Show Disney.com Hide Disney.com
Astro Orbitor at Disneyland Park

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:

Castaway Cay

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.

pmadcl384756

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!

mbadcl827364

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!

rhbdcl293847

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?

  • Share: 

Tagged:

Filed: Disney Cruise Line

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!

chchch736111

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:

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , , , , ,

Filed: Disney Cruise Line

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 …

dcldcc281726

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.

sbadcc283746

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!

pawdcc281726

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.

sadccc384958

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!

  • Share: 

Tagged:

Filed: Disney Cruise Line

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
ccidcl102938

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
200392927-001

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
gcidcl203948

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
stidcl293748
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
sjadcl203948
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?

  • Share: 

Tagged:

Filed: Disney Cruise Line

Sailing with Teens and Tweens with Disney Cruise Line

posted on October 30th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


How old was your “baby” when you first heard, “Mom, I’m not a kid anymore!” Chances are, if you have a teen or tween, this line is one you’ve heard a time or two. We know that your “little ones” may not be so little anymore, which is why we’re focused on making a Disney cruise a super cool experience for everyone in your family – even for those who may seem harder to impress these days!

Dolly from the Disney Parks Moms Panel has both a teen and tween, so she can certainly relate to parents of 11- to 17-year-olds. In the video I’m sharing today, host Danielle Bellini chats with Dolly and her kids about sailing with teens and tweens. Want a glimpse at what cruising with us will be like for your family’s Mr. or Miss Independent? Check it out!

What do your teens and tweens say about their last Disney cruise vacation?

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

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line Reveals Ports and Itineraries for Early 2016

posted on October 28th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Just announced, our tropical itineraries are getting an extra dose of pixie dust in early 2016! We’ve added the popular Caribbean ports Tortola and Martinique to our already spectacular destination lineup, and we’re returning to San Juan, Puerto Rico for another special season of Southern Caribbean sailings.

You can start booking early 2016 cruises on October 30, 2014, so keep reading for more details about our newest options …
200392927-001
Port Canaveral to Eastern Caribbean, including Tortola

In 2016, Tortola, the capital of the British Virgin Islands, is a port of call on select Disney Fantasy and Disney Magic sailings to the Eastern Caribbean from Port Canaveral, Fla. These seven-night voyages also include stops at St. Thomas and Castaway Cay.

Tortola is known for tranquil beaches, stunning scenery, authentic Caribbean fare and activities for the whole family, like swimming with dolphins, exploring centuries-old ruins, sampling local spices on Main Street and taking in the views from Sage Mountain National Park.
6252-000235
San Juan to Southern Caribbean, including Martinique

We’re returning to the Southern Caribbean with four sailings from San Juan, Puerto Rico, calling on the French island of Martinique in addition to Barbados, Grenada, Antigua and St. Kitts. These seven-night voyages on the Disney Wonder depart January 2016.

Known as the “Flower of the Caribbean,” Martinique offers a unique island experience with its natural beauty and cosmopolitan culture of French and Creole influence. Families can spend the day here exploring the rainforest, waterfalls and volcanic landmarks or, for a more upscale experience, enjoying delicious French cuisine and fantastic shopping.
csadcl827364
Port Canaveral and Miami to the Bahamas and Caribbean, including Castaway Cay

We’ll also continue sailing from Port Canaveral and Miami to the Bahamas and Caribbean on a variety of itineraries. Options include three, four and seven-night cruises from Port Canaveral and four and five-night cruises from Miami. All of these voyages include a stop at Castaway Cay.

More details on 2016 itineraries can be found on the Itineraries and Ports for 2016 page of disneycruise.com.

  • Share: 

Tagged:

Filed: Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line Joins the Instagram Fun

posted on October 27th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


We’re excited to announce that @DisneyCruiseLine is now on Instagram! Starting this week, we’ll be sharing your Disney memories from out at sea, just like we do for your vacations on land from the @WaltDisneyWorld, @Disneyland and @DisneyAulani Instagram feeds.

DCI806894

In addition to featuring our favorite fan photos posted on Instagram, we’ll be sharing exclusive photos taken from crew members. I, for one, cannot wait to get this insider’s look at the fun taking place aboard our ships and in the destinations we visit around the world.

Follow @DisneyCruiseLine today and start sharing photos from your last voyage with us. Be sure to include #DisneyCruise, and your photo may be featured on our feed!

  • Share: 

Tagged:

Filed: Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line Recipes: Spooky Halloween Drinks

posted on October 24th, 2014 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line


Looking for a creepy cocktail to serve at your Halloween celebrations this weekend? Try our “Spooky Juice” and “Franken Fusion Colada,” two of the to-die-for drinks Disney cruisers are enjoying on our Halloween on the High Seas cruises.

spjspj836991

Spooky Juice

  • 1 1/2 oz Flor De Cana White Rum
  • 1 oz Elderflower St. Germaine
  • 1/2 oz Grenadine
  • 1/2 oz Blue Curacao
  • 1 oz Agave Nectar
  • 3 Lime Wedges
  • 2 Lychees
  • 2 Maraschino Cherries

spjspj837992

Franken Fusion Colada

  • 1 1/2 oz Pina Colada Mix
  • 1 oz Orange Passion Juice
  • 1 1/2 oz Pumpkin Spiced Puree
  • 1/2 oz Chocolate Sauce
  • 1 oz Whipped Cream
  • 1/2 oz Raspberry Puree
  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Disney Cruise Line, Disney Dining

Give the Gift: 12 Days of Disney Cruise Line

posted on October 22nd, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Holiday season is fast approaching! Are you still looking for that perfect gift? Here are 12 things that come along with the gift of a Disney cruise

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disney Cruise Line

Another Look at PANDORA Jewelry Coming to Disney Parks in November 2014

posted on October 21st, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


01_ParksBlog_Pandora_BraceletsRevised

Today, I’m thrilled to share a new image featuring PANDORA Jewelry created especially for Disney Parks. Coming this November, PANDORA’s Disney jewelry collection features hand-finished .925 sterling silver and 14K gold charms inspired by some of Disney’s most beloved characters.

The image above showcases the new sterling silver Disney Parks “Wonderful World” bracelet, which features PANDORA’s unique threading system and a ball clasp engraved with our castle logo.

The bracelets are styled with some of the previously discussed charms, including the sterling silver Walt Disney World Resort destination charm, which is hand-finished with flush-set cubic zirconia star detail. You can also see the “Mickey Mania” charm, a sterling silver openwork Mickey charm with red, light yellow, black and white enamel.

Newly pictured charms include the aptly named “Mickey Swirls,” which is an openwork sterling silver charm with a Disney Mickey icon swirl design. There is also a beautiful dated sterling silver and blue enamel 2015 Edition charm (blue is my favorite color!), with 18 cubic zirconia stones bead-set in star and Mickey details.

I particularly like the Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat dangle in sterling silver with blue enamel, as it reminds me of one of my favorite Disney films, “Fantasia.” You may also notice a specially designed sterling silver charm featuring a Disney Cruise Line ship (I really need to take another Disney cruise).

Select merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts will release the 16 Disney Parks-specific PANDORA Jewelry items beginning November 3. You will also find select items on our Disney Parks online store on that day at DisneyStore.com/Pandora.

Guests can also find an additional 25 charm designs from the Disney jewelry collection at PANDORA stores throughout North America, starting October 31.

Stay tuned for additional details about a special release party that will be held on November 7-8 in Cherry Tree Lane in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida.

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort