Disney Cruise Line

TouringPlans #Everywhere: I’m cruising the Southern Caribbean on the Disney Magic from Puerto Rico

by on June 7, 2014

#Everywhere Disney Magic Southern Caribbean Puerto Rico

I’m taking a TouringPlans #Everywhere trip on the Disney Magic!

¡Hola mis amigos! As you may have already heard, the TouringPlans team will be spreading out all over the Mickey-loving world for next October’s #Everywhere project, and I was lucky enough to be selected to sail the Southern Caribbean on the Disney Magic out of Puerto Rico. I’m excited because this trip represents a few firsts for me. I’ve cruised previously with other companies, but am a Disney Cruise Line virgin, so I can’t wait to see if their legendary reputation for service actually exceeds my less-than-perfect prior experiences with their competitors. Also, this will be my first time cruising from a departure point other than Port Canaveral (which is an easy drive from my home), necessitating air travel and a hotel stay. This post is my first entry in a brief series explaining how I’m approaching these issues, in hopes of helping any readers out there who may be contemplating a similar itinerary someday!

Disney Magic Southern Caribbean Itinerary

The Disney Magic, which was extensively refurbished last year, spent the summer of 2014 sailing around the Mediterranean, and will cruise the eastern and western Caribbean out of Port Canaveral from Halloween through next spring. But the 7-night cruise I’m on is somewhat unique, and calls for a different kind of introduction…It is one of only 4 scheduled Southern Caribbean itineraries departing from San Juan, Puerto Rico. (This port is also visited by the Disney Fantasy during some of its 7-Night Eastern Caribbean cruises.)

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10 Reasons to Try Disney Cruise Line over Other Cruise Lines

by on June 4, 2014

It’s time to try a Disney cruise! Now before the Royal Caribbean lovers and Norwegian loyals get their feathers ruffled, let me be clear – there are other excellent cruise lines out there. Even the most strident of Disney fans can have a wonderful cruise on another line. I am not saying you should never go on another cruise line. What I am saying is that there are good reasons to try a Disney cruise in particular. Yes, even over other (often less expensive) cruise lines. Here are ten of those reasons.

Disney Cruise Line1. Bigger Rooms – The standard rooms on Disney ships are bigger almost across the board. There are rooms that are bigger on other cruise lines to be sure, but here’s the difference – Disney’s standard rooms are bigger. Many other lines have rooms that won’t sleep more than 2, but all rooms on Disney ships sleep at least 3 with the vast majority of rooms sleeping 4 or more. Odds are good that your first words in any cruise ship room will not be, “My word this is huge”, but there is a difference onboard a Disney ship. You’d be shocked at the difference 20 square feet can make in a small space.

2. Split Bathrooms – I cannot oversell these. Having two bathroom spaces to get ready in when you’ve got 4 people staying in a room is invaluable. While split bathrooms are found in every category except category 11 (and some accessible rooms), they are not even close to the norm on other lines. The split bathrooms on Disney ships consist of one room with a sink and toilet, and another with a sink and tub/shower. See? Priceless!

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Disney Cruise Line Fall 2015 Intineraries Announced

by on May 19, 2014

Aloha!

As expected, Disney Cruise Line announced today that it will be returning to Hawaii this fall. The Disney Wonder will make two 10-night sailings in September, circling from Honolulu to Vancouver with stops during each trip in Hilo (Hawaii Island), Nawiliwili (Kauai) and Kahului (Maui).

Mickey's going Hawaiian again with the Disney Cruise Line.

Mickey’s going Hawaiian again with the Disney Cruise Line.

The Wonder will remain on the West Coast in October 2015, making San Diego, California its home port for the month. Itineraries will include 5-night Baja voyages making stops in Cabo San Luas and Ensenada, Mexico. The Wonder will also make 3-night trips stopping in Ensenda, as well as 2-night “cruise to nowhere” weekend escapes.

Beginning in November 2015, the Wonder will again home port in Galveston, Texas, making 7-night Caribbean holiday trips with stops in Key West, Nassau, and Disney’s private Castaway Cay.

Following a Transatlantic trip from Barcelona to Miami, the Disney Magic will resume a regular routine of four and five night Caribbean and Bahamian voyages.

During Fall 2015, the Disney Fantasy will travel 7-night Caribbean voyages. The Disney Dream will run its standard 3 and 4-night Bahamian trips during most of Fall 2015. There is a gap in the Dream’s schedule during late September and early October. Disney Cruise Line Blog is speculating that this break will provide time for the Dream’s first dry dock.

What are your thoughts on the new cruise itineraries? Will you make Hawaii part of your cruise schedule next year? What do you think about the return to Galveston? Let us know in the comments below.

If you enjoy our DCL content, take a look at our Disney Cruise Line subscription or buy our new book, the Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line, written by Len Testa, Erin Foster, and Laurel Stewart – available at Amazon.com and on Apple iBooks.

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Disney Cruise Line Fare Tracker in Action: Timing Your Cruise Booking

by on May 8, 2014

Before delving into some travel planning decisions for my upcoming Disney Cruise Line adventure, I thought it’d be useful to explain how our Disney Cruise Line Fare Tracker tool accelerated my booking this cruise.

I am sailing on the 4-Night Bahamian Cruise on Disney Dream – Itinerary A on October 12, 2014. I get to enjoy the cheapest cabin (11C), which my group of 2 adults and 1 child will call home for the journey.

Comparison with Similar Cruise from Last Year

If our Fare Tracker finds an identical itinerary departing on a comparable day (for example, the third Sunday in October) in 2013, it displays that on the same chart when looking at a 2014 cruise. For example, our Fare Tracker for my itinerary but sailing on October 19, 2014, is shown below. Note that data for both that cruise and last year’s October 20, 2013, cruise are displayed:

4-Night Bahamian Cruise on Disney Dream - Itinerary A departing October 19, 2014

As you can see, Disney’s fare adjustments for the 2014 cruise have been similar to what is shown for the 2013 cruise. However, for this particular 2014 sailing, some trends leap out:

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Live from the Disney Dream – Bar Menus – 687, Evolution, District Lounge, Cove Cafe

by on May 7, 2014

Ahoy! Finally a sea day on the Disney Dream. We collected more menus last night.

First something to help you wake up – our favorite coffee spot on the ship, the adults-only Cove Cafe. The Cove Cafe is both a coffee bar and a spot for an evening cocktail. It also serves a variety of pastries during the day and small bites – olives, cheeses, cured meat – at night. And it’s just around the corner from Flo’s so you can grab a slice of pizza, a burger, or a sandwich if you’re more than a little peckish.

The bar at the Deck 11 Cove Cafe

The bar at the Deck 11 Cove Cafe

A selection of complimentary morning pastries at the Cove Cafe

A selection of complimentary morning pastries at the Cove Cafe

Here is the Cove’s menu:

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Live from the Disney Dream – Bar Menus

by on May 6, 2014

Today is Castaway Cay day of our second cruise, and I’ve already run a 5K. Because I’m feeling so righteous, I’ll post some bar menus. First is Pink – my third favorite bar on the Disney Cruise Line (click to open the full sized images).

Page 1 of the Pink Menu

Page 1 of the Pink Menu

Page 2 of the Pink Menu

Page 2 of the Pink Menu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next is a label from the Crémant d’Alsace Blanc de Blanc, which Len (who is kind of a Champagne snob) pronounced very good last night, and is at a really decent price.

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Live From the Dream – Disney Cruise Line Back to Back Procedures

by on May 4, 2014

You'll never see the terminal this empty except at 9:30 AM!

You’ll never see the terminal this empty except at 9:30 AM!

Welcome back to Day 4 (or Day 1 depending on how you’re counting). Today was the last day of our first cruise and the first day of our second. We are doing the Disney Cruise Line back to back with consecutive 3- and 4- night cruises on the Dream. The procedures for disembarkation and embarkation of our back to back cruises were clear and easy to follow. On the first day of our first cruise, our stateroom host already knew that we were on the following cruise in the same cabin as well – we were “on his list” as he said. Last night, each of us received a letter with instructions for today and extra customs forms and a payment form in case we hadn’t already set that up during online check in (which we had).

Last night we tidied the room to make sure we knew where the stuff we’d be taking off the ship today was so it would be easy to find in the morning, but other than that everything was still unpacked and in the drawers or hanging in the closet. This morning we went to Cabanas for breakfast instead of our rotational dining room (we recommend this whether you’re doing a back to back or not). Though we were asked to be off the ship by 9:15, we got out of our cabin before 8AM for breakfast. After a leisurely breakfast, we headed to the Vista Cafe to fill out our comment cards and customs forms. We left the ship with the other passengers around 9:00 with just the bags we planned to carry off with us. They contained:

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Live from the Disney Dream – Menus

by on May 2, 2014

Welcome back to Day 2 of the 3 night cruise. On a three night cruise, you are scheduled for one dinner each of the main dining rooms. Each location has a set menu – because it’s a 3-night cruise, there are no special menus such as the Pirate menu, even though tonight is Pirates IN the Caribbean.

Here are photos of the menus (click for full size):

Enchanted Garden

Enchanted Garden

Animator's Palate

Animator’s Palate

Royal Palace Menu

Royal Palace Menu

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Live from the Disney Dream – Day 2

by on May 2, 2014

DCLWelcome back to our live blogging from the Disney Dream. Today is the first full day on board, the 2nd night of a 3-night cruise. The ship docks in Nassau today. It’s hot, but we’re already gotten a run in on deck 4!

Yesterday was a typical first day. We arrived at Port Canaveral around 11 AM and after we checked in with the other Castaway Club members, we were able to board as we had signed up for an earlier boarding group during online check in. We grabbed a quiet breakfast/lunch at Enchanted Garden, which is our preference to going up to Cabana’s buffet. After that, we headed to the Spa to purchase our Rainforest Passes. At 1:30 we were able to drop our day bags off in the room. My Remy reservation confirmation was on the cabin door, which is good because I’d forgotten I’d made that for the 3rd night. We hung out in the cabin (deck 8 forward, with nice easy access to the spa) until the life boat drill, which is from 3:45 to about 4:10. You start gathering at 3:45, and it starts at 4PM. After that we headed back to the room to change for the spa.

The spa was a little hectic at first because people were still showing up for the tour. And then there were the people who didn’t know how to use their inside voices in a spa, but eventually things cleared out and it was nice. Because of the time of year, it was still daylight when we left at 6:30 to change for dinner and a drink. I really like the rainforest when it’s dark out, may skip dinner tonight for it.

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Live From the Disney Dream

by on May 1, 2014

One of our favorite things on the Dream - the Aquaduck

One of our favorite things on the Dream – the Aquaduck

Do you have questions about Disney Cruise Line? Starting today, May 1, we will be blogging live from the Disney Dream. Ask your questions in the comments – anything from can you post today’s Personal Navigator to what’s on the menu at Animator’s Palate tonight – and we will be happy to get you answers. We’re going to be on the Dream for seven nights, a back to back 3-night, followed by a 4-night. The cruise stops at Nassau and Castaway Cay on each sailing.

We’ll start a new article each day, so keep checking back!

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