Disney Cruise Line
With a cruise line that offers two gorgeous, larger-than average ships, private destinations, and an all-inclusive fare, Disney World, in 1998, extended its reach to the high seas of the Caribbean. In addition to the popular three- and four-night trips, there are now extended itineraries available to passengers, which offer more island ports and longer duration cruises. Disney’s Cruise Line has a pair of powerful incentives no other cruise line can match: apart from its outstanding reputation for quality and comfort, it offers vacations that include stays at Walt Disney World as part of the total package.
THE SHIPS & THE DESTINATION
The two disney cruise ships, the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder, have staterooms that are around 25 percent larger than those of most other cruise ships.
The usual modern styling of most other ships are replaced with the stately elegance of European vessels of old, with an Art Deco theme for the Magic and Art Nouveau for the Wonder.
Both ships offer theater, restaurants, spas, and fitness centers among several other amenities. Castaway Cay, Disney’s own private island, is the end point of every Disney cruise, and is very much a tropical extension of Walt Disney World’s hotels and resorts. There are uncrowded beaches, snorkeling, bicycling, glass-bottom boat tours, watersports, and much more on offer. In addition, there is always plenty to do for children on board and off – so much so that you may see very little of them during your trip.
THE SHORT (THREE–FOUR NIGHT) CRUISES
The itinerary on the shorter cruises for both ships is the same – after arriving at Port Canaveral by charter bus and checking in, you cast off and arrive in Nassau in the Bahamas the next day. The following day you arrive at Castaway Cay, and leave there in the evening to return to Canaveral at 9am the following morning. The fournight cruise adds a day at sea with the occasional stop in Freeport before returning to Port Canaveral.
THE LONG (SEVEN–TEN NIGHT) CRUISES
Disney offers both an Eastern Caribbean and a Western Caribbean tour for their longer cruises, which include stops in St. Maarten and St. Thomas in addition to Castaway Cay for the eastern cruise, or Grand Cayman and Cozumel along with Castaway Cay for the western cruise. Plans are afoot for additional sevennight tours as well as a 10-night cruise that includes stops in Antigua, San Juan, St. Lucia, and Key West.
• Keep in mind that the all inclusive fare does not include things such as tips for servers, stateroom hostess, assistant server, and head server. Other additional charges are for soft drinks at the pool, and alcoholic beverages. There is a $10 per person charge for eating in the adults-only specialty restaurant. Shore excursions are also extra significant charges – port charges as well as government taxes are added to the fee.
• It is a good idea to plan ahead for shore excursions to avoid waiting in a line to sign up for them once on the ship and taking a chance. You can log on to the website to sign up for shore excursions.