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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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A Peek at This Year’s First Halloween on the High Seas Cruise

posted on September 8th, 2015 by Darren McBurney, Cruise Director, Disney Cruise Line

Ready, set, boo!

We’re off on our very first Halloween cruise of the season! It’s day four of Halloween on the High Seas aboard the Disney Fantasy, and it’s no surprise cruisers are having a wickedly good time. It’s always fun to see the creative outfits guests of all ages wear throughout the voyage, especially at yesterday’s costume parties.


In the afternoon, families joined Disney friends at Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party for dancing, and, of course, lots of candy. Then later that night, adults had their own fun at a costume party just for them. As always, it was highly entertaining and a great way to end the night!


On the first night of the cruise, we kicked off the fun with an interactive movie experience in the Walt Disney Theatre, A Nightmare Before Christmas—Sing and Scream, inspired by Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Cruisers watched this classic holiday film like never before with 3-D and 4-D effects. A special sing-along was even part of the action. Plus, at the end of the movie, families were treated to a surprise meet-and-greet with Jack Skellington and Sally.


We’re only halfway through this cruise, so there’s a lot more fun to come! Halloween on the High Seas began yesterday on the Disney Dream and starts early October on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. To see more of the excitement that will take place on all of our Halloween voyages, check out Jonathan’s post, Top Five: Halloween on the High Seas with Disney Cruise Line. We hope to see you onboard!

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Animation Artist Dazzles Disney Vacation Club Members

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

To see artwork materialize right before your eyes is to appreciate a craft like never before.

That’s the experience Disney Vacation Club Members just enjoyed during their Member Cruise charter voyage aboard the Disney Dream ship. As part of an exclusive show titled “Artists at Work,” Walt Disney Animation Studios Visual Development Artist, Lorelay Bové, swiftly created (and later gave away) a character painting while sharing stories of her blossoming career live on stage.

Lorelay interned at Pixar Animation Studios before transitioning to the Visual Development Department at Walt Disney Animation Studios, where her credits now include work on the theatrical features “The Princess and the Frog,” “Tangled,” “Winnie the Pooh,” Wreck-It Ralph” and “Big Hero 6“; the shorts “The Ballad of Nessie,” “Tangled Ever After” and “Frozen Fever”; and the hit holiday series “Prep and Landing.” Up next for Lorelay is “Gigantic”, the recently announced 2018 Walt Disney Animation Studios feature set in Spain, where Lorelay was born.

The painting Lorelay created for Disney Vacation Club Members on stage reflects the distinctive style she employed in her classically conceived cover art for Walt Disney Records’ The Legacy Collection, an ongoing series of 12 albums celebrating milestone anniversaries of some of Disney’s most cherished creations. Lorelay’s illustrations honor Disney’s rich heritage while creating a unified look for the entire collection, which features beloved original soundtracks along with insightful documentary content that tells the story behind the music.

As Variety magazine recently named Lorelay one of the “10 Animators to Watch” – and as we at Disney Vacation Club always do what industry magazines tell us – we focused our camera on Lorelay’s on-stage work to give you this unique, time-lapse view of an extraordinary artist at work. Enjoy!

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Creating Magical Memories With Your Little One Aboard a Disney Cruise

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

Are you ready to take your little ones on their very first Disney cruise? I’ve given you a look at some of our spaces and activities created especially for them, and I’ve shared ways we cater to families traveling with young children. Now, let’s take a look at some of the very special ways for you to create magical memories with your little one …


Meet Favorite Characters
Kiddos will love meeting some of their favorite Disney characters while at sea. Found in special spots and during surprise appearances, these friends are always ready to share a hug, take a photo or give an autograph to their littlest fans. Opportunities to meet Disney characters are scheduled throughout every sailing, and other intimate and spontaneous character moments happen every day.

Spend Priceless Family Time
On a Disney cruise there are so many unique ways to bring the family together both onboard and in port. Deck parties and other family activities like game shows, talent nights and dance parties are just some of the fun ways to play onboard with your little one. And of course our family-friendly swimming pools, splash zones, sports decks and Port Adventures add fun to any day.


Enjoy Kids Club Activities
Little ones can enjoy themselves and meet new friends at whimsically themed youth spaces onboard. During Open House, parents can join their children in these immersive areas filled with fun games and interactive play. From Flounder’s Reef and It’s a Small World Nursery to the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab, kids have plenty of places to take their imaginations to new levels.

See Favorite Disney Stories On Stage
With some of the most elaborate original musicals presented at sea, little ones will be thrilled to see some of their favorite heroes (and villains) take the stage in the Walt Disney Theatre. Extraordinary singing, dancing, costumes and special effects bring Disney stories to life in a whole new way, keeping the entire family entertained from start to finish.


Talk with Crush at Animator’s Palate
In addition to enjoying a delicious kid’s meal at Animator’s Palate, little ones on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy will love when Crush, the animated sea turtle from “Finding Nemo,” makes a surprise appearance. The restaurant transforms into a shimmering undersea world where Crush swims around the room and spends some time “turtle talking” with them!

For more on cruising with little ones, check out these past posts:

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QUIZ: How Well Do You Know the Disney Cruise Line Ships?

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

It’s time to see how well you know the Disney Cruise Line fleet – the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy! From stem to stern, there are tons of cool details that make each ship unique. Take the quiz below to test your knowledge …


How Well Do You Know the Disney Cruise Line Ships?

All of these movies inspired spaces aboard a Disney Cruise Line ship except:
The anchor on the Disney Magic weighs nearly the same as how many full-grown elephants?
Combined, the chandeliers on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy have nearly how many Swarovski crystal beads?
A dazzling chandelier glistens overhead in the expansive, three-deck atrium lobby on the Disney Dream. Descending more than 13 feet from the ceiling, and spanning more than 22 feet in width, the illuminated masterpiece sparkles with thousands of hand-crafted crystal beads. Reminiscent of early 20th century transatlantic ocean liners, contemporary design and Art Deco style grace the grand lobby to exude splendor and sophistication throughout. (Kent Phillips, photographer)
Nautical flags on the carpet of the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream spell out what?
Pepe the King Prawn, the Muppet who stars in the Midship Detective Agency game, has his very own stateroom on the Disney Fantasy. What is his stateroom number?
Pepe the King Prawn and a cast of Muppets make their debut on the Disney Fantasy in “The Case of the Stolen Show,” a new Midship Detective Agency game. In the game, guests help the Muppets find their missing props for a big performance. Guided by a map and a unique game card, guests take an interactive adventure quest around the ship, uncovering clues via more than a dozen pieces of Enchanted Art and physical “evidence,” such as Pepe the King Prawn’s Muppet-sized stateroom door.
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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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Top-Five Enchanting Princess Encounters on a Disney Cruise

posted on May 6th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

On a Disney cruise, you’ll not only feel like royalty yourself with our legendary service and first-class accommodations, you’ll actually be in the company of true royalty with several Disney princesses sailing the high seas. Throughout your voyage you’ll have plenty of opportunities to be graced by their presence, but here’s what I’ve selected as the top-five enchanting princess encounters on a Disney cruise.


Princess Gatherings: The magnificent three-deck atrium lobby on each of our ships is the perfect setting to meet with Disney royalty. A dazzling chandelier and a grand staircase set the stage for an elegant experience as you have the unique chance to greet and take photographs with three or more princesses.


Royal Court Royal Tea: Royal Court Royal Tea on the Disney Fantasy is truly a one-of-a-kind affair that celebrates the “royal” in everyone. During this afternoon tea event, you and your children are transported to a fairytale world where storytelling meets reality as classic Disney princesses dance and visit around the room.


Magical Port Adventure: When the Disney Magic sails to Ålesund, Norway, Anna and Elsa accompany Disney cruisers for a traditional Norwegian summer celebration on a Port Adventure like only Disney can do.The festivities culminate with the grand arrival of the beloved sisters and their ice-loving companion, Kristoff, who join in the lively revelry.


Story Time for Kids: Just for little cruisers, Once Upon a Time is a musical story time where a beloved princess shares tales of her adventures in a faraway kingdom. This special youth activity takes places in Disney’s Oceaneer Club on the Disney Magic, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.


Live Stage Shows: With some of the most elaborate musicals presented at sea, it’s no wonder Disney princesses take center stage in the Walt Disney Theatre. Whether she is the star of the show or a leading role in one of the production numbers, there’s a good chance you’ll spot your favorite heroine singing and dancing in her fairytale world.

Tell us, what’s your most magical memory of a Disney princess onboard one of our ships?

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All Four Disney Cruise Ships Recognized by USA Today Readers

posted on May 4th, 2015 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager, Public Affairs

The Disney Cruise Line fleet was named among the top 10 “Best Cruise Ships for Families” in the USA Today 10 Best Reader’s Choice poll, with the Disney Dream taking the top honor. A panel of USA Today editors and industry experts selected the 20 top nominees, and families like you voted the top 10 ships from the list.


It’s no secret that Disney Parks destinations cater to kids and kids at heart. But it’s the touches like rotational dining, roomy staterooms, family-friendly entertainment, half a deck dedicated to youth activities on each ship – the list could go on – that make sailing with Disney Cruise Line a memorable and hassle-free experience for all.

Why do you think Disney has the best ships for families?

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Another Disney Cruise Line Chef Receives Top Culinary Honor

posted on April 25th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer

Disney parks, resorts and cruise ships have continually been recognized by both consumers and industry experts for the exceptional, innovative and fun dining experiences. Today, we congratulate Disney Cruise Line Chef Patrick Albert, executive chef of Remy restaurant on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, recently named a Master Chef of France after being inducted into the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France, a prestigious culinary society and one of the highest honors in the country.


Master Chef of France is a coveted title, dedicated “to preserving and perpetuating the tradition of great French cuisine.” At Remy, inspired by Disney’s animated hit film “Ratatouille,” Chef Patrick showcases French-inspired cuisine featuring superior seasonal ingredients from around the globe.

Tomato Tart – Parmesan Foam (Chef<br />
Arnaud) and Smoked Bison (Chef Scott) at Remy on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream with Disney Cruise Line Entree at Remy on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream with Disney Cruise Line Wagyu Beef (Chef Scott) at Remy on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream with Disney Cruise Line

This honor adds to a growing list of awards for the chefs onboard Disney cruise ships and at our parks and resorts around the world. Chef Arnaud Lallement, advising chef at Remy, received a third Michelin star for his restaurant in Reims, France. Chef Scott Hunnel, who collaborates with Chef Arnaud, is a 2015 James Beard Award semi-finalist and at the helm at AAA Five-Diamond Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

Louis XV in Remy

Since launching in 1998, Disney ships have been the place where guests can connect with the stories and characters they cherish most, and dining has always been an important part of that story. From quick-service to fine dining, the chefs focus on exceeding guest expectations – and keep adding innovative new ideas that help move the culinary industry forward. All told, Disney Parks and Resorts has nearly 300 top-notch chefs, many of whom are graduates of prestigious culinary schools. A great meal awaits!

Do you have a favorite onboard dining experience?

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Behind the Scenes: Food Network Hosts Cruising on the Disney Dream

posted on March 27th, 2015 by Stephen Walker, Fleet Culinary Standards and Consistency Chef, Disney Cruise Line

Back in January, I had the unique experience of cooking with the hosts of Food Network’s “The Kitchen.” If you saw the episode, you may remember their excitement when I invited them to sail with me on a Disney cruise. Not only did Jeff Mauro and Katie Lee take me up on that offer, they brought two other Food Network stars – Amanda Freitag (“Chopped”) and Melissa d’Arabian (“Guy’s Grocery Games”) – along with their families and friends for three nights of fun, sun, and delicious food.

Host Jeff Mauro and His Family on the Disney Dream Host Melissa d'Arabian and Her Family on the Disney Dream

Tonight, Food Network is showing a one-hour special featuring this crew’s Disney Dream cruise. Onboard we took them behind the scenes to see the inner workings of the ship’s galleys, slightly larger than the kitchens where they are used to cooking! Now, you can get a glimpse at their backstage experience and learn more about the culinary masterpieces our talented chefs prepare every day.

Here’s a sneak peek at what you can expect:

Check it out tonight at 8 p.m. ET. Be on the lookout for some familiar faces, including Cruise Director Christiaan, Remy Executive Chef Patrick and a few Disney pals!

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