Welcome aboard for this week’s Disney Cruise Line Preview for the week of August 5th! Brand Glover here. I’ve assembled the latest news, weather, and important tips you need to know before setting sail with the Disney Cruise Line this week. If you missed last week, we previewed the upcoming Marvel Day at Sea, but this week we’re getting into the holiday spirit to discuss one of my favorite itineraries. First, let’s look and see what the weather holds around the world.
Ports of Call (High/Low Temperature, Chance of Rain)
- 5 August – Day at Sea
- 6 August – Palma de Mallorca (91/74, 0%)
- 7 August – Barcelona (82/72, 0%)
- 8 August – Cannes (86/68, 20%)
- 9 August – Livorno (83/68, 0%)
- 10 August – Civitavecchia (88/69, 0%)
- 11 August – Day at Sea
- 5 August – Ketchikan (82/57, 10%)
- 6 August – Day at Sea
- 7 August – Vancouver (84/63, 0%)
- 8 August – Day at Sea
- 9 August – Tracy Arm Fjord (69/54, 20%)
- 10 August – Skagway (68/56, 20%)
- 11 August – Juneau (64/53, 30%)
- 5 August – Nassau (91/83, 10%)
- 6 August – Castaway Cay (91/82, 50%)
- 7 August – Port Canaveral (88/78, 40%)
- 8 August – Nassau (91/82, 40%)
- 9 August – Castaway Cay (90/81, 50%)
- 10 August – Day at Sea
- 11 August – Port Canaveral (88/78, 40%)
- 5 August – Port Canaveral (88/78, 20%)
- 6 August – Day at Sea
- 7 August – Cozumel (88/75, 40%)
- 8 August – Grand Cayman (87/82, 50%)
- 9 August – Falmouth (89/80, 50%)
- 10 August – Day at Sea
- 11 August – Castaway Cay (90/82, 40%)
Disney Cruise Line: In The News
Nothing is more magical around the Disney parks and resorts than visiting during the holidays. Experiencing Walt Disney World at Christmastime is one of my favorite parts of being an annual passholder, between the Christmas lights, festive foods, and atmosphere provided by the musical sounds of the season. Holidays aboard the Disney Cruise Line ships are just as memorable, packed with a full lineup of holiday goodness. The Disney Parks Blog has posted a preview of the Very Merrytime Christmas itineraries with commentary from the Disney Parks Mom’s Panel. All four Disney Cruise Line ships are decorated from bow to stern for the holiday season, including a Christmas tree and a gingerbread house. If you’ve ever visited the Grand Floridian resort during Christmas, you’ll know that wonderfully familiar smell! Some of the special activities offered during the Very Merrytime itineraries are holiday-themed dance parties, meet and greets with Santa and Mrs. Claus, characters in their “jolly holly” attire, a tree lighting ceremony with Mickey, and more. Passengers traveling on December 24th and 25th will receive Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve, special holiday towel animals, and caroling with the crew. During Hanukkah, there will be a special menorah lighting ceremony each night along with special treats. Very Merrytime Cruise sail dates for 2017 begin on November 10th and 11th. A few years back, my family and I had the opportunity to experience one of these itineraries, and one thing I will always remember was the amount of decorations present. All of the characters were wearing special holiday outfits for photos, and I even observed the menorah lighting taking place at guest services. Not only were there plenty of decorations and special experiences on board the ship, but Castaway Cay had an array of ornaments, a Christmas tree, and even a reindeer-themed tram! You’ll certainly have a Christmas to remember if you choose to sail with Disney Cruise Line this winter.
Halloween is fast-approaching in the theme park world, and Disney Cruise Line is no exception to the spooky fun. The official Disney Cruise Line Twitter posted a teaser for the upcoming Halloween on the High Seas itineraries coming this fall. With sailings beginning on September 2nd, passengers can expect a ghoulishly delightful itinerary featuring Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party, pumpkin carving, ghost stories, an adults-only costume party, and Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Sing and Scream, featuring a live appearance by Jack and Sally! Characters will appear in their trick-or-treating attire, and if you’ve been to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, then you know how rare it is to see Jack and Sally. Passengers are encouraged to bring costumes as there will be trick or treating for the whole family and a costume contest for adults. As we mentioned in last week’s preview, the costume policy has been updated to where masks must now be carried while walking around the ship and may only be worn while standing in place taking a photo. I will be sailing on one of the early dates of Halloween on the High Seas, so if anyone has questions regarding this itinerary, then leave them below and we will update you at that time.
According to The Disney Cruise Line Blog, Disney Cruise Line has updated its cancellation policy for 5-night sailings beginning August 15th. The previous window for cancellation fees on standard sailings was 74 days, but has been expanded to 89 days; holiday sailings have been pushed back to 104 days from 89 days. We will update you to any more changes as they materialize.
The following films are being shown aboard the Disney Cruise Line ships this month:
- Beauty and the Beast
- Born in China
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
- Cars 3
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
For future reference, films debut on the Disney Cruise Line the same day of their initial release in the United States. Show times are available on your Personal Navigator or the official Disney Cruise Line app.
Next week, guests on the Disney Magic will be able to experience Stars Set Sail with performances by:
- Kevin Massey and Kara Lindsay on August 12th
- Kerry Butler on August 19th and 26th
And in case you missed it, this week on the TouringPlans blog, Tammy Whiting covered the Best Staterooms in Each Category. This is a helpful resource so you can find the best room for your needs.
Captain’s Log: Important Tips and Information
Castaway Club is Disney Cruise Line’s membership program that rewards passengers who cruise with Disney for multiple cruises. Benefits of the program include: early booking opportunities before the general public, advance online reservations for select activities, exclusive Castaway Club check-in at the terminal, a Castaway Club toll-free number to call with questions or for reservations, a welcome back gift in your stateroom, and much more! There are three levels of the Castaway Club: passengers earn Silver status after completing their first cruise, Gold after five cruises, and Platinum after ten cruises.
If you’ve never been on a cruise before, you’re probably wondering what the dress code will be for dinner. While I tend to follow my personal style guide Thurston Howell III for these matters, you may be happy to learn that shorts are permitted at each of the three rotational dining rooms aboard each vessel. Swimming attire and tank tops are not permitted, however, so save those for a quick-service lunch. As we’ve mentioned before, Pirate night is the standard party night on each itinerary, so costumes are permitted to be worn during dinner – just keep in mind the new rules regarding masks. Now, for dining at Palo, guests are “asked to preserve the ambiance of this fine dining venue.” Pants, slacks, and collared shirts are recommended for men, and a dress, skirt, or pants, and a blouse are recommended for women. Jeans may also be worn if in good condition, provided there are no rips or holes. Tank tops, swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, shorts, hats, cut-offs, torn clothing, t-shirts with offensive language and/or graphics, flip-flops, or tennis shoes are not permitted attire. Remy requires formal wear, meaning a tuxedo or jacket for men, with dress pants (ties are optional). Acceptable women’s attire includes evening gowns, cocktail dresses, skirts, or pant suits. If you do not have these garments and would like a cheaper solution to acquiring them, we recommend renting attire from Cruiseline Formal. Rented garments will be delivered to your stateroom for you and then returned to your stateroom attendant at the end of the cruise. That’s one less thing you’ll need to bring aboard and will cost significantly less than purchasing these garments from a clothier.
Coffee is a vital portion of my morning routine, and often times a post-dinner treat. Cove Cafe, with locations on all four ships, is the perfect place to relax with a cup of coffee and a novel. The menu features a wide selection of lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, teas, and more as well as a case of pastries or savory foods that change throughout the day. (The snacks are free, even if you don’t buy a drink at Cove Cafe–we’ll keep that as our secret, though!) One of the perks to frequenting Cove Cafe is their Cafe Fanatic rewards card, which earns a free coffee after purchasing six specialty coffees. The Magic and Wonder Cove Cafes include a television viewing area that features news and sporting events to watch while enjoying a latte.
Disney Cruise Line is a destination encompassing the whole family, from age six months and up (or one year depending on distance of the voyage), and there is something for everyone to enjoy. The Youth Clubs onboard provide a specialized experience tailored to the age group’s needs and interests. The It’s A Small World Nursery is a comfortable environment for passengers aged six months up to three years old, themed to the happiest cruise that ever sailed. The Nursery requires a reservation (made before you embark or by stopping by and checking for availability) and costs a fee of $9 per hour, with each additional child costing $8 per hour. For passengers aged three to twelve, the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab are designed with state-of-the-art interactive exhibits as well as character visits, story time, and more during operating hours. Passengers experiencing these clubs will be given a wristband that resembles a MagicBand which allows them access in and out of the clubs. Parents must check passengers aged three to seven in and out of the clubs, but those aged eight to twelve may check themselves in and out if given parental consent at time of registration. For the tween and younger teenage passengers, Edge provides a cool place to hang out for the eleven- to fourteen-year-old crowd. Activities featured at Edge include arts, cooking, and gaming. And for the soon to be adult crowd, Vibe houses activities for the fourteen- to seventeen-year-old crew, including a dance party. But the special fun for different age groups doesn’t end on the ship. Passengers between ages thirteen and seventeen have access to the exclusive getaway The Hideout on Castaway Cay. Scuttle’s Cove is another exclusive hangout for passengers from ages three to twelve who are registered to the Oceaneer Club.
One of the greatest services on board the ships, in my opinion of course, is the 24-hour room service. My father and I found out about this magical experience on our last cruise, as we proceeded to order three cheese plates to the room. Why is this such a great offering? The food is included with your cruise. That’s right, FREE room service (except for gratuity at your discretion)! Menu items include breakfast, lunch, and dinner staples along with additional-fee items such as candy, snacks, and beverage packages. For passengers staying in concierge level or suites, room service includes this menu as well as the complete menu from each of the three rotational dining rooms. So if you just happen to miss your favorite restaurant or even want to try something different from the menu, it’s available to you during the evening!
Senses Spa, available on all four Disney Cruise Line ships, is the perfect place for the individual or couple to escape the noise of the vessel for a quiet, relaxing experience. While there are many options for creating the perfect escape, we recommend purchasing the Rainforest Pass. For about $25 per day, passengers can use the aromatherapy showers, sauna areas, and heated loungers. Length-of-cruise passes are limited, so we recommend to buy early upon embarkation or check early in the day for day pass availability.
If you have any questions you would like us to answer in next week’s preview, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Are you deciding whether to book a Disney Cruise but are having a tough time deciding which ship fits all of your desires? Well, our own Laurel Stewart has put together a chart that makes it easy to compare all of the options in one place. Also available as a valuable planning and companion guide from authors Len Testa, Erin Foster, and Laurel Stewart is The Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line. The companion guide contains a complete overview of each Disney ship as well as Castaway Cay and includes valuable tips on how to save time and money during your cruise!
That concludes this week’s preview of the Disney Cruise Line. Join us next Friday as we take a look at what happens in the world of Disney Cruise Line over the next week. In the meantime, check out the latest edition of The Saturday Six from author, illustrator, and masked luchador Derek Burgan. Special thanks to Derek Burgan, my better half Adrian Rowda, Julia of Best Week Ever fame, Rikki Niblett, and Scott Sanders of the DCL Blog for their assistance on this article. You can follow Scott on Twitter @TheDCLBlog for daily updates on the cruise line. Tune in to the Be Our Guest WDW Podcast to hear Rikki discuss topics covering all things Walt Disney World.