Two decked out ships make up the Disney Cruise Line: the Magic, which set sail in 1998, and the Wonder, that launched a year later. Under construction right now and booking passengers for its January 26, 2011, maiden voyage to the Bahamas is the Dream. Together this fleet provides Guests with a travel experience that cannot be matched.
Disney Dream under construction
Each ship offers state-of-the-art amenities and all the comforts of home in a variety of packages to suit just about any budget. Guests can sail for three, four, or seven or more nights bound for Alaska, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, the Mexican Riviera, the Panama Canal, or Europe. “Mom, I’m bored,” is something parents will definitely not hear on a Disney cruise! Kids ages 3-12 explore the OceanEar Club; teenagers chill at Teen Vibe; adults rejuvenate at the spa. Gather everyone back together for Broadway caliber shows, movies, swimming pools, and fine dining, deck parties, ports-of-call, and evening fireworks.
Disney Magic pictured near Dover, England
Our gracious blog sponsor, Carol Beth Scott of 3D Travel Company, an Earmarked Agency, and one of her agents, Kim Deviese, allowed me to cyber-eavesdrop on a conversation they shared about traveling aboard the Disney Cruise Line. Want to listen in?
CBS: Kim, the first time you went on the Disney Cruise Line you had experienced other cruise ships. How was Disney different when you stepped into the port?
KD: Yes, I had experienced other cruise lines prior to cruising on Disney Cruise Line. In my opinion Disney has managed to take what most Guests consider the worst part of the cruise, the check-in process and make it really enjoyable. I know that sounds strange, but I think guests really do enjoy themselves inside the Disney terminal. Guests who utilize the online check-in process head straight to the check-in desk where a Cast Member welcomes them home. The magic begins right then and there if you ask me. There are many things to do around the terminal such as watching Disney cartoons, trying to figure out where your stateroom is on the giant replica of the ship, having your photo taken with one of your favorite Disney Characters, or just chatting with other Guests who are as excited as you are to be sailing on a Disney cruise.
CBS: You have two boys who have experienced the children’s and teens’ programs. What did they think of them?
KD: Hands down Disney Cruise Line has the best children’s programs at sea. My youngest son (11) never wants to leave. He was so thrilled when one of his favorite Cast Members remembered him from a previous cruise and called him by his name. They keep the kids busy with fun activities all over the ship. On previous cruises, my older son, now 18, had never shown any interest in the teen activities. When we spent a week on the Disney Magic, he actually participated, loved it, and made some great friends whom he still stays in touch with. I will never forget the night he had to say goodbye to the Cast Members who had made his cruise magical…I could tell he would really miss them.
CBS: What are the big differences between the shorter (3 or 4 nights) and longer (7 nights or more) cruises?
KD: One obvious answer would be the ports-of-call. The 3 & 4 night cruises visit Nassau in the Bahamas. The 7 night cruises visit other ports such as Key West, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten. All 3, 4, and 7 night Disney cruises visit Castaway Cay. On the 7 night or longer cruises Guests enjoy a character breakfast that is not offered on the shorter cruises. Not only do passengers get to see the great Broadway style shows that can only be seen on Disney Cruise Lines but they also enjoy a few outside entertainers on the 7 night or longer sailings. Beware…pirates will be taking over the ship.…but don’t worry! They are the friendly type and your favorite mouse is close by to save the day. Longer cruises = more days at sea which means more time to relax and enjoy all that the ship has to offer.
CBS: Which ports are the best ones to visit with kids?
KD: There is something for families to do at all the ports, but Castaway Cay has to be what I call the jewel of 3 & 4 night cruises. Castaway Cay is truly an island paradise. Fun for the whole family! Scuttle’s Cove takes care of the younger adventure seekers while the teens get to explore and relax on their own beach. And if Mom & Dad are lucky, they can head to Serenity Bay for a little adult-only time. Don’t worry if you are a family that plays together! Head to the Family Beach where you can enjoy the new 2,400 square foot floating platform of fun known as Pelican Plunge. (Click here to view a tour of Castaway Cay.)
CBS: Besides booking with you, what is the one thing you feel every family should know before they sail with Disney?
KD: They should be ready to have the time of their lives! One more….don’t feel guilty when you start planning another Disney cruise before the first one is even finished.
CBS: What is your personal favorite thing to do aboard the ship—what do you look forward to the most?
KD: Do I have to pick just one? I love the shows each night. I love getting to know the Cast Members who make my trip so wonderful. I love spending time with my family knowing that phone is not going to ring and nothing is going to interrupt our time together. I love sending my kids to the children’s programs and spending quality time talking with my husband. Sitting in those comfortable chairs near the Quiet Cove chatting with friends who have come along with us. Fireworks, fireworks, fireworks! You won’t see those on any other cruise line!! The list goes on and on and it would be impossible for me to pick just one thing I look forward to about a Disney cruise.
Contact Carol Beth Scott or Kim Deviese of 3D Travel Company to schedule your next Disney cruise!
Carol Beth Scott
Owner/Manager 3D Travel Company
Office: (214) 592-4256
3D Travel Company
Office: (706) 517-5944
A superb pirates unit study can be found at Homeschool Share, based on the book, Pirate Diary, The Journal of Jake Carpenter, by Richard Platt (Candlewick, 2003). Summary:
Ten year old Jake Carpenter leaves the American colony of North Carolina to become a sailor in 1716. His ship, the Greyhound, is captured by pirates, and Jake becomes a member of the pirate company. His pirate adventures and safe return home with his pockets filled with pieces of eight are recorded in this fictional diary.
This unit study covers schooner diagrams, Caribbean/East Indies map studies, calendar skills, history, vocabulary, math, music, and more!
SKILL LEVEL: Upper Elementary/Middle Grades
SCHOOL SUBJECT: All