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Behind the Scenes: Decorating Disney Ships for Halloween on the High Seas

posted on October 8th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


In true Disney fashion, we go all out to celebrate Halloween on the High Seas. Every ship gets a holiday overlay with special décor, tasty treats, themed parties and loads of spooky activities for the whole family. I love walking onto the ships for the first time each fall to see the festive details from bow to stern.

Behind the Scenes: Decorating Disney Ships for Halloween on the High Seas Behind the Scenes: Decorating Disney Ships for Halloween on the High Seas

Disney’s Holiday Services plays a special role in decorating the ships, from months of planning and prepping to setting it all up onboard in a matter of hours. When the team decorated the Disney Fantasy last month, my pal John was there at Port Canaveral. This video gives a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to transform a Disney ship into a ghoulish wonderland. Check it out:

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Disney Cruise Line Unveils Ports and Itineraries for Early 2017

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

Today we revealed that in early 2017 we will return to popular destinations in the Caribbean and Bahamas. Most cruises will feature a stop at Castaway Cay, our private island paradise reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests.

For the first part of the year, we’ll continue sailing from Port Canaveral and Miami, in addition to cruises from San Juan, Puerto Rico and Galveston, Texas. Bookings open to the public on October 8, 2015. Keep reading for more details, and check out the Itineraries and Ports for 2017 page of

Port Canaveral

With three Disney ships in port and cruises spanning three, four and seven nights, you have a full menu of options from Port Canaveral in early 2017. The best part? Every sailing includes a day at Castaway Cay!

The Disney Fantasy will continue to sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages, while the Disney Dream continues on three- and four-night cruises to Nassau and Castaway Cay. Beginning January 29, the Disney Wonder will alternate similar three- and four-night itineraries.


To kick off 2017, the Disney Magic continues sailing from Miami with three-, four- and five-night voyages to the Bahamas, plus select five-night Western Caribbean cruises, through March 31.

Again, Castaway Cay awaits guests aboard every one of these Disney Magic sailings! Other Bahamian ports of call include Nassau and Key West, while a stop in Grand Cayman or Cozumel headlines the Western Caribbean itineraries.

San Juan and Galveston

From San Juan, the Disney Magic sets sail on four seven-night cruises to the Southern Caribbean. Departing April 9, 16, 23 and 30, this limited-time engagement includes calls on Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, Antigua and St. Kitts.

The Disney Wonder completes a season in Galveston with two seven-night Bahamian voyages to Key West, Castaway Cay and Nassau on January 6 and 13. From there, the ship embarks on a six-night journey to San Juan on January 20 with stops in Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Falmouth, Jamaica.

On January 26, a three-night cruise aboard the Disney Wonder takes guests from San Juan to Port Canaveral, just an hour away from Walt Disney World Resort – the perfect stop for a fairytale land-and-sea adventure.

As always, we’ll keep you posted on the Disney Parks Blog when new itineraries and destinations are unveiled. Stay tuned for more on where we’re headed in 2017!

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Eight Dining Indulgences Just for Adults on a Disney Cruise

posted on October 2nd, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Over the last few weeks I’ve been sharing tips about dining on a Disney cruise. Today I’m turning the focus to adults, giving you a look at not-to-miss dining indulgences just for you. With two adult-exclusive restaurants on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, Remy and Palo, there are at least eight ways aboard these ships to send your taste buds into overload …


1. Petites Assiettes de Remy: This culinary journey is offered on embarkation day at Remy to sample small plates of gourmet cuisine and fine wine. It is hosted by the Executive Chef who provides insight into the culinary creations and the Sommelier who presents specially selected wine to pair with each dish.


2. Brunch at Palo: During sea days and select port days, a spectacular Champagne brunch at Palo offers you a sumptuous buffet of international cheeses, fresh pastries, made-to-order entrées, desserts and champagne. It’s the perfect set-up for second (and third!) helpings of incredible cuisine.


3. Brunch at Remy: You can also enjoy an elegant Champagne brunch on sea days and select port days at Remy. The brunch features a decadent six-course French-inspired meal and a selection of Champagnes to perfectly pair with each dish.


4. Snacks at Cove Cafe: Cove Cafe is an exclusive area for adults to enjoy gourmet coffees, specialty drinks and lighter fare cuisine. Muffins, pastries and desserts are offered throughout the day, and a selection of antipasto is served before dinner.


5. Pompidou’s Dessert Experience at Remy: Offered on sea days at Remy, this six-course dessert tasting is hosted by Remy’s Executive Chef. As each course is served, the chef shares fun facts about the dessert, allowing for an intimate and in-depth culinary dialogue.


6. Dinner at Palo: Palo provides an unforgettable dinner experience at sea with a menu of delectable modern Italian cuisine, classic reserve wines and superior service. Palo’s nightly culinary journey starts with both cold and hot antipasti selections, followed by a main course of pasta, seafood or meat, and a sweet indulgence for dessert.


7. Dinner at Remy: With gourmet cuisine by two award-winning chefs, Remy melds classic and contemporary styles for a fine French dining experience. Dinner is a lavish and leisurely affair, starting with a signature cocktail made tableside, followed by eight to nine small courses complemented by a stellar wine list.


8. Late-night buffet: Even in the midnight hour, you can satisfy your hunger with snacks in the adult nighttime entertainment district. Those who work up an appetite dancing in the night club or want something savory to accompany their beer in the sports pub don’t have to go far.

Who’s hungry now? For all of your questions about dining on a Disney cruise, take a look back at the series, and then let me know if there’s anything else I can answer with regards to dining in my future posts:

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Tips to Add Variety to Mealtime on a Disney Cruise

posted on September 23rd, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Last week I gave you a look at the many, many dining choices on a Disney cruise. And believe it or not, there are still additional options to satisfy your taste buds! Here are some of my tips to add even more variety to mealtime …


  1. Opt for dinner at Cabanas or Beach Blanket Buffet.

  2. You know that Cabanas (Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic) and Beach Blanket Buffet (Disney Wonder) offer buffet-style dining for breakfast and lunch. But what you may not know is that in the evenings, the restaurant transforms into a table-service casual dining experience, where dinner entrees are cooked to order. No reservations are required, making it a convenient option when you aren’t able to make your assigned dinner time in the main dining room.


  1. Order room service whenever your stomach desires.

  2. Breakfast in bed, afternoon nosh or midnight snack – cravings can be satisfied any time of day with 24-hour complimentary room service. You can feast on fresh, made-to-order food in the comfort of your stateroom around the clock. This convenient service comes in quite handy when your little one is taking a nap during lunchtime or when you can’t pull yourself away from that gorgeous view on your personal verandah.


  1. Eat a delicious barbeque lunch on Castaway Cay.

  2. The chefs you love onboard also grill up specialties like Cajun mahi-mahi, ribeye steaks and chicken on our private island, Castaway Cay. The “all-you-care-to-eat” island barbecue is offered in three spots under the shade of covered pavilions and umbrellas. Two family-friendly locations are steps from the Family Beach, while adults have a dining area all to themselves at the far end of the island next to Serenity Bay.


  1. Try the local cuisine out in port.

  2. Exploring a destination is always a great opportunity to try new cuisine and taste the local fare. I know you’ll miss what the Disney chefs are serving, but don’t miss your chance to eat in port. Do some research before your cruise to determine the best spots, or ask around to get suggestions from other Disney cruisers who have been there before. Even better, choose a Port Adventure that includes a lunch of authentic dishes prepared by locals.


  1. Join the party at a themed buffet for families.

  2. A great party isn’t complete without tasty grub! After our Pirates IN the Caribbean deck party, head over to the pirate buffet for a late-night snack on fiesta favorites like fajitas, tacos, rice and beans. There’s also a huge selection of desserts and a made-to-order crepe station with ice cream. In Alaska, our midday barbecue feast of wild Alaskan salmon and other special seafood dishes celebrates the momentous occasion of sailing through the breathtaking Tracy Arm Fjord.

Any tips to add? In my final post of this series next week, I’ll tell you about dining indulgences onboard just for adults you won’t want to miss!

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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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‘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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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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Behind the Scenes: Recreating Rapunzel’s World for ‘Tangled: The Musical’ for Disney Cruise Line

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

When “Tangled: The Musical” debuts on stage aboard the Disney Magic this November, audiences can expect to be immersed in a vibrant, Bavarian world featuring the storybook locales we know and love from the film.

The show’s set designer, Brad Kaye, is no stranger to the challenge of re-imagining an animated world for the stage; he also developed the scenery for “Disney’s Aladdin—A Musical Spectacular” aboard the Disney Fantasy. In the video below, Brad tells us all about the scenic elements he is designing for this new show . . . including a first look at the forest and Snuggly Duckling scenes!

For more behind-the-scenes videos, see the rest of this series:

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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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