator app is now premiering messaging capabilities so you can stay connected with your family and friends onboard. This new chat function joins a long list of great features in the app, including maps of the ship and Castaway Cay and information about dining, entertainment, ports of call, shopping, youth clubs, character experiences and more.

Any Disney cruiser will tell you that our daily Personal Navigator, a quick glance at all of the fun things you can do onboard, is the key to planning your perfect cruise agenda. Our mobile app is the electronic version of the Navigator, and it allows you to see activities for the whole cruise all at once. Plus, you can save your favorites to one convenient list and get notifications when the activity is about to begin. The app is available for Apple and Andriod smartphones and is free to download and use.

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To find out more details about the app and see some of its coolest features, go to this page on disneycruise.com and check out the video. If you’ve used the app, let us know in the comments your favorite part about it.

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15 Things You’re Thankful for on a Disney Cruise

posted on November 24th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


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  1. Relaxing is each day’s priority.
  2. You only have to unpack once.
  3. Your bed is made for you every morning.

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  1. There’s a never-ending supply of ice cream.
  2. What to order for dinner is the biggest decision you have to make all day.
  3. Your menu options change nightly, but your serving team stays the same.

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  1. The dining servers take over the task of cutting up your kids’ food and refilling their drinks.
  2. The live musicals are replayed on your stateroom television so you can belt out the songs even louder when watching them again.
  3. Your kids talk about the youth counselors, stateroom hosts and dining servers as if they are their lifelong friends.

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  1. Date night is something you actually have instead of just dream about.
  2. The kids clubs stay open late (which your kids are even more thankful for than you).
  3. The options for fruity drinks are endless.

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  1. Chocolate and a really cool towel animal are waiting on your bed each night.
  2. You wake up in a new destination every day.
  3. On the last day you don’t feel like you need a vacation after your vacation.
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New ‘Frozen’ Disney Trading Pins Come with the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card

posted on November 20th, 2014 by Virginia Scanlon, Manager Alliance Management, Disney Gift Card Services


Be on the lookout for this year’s Disney Gift Card Holiday Pin Series throughout Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort. These cards come in four different designs featuring your favorite characters from Disney Animation’s hit movie “Frozen”.

New Elsa Disney Pin That Comes With the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card New Olaf Disney Pin That Comes With the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card New Kristoff Disney Pin That Comes With the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card New Anna Disney Pin That Comes With the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card

Each of these Disney Gift Card designs are available with a starting balance of $75 and also comes with a Disney Trading Pin. Complete your Disney Trading Pin collection with these four new pins, which feature “Frozen” characters Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf. These pins can only be found with this year’s Disney Gift Card Holiday Pin Series.

New 'Frozen' Disney Trading Pins Come with the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card New 'Frozen' Disney Trading Pins Come with the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card New 'Frozen' Disney Trading Pins Come with the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card New 'Frozen' Disney Trading Pins Come with the Purchase of a Holiday Pin Series Disney Gift Card

Giving a Disney Gift Card is simple for you, and perfect for friends and family! The Disney Gift Card can be used for practically all things Disney at Walt Disney World Resort, the Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, Club Penguin, Disney PhotoPass, DisneyMusicOnline.com, Disney Store locations in the U.S. and online and at DisneyStore.com. For more information or to shop for more holiday designs, please visit DisneyGiftCard.com.

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Planning for a Day at Castaway Cay

posted on November 18th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


As the weather cools down and winter approaches, do you find yourself dreaming about Castaway Cay more and more, too? I thought so.

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For those of you who haven’t had the chance to sail to our private island yet, let me sum it up for you in one word: paradise. Since it’s our most popular destination, we get tons of questions about it as guests anticipate their first visit. We checked in with Dolly from the Disney Parks Moms Panel during her recent family vacation to get answers to your questions about planning for a day here. Find out what she had to say…

What tips do you have for first-timers visiting Castaway Cay?


For more about cruising with Disney from a mom’s point of view, visit these posts:

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How to Have the Perfect Day at Sea on a Disney Cruise

posted on November 17th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


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As much as I love adventures in our beautiful ports of call, I equally love the days we spend at sea. Not only is it relaxing to feel the warm ocean breeze and see blue water in every direction, sea days are a great chance to take advantage of everything our ships have to offer. Here are some tips for how to have the perfect day when sailing the seas from sunrise to sundown.

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Explore the ship on the first day of the cruise. Doing so allows you to maximize your time on the day at sea since you already know where everything is located. You can move from the sports deck to the sun lounge to the movie theater to the family lounge in no time!

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Spend time in and out of the sun. Sea days are known for water fun, and you won’t want to miss your chance to lounge poolside with a cold beverage. But also schedule time for the many unique activities you aren’t likely to do back home, like cheer on babies at Jack Jack’s Diaper Dash and solve a mystery with a virtual detective agency.

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Plan out your day the night before. With the evening turn down service, you’ll get a hard copy of the next day’s Navigator, a complete guide to the activities happening around the ship. Bring different colored highlighters for each member of your family so everyone can choose what they want to do throughout the day. Or create a favorite activities list on our new mobile Navigator App.

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Try out a different place to eat for each meal. If you enjoy a-la-cart table service for breakfast, go to the buffet or grab quick service for lunch. Take advantage of the many different dining options, including room service for those of you who want to sleep in and enjoy breakfast on your verandah.

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Splurge on at least one treat for each member of the family. When else can mom get a seaweed body wrap while dad taste tests tequilas and the kids have tea with Disney friends? Whatever your interests, there’s something special for everyone to add to your day at sea to make it even more unforgettable.

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Top 10 Beaches for Adults to Visit on a Disney Cruise

posted on November 13th, 2014 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


Adults cruising without little ones, I haven’t forgotten about you! Last week I shared my top 10 beaches for families to visit on a Disney cruise, and while all of these are great options for you, too, today I’ll give recommendations specifically for those seeking a little more seclusion or some fun with just the adults. Some of these spots may be off the beaten path, but the journey to get there will be well worth it!

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1. Serenity Bay at Castaway Cay (Bahamas)

Just like on our ships, we have a hangout exclusively for adults on our private island, Castaway Cay. Serenity Bay is only a quick tram ride away from the family beach, but you’ll feel like you’re miles and miles away from any hustle and bustle. This age 18+ beach has everything you need for a relaxing day, including lounge chairs, umbrellas, hammocks, yummy food and tropical drinks!

2. Atlantis, Paradise Island, Nassau (Bahamas)

The famous Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in Nassau offers a great beach retreat for families, but it’s also at the top of my list for an adult-only beach day. When you join our Atlantis Beach Day & Discover Atlantis Port Adventure, not only will you have access to the resort’s exclusive beach, you’ll also have the chance to try your hand at Blackjack in the casino or shop in the nearby Marina Village.

3. Playa Uvas, Cozumel (Mexico)

The upscale and chic beach park at Playa Uvas, with its trendy scene and sofa style seating, is an awesome place to relax in Cozumel, and it’s just a 10-minute ride from the port. Since it is part of a marine park, snorkeling and kayaking are two of the best ways to enjoy your day here. We offer the Clear Kayak and Beach Snorkel Combo for those who want to mix in a little fun with their relaxation.

4. Rum Point Beach, Grand Cayman (Cayman Islands)

The beautiful Rum Point Beach on Grand Cayman offers more seclusion than some of the island’s other beaches, making it perfect for those wanting a chill beach day. The best way to get to enjoy this authentic island atmosphere is on our Rum Point Beach Adventure, which includes a relaxing one-hour catamaran cruise and plenty of time to relax in a hammock on the warm sand.

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5. Trunk Bay Beach, St. John (US Virgin Islands)

Located in a national park, St. John’s pristine Trunk Bay Beach is home to amazing snorkeling and stunning views. Since the ship docks in St. Thomas, you’ll need to take a ferry to the island of St. John, but the 45-minute ride over is part of the fun! Our St. John Trunk Bay Beach and Snorkel Tour is a great option for those who want to enjoy the bay’s impressive underwater snorkel trail.

6. Great Bay Beach, St. Maarten (Virgin Islands)

St. Maarten’s Great Bay Beach is in Philipsburg, the capital of the Dutch side of the island near where the ship docks. It’s a nice beach for you to visit if you also want to take advantage of the area’s shopping and dining. Plus, the ship is in sight from the beach, making for a great photo opp!

7. Ocean Park Beach, San Juan (Puerto Rico)

If you’re looking for a quiet beach day in San Juan, head on over to Ocean Park Beach. There aren’t as many facilities there as you’ll find at other beaches, but its natural and less-crowded setting is perfect for a peaceful and relaxing afternoon.

8. Doctor’s Cave Beach, Falmouth (Jamaica)

Montego Bay in Jamaica is well known for its beautiful beaches, and it’s just a half-hour ride from the port in Falmouth. Doctor’s Cave Beach, home to a beach club where you can rent chairs, umbrellas and snorkel gear, is a hot spot for fun in the sun. The beach is also nearby the area’s shopping and dining hub.

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9. The Baths, Virgin Gorda (British Virgin Islands)

Virgin Gorda is a nearby island to the port in Tortola, most known for The Baths National Park. The breathtaking beach is filled with giant granite boulders surrounded by natural tidal pools. You’ll need to take a ferry to get to The Baths at Virgin Gorda, but you’ll be happy you spent the extra time to get to this gorgeous destination!

10. South Beach, Miami (Florida)

Chances are, you’ve heard of the trendy South Beach in Miami. This colorful, Art Deco neighborhood is famous for its energy, shopping, dining and of course, a beautiful beach. Once you’ve had your fill of lounging on the white sand beach, there are many options to continue the fun, like riding a jet ski down the coast or eating at one of the many delicious restaurants on Ocean Drive.

If you’ve traveled to any of these locations without kids, tell us, which beaches are your favorite for some peace and quiet or fun in the sun?

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Top 10 Beaches for Families to Visit on a Disney Cruise

posted on November 11th, 2014 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


If you love cruising to tropical locations, chances are you also love visiting beautiful beaches. Luckily for you, there’s no shortage of warm sand in the Bahamas and Caribbean where our ships frequent throughout the year. But deciding which glorious stretch of sand is a good fit for your family isn’t always easy.

Our Port Adventures are the best way for your family to experience a hassle-free beach day, and we’ve worked with tour operators to take you to some of the best beaches in the places we visit. Here’s a look at my favorites in 10 of our tropical destinations:

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1. Castaway Family Beach, Castaway Cay (Bahamas)
Most cruises from Florida include a stop at our private island, Castaway Cay, and if you’re traveling with little ones, Castaway Family Beach is the perfect spot for you. The beach is lined with umbrellas, chairs and hammocks for your complimentary use, and the water is sectioned off for swimming, floating and snorkeling. Plus, the Pelican Plunge water slide is within swimming distance from shore and the all-you-care-to-eat lunch buffet is steps away.

2. Blue Lagoon Island, Nassau (Bahamas)
This spectacular private island is just a half-hour boat ride from the port of Nassau. We offer several excursions there with different options for what your family would like to do, whether that’s swimming with dolphins, snuggling with sea lions or swaying in hammocks! The family-owned island has all of the amenities you need, yet it’s set apart by its untouched natural environment and authentic Bahamian experience.

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3. Playa Mia, Cozumel (Mexico)
With its water park, water trampolines and water bicycles (just to name a few!), Playa Mia is an active family’s paradise on the island of Cozumel. The full-facility beach also has plenty of space where you can relax, including lounge chairs both on the beach and by the pool. Our Cozumel Beach Break excursion is a convenient way to get time at this popular locale, with a delicious lunch buffet included!

4. Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman (Cayman Islands)
Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman is famous for its long stretch of coral sand and clear blue water, and it’s just a short ride from the port. On our Family Beach Day at Tiki Beach Port Adventure, you’ll have access to full amenities there, including lounge chairs, fresh-water showers, a restaurant and not to mention a gorgeous view!

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5. Magen’s Bay Beach, St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands)
With its calm waters and half-mile stretch of white sand, Magen’s Bay is home to St. Thomas’ premier beach. The beachside café in this untouched environment makes it a great option for families, especially on our Magens Bay Beach Break excursion, which also includes a stop at Drake’s Seat to enjoy the panoramic view of the bay.

6. Orient Bay Beach, St. Maarten (West Indies)
Known as the “French Riviera of the Caribbean,” Orient Bay is the most famous beach in St. Maarten. Adventures like our Afternoon Beach Bash Tour and French Riviera Beach Rendezvous are great options if you want to just relax in this stunning locale. For a more active day, our Family Fun, Beach and Nature Walk adds the option to boogie board and join a guided walk through part of a nature reserve.

7. Isla Verde Beach, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
Isla Verde Beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico is especially popular for families with its gentle waves, huge expanse of white sand and access to amenities. If you’re visiting San Juan during your cruise, you can join our Isla Verde Beach Escape or our San Juan Family Beach Day, both including a lunch buffet and the chance to play beach volleyball!

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8. Rose Hall Beach, Falmouth (Jamaica)
Rose Hall Beach in Jamaica is home to several upscale resorts, adding an air of exclusivity to this beautiful stretch of sand. We give Disney cruisers the chance to enjoy time at one of these beautiful resorts on our Resort Beach Break – All Inclusive Port Adventure. Access to the resort’s amenities, including pools, slides and dining, makes this excursion a great day for families.

9. Cane Garden Bay Beach, Tortola (British Virgin Islands)
Tortola’s Cane Garden Bay is considered by many to be finest beach on the island. Restaurants, bars and shops are steps from the beach, making it an ideal spot for families. We just announced Tortola as a destination in 2016 and are working with local operators to develop family-friendly Port Adventures so you can enjoy this destination to its fullest. Stay tuned!

10. Crandon Park Beach, Miami (Florida)
Miami is one of our homeports for cruises to the Bahamas and Caribbean, and no visit there is complete without stopping by one of the area beaches. My top pick for families is Crandon Park Beach, located on Key Biscayne in front of a sandbar that keeps the surf calm. This park also has an amusement center, picnic areas and plenty of other amenities for a comfortable family beach day.

All of these beaches are sure to be enjoyed by cruisers of all ages, but later this week I’ll give more recommendations in these same locations for adults traveling without the little ones. Until then, are there any family-friendly beaches in these destinations that you want to add to this list?

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Brand-New Events Premiere on Very Merrytime Cruises

posted on November 8th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Season’s Greetings! That’s right… our holiday celebrations are getting ready to set sail. And this year, our Very Merrytime Cruises are more magical than ever with brand-new events for the whole family!

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Today marks the first day of our Very Merrytime Cruises on the Disney Fantasy, and the party starts tomorrow on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder and Monday on the Disney Dream. If you’re cruising with us this week through the New Year, here’s some of the new holiday fun you can expect…

Mickey’s Tree-Lighting Magic – In the atrium lobby on the first night of the cruise, Disney characters lead holiday carols and the lighting of the glittering, three-deck-tall tree. This special event is the perfect way to kick off the holiday celebrations!

Winter Wonderland Ball – To celebrate the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus, you’re invited to don your holiday finest and join Disney friends and princesses for a glamorous ball. On this night filled with dancing, singing and festive treats, you’ll be enchanted by the transformation of a snowman into jolly old Saint Nick himself before a magical snowfall overtakes the atrium.

Holiday Carolers – Dickens-inspired characters and carolers carry the spirit of the holidays throughout the ship while singing holiday classics, sometimes with the help of favorite Disney friends.

All of these special events are in addition to the activities you already love, like meet and greets with Santa, building gingerbread houses, listening to holiday storytellers and dancing at the tropical-themed “Deck the Deck Holiday Party.”

Brand-New Events Premiere on Very Merrytime Cruises Brand-New Events Premiere on Very Merrytime Cruises

Of course no holiday celebration would be complete without sparkling decor, and our team of elves works hard throughout the year creating decorations unique to each ship (more than 300 pieces of custom decor per ship!) Then they have just a few hours to install it! To give you a better idea of the work taking place right this moment on the Disney Fantasy, take a look back at the 20-foot tree going up for the ship’s very first holiday season…

Now that’s what I call teamwork! What part of our Very Merrytime Cruises are you looking forward to most?

To learn more about our Very Merrytime Cruises, check out these posts:

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Everything You Need to Know About Castaway Cay

posted on November 6th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


How much do you know about Castaway Cay? No matter how many times you’ve been to our private island, chances are you learn something new with each visit. If you’re looking forward to your first day at this little slice of paradise in the Bahamas, here’s what you need to know …

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The island is reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests. If the Castaway Cay post office is open, be sure to stop by to mail a message (and brag) to friends back home. Also check out the merchandise you can only get on the island, like beachwear, hats and collectible pins with our Castaway Cay logo, at She Sells Sea Shells … and Everything Else!

You can walk right off the ship to the island. The dock built at Castaway Cay eliminates the need to tender, making the ship easily accessible throughout the day. Trams provide transportation to and from various points on the 1,000-acre island. All you’ll need is your Key to the World card to get on and off the ship as you please.

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There’s something for everyone. Disney Imagineers designed Castaway Cay much like our ships, with unique activities and areas for every age group. Places for the family to spend time together are plenty, but when it’s time to do your own thing, kids can head to Scuttle’s Cove, teens to the secluded Hide Out and adults to the pristine Serenity Bay.

All that you need is included. From complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas to an all-you-care-to-eat lunch buffet and ice cream station, we’ve got you covered. We even provide beach towels, wagons and strollers to make your day more comfortable. There isn’t much you’ll need to bring onto the island with you, except for of course plenty of sunblock and a good book!

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There are plenty of Port Adventures options for your family. Just like in our other destinations, we work with local operators to offer excursions such as parasailing, deep sea fishing and boat tours. Plus, you won’t want to miss the activities exclusive to the island, including Castaway Ray’s Stingray Adventure, the Castaway Cay Walking and Kayak Nature Adventure and the teen-only Wild Side Adventure.

The island is stocked with toys for water sports enthusiasts. Water cycles, paddleboats, sea kayaks, sailboats, stand-up paddle boards, floats and snorkel gear are all available to rent. There’s also a watercraft ski adventure for the chance to drive a personal watercraft through mangroves and around the island.

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You can stay cool even in the warm sunshine. Besides joining the water fun with one of the many activities listed above, the Pelican Plunge slide is a great way to cool off. When you need a break from the sun, shaded areas are located around the island, including covered seating near the lunch buffets and bars, In Da Shade Game Pavilion and private rental cabanas.

Disney cruisers, did I cover everything? If not, tell us what else we need to include to complete this list!

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Five Tropical Destinations to Add to Your Disney Cruise Bucket List

posted on November 4th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


It may not officially be winter yet, but I’m sure plenty of you are already dreaming about escaping the cold that came so early this year! To get your mind, at least, to a warmer place, here’s a look at five tropical destinations to add to your Disney cruise bucket list …

1. Castaway Cay, Bahamas
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If you’ve been on a Disney cruise to the Bahamas or Caribbean, chances are you’ve been to Castaway Cay. It’s our private island in the Bahamas, and in my humble opinion, the most spectacular place you’ll ever visit. Here, the magic of Disney meets the beauty of the tropics, resulting in an experience words cannot do justice.

2. Tortola, British Virgin Islands
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Just announced as one of our newest destinations, Tortola is a picture-perfect island with lush green mountains, white-sand beaches and turquoise waters. This Caribbean gem, part of the British Virgin Islands, is a stop on most of our Eastern Caribbean cruises in 2016.

3. Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
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Almost all of our Western Caribbean voyages visit Grand Cayman, the largest of the Cayman Islands, boasting some of the best tropical weather in the world with an average winter temperature of 75° F. Formed of limestone and surrounded by coral reefs, the island is known for its unique terrain, clear water and spectacular diving.

4. St. Thomas and St. John, US Virgin Islands
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St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands is a call on most of our Eastern Caribbean cruises and the gateway to the equally beautiful neighboring island of St. John. Both have a unique character all their own, with St. Thomas offering excellent dining and shopping and St. John two-thirds covered by an unspoiled national park.

5. San Juan, Puerto Rico
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San Juan is a stop on select Eastern Caribbean cruises and our homeport for Southern Caribbean voyages. An adventure in the rainforest and a stroll through charming Old San Juan, with its blue cobblestone streets, fortified walls and colorful colonial architecture, are not to be missed on a visit to the beautiful island of Puerto Rico.

What other Disney Cruise Line destinations are on your bucket list?

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