Disney Cruise Line

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Disney Cruise Line® Updates Early 2013 Sailings from Galveston, TX

Later this month, the Disney Magic® Cruise Ship will call Texas her home as she begins sailing Western Caribbean Cruises from the Port of Galveston. Disney Cruise Line® will continue cruise service in Galveston through the beginning of May, 2013.

Disney Cruise Line® has adjusted their itineraries for their early 2013 sailings to offer a variety of new cruise options for guests sailing from Galveston. In addition to 6-night Western Caribbean sailings, 4-night Caribbean getaway cruises and 8-night Bahamian itineraries with stops at Walt Disney World® Resort and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

“We are excited to add even more variety to our offering of itineraries from the Port of Galveston. The addition of shorter getaway cruises and voyages that call on our most popular port of call, Disney’s Castaway Cay, rounds out an impressive array of itinerary options from Galveston.” – Karl Holz, Disney Cruise Line President

Here is additional information on the Early 2013 Galveston itineraries:

NEW: 4-night Caribbean Sailings

These sailings are perfect for new cruisers who would like to sample the one-of-a-kind Disney Cruise Line® shipboard experience or for experienced travelers who just need a quick getaway. These sailings enjoy 2 days at sea with a full schedule of planned shipboard activities.

Ports: Galveston, Cozumel

2013 Departure dates: Feb. 1, 5, Mar. 15, 19, Apr. 12, 16

6-night Western Caribbean 

Enjoy a tropical vacation with stops in both Grand Cayman and Cozumel. On board the Disney Magic®, be treated to world-class entertainment and impeccable guest service  that can only be found on Disney Cruise Line®. This itinerary includes 3 days at sea.

Ports: Galveston, Grand Cayman, Cozumel

2013 Departure dates: Jan. 12, 26, Feb. 9, 23, Mar. 9, 23, Apr. 6, 20, May 4

NEW: 8-night Bahamas 

It just doesn’t get any more MAGICAL that this! These sailings include a day at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, and a stop at Port Canaveral, FL., giving guests an opportunity to visit the nearby Walt Disney World® Resort.  As part of this itinerary, each guest will receive a one-day Walt Disney World® Park Hopper ticket and roundtrip transportation between the Disney Magic® and the resort. Guests will enjoy 4-days at sea with plenty of activities to do onboard!

Ports: Galveston, Castaway Cay, Port Canaveral, Key West

2013 Departure dates: Jan. 18, Feb. 15, March 1, 29, Apr. 26, May 10

8-night Western Caribbean

After a day in Key West, FL., this cruise explores the beauty of the Caribbean with stops in Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, and Cozumel. This sailing will offer 3 days at sea.

Ports: Galveston, Key West, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel

2013 Departure dates: Jan. 4

 

Later in Fall of 2013, the Disney Wonder® will sail 7-night cruises from Galveston to Grand Cayman, Costa Maya and Cozumel.

Interested in more information on Disney Cruise Line®? Contact your Magic Maker® today for pricing and availability!

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Disney Cruise Line® Adds Signature Port Adventure to Lasseter Family Winery

Disney Cruise Line® has announced a new Signature Port Adventure for guests sailing on their 7-night Pacific Coast Cruises later this fall.

John Lasseter, creative mind and executive producer of Disney•Pixar films, is opening up his Lasseter Family Winery for a tour exclusive to guests of the Disney Wonder® Cruise Ship. In its current location since 2002, three generations of the Lasseter family continue to share their love of the Sonoma Valley through their hand crafted wines.

This signature port adventure begins with an approximate 75-minute transfer to Sonoma Valley, the birthplace of the California wine industry. During your transfer, your guide will set the groundwork  for your tour with a brief history on Sonoma Valley’s wine region and surrounding areas.

Upon arriving at the Lasseter Family Winery, you will be greeted by your host and winery owner, Nancy Lasseter. Your exclusive behind-the-scenes access will allow you into the heart of the winery to observe the different stages of the harvest process. Nancy will take you out into the vineyards to sample different grape varietals right from the vines and you will learn how they determine ripeness. Celebrated winemaker, Julia Iantosca, will join the tour to give you insight into the craft of artisan winemaking. The harvest activities tour concludes with a short walk along the vineyards to beautiful Lake Serendipity, a rarely-seen jewel of their estate.

But, your experience doesn’t end there! Mrs. Lasseter has enlisted the help of renowned chef, Sondra Bernstein, to design food that pairs perfectly with the 5 Lasseter Family wines. Nancy will talk about each wine and the delectable flavors that you will experience while Sondra prepares and serves a gourmet meal.

Your tour concludes with time to browse the Lasseter Family wines for sale and Sondra’s gourmet pantry items should you want to purchase any souvenirs. The ultimate souvenir comes as you say goodbye to your gracious hosts and receive a bottle of Lasseter Family wine, signed by Nancy and John Lasseter and winemaker Julia Iantosca!

The Lasseter Family Winery Signature Port Adventure is available on select San Francisco port days. The tour is approximately 6 hours and is available only to guests 21 years and older. Pricing for the tour is $475 per person.

Please contact you Magic Maker® for more information on Disney Cruise Line’s® 7-night Pacific Coast Cruises and the Lasseter Family Winery Signature Port Adventure.

Disney Cruise Line® Announces Pixar-Themed Voyages to California Coasts

Pixar-Themed Voyages Aboard Disney Cruise LineDisney Cruise Line® guests sailing on the California Coast voyages on Sep. 16, 23, 30 and Oct. 7 from Los Angeles will enjoy some added magic from the folks at Pixar Animation Studios.

Added features exclusive to these four sailings include:

  • Pixar Presentations and Sneak Peeks: Artists and filmmakers from Pixar Animation Studios will provide an inside look at the creative process used to develop an animated feature. Guests will be able to get a closer look at the making of Pixar’s newest release Brave and a get sneak peek at footage of future Pixar films.
  • Pixar Film Fest: The entire Pixar library of films will be shown during each 7-night voyage, including a selection of delightful animated shorts. While onboard, guests will enjoy the theatrical premiere of Finding Nemo 3D at either of the two theatres equipped with state-of-the-art Dolby 3D projection systems.
  • The Art of Pixar: A collection of art used to design Pixar films will be on display in a special exhibition at sea. This collection of storyboards, character sketches and other inspiring concept art has only been seen outside of Pixar Animation Studios when displayed at leading art museums around the world.
  • Pixar Character Encounters: For the first time on Disney Cruise Line®, more than a dozen Pixar characters will meet with and greet guests throughout the cruise including Mr. Incredible, Remy, Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear. Guests will also enjoy special Pixar-themed dance parties and a host of other opportunities to reconnect with favorite Pixar pals.
  • Special Gift: Guests sailing on these special California Coast Cruises will receive a commemorative lithograph created by Pixar artist and Brave co-director/screenwriter, Steve Purcell.

This is all in addition to the iconic sights and Port Adventures available at popular stops in San Francisco, San Diego, and wine country. With only four sailings available, you’ll want to contact your Magic Maker® for more details about these special cruises today!

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Disney Cruise Line Takes the Helm of the Disney Fantasy

Yesterday, a traditional maritime ceremony transferred possession of the Disney Fantasy™ from the Meyer Werft shipyard to Disney Cruise Line®. This ceremony puts the Disney Fantasy’s™ construction behind as she nears her maiden voyage on March 31, 2012.

“Today we celebrate the culmination of a wonderful partnership, as we take possession of the Disney Fantasy™ and prepare for the journey home to Florida. This ship is the result of the superb craftsmanship from the master shipbuilders at Meyer Werft and the innovation, imagination and ingenuity of the Disney team, who have partnered together so beautifully to bring this ship to life,” said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line®.  “We are eagerly anticipating our guests, who will experience storytelling in enchanting new ways onboard the Disney Fantasy™ while making magical memories that will last a lifetime.”

The Disney Fantasy™ is scheduled to depart on February 16 for its transatlantic voyage to the U.S., with an expected arrival to its homeport in Port Canaveral, Florida on March 6. Captain Tom Forberg will be at the helm of the Disney Fantasy™. The Disney Fantasy™ will be sailing 7-Night Eastern Caribbean  and 7-Night Western Caribbean Cruises from Port Canaveral, Florida.

Top 5 Family Activities on Disney Cruise Line

Honoring Disney Cruise Line’s® top ratings in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 Reader Survey, today we take a look at the Top 5 Family Activities on Disney Cruise Line.

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Top 5 Adult Activities on Disney Cruise Line

One of the biggest misconceptions we encounter is that Disney Cruise Line® is just for families and not for adults. This is far from true! Adults aboard one of Disney Cruise Line’s® ships will be immersed in a range of activities, dining, and areas designed specifically for guests over 18.

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Disney Cruise Line® is currently booking itineraries through the end of 2013. Contact your Magic Maker® today for more information.

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Disney’s Castaway Cay Cabanas

Disney’s Castaway Cay Cabanas – A Getaway Within a Getaway

by Magic Maker® Leilani Wagner

Castaway Cay CabanasWalking off the Disney Dream™ early on a Saturday morning is easy when you are headed for their private island, Castaway Cay, and one of their private beach cabanas. Our morning on Castaway Cay was a bit cloudy and rainy but the rain did little to dampen our spirits as we headed down the gangway and onto the pier. It’s a bit of a walk so we recommend taking the tram – you’ll catch this just past the Post Office. After checking in at the Palm Central Tram stop (be sure you wear the wristband given to you on the ship), a golf cart whisked us off to our cabana on the private beach. The landscaping was very tropical with palm trees and lush plants and bushes lining the path to the cabanas.

At the cabana, we were greeted by our host. The cabana host introduced us to all the amenities available to us for the day. We had a small changing room that was created when you pulled a curtain around you in a corner of the cabana. A refrigerator was well stocked with bottled water, soft drinks and fruit. There were chips and granola bars on the counter. The cabana host showed us a button we could press that would call for services “automagically”. We could call for more drinks or snacks, order cocktails, or even request a ride back to the tram stop. The cabana was well furnished inside and out. There was a ceiling fan inside to keep the sea breezes moving. Sit or lie? Numerous cushioned chairs and loungers plus a hammock made for a comfortable day for all.

Castaway Cay CabanasThe cabana faced a private beach and was open only to those who were guests of the cabanas. It is a beautiful location. The tide was coming in as we arrived, but there were tons of shells to look at and admire. The water was plenty warm and with the cooler temperatures and slight drizzle, it was perfect. The damp sand was perfect for building sand castles with the sand toys provided in our cabana. The outside shower at the cabana was wonderful for getting the sand off!  Beach chairs and floats were available on our private beach. Oh, and when the sun came out and warmed up the day…we applied the sunscreen provided for us and the cool, wet hand-towels kept in the refrigerator were very refreshing.

These private cabanas are located on both the family beach and Serenity Bay (the adult only beach).  Also included with cabana are bike rentals, float and tube rentals, and snorkeling equipment. They list of included benefits just goes on and on!

Our impression was the cabanas are ideal for families but, really anyone would enjoy and find value in them. You can sit in the sun or seek shelter from it and still be cool and relaxed. You can also sit in relative privacy to sunbathe or just nap. All the guests we spoke to about the truly enjoyed all the amenities and felt the cabanas added to a relaxing day on Disney’s Castaway Cay.

Your Magic Maker can help you reserve your own private cabana on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.  The Disney ships only stop at Castaway Cay on select Bahamian and Caribbean cruise itineraries.  Click below to start planning your Disney Cruise Line® vacation!

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The Magic of Animator’s Palate

Animator’s Palate has long been a favorite main dining restaurant on the ships of Disney Cruise Line®.  Animator’s Palate serves up something more than just fine food: an innovative dinner show celebrating the art of Disney storytelling and animation, where many of your favorite Disney characters come to life right before your eyes.

On the Disney Wonder® and the Disney Magic®, Animator’s Palate features a spacious yet stylized dining room that recalls a real life hand-drawn environment, showcasing characters and scenes from classic Disney films adorn the walls around you.  Throughout your meal, Disney character sketches located on the restaurant walls slowly transform from stark black and white to brilliant color, amid the familiar classic orchestral themes of Disney movies playing overhead.

On the Disney Dream™, Animator’s Palate is inspired by the magic of Disney animation, filled with everything you would expect to find inside an actual animator’s studio. Character sketches, maquettes, light boxes, paint brushes, colored pencils, computer work stations and other tools of the animation trade delightfully decorate the venue; and scenes and characters from popular Disney films adorn the walls—creating a one-of-a-kind experience sure to captivate the entire family.  During the meal, characters from the favorite Disney•Pixar film, Finding Nemo, magically appear swimming around the restaurant and interacting with guests.

The Animator’s Palate on the newest ship, the Disney Fantasy™ (scheduled to set sail in April 2012), the restaurant will feature a totally new experience for cruisers.  Guests are invited to draw a character of their own using a simple template on their placemat. After dinner, animated curtains are opened on screens and Sorcerer Mickey conjures their drawings, which are fully animated and brought to life side-by-side with characters such as Mickey Mouse, Jiminy Cricket, Cinderella and Snow White in scenes from beloved Disney movies. At the end of the show, Mickey returns to say “so long” to the Guests while credits roll on screen showing each Guest’s name listed as a Guest animator.  Check out this sample video of what Guests may see while dining at Animator’s Palate on the Disney Fantasy™ (actual animation may vary in final product).


  For more information on dining at Animator’s Palate on any of the Disney Cruise Line® Ships, please contact your Magic Maker® or click below to request a quote.

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The Best Ride at Sea: the AquaDuck

The Best Ride at Sea – Disney Cruise Line’s AquaDuck

by Magic Maker® Heather Straight

Disney Cruise Line AquaDuckThere’s a lot to love about the newest Disney Cruise Line® ship, the Disney Dream™.  Its beautiful décor, delicious restaurants, spectacular Broadway-style shows, spacious staterooms, and kids clubs that are beyond compare.  But if you asked my two boys, ages 7 and 4, to tell you the best thing about this wonderful ship, they’d have one thing to say: the AquaDuck.

The first of its kind at sea, the AquaDuck is a “water coaster” that takes you on a fast moving raft ride from the top of the aft funnel, through twists and turns, up and down hills, through the forward funnel and – the best part – over the side of the ship!  The journey through the acrylic tube is breathtaking and exhilarating, with two big drops and amazing view of the pool deck on one side and the expanse of the ocean on the other.

We took our first ride soon after boarding and settling in to our stateroom, and we were instantly hooked.  The ride is thrilling, but not scary, just fast enough to get your heart pumping but not so fast that you miss the spectacular scenery whizzing past you as you fly through the tube.  We had so much fun that our boys begged us to let them skip Mickey’s Pirates in the Caribbean deck party to ride the “Duck” instead!  There was no line – we literally rode over and over until it was time to go and get ready for Buccaneer Blast (because we certainly weren’t going to miss another Disney exclusive, fireworks at sea!).

To ride the AquaDuck, kids must be at least 42” tall to ride with an adult; single riders must be at least 54” tall.  The first time kids ride, they’ll be measured and then given an arm band to wear to show that they meet the height requirements.  You’ll find the stairs on Deck 11 near the Mickey Pool, and from there you climb up to the boarding area in the aft funnel.

Here are our best AquaDuck tips, perfected after our many rides:Disney Dream AquaDuck water coaster

  • For more rides with less waiting, try in the evening, either after dinner if you have Main Seating or before dinner if you have Late Seating.  Avoid mid-day (especially on a sea day!), unless you’re prepared to stand in line.
  • If you have a little one who is just at the 42” mark, make sure they don’t take off their armband!  Don’t risk having to be re-measured every time you want to ride.
  • Help little ones get off the raft at the end of the ride before you do – the raft has a tendency to flip over when grown ups exit!
  • If you get a chance, ride at night – the whole AquaDuck is lit up!  In fact, you can even ride during the fireworks, which is pretty spectacular.
  • My husband and oldest son have this tip for getting more speed – arch your back and the raft will go faster!
  • Keep your eyes open at the beginning of the ride – as soon as you’re “launched” you’ll be in the tube that goes out over the side of the ship.
  • The easiest way to get into the raft is to turn so your backside is facing the raft, sit down, and then swing your legs in.  I looked pretty comical the first time I tried boarding, and a helpful Cast Member gave me this tip.
  • Be prepared for a workout if you’re planning to ride more than once – climbing all those stairs is good exercise.  It’s a great way to get rid of some of those calories from the Grand Marnier soufflé you had at Royal Palace!
  • Make sure you read the AquaDuck story as you climb up to the entrance – the colorful cartoon frames tell you about how Donald (with some help from his nephews) gave the ride its name.
Disney Dream Water Coaster
Have you taken a spin on the AquaDuck?  What did you think about it?  Tell us in the comments below.
Can’t wait to ride the AquaDuck?  Click here to ride virtually!
Click below to start planning your next cruise on board the Disney Dream™ or the Disney Fantasy™.

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New Water Features on board the Disney Fantasy

Disney Fantasy PoolsDisney Cruise Line® announced today that their newest ship, the Disney Fantasy™ will have a brand new water feature geared to drench the entire family.  The AquaLab, a new addition to deck 12, is a fanciful wet play area filled with pop jets, geysers and bubblers.

By turning wheels and moving levers at three wacky aqua stations, guests “control” the speed and temperature of AquaDuck Coaster. At a leaky wall, kids cover holes in squirting and spurting pipes with their hands. In another area, water leaks and sprays from the Ducky Dinghy, suspended overhead.

Also new to deck 12 is a wading pool with a fountain, a great place for families to hang out and cool off. This area has ample seating and lounge chairs under a canopy.

And adults have a new place that is available exclusively to them that will provide cool comfort on deck 13. Satellite Falls is a circular splash pool with benches and a gently falling rain curtain.

What do you want to try out first?  Have you had a chance to ride the AquaDuck Coaster on the Disney Dream™?

The Disney Fantasy™ will sail from Port Canaveral with seven night excursions to the Eastern and Western Caribbean starting in April 2012.  Click here to reserve your spot!