Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line For People Who Hate Cruises

by on October 1, 2014

Disney Cruise LineA few years ago, before I went on my first Disney Cruise Line sailing, I could never imagine myself as a cruise person. Maybe “hate” is too strong of a word, but for years I had no desire to vacation on a floating germ filled petri dish of doom…uh…I mean…lovely cruise ship. But then as time passed by, I began to get a little curious. My parents are avid cruisers and they would share their photos and stories of great adventures. My boys even started talking about how fun it would be if we went on a cruise…especially a Disney Cruise Line vacation!

Now I’m a huge fan of all things Disney…characters, movies, clothes, theme parks, you name it…could Mickey Mouse and my love of Disney really change my mind about cruising? Read on to find out!

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TouringPlans #Everywhere – Meet Schedules

by on September 30, 2014

t_logo_fbHave you ever wanted a chance to hang with TouringPlans staff in locations throughout the globe? Sunday, October 12, is your opportunity. This is the day of TouringPlans #Everywhere. We will have our people posted at every Disney location in the world on the same day, blogging and tweeting for your reading pleasure. And we’d love to see you while we’re at it.

Here is where everyone will be available. All times are local. DCL meet ups may change due to what’s happening on the ship that day – watch Twitter for updates.

If possible, please RSVP via email to the person who’ll be there so we’ll have an idea what to expect:

Meet Up Locations

Europe
Disneyland Paris – meet Brad Huber (developer and Saints fan) at 3:00 pm at the Market House Deli on Main Street in Disneyland Park. Email brad@touringplans.com.

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The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! September 2014 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on September 30, 2014

MMM positiveIt’s the end of September and the streets of Orlando are still wet from the constant rain during the month. Or maybe it’s the tears of the fans of Off Kilter, Mo’Rockin, Spirit of America, or the World Showcase Players, all of whom performed their last shows this week. We also saw the closure of the Studio Backlot Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the first attraction in recent memory whose demise was met with almost unanimous support from theme park fandom. Oh, and we also had the start of a little something called the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, which has at least two items this year (a Duffy bear wearing a chef’s outfit and a new shirt featuring Figment) that we just may be covering in this article sooner than later.

With that out of the way, who is ready to hit the outlets?! Remember, you can click on any picture to see it in full size (although that’s actually more of a warning than a reminder.)

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A water bottle filled with so many rare characters it should be sold during a hard ticket event.

First up is this aluminum bottle that blew my mind the longer I looked it at.  So many great characters. Mary Poppins. Figment. Lightning McQueen (in scale with the other characters to boot!) Marie from the Aristocats. Russell from Up. Pete’s Dragon. Mushu. Eve. The Rescuers. This cup is amazing. Originally $9.95, it was now reduced to $4.99 and you better believe I bought this.

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Mr. Toad?!!

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TouringPlans #Everywhere: My Disney Cruise Line Info Booklet

by on September 23, 2014

Disney Cruise Line Info Booklet

Halloween on the High Seas has taken over the Disney Cruise Line info booklet. (Photos by Seth Kubersky.)

My first-ever DCL cruise on the Disney Magic is only weeks away, and I recently received the Disney Cruise Info Booklet that indicates your trip is just around the corner. The booklet arrived not long after I made my shore excusion reservations — and adventure in itself I’ll detail below — and seeing our selections in print only increased my anticipation.

If you’ve never been on a Disney Cruise, you may be interested in seeing what their welcome mailer looks like, since it’s the customer service touches like this that separate DCL from its competitors. And if you’ve sailed with the Mouse a million times, you’ll notice a change to the packet, just in time for the spooky season.

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How I’ll Get to Port Canaveral – TouringPlans #Everywhere

by on September 19, 2014

Photo by Nick Mitchell

Photo by Nick Mitchell

I’m heading to Port Canaveral to get on the Disney Dream on Sunday, October 12, and – once I’m on the ship – things seem pretty easy since there is plenty to do: I’ll eat, swim, play shuffleboard, etc. As I wrote in April, the challenge for me is getting to Port Canaveral. Over the past three months, I’ve made a few decisions, and I want to walk you through my calculations. The Internet is a place where people freely mock others’ ideas and decisions, so I welcome your thoughts.

Decision 1: When to Arrive and Leave?

I am going to arrive in Central Florida on the day before my cruise. Everyone recommends this, and since it’s a requirement of my job to get on the Disney Dream on time, I’ll minimize my chances of literally missing the boat, even though it will cost an extra $100-200 for a hotel room and food on Saturday.

After my cruise, I’d love to extend the magic by visiting Walt Disney World for a few days. Even though I have a Tables in Wonderland card that expires on October 31 that I’m tempted to exploit for more “value,” after running the numbers I couldn’t pull this off at a price I’m willing to stomach. If I stayed at Disney World for 4 days/3 nights after my cruise, it would run me roughly:

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Disney Cruise Line Misty Fjords National Monument Flightseeing Excursion

by on September 19, 2014

Misty Fjords National Monument

©www.disneyworldenthusiast.com

Fellow Touring Plans blogger Erin Foster and I were fortunate enough to sail aboard the Disney Wonder on an incredible cruise to Alaska this summer. In case you missed it, we recently compared our Skagway dog sledding excursions as well as our Juneau train excursions. This time I’m back with all of the details from my final excursion in Ketchikan; the Classic Misty Fjords National Monument Flightseeing Port Adventure. Here’s everything you need to know to help you decide if this outing sounds like a good fit for you.

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Touringplans #Everywhere – Cruising for Larger Families and Families With Special Needs

by on September 9, 2014

We’ll take seats for five please

I’m excited to announce that our assignment is the 7-night Western Caribbean Cruise aboard Disney’s ship, Fantasy. The mission: to plan the trip and write about it to help others plan their own Disney Cruise Line adventures and learn from our mistakes. You’ve seen my colleagues write about their trips to Disney destinations in California, Tokyo, and everywhere in between, so I will write about the aspects of our trip that make it unique.

The world was built for a family of four – especially when you travel

My brother-in-law used to say this, having experienced life with a wife and three kids. Cars, hotels, and restaurants are designed for parties of 4. He was right. The Hazelton/Brazeau group is a party of five, so one of our first struggles in the planning process was to pick a stateroom that would accommodate us. The group includes me (Fred), my two sons Bram (age 13) and Alec (age 11), my wife Chantale (age censored), and her son, Matice (age 9). The most economical of Disney’s stateroom options for a family of five are the Deluxe Family Oceanview Staterooms that sleep 5 (category 8) or two adjoining Standard Inside Staterooms that sleep 4 (category 11). Although a Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah was a hundred dollars less than two adjoining inside staterooms, we chose to get the two rooms. Our feeling was that with the age of the kids, the negligible cost difference and having the second bathroom made it the smarter choice for us. Plus, if the kids need an escape from us or we need an escape from them, having the second stateroom provides a nice separator.

Alec (left) and Matice

Alec (left) and Matice

Alec was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus and, although ambulatory, does have some mobility issues. We are interested to see how easy or difficult it will be for him to manoeuvre around the ship, especially if the seas are rough. Our choices of Port Adventures may be limited, as well, to those that don’t involve a lot of walking. Beach days, Jeep tours, and boat excursions will be a lot better for us than climbing ruins or walking tours. He’s an easygoing kid, though, so he will likely be just as happy to spend the week alternating between the buffet and the Edge Club.

 

Stay tuned for more about our trip and the other Touringplans #Everywhere trips, the planning, the during and the aftermath.

[Our cruise departs on October 11, 2014, from Port Canaveral. If you happen to be sailing on that cruise with us, please let us know.]

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Disney Cruise Line Vancouver Hotel Compare/Contrast

by on September 9, 2014

t_logo_fbTouring Plans blogger Kristi Fredericks and I have been sharing some of our excursion experiences (dog sledding in Juneau, trains in Skagway) on our Disney Cruise Line voyage to Alaska this summer. Now it’s time to cover our respective pre-cruise stays in Vancouver.

Both Kristi and I chose to book our pre-cruise hotels through Disney. Kristi stayed at the Fairmont Vancouver Waterfront. By the time I booked, the Waterfront was filled, so they placed me at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport location. Here’s the scoop on what we experienced.

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10 Reasons DINKs Would Enjoy Disney Cruise Line

by on September 9, 2014

I know what some of you are thinking. “Are you sure DINKs would enjoy Disney Cruise Line?” Wait. That wasn’t it? Oh, you’re wondering what a DINK is! Well that’s easy. A Dink is a Double Income No Kids family (and let me immediately apologize if there is another, inappropriate meaning that I am too old or naïve to know). It’s obvious why the first two letters in that acronym would like a Disney cruise. They have more money! But the second two letters may throw you off a little. For many couples without kids, Disney isn’t the first cruise line they would consider (or maybe even a cruise line they would consider at all!) when planning a cruise. Well they should! Because Disney cruises are fun for everyone, even adults with no kids. My disclaimer here is as follows: yes, I know there are lots of other great cruise lines and yes, I know there are good reasons to sail on those other cruise lines. What I am trying to say here is – don’t rule Disney out just because you don’t have kids. There are reasons people love it after all.

1. Adult-Only Pools – When you picture a pool on a family cruise line, you are probably picturing a pool full of screaming, playing, splashing children. Well, you will find those on every Disney ship! The good news is you will also find a pool that is blissfully free of children – the adult only pool. There are certain times of day when it can get crowded, but it’s all adults. Many cruise lines do not have adult-only pools, but Disney recognized there would be times where the adults would want a calmer setting than swimming children afford. The Magic and Wonder have a long rectangular adult pool for swimming with wide shallow ledges on the side, perfect for lounging in water that’s only a few inches deep. There are also two hot tubs adjacent to the pool for adults to enjoy. The Dream and Fantasy have a pool divided into three circular sections. One is rimmed with seats, one is deeper water, and one is only a few inches deep for sunning. There’s a bar on one side of that last circle as well. Additionally, both ships have infinity hot tubs. The Fantasy also has Satellite Falls which is a small wading-type pool built with a waterfall feature. Trust me, even on a crowded day, they’re 1000 times more peaceful than the kid’s pool.

2. Adult-Only Café – All four ships have an adult-only café called Cove Café near the adult pools. It’s a great place to relax and order your favorite specialty coffee and baked treats. The coffee and alcohol are an additional charge, but the snacks are not! There are magazine and books to enjoy while you relax as well. It’s a great little spot!

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Gambling Disney Style – Disney Cruise Line Bingo

by on August 28, 2014

Disney Cruise Line Bingo 2Who’s ready for some gambling, Disney style? While it’s true that the Disney Cruise Line ships do not have casinos, fear not my fellow gamblers, there is still a way for us to get our fix. Disney Cruise Line bingo is a fun family activity that everyone can enjoy! I must admit, I love gambling. Now I’m not hearing my name being called by an evil slot machine or anything, but I do enjoy everything from craps to keno and bingo is no exception. I am a third generation bingo player; both my grandma and my dad are huge fans. So when I found out that I would be covering Disney Cruise Line bingo, I was beyond excited! I’ve played bingo in several places across the United States so I was very interested to compare Disney Cruise Line bingo aboard the Disney Wonder with my previous experiences. Please join me as I share my Disney Cruise Line bingo adventure with you!

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