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Exciting Expeditions in Juneau with Disney Cruise Line

posted on April 20th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


In just a few short weeks, we’ll be returning to Alaska where the Disney Wonder will sail through breathtaking scenery and stop at incredible ports of call. This year, we have a selection of brand-new Port Adventures, and I’m so excited to be sharing some of Juneau’s newest excursions with you today!

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The famous gold rush of the late 1800s put Juneau, Alaska’s capital city, on the map. In fact, the city was named after a prospector named Joseph Juneau, who was one of the first men to strike gold in the city.

Your family can have its own gold-seeking adventure on the Family Gold Exploration and the Mendenhall Glacier and Mine Ruin Exploration expeditions. Only Disney cruisers encounter an eccentric prospector mining the hills and join him at his camp. You’ll enjoy the miner’s stories around the fire before leaving with tips of the trade from the prospector himself.

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On the Family Gold Exploration, your family will also explore the Treadwell Mining District, pan for gold and garnets at the Alaska Gastineau Gold Mine and journey into the abandoned mine at the Maggie Kathleen Tunnel.
In the Mendenhall Glacier and Mine Ruin Exploration, you’ll discover even more mine ruins and trails at Douglas Island’s Treadwell Mining District and take in the astonishing sights of the Mendenhall Valley complete with snow-capped mountains and lush green forests.

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Teens get their own thrilling adventure on the exclusive teen only Canopy and Zip Line Expedition. Disney Cruise Line youth counselors accompany teens for off-road adventure which includes zip lines and two towering sky bridges, ending with an exhilarating rappel from the treetops.

Next week, I’ll share with you some of Skagway’s newest Port Adventures, from a campfire breakfast to some friendly competition. Who’s looking forward to kicking off the Alaska season with us?

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Disney Parks Blog Time Capsule: April 2010

posted on April 3rd, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


We’ve been sharing moments big and small from Disney Parks for more than five years, and I love to look back at some of those moments and share them with you. When I dug back to five years ago this month, I was happy to find two photos that have become unforgettable for me … Space Shuttle Discovery flying over Cinderella Castle and two of our baby goats born here at Disneyland park. (Those tiny little legs!) Take a look …

Space Shuttle Discovery Soars Over Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World

Space Shuttle Discovery Soars Over Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World
On the morning of April 5, 2010, photographer Kent Phillips captured Space Shuttle Discovery as it soared over Cinderella Castle on its mission to the space station.

The Fleet at Rest by Paul Hiffmeyer

The Fleet at Rest
Disneyland chief photographer Paul Hiffmeyer shared this lovely photo of Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage in the morning light.

A Model Vacation on Disney Cruise Line – Exclusive Tilt-Shift Video
We took readers on a “miniature scale” journey on the Disney Wonder cruise ship created through the magic of tilt-shift photography.

Adventure on the High Seas

Adventure on the High Seas
Photographer Garth Vaughan got this shot of the Flying Dutchman and the Disney Wonder while both were docked at Castaway Cay in 2010.

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Baby Goats Born at Circle D Corral This Week
They’re not babies anymore, but back in April 2010 we gave readers their first look at Stitch and Lilo – baby goats recently born at Disneyland park.

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Friendly Faces on a Disney Cruise Trump Friday the 13th Woes

posted on March 13th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Can you believe it’s Friday the 13th, again?! Last month on this traditionally unlucky day, we celebrated Villaintine’s Day, and I shared with you the top places to spot villains on a Disney cruise. But this month I want to focus on good rather than evil and show you some the friendly faces you can see when sailing with us.

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The Fab Five: The gang’s all here! Starting with our special Sailing Away celebration, you’ll see these beloved friends up on stage, walking the decks, giving out hugs and lighting up faces throughout your entire cruise. Potential memorable moments with these guys are just one reason to have your camera handy at all times.

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Princesses: Calling all royalty! Heroines like Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Aurora, Tiana and Ariel await your presence in the atrium lobby for our one-of-a-kind Princess Gatherings. Some of these special ladies also make appearances in our stage shows, singing tunes from your favorite Disney films and showing off their glittery gowns.

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Friends from Arendelle: Speaking of princesses, your two favorite royal sisters are now onboard all four ships, soon to be joined by their pal, Olaf. Plenty of warm hugs will be given, and come summer, these friends will delight Disney Magic and Disney Wonder cruisers during a spectacular “Frozen”-inspired celebration on deck.


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Intergalactic Heroes: The Force is strong with this one! Iconic characters from the Star Wars saga are joining us aboard eight sailings on the Disney Fantasy in 2016. During the day-long celebration, Star Wars Day at Sea, you’ll see them roaming the decks, converging on the deck stage for a special celebration, signing autographs and more.

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Pixar Pals: Your favorite characters from Pixar films are everywhere! You’ll spot them on stage, on screen, on deck and more. Some of our Pixar character highlights include “Toy Story – The Musical” in the Walt Disney Theatre, an atrium dance party in Alaska and humorous conversations with Crush in Animator’s Palate.

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Disney Junior: Jake and Sofia are two stars from Disney Junior bringing smiles to the faces of our littlest cruisers. One event your family won’t want to miss is our Disney Junior Pirate & Princess Dance Party where you can boogie to fun Disney Junior tunes, sometimes alongside this adventure-seeking pirate and adored princess in-training.

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Popular Pirates: Avast, me hearties! Jake isn’t the only well-liked pirate you’ll meet on your sailing. Captain Jack Sparrow can be spotted stumbling around Serenity Bay at Castaway Cay (Castaway Air Bar serves excellent rum!), and Mickey and his gang, including Chip and Dale, don their swashbuckling attire for our special pirate party night.

Of course, that’s not all! Friends like Lilo and Stitch are up for fun all year long, and Santa Claus spreads cheer throughout the holiday season. Who are some of the other friendly faces you love to see on a Disney cruise?

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Land of ‘Frozen’ Coming to Disney Cruise Line This Summer

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


Anna and Elsa’s royal tour of our ships is soon to be filled with even more excitement! Not only is Olaf joining them on all four ships, we’re adding brand-new experiences for the whole family, starting this summer.

Land of “Frozen” Coming to Disney Cruise Line in Summer 2015

Highlights include a spectacular deck party, a new production number in “Disney Dreams,” new character meet and greets, storybook adventures ashore and another way to cool down on Castaway Cay. I’ll share some details on these exciting offerings today, and over the next several weeks, tell you more about what you can expect in summer.

A Day of Frozen Fun, Including New Deck Party

Debuting this summer, on select Disney Magic and Disney Wonder sailings to Europe and Alaska, Disney Cruise Line guests are transported to the land of “Frozen” when the ship is transformed into a winter wonderland and a day of frozen fun culminates with an extravagant celebration with friends from the Kingdom of Arendelle. The deck party, “Freezing the Night Away with Anna, Elsa and Friends,” is a family-friendly interactive celebration featuring the famous royal sisters and their fun-loving Nordic companions.

New Production Number in “Disney Dreams”

Our friends from “Frozen” are making their stage show debut at sea in the Walt Disney Theatre aboard the Disney Magic. In our original production, “Disney Dreams … An Enchanted Classic,” Anna, Elsa and Olaf join the line up of beloved Disney characters who together teach a young girl the power of her dreams. Brand-new scenes featuring “Frozen” characters include renditions of three popular songs: “Let it Go,” “For the First Time in Forever” and “In Summer.”

Land of “Frozen” Coming to Disney Cruise Line in Summer 2015

Magical Meet and Greets

In addition to warm hugs, Olaf will be giving autographs and taking photographs with children and families while he is cruising with us. He is joining Anna and Elsa on the Disney Fantasy, Disney Dream, Disney Wonder and Disney Magic for some fun in the sun!

Adventures Ashore in Norway

This summer in Norway, the land that inspired Arendelle from “Frozen,” Disney Magic cruisers will have the opportunity to join exciting new Port Adventures that bring this fairytale setting to life. One signature adventure ashore in Ålesund, Norway, created exclusively for Disney Cruise Line, will immerse guests in the splendor and charm of Norway, with the help of Anna and Elsa, in an enchanting storybook village.

Olaf-Inspired Summertime Freeze Bar on Castaway Cay

We’re cooling down Castaway Cay with the addition of the Olaf-inspired Summertime Freeze bar! Serving non-alcoholic specialty frozen drinks in souvenir cups, the creative menu features refreshing beverages such as “Olaf’s Flurry Freeze,” “Sven’s Carrot Delight” and “Warm Hugs.” Summertime Freeze will be near the Pelican Point tram stop by Castaway Cay Family Beach.

With this news, I have a feeling some of you are saying, “Hands down, this is the best day of my life!” Am I right?

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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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First Look at New Disney Cruise Line Merchandise for Summer 2014 Itineraries

posted on May 13th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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My fellow author Jonathan Frontado recently shared an update about the special Disney Cruise Line itineraries for summer 2014. His article had me daydreaming of taking an Alaskan cruise (as a travel photographer by hobby, I’m sure my camera would love it). Since I’m no closer to such a cruise, I stopped by the Disney Cruise Line merchandise showroom at my office to survey new merchandise created for these upcoming sailings.

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Disney Design Group artist Dave Keefer created the Alaskan cruise artwork for the Disney Wonder. I love how he incorporated native tribal artwork along with a splash of Disney characters (the colors are incredible!). He told me he was inspired after seeing some tribal artwork and the giant carved totem pole in Canada Pavilion at Epcot (Alaska’s neighbor, of course). This artwork will be utilized on a variety of items such as a pin, a D-Tech on Demand case, a scrapbook, drinkware and more.

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The artwork will also be used on apparel such as the main logo T-shirt. Guests should also look for a hooded sweatshirt, graphic shirts and other long sleeved options.

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The Disney Magic will be sailing in the Mediterranean this summer, and there is a completely different merchandise assortment for those cruises. The main logo artwork was created by Disney Design Group character artist Casey Jones and senior graphic designer Tim Whalen. Casey drew Mickey Mouse sporting some awesome cruising attire that I would wear.

Guests should look for a variety of apparel items and other goods such as a keychain, a photo album and more.

If you are sailing this summer, please take me with you … I mean, bon voyage!

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Getting Ready for Summer with Disney Cruise Line

posted on May 1st, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Summer is quickly approaching, and like many of you, Disney Cruise Line is preparing for our upcoming getaways! Both the Disney Wonder and Disney Magic are getting ready to reposition to new homeports for the exciting itineraries we’re offering late May through early September.

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Tomorrow, the Disney Wonder sets sail from Miami for her journey through the Panama Canal to the West Coast. Following stops in San Diego and San Francisco and after calling on exotic ports such as Cartagena, Colombia and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, she’ll arrive to Vancouver to kick off our Alaska season. Once again, we’ll be taking guests to the charming ports of Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, and sailing through the breathtaking Tracy Arm Fjord. And new for 2014, our first cruise of the season will be extra special with a stop in Sitka.

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On the same day the Disney Wonder arrives to Vancouver, May 19, the Disney Magic will depart from Port Canaveral for a voyage across the Atlantic. After stopping at Funchal, Portugal and Malaga, Spain, she’ll arrive to Barcelona for her first summer season since the ship’s transformation. The Disney Magic’s exciting summer in Europe includes cruises from both Barcelona and Venice with several Mediterranean destinations in France, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Croatia.

If you’re joining us on the Disney Wonder’s Panama Canal crossing or the Disney Magic’s transatlantic sailing this month, don’t miss your chance to get a special commemorative T-shirts once you’re onboard. Bon voyage!

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13 Disney Cruise Line Highlights of 2013

posted on December 30th, 2013 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


I love the lists that start popping up at the end of each year sharing highlights of the past 12 months, don’t you? It got me thinking how Disney Cruise Line had yet another big year, so I thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of our biggest moments in 2013.

I narrowed my list to 13 highlights, but I’d love to know what you’d add. Check it out and keep the list going in the comments!

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Inaugural Miami Season
The Disney Wonder kicked off this year with our inaugural season from Miami, the newest US homeport for a Disney ship, marking our first time cruising from southern Florida. Voyages to the Bahamas and Caribbean from this iconic city will continue on the Disney Wonder or Disney Magic in 2014 and 2015.

New 2014 itineraries Unveiled
WIth the expansion of our fleet the past two years, this year we announced even more itinerary options, including voyages from Puerto Rico to the Southern Caribbean in 2014. We also unveiled Venice as a brand-new homeport and cruises that visit destinations in the Greek Isles and Sicily for the very first time.

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First Calls on New European Ports
Our return to Europe this year was enhanced with exciting new destinations in the Mediterranean. During our summer season, we made first calls to Mykonos in the Greek Isles, Athens, Venice and Dubrovnik, Croatia. The Disney Magic’s call on Venice marked the ship’s first return to her birthplace since construction.

Captain Tom Named First Commodore
Captain Tom Forberg, our first and longest-serving captain, was named the first Commodore in the history of the company. With this honor, given to accomplished and distinguished leaders of military, commercial and cruise fleets, Commodore Tom now serves as the highest-ranking Disney captain.

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Royal Court Royal Tea Introduced on the Disney Fantasy
We rolled out one of our newest family-friendly experiences, Royal Court Royal Tea, an exclusive event that gives Disney Fantasy cruisers the chance to interact with Disney princesses like never before. At this whimsical royal tea party, families are personally greeted by the princesses and entertained by lively hosts with stories, dancing and singing.

First Call on Jamaica
As part of our cruises from Galveston, Texas, this year, for the first time ever we called on Jamaica, home to beautiful beaches, lush green forests and mountain vistas. Stops at Falmouth, one of the Caribbean’s best-preserved Georgian towns, will continue in 2014 on 7-Night Western Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, Florida.

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Halloween on the High Seas Celebrated on the Disney Dream
Halloween festivities are always fun on our ships, but this year we took it to a whole new level on the Disney Dream. Our extra-spooky celebration, Halloween on the High Seas, treated cruisers to special experiences like Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party, A Nightmare Before Christmas—Sing and Scream, Haunted Stories of the Sea and much more.

Disney Magic Received Magical Transformation
Our flagship vessel got a massive makeover this fall, one of the largest transformations ever performed in the cruise industry. The majority of this project took place in dry dock at the Navantia shipyard in Cadiz, Spain, with work happening in shifts around the clock to bring to life a host of magical enhancements.

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Re-imagined Disney Magic Set Sail
The re-imagined Disney Magic set sail from Miami with an extra dose of magic onboard, including brand-new spaces and experiences for kids, adults and families. Some of the highlights include the AquaDunk thrill slide, transformed Oceaneer Club and Lab, new fun just for adults, Carioca’s dining room and “Drawn to Magic” dinner show.

Kids Enter the Marvel Universe on a Disney Ship
The relaunch of the Disney Magic marked the first time the super hero icons of Marvel have been introduced on a Disney ship. Inside Marvel’s Avengers Academy, kids can be part of a multi-day training experience, which includes virtually putting on Iron Man’s suit and learning the “Avengers Assemble” call sign from Captain America himself.

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Very Merrytime Cruises Brought Holiday Cheer Earlier Than Ever
More guests had the chance to celebrate the winter holidays onboard this year with our Very Merrytime Cruises kicking off in early November. All four ships were transformed with sparkling decor, families came together for special holiday events and Disney characters put on their best Christmas attire – for almost two full months!

Fans Award Disney Cruise Line with Prestigious Honors
We received several prestigious honors this year, thanks to our fans, including Top Mega-Ship Cruise Line in Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards for Families, making it the fifth consecutive year to be ranked in the number one spot. Plus, Condé Nast Traveler readers named all four of our ships among the top large cruise ships in the world, with the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder and Disney Dream highest on the list.

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New Disney Friends Sailing
Several new Disney friends joined our fun this year, including our newest visitor, Princess Anna, who’s been visiting all four ships as a special holiday treat. Jack Skellington and Sally added to the spookiness of the Disney Dream’s festivities this Halloween, and Captain America is now sailing on the Disney Magic, making special appearances in Marvel’s Avengers Academy for the kids and around the ship for cruisers of all ages.

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A Day in Nassau, Bahamas with Disney Cruise Line

posted on December 12th, 2013 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


Nassau, Bahamas is a port Disney Cruise Line has called on every year since our inaugural sailing in 1998. Just one visit here, a city of Old World colonial charm mixed with unique Caribbean style, makes it easy to see why this tropical destination is a guest favorite.

With the Disney Dream, Disney Wonder and Disney Magic all calling on Nassau in the early part of next year, more and more guests are inquiring about the best things to do during a day in this port. We offer dozens of great Port Adventures and narrowing them down to the best is difficult, but here’s a look at some of my favorite activities.

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Dolphin Swim at Atlantis Resort
It’s likely you’ve heard about Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, home to world’s largest open-air marine habitat and tons of other unique family-friendly activities. We offer numerous tours that allow you to spend the day here, but some of the most popular are ones that include playtime with dolphins. You can choose between a shallow water interaction and a deep water swim, combined with another adventure like an afternoon at the Aquaventure water park or a stroll through the underwater tunnel to see sharks and barracudas.

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Journey to Blue Lagoon Island
Dolphin and sea lion encounters are also offered at the picturesque Blue Lagoon Island, a secluded destination only accessible by boat, boasting pristine beaches and an all-natural ocean habitat. Another popular choice is to have a relaxing beach day here, soaking up the sun in a lounge chair, swimming in the clear waters, exploring the lagoon by kayak or water bike, or just laying back in a hammock under the shade of palm trees. Often a favorite part of the day for guests is the catamaran ride through turquoise waters to get to the island.

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Exploration of Local Culture and History
For culture and history lovers, there are several Port Adventures that it make it more convenient for you to experience island life, with visits to quirky shops and the straw market, and to see remnants of the island’s British colonial past, like historic government buildings and old forts. One excursion combines a visit to the beautiful Ardastra Gardens with a city tour, and another Port Adventure includes two fort visits and an inside look at the National Cultural Festival of the Bahamas. Or those who want to plan their own itinerary around the island can book a private vehicle with a driver/guide for a day completely customized to your family’s tastes.

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Royal Treatment at the Graycliff Hotel
Originally built as a mansion in 1740 by a famous pirate of the Caribbean, the Graycliff Hotel is now one of the must-visit historical landmarks in the Bahamas. We give Disney cruisers special opportunities to experience it uniquely and be treated like royalty at this five-star oasis. Families can relax poolside in an enchanted garden setting, adults can browse one of the largest private collections of fine and rare wines in the world and chocolate lovers can learn the art of chocolate making. No matter which Graycliff Port Adventure you choose, you’re sure to leave with a full stomach from either a gourmet, multi-course meal or your delicious hand-crafted chocolates.

If you’ve joined us at Nassau before, tell us, what’s your favorite adventure here?

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Conversation with the Disney Alaska Cruise Director

posted on September 9th, 2013 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Today marks the end of Disney Cruise Line’s Alaska season, one that many crew and guests have said was our most spectacular summer yet. I know plenty of you are already planning on joining us next year, so for the first timers, our social media team sailed with a Disney Cruise Line specialist from the Disney Parks Moms Panel to get answers to your questions.

Disney Cruise Line in Alaska

The most common questions we got on the Disney Parks Blog, Facebook and Twitter were centered around days at sea. Most people correlate cruising with warm weather and laying out by the pool, so sailing in cooler temperatures can be off putting for some. As someone who has lived in tropical and subtropical climate all my life, I can relate!

However, I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t even mind the cooler temperatures on my first Alaskan cruise, and now I encourage everyone to add it to their bucket list. While getting a suntan won’t be the aim of this cruise, relaxation sure can be!

In this video, Cruise Director Jimmy gives us a look at some of the ways guests enjoy the days at sea aboard the Disney Wonder during a voyage to Alaska. Take a look, and then let me know in the comments if you’re hoping to join us on a great Alaskan adventure next summer!

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