Disney Cruise Line

Family Fun Aboard The Disney Wonder

by on June 6, 2015

Disney Wonder in AlaskaHave you already booked a cruise on the Disney Wonder with your kids or are you just thinking about one? For a parent, one of the biggest concerns about cruising with children is whether there will be enough family fun and entertainment to occupy the kids during the voyage. Rest assured, Disney Cruise Line has got you covered!

In part one of this two part series, I shared details about the youth clubs that are available on the ship and in today’s part two, I’ll cover the family fun you can enjoy together. Let’s face it — your kids may not wish to visit the youth clubs; some kids just prefer to hang out with the family. I’m so glad my boys are still at an age that they willingly spend time with me, and I soak up every minute I can get! In the blink of an eye they’ll be all grown up, so I want to enjoy as much family fun as possible.

During my family’s Alaska cruise on the Disney Wonder, my kids went to the youth clubs the first evening and when my husband and I had brunch at Palo. The rest of the cruise we filled our days and nights with tons of family fun. So let’s take a photo tour of the fantastic options offered aboard the Disney Wonder — and remember you can click on any image to get a better look.

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FAQ: Disney World to Disney Cruise Line Transfers

by on June 4, 2015

You’re going a Disney Cruise AND you’re going to Walt Disney World – lucky you!

Land/sea combination Disney vacations are quite common; They’re a nice way to balance the frenetic excitement of a theme park visit and the mellow relaxation of a cruise. Here are some things to think about as you plan how to get from Part A to Part B of your vacation.

Should I take my cruise first or visit Walt Disney World first?

In the Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line, we recommend that guests experience the land (WDW) portion of their land/sea trip first. A visit to the parks is typically more tiring than a cruise (thus, the common refrain “I need a vacation after that vacation”). Most guest enjoy having the rest and recovery time that a cruise provides.

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OK, I’ll go to Walt Disney World first. How do I get from the airport to my hotel?

If you’re going from Orlando International to a Walt Disney World resort hotel, use Disney’s free Magical Express service.

From Disney’s perspective, there’s no difference in transportation procedure between a Disney World vacation and a land/sea vacation starting at Disney World. At this point, use Magical Express and pretend that the Disney Cruise Line (DCL) portion of your trip does not exist. This is particularly important to heed when you’re getting your luggage ready for transportation. If you’d like to have your bags transported by Disney from the airport to the hotel, then use the yellow Magical Express luggage tags. DO NOT put the DCL tags on your bag now.

Is there a charge to get from the airport to my Disney World hotel?

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Youth Clubs Aboard The Disney Wonder

by on June 3, 2015

Disney Wonder In AlaskaHave you booked a cruise on the Disney Wonder with your kids or are you just thinking about one? For a parent, one of the biggest concerns about cruising with children is whether there will be enough fun and entertaining things for the kiddos to do during the voyage. Rest assured, the Disney Cruise Line has got you covered! In part one of this two part series, I’ll share with you the information you’ll need to have a magical cruise with your kids aboard the Disney Wonder. In this article, we’ll take a look at the youth clubs available on the ship and in a second article posting soon, I’ll give you details on fun activities for the entire family to enjoy together. So let’s get started!

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Tips For Avoiding Traveler’s Tummy on Your Disney Cruise

by on May 27, 2015

How to Avoid an Upset Stomach on your Next CruiseYou’re on a different schedule, eating richer (and more) food than usual — it’s going to hit you sooner or later. I’ll call it “traveler’s tummy.” It can take the form of bloating, upset stomach, or just feeling queasy. You may not be able to avoid it entirely, but there are definitely some things you can do to head it off. Following these tips can make a big difference in your enjoyment during your Disney cruise.

The first thing to know is that there’s a difference between garden variety upset stomach and genuine gastric distress, which could be a sign of a virus. If your symptoms are severe, do yourself, the crew, and your fellow passengers a solid and check in with the ship’s medical staff. Yes, they take these things very seriously. And, yes, there’s a high likelihood you’ll be quarantined, but that’s for another article.

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10 Tips for Disney Cruisers Heading to Europe

by on May 27, 2015

Did you hear Disney Cruise Line is sailing to Europe again this summer and next? Are you one of the lucky cruisers headed there? The Disney Magic has begun its voyage across the pond, so I thought it might be a good time to post some tips specifically for those meeting her there. If you are currently on the Magic, I’m afraid this is too late and I must apologize to you. I’m sure these were the exact 10 tips that would have completed your planning and I have failed you. For everyone else – 10 tips for your trip to Europe for a Disney cruise!

1. Packing Tips – Unless you are flying Southwest or carry certain credit cards, checking bags stateside has become expensive. How many of us try to cram everything we own into a carry on to avoid baggage fees these days? Well good news: when flying internationally almost all airlines will allow you to check one bag…phew! Checking two, however, will be quite expensive, so stick to one! Plan to do laundry onboard and pack as light as you can. While packing, you do need to be aware of dress codes in the places you plan to visit. The Vatican, for example, does not allow visitors to wear shorts or sleeveless shirts, so make sure you have appropriate clothes. You should also be aware that lost luggage is a more common problem when traveling internationally. When you’re packing, spread each family member’s clothing across more than one bag. That way if one of your four suitcases is lost, little Sally still has some clothes in other bags and isn’t stuck with what was in her carry on for the entire cruise. As you can imagine, if your luggage is still in transit when your ship is leaving, it’s going to be pretty hard for it to catch up with you.

2. International Flight Tips – At first thought, spending eight hours on a flight sounds awful. In reality it’s not as bad as you think. On flights of that length there will be complimentary meals served, which is pretty much unheard of on stateside flights these days. I recently sat next to a gentleman from Norway on a 5 ½ hour flight across the US and he was shocked that we needed to pay for something to eat on that long of a flight. On international flights on almost every airline you will be served one, or even two, meals. Many flights will also pass out toothbrushes and toothpaste for you to use at your leisure. I can’t even tell you how wonderful brushing your teeth feels after eating and sleeping and sleeping and eating again. There will also be movies to watch to pass the time, usually with several to choose from. That long of a flight can still be a challenge for little ones, so be prepared with whatever you can to keep the little ones comfortable and entertained.

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10 Ways the TouringPlans Blog Can Help You Plan Your Disney Cruise

by on May 21, 2015

Are you thinking of trying your first Disney Cruise?  Are you a skilled Disney Cruise Line Veteran who doesn’t need no stinkin’ help from anyone?  Well we can help!  Even if you don’t think you need it!  TouringPlans blog posts have a little something for everyone.  I’ll prove it!  Keep reading!

1. Should You Go On a Disney Cruise? – That’s the first question to ask right?  Should you go?  Will you like it?  Are the kids too young? etc. etc.  Well if you’re a Disney fan, I gave you 10 Reasons right here!  Savannah loves Disney and she agreed in this article.  Chances are that if you’re reading this blog post, you are a Disney fan, but if you’re not, look at this blog post for 10 reasons to try one.  Derek joined in with 6 reasons of his own to try a Disney Cruise.  Kristi wrote a blog post specifically geared towards people that hate cruises!  Laurel and I both added thoughts on why Disney cruises are fun for adults and couples with no kids.  Erin wrote two blog posts for parents thinking about a Disney cruise, one about whether your children are old enough and one that compares a Disney cruise to summer camp!  If you haven’t figured it out by now, the answer to #1 is an unqualified “yes.”

2. Choosing a Ship – Now that you’re convinced, you need to choose a ship!  I compared the four ships in this blog post.  Dani gave us a photo tour of the re-imagined Disney Magic, and I wrote about the changes shortly after they were complete.  Laurel recently broke down the awesome changes coming in the fall to the Disney Dream.  There’s no bad choice here, but maybe one that’s more right for you.

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Disney Cruise Line Returns to New York City in 2016

by on May 18, 2015

Thank you to Tammy Whiting for the heads up on this:

Good news, East Coasters – Disney Cruise Line will have sailings out of New York City to Canada and the Bahamas in 2016 on the Magic.

I was lucky enough to catch the Canada itinerary the last time Disney had it, and loved the change of scenery. If you’re looking for something new on DCL, and Alaska or Europe are too far or too much money (in my case – both!), this is a great option to consider.

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FAQ: What to Wear on A Disney Cruise

by on May 15, 2015

You’ve booked a Disney Cruise Line voyage, yay! One of the first things many guests ask (after “How am I going to pay for this?”) is “What should I wear?” This simple question is a hotly contested topic in some circles. I’m here to talk you through what you need to know.

What should I wear to dinner?

Disney Cruise Line ships each have three main dining rooms (MDRs). You will be assigned to eat at one of the three MDRs every night of your cruise.

One version of semi-formal.

One version of semi-formal.

The default dress code at the MDRs is “Cruise Casual.”

The MDRs may also have any of several possible other dress suggestions depending on the specifics of your sailing. These might include formal attire, semi-formal attire, pirate attire, tropical attire, Pixar attire, Frozen attire, or Star Wars attire. In the main dining rooms, everything other than cruise casual is simply a suggestion and is completely optional. I repeat EVERYTHING OTHER THAN CRUISE CASUAL IS OPTIONAL.

What does cruise casual mean?

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Should I Take My Young Child on a Disney Cruise?

by on May 1, 2015

Cruises, and Disney cruises in particular, offer many wonderful activities for children and families. Parents of elementary-age children, tweens, and teens typically leave the ship raving about their children’s engagement in the onboard kids’ clubs, their independence on the ship, and their enjoyment of various port excursions. They had a fabulous time! Many families with smaller children, preschool age and younger, also have a grand time on board; however, a significant subset have a more neutral, or even negative experience while cruising. Typically, the negative reaction comes when there is a disconnect between expectations and reality.

Some families with younger children find the ship pool areas overwhelming.

Some families with younger children find the ship pool areas overwhelming.

When considering what to expect from a Disney Cruise, first remember that travel with small children is almost always more challenging than travel with older kids or grown-ups. Adults who are used to traveling as, well, adults may be surprised at the difficulties posed when traveling with young children. If the Disney Cruise is one of your first travel experiences as a young family, remember that many of the issues you will encounter are not specific to Disney or to cruising, it’s just par for the course with travel at that stage.

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Get to Know the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App

by on April 28, 2015

Guests traveling on the Disney Cruise Line ships have long relied on the Personal Navigator, a daily printed guide to information about the timing of onboard activities such as movies, shows, character greetings, and youth activities. In late 2013, DCL introduced the Personal Navigator in app form. It took a while for the app to be fully functional on all four of Disney’s ships, and there’s some information that still works better in a print format, which is still available, but the app now has enough functionality and unique features that you can almost get away with using it exclusively. Here’s what you need to know …

How can I get the Disney Navigator App?

It’s available via free download from the iTunes App Store or from Google Play for Android.

OK, I got the download, but it doesn’t look like there’s much to it.

You’re right. With one exception, there’s not much that happens with the Navigator App while you’re on dry land. The real functionality of the app only happens while you’re on board a Disney ship. The one cool thing the app can do on land is work as a countdown clock for your sail date. You can use the countdown clock to amp up the excitement as your trip gets closer, or to remind you that you really do have to start packing.

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