From dream-makers at Disney came the concept for bringing theme park magic to the seas,
first with Disney Magic, and then Disney Wonder. In October, 2003, Disney made it official
that DCL is on the expansion trail, seeking bids for at least one more ship, possibly for
expansion beyond Florida and the Caribbean. Speculation on new itineraries has focused on
California, the Mediterranean or Asia. Meanwhile, Disney Magic sails from Florida’s Port
Canaveral on three- and four-day itineraries to the Bahamas, and Disney Wonder journeys
from Port Canaveral into the Caribbean on alternating 7-day eastern and western itineraries.
Western sailings, with two days at sea, call in Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Castaway
Cay, Disney’s private island. Eastern sailings, also with two days at sea, call in St. Maarten,
St. Thomas and Castaway Cay, with two days at sea. Departures are on Saturdays.
Despite huge inevitable appeal for families with children, Disney ships are also sufficiently
sophisticated to attract adults sailing without children. Since debut, Disney has expanded
adult activity to include enrichment courses with guest lecturers, wine tastings, cooking
classes and a champagne brunch. In fact, there are separate activity areas on board for adults,
teens, and kids along with the family activities.
Gratuities can be charged to shipboard accounts. Recommended guidelines per person, for a
seven-night cruise are dining room server, $25.75; dining room asst. server, $18.75;
dining room head server, $6.50; stateroom host/hostess $25.25. Dining Manager and Room
Service tipping is at passenger discretion, and a 15 percent gratuity is automatically
added to bar, beverage, wine, and deck service tabs.
Staterooms and suites for passengers with disabilities include ramped bathroom thresholds,
shower handrails, hand-held shower heads, fold-down shower seats, and lowered towel racks.
Other amenities include open bed frames, added phones in the bathroom/nightstand, lowered
closet bars, and emergency call buttons. Also available are Stateroom Communication Kits
with door knock and phone alerts, phone amplifier, bed shaker notification, a strobe light
smoke detector, and a Text Typewriter (TTY). Passengers requiring a wheelchair throughout
their cruise must make provisions for use of that wheelchair prior to the cruise. At one
feature pool, transfer tiers are provided. At Castaway Cay, sand wheelchairs are available.
Wheelchair accessible restrooms are in public areas. Assistive Listening Systems are in main
theaters and show rooms. Closed captioning is available for stateroom televisions and
selected onboard video monitors. American Sign Language interpretation is available for
live performances on designated sailings.
An atrium lobby is anchored by a large bronze statue of Mickey garbed as a 19th century mariner,
and Mickey’s image is reflected just about everywhere from the red funnels atop ship to atrium
iron railings to stateroom wallpaper and bedspreads. Even so, the overall décor and lifestyle
aboard is relatively (and perhaps surprisingly) sophisticated, with innovative, progressive
dining and non-stop activities for adults and families Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay,
has even more activities. Family lounges are popular at night, and the Walt Disney Theater
features Broadway-style Disney productions. Disney movies are screened in the Buena Vista Theater.
Two boutiques sell Disney merchandise.
Standard amenities include color TV with CNN and Disney PG movies, bath and a half,
hair dryer and ample storage for a short cruise. Standard inside and outside staterooms,
which can accommodate three or four passengers, are 173 square feet, while those with
private balconies are 253 square feet. Suites, accommodating up to five people, are 291
square feet they comfortably hold four or five people. One-bedroom suites are 591 square
feet while deluxe suites have two bedrooms and private concierge service. All staterooms
Tub and shower, remote-control color TV, closet, in-room safe, hair dryer, phone with
voice-mail messaging, and individual climate control.
Kid & Teen Stuff
All ages are entertained with extensive programs and teens have their own coffee house and disco.
Disney's Oceaneer Club offers age-specific activities transporting young minds to edges of their
imaginations under counselor guidance. Parents receive pagers so families are always in touch.
Children ages 3-4 can train as Mouseketeers, practice marching, and watch a video of the 1950's
Mouseketeer show opening. Mickey arrives to inspect new Mouseketeers and lead them in a march
to the Lab. For ages 8-9, apprentices make their own batches of Flubber-like goo, and Disney
animation secrets are unlocked as participants use classic animation tools. There’s also a
chance to be part of the talented line-up of producers, directors, and stars in TV spots.
For ages 10-12, there’s Science Scorcery with things that are not always as they seem and
more opportunity to learn secrets of drawing the Disney character Goofy. Rookie news teams
also produce a newscast.
Passengers rotate each evening to different restaurants with different themes.
Parrot’s Cay provides tropical fun while Lumiere’s setting is art deco.
Animator’s Palate starts out in a black/white motif and transforms to
glorious color during meals. Palo, a chic, reservations only alternative
restaurant that is solely for adults, books up early. Topsider Buffet has
casual fare and there is 24-hour room service.
Sports / Health / Fitness
An ESPN Sports Box has live broadcasts on TV screens throughout. Among three pools,
one is adults-only, and one has a long water slide. Vista Spa and Salon has hydrotherapy
and assorted massage and beauty services. There’s a well-equipped gym, and other sports
activities include basketball, paddle tennis, volleyball, and a track for jogging.
The Walt Disney Theatre stages a different theatrical production each night.
On Deck 3, Route 66 features clubs WaveBands, Barrel of Laughs, and The Cadillac
Lounge. Studio Sea is an interactive family club with dancing.
Disney ships do not have casinos.
Country, western and rock music is featured at Rockin’ D Bar every evening
and the adjacent Beat Street has comedy.