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The Ultimate Land and Sea Family Vacation with Disney Cruise Line

posted on May 28th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Sailing with us to a tropical destination before or after a stay at Walt Disney World Resort is the ultimate family vacation. I could spend all day telling you why you should add a Disney cruise to your next parks and resort trip, but I’ll keep it short with these top five reasons . . .


  1. It’s a hassle-free vacation with the thrills and frills of Disney. You’ll quickly discover the convenience of cruising, especially as you only unpack once during your journey to multiple exotic destinations. What’s more, you’ll stay in world-class accommodations, eat food prepared by first-rate chefs and be entertained morning until night like only Disney can do.
  2. It’s the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation. One day you can zip line from tree top to tree top on a Port Adventure in the rainforest, and the next day you can stay put in a hammock on Castaway Cay. There’s no shortage of fun onboard or in port, but with so many options to recharge, you won’t need a vacation from your vacation when you return home.
  3. A 3- or 4-night cruise is a great way to test the waters. For those of you who are new to cruising, our shorter sailings allow you to see if cruising is the right fit for your family. And since most onboard activities, entertainment and dining options are included in the price of your cruise, you’ll know just what to budget.
  4. You’ll have magical experiences you can’t get anywhere else. From regal gatherings with princesses to dance parties with Mickey and the gang on our private island, Castaway Cay, a Disney cruise gives you the chance to interact with characters in a whole new way. And speaking of Castaway Cay, most of our cruises from Florida stop at this tropical paradise reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests.
  5. With two Disney Cruise Line homeports in Florida, it’s never been easier to make both a cruise and resort stay part of your Disney vacation. Port Canaveral and Miami are within driving distance of Walt Disney World, making it convenient to stay at one of our resorts and enjoy all four theme parks before or after visiting tropical destinations on a cruise to the Bahamas or Caribbean.


If you have questions about planning a Disney getaway that includes both a Disney Cruise Line voyage and a Walt Disney World Resort stay, head on over to The knowledgeable panelists will help make it your family’s most magical vacation yet.

Those of you who’ve already enjoyed a Disney land and sea vacation, tell us, what are your best tips?

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Disney Vacation Club Sails Onward to Alaska

posted on May 26th, 2015 by Ryan March, Editor, Disney Vacation Club’s Disney Files Magazine

My workplace looks a little different today. There are pine trees on the horizon instead of palms, I’m surrounded by water that appears oddly void of reptiles, and a curious number of people have cloaked themselves in some kind of woven, long-sleeved alternative to shirts called “sweaters.” Weird, but fun.


Clearly, I’m not in Florida anymore. I’m in Canada. Or at least I was yesterday. I’m not sure exactly where I am today, but I know I’m somewhere between the port of Vancouver and the Tracy Arm Fjord, sailing with Disney Vacation Club Members aboard the Disney Wonder on our first Member Cruise to Alaska!

Always my favorite business trip and long a highlight on many Members’ vacation calendars, a Member Cruise is a Disney Vacation Club charter voyage that enhances the already extraordinary Disney Cruise Line experience with custom décor, unique in-room gifts and a diverse lineup of special shows and experiences for Members and their guests. This year’s entertainment lineup is as wild as our Alaskan itinerary (a dramatic departure from our traditional Bahamian Member Cruise itineraries), featuring everyone from contemporary filmmakers to dynamic stage and screen stars to insightful authors and historians.

Part of the fun of the Member Cruise experience is the surprise reveal of our lineup as we sail out of port. For this year’s epic voyage, we introduced our entertainment lineup with an epic movie trailer. I actually voiced the trailer’s “scratch track” before we hired a professional actor, and I now understand why those temporary recordings are called “scratch” tracks. Listening to my voice describe the lineup made me want to scratch my ears off. Fortunately, the final cut I now share with you kept me safely away from the microphone. You’re welcome.

I’ll check back later in the voyage to introduce you to some of our special guests. In the meantime, I’m off to see a presentation about bears. Maybe I’ll meet Kenai. Or Koda. Or Ditka!

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A Taste of O’ahu and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, on a Disney Cruise

posted on May 26th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

I hope you’ve been enjoying my suggestions for excursions to take during your Disney cruise in Hawaii. Last but not least, let’s check out what you can experience on the lush island of O’ahu. Not only is O’ahu abounding in natural beauty like the rest of the Hawaiian islands, it is steeped in rich history and home to Honolulu’s thriving modern metropolis, providing Port Adventure options for every interest.


Honolulu is also your gateway to the world’s newest Disney resort and spa, Aulani, in nearby Ko Olina. I highly recommend booking a stay here before or after your cruise, depending on which of our two Hawaiian voyages you join. What’s more, you can reserve a room just for your Honolulu port day with the Be Our Guest at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina Port Adventure. It’s the perfect opportunity to experience the magic and amenities of this first-class resort!


Those who want to venture a little farther out will love our Explore And Taste Oahus North Shore Honolulu Port Adventure. We take you on a tour of the coast to see famous places, including the Dole Pineapple Plantation and the picturesque Byodo-In Temple located at the base of 2,000-foot cliffs. You’ll also travel to the surfing mecca of the world, visiting the North Shore’s Sunset Beach and Waimea Valley, before stopping at Haleiwa Beach Park where Green Sea Turtles occasionally rest on the golden sand or swim in the aquamarine water close to shore.


If you want to see iconic sights, excursions like our Waikiki Beach Break and Diamond Head Crater Summit Adventure take you to the area’s popular spots to enjoy nature. Other options, including the Arizona Memorial & City Tour and the Pearl Harbor VIP Military Base Tour take you back in history and give you the chance to pay your respects at important landmarks.

That concludes my series on Port Adventures in Hawaii. Fantastic options, don’t you agree? If you missed my other posts, take a look back so you can start planning your trip of a lifetime. Aloha!

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Behind the Scenes: Creating the Music for ‘Tangled: The Musical’ for Disney Cruise Line

posted on May 21st, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Last month, we gave you a first look at the production of “Tangled: The Musical,” coming to the Disney Magic this November. Today we continue our all-access pass with an exclusive video all about the development of the spectacular music for this show—which will include three new songs that weren’t in the movie!

In the video below, you’ll hear from some of the musical masterminds behind this production, starting with Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken, whose work includes classic Disney films like “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Also featured are Grammy Award-winning lyricist Glenn Slater and Tim Williams. What a team!

Stay tuned for more exclusive videos from behind the scenes of “Tangled: The Musical” over the next several months.

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Mixology Class on a Disney Cruise

posted on May 20th, 2015 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line

Over the past several weeks, I’ve told you about 10 of our guest-favorite beverage tastings on a Disney cruise. Now it’s time to talk about our seminar that gives you the chance to polish your own bar-tending skills!


Our mixology class is like going through a mini bartender course – but way more fun! You’ll learn to create popular cocktails, making them first hand and then, of course, tasting them. During this seminar, the bartender will discuss ingredients and details of preparing cocktails, tell you about the proper glasses, teach you how to use the equipment, and much more. Some of the drinks you’ll learn to create could include a muddled drink like a mojito, a build drink like a margarita, a martini, a layered shot and a frozen cocktail.


Skyline is just one of the themed venues we use to host this lively class. The personality of this space compliments the personalities of our bartenders who will be your expert guides during this fun experience.

To find out more about ways you can expand your adult beverage knowledge and give your taste buds a treat on your next Disney cruise, take a look back at my previous posts in this series:

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Experiencing the Incredible Sights and Tastes of Maui on a Disney Cruise

posted on May 19th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

Now that I’ve given you suggestions for adventures on both the Big Island and Kaua‘i, let’s look at what you can do in Maui during your Disney Hawaiian cruise. Our call on Kahului gives you access to explore the many famous parts of the island, including pristine rainforests and beaches, Haleakalā National Park and the twisting road to Hana.


With lunging cliffs and dazzling waterfalls, the Road to Hana is one of the most famous leisure drives in the world. On our Hana Picnic Port Adventure, you’ll enjoy the journey in a luxury limo van at a leisurely pace with many stops along this spectacular sea-coast drive. This relaxed tour includes a scrumptious chicken and fish three-course lunch in Hana with time after to stroll, sunbathe or swim in a freshwater pool under a cascading waterfall. A similar excursion, Hana Cave Quest, also gives you the chance to hike through Ka‘eleku Cavern, an enormous subterranean lava tube.


Several of our Port Adventures take you to experience the magnificent Haleakalā Crater, the highest point on the island of Maui at 10,023 feet above sea level. Our many options include during the daytime or at sunset, by land or by air, and with or without kids. A unique adventure is our Haleakalā Summit Lavender & Winery Sojourn that also includes a visit to breathtaking lavender fields, a beautiful vineyard and the Hawaiian “cowboy” town of Makawao. Your day includes a three-course lunch, the chance to sip Hawaiian wine and time for relaxation and shopping.


For an authentic Hawaiian experience, you won’t want to miss our Old Lahaina Luau Port Adventure where a spectacular ocean view adds to the ambiance of this celebration. The evening is filled with traditional Hawaiian cuisine, music and cultural dances, giving you a genuine reflection of Hawaii’s rich history. You’ll have the chance to enjoy a brilliant Hawaiian sunset, tropical drinks, traditional chants, ancient hula and more. One of the highlights of the evening is gathering at the water’s edge to unearth the Kalua pua’a (pig) from the Hawaiian underground oven before your luau feast.

Next I’ll give you suggestions for Port Adventures during our stop at O‘ahu. With tours around the world-famous Honolulu and excursions to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, there’s plenty of family-fun to be had on this island. Remember, when the ship’s in port, venture ashore!

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Disney Cruise Line Announces New Sailings from the Big Apple in 2016

posted on May 18th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

The Disney Magic’s arrival to New York City today sparked a grand announcement: We’re returning to the Big Apple in 2016 for sailings to both the Bahamas and Canada!

Disney Cruise Line returning to New York

And that’s not all … We also revealed that we’re sailing again from Miami and Galveston, Texas with new options from these popular homeports. Cruise Director Ray tells you all about it in this video. Check it out …

Here’s a snapshot of what’s in store for the fall of 2016 from New York, Miami and Galveston:

New York


  • For the first time, we’re offering seven-night voyages from Miami to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, in addition to shorter options. All sailings from Miami include a stop at Castaway Cay.


  • A variety of seven-night cruises are departing from Galveston, including Bahamian sailings and Western Caribbean sailings. Plus, for a quick getaway, we’re offering two four-night sailings to Cozumel.

Bookings for the new itineraries open to the public on May 20, 2015. More details can be found on the Itineraries and Ports for 2016 page of

Sailings from New York, Miami and Galveston are in addition to our ever-popular cruises from Port Canaveral, Florida. Which homeport do you plan to sail from in 2016?

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Beer Tasting on a Disney Cruise

posted on May 15th, 2015 by Salah Chetbi, Dining and Beverage Standards and Consistency Manager, Disney Cruise Line

We’ve covered several of the tastings adults can indulge in on a Disney cruise, from wine and Champagne, to liquors and cocktails. Last but not least, I’ll tell you about our seminar on the world’s most widely consumed alcoholic beverage, beer.


In this tasting, the bartender will go through the interesting history of beer, the oldest alcoholic drink, and divulge fun facts about it. You’ll learn how to properly taste a beer and distinguish one from another, going through the different types, production methods and ingredients used. Beers tasted during the seminar could include ale, stout, wheat, imported lager and domestic lager.


Our Irish pub onboard each ship is the perfect setting for this tasting. On your next visit, be sure to ask our expert bartenders about their favorite drink of choice!

Next week, I’ll conclude this series with our beverage seminar that is more than just a tasting. Check back to learn about our mixology class, which is like going through a mini bartender course! In the meantime, get up to speed on the seminars I’ve shared with you so far:

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Get Ready for the Next Castaway Cay Challenge with Disney Cruise Line

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

After this year’s Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, I had the awesome experience of cheering on Disney cruisers competing in our inaugural Castaway Cay Challenge. I had a blast chatting with the runners before and after the race, hearing their stories about how far they’d traveled to be there, how many runDisney medals they had collected over the years and what inspired them to be a part of this first-ever challenge.


For many, it was their first Disney cruise vacation, and they couldn’t stop talking about how wonderful it was to relax onboard the Disney Dream after their action-packed Marathon Weekend. Those few days of rest recharged them for their run through paradise, where they returned to lounging on the warm sand of Castaway Cay after the race.

I also caught up with Cruise Director Christiaan later that day, who told me more about what runners were enjoying during the voyage. Take a look at this video, and let me know in the comments if I can expect to “run” into you at our next Castaway Cay Challenge!

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Spectacular Kaua’i Adventures on a Disney Cruise to Hawaii

posted on May 12th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

Last week I gave you Port Adventure recommendations for exploring the Big Island on our Hawaiian cruises. Another gorgeous destination on these voyages is Nawiliwili, located on the spectacular island of Kaua‘i. The area is, put simply, a natural wonderland! It is filled with untouched beaches, lush jungles, idyllic waterfalls and sweeping landscapes.


The dramatic Waimea Canyon is often described as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” and there’s no better way to take in its majesty than a helicopter ride. Our Heaven & Earth – the Ultimate Kaua‘i Helicopter & North Shore Experience gives you a bird’s-eye view of the colorful canyon, along with the green valleys, magnificent waterfalls and breathtaking Nā Pali Coast that have made the “Garden Isle” a favorite location for feature films. The second part of this adventure includes a drive along Kaua‘i’s coconut coastline by the North Shore beaches where you can see the picturesque Kīlauea Lighthouse. You’ll have the chance to stroll along the Hanalei Pier for an unforgettable view of the bay and beaches before relaxing during a picnic lunch at Anini Beach Park.


The Hidden Valley Falls Kayak Adventure Nawiliwili is an excursion for the adventurous, as it combines kayaking, hiking and waterfalls. After a 2-mile, downwind kayak trip, you’ll hike a mile through the valley to a secluded area of waterfalls and natural swimming holes. Here you can swing on a rope into a deep-water mountain pool and enjoy snacks and cold drinks by the waterfall. For the return trip, rather than paddling your kayak into headwinds, you’ll kick back and cruise down the river on your motorized Hawaiian canoe for the perfect end to your adventure mixed with fun and relaxation.


Want to dive into Hawaii’s gorgeous waters? Try your hand at surfing or snorkeling! Our Po‘ipū Beach Surfing Lessons give you the chance to learn from Hawaiian pros at a surf school owned by Chava Greenlee —one of Kaua‘i’s most famous professional surfers. Your expert instructors will teach you all the basic surfing techniques before giving you time to catch some waves on your own. Our Seafun Beach Snorkel takes place at a protected reef where you’ll swim from one of Kaua‘i’s beautiful beaches. Your tour guides will help you discover an abundance of fish, sea turtles and other amazing creatures in what is sure to be an adventurous marine life experience.

Stay tuned for my suggestions on what to do in Kahului, centrally located on the gorgeous island of Maui, home to world-famous beaches and pristine wilderness. Remember, when the ship’s in port, venture ashore!

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