Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook
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Looking for something a bit special on your next cruise? Disney plans many special cruises each year—some are once-in-a-lifetime events, while others just feature celebrity guests. Here are some past and upcoming events to give you an idea of what to expect:
Themed Days at Sea—Everyone likes an extra excuse to cruise! Star Wars Day at Sea enhances 7-night Caribbean cruises on the Disney Fantasy departing between Jan. 6–Apr. 14, 2018 and Jan. 5–Mar. 2, 2019. For one day, the Star Wars Universe engulfs the ship with character appearances, kids club activities, Jedi Training Academy, special merchandise and dinner menus, movie screenings, and of course, a rousing deck party. In fact, the March 17, 2018 Star Wars Day at Sea features Warwick Davis as the guest speaker! Marvel Day at Sea features Miami departures in early 2018 and early 2019. Much like Star Wars Days, it's the Marvel Day at Sea is filled with character appearances (including Guardians of the Galaxy characters), movie screenings, a new show featuring Doctor Strange, special food and merchandise, costume parties, a super-heroic deck party, and even an after-hours "Ravager Hideout" for adults where you might even see the Star-Lord do a dance-off. A Day of Frozen Fun has been a feature of Alaskan and European sailings during summer 2016, and it may return. One day at sea is dedicated to the Disney animated hit, Frozen—characters, activities, dinner menu, deck party... you catch the (snow) drift! Disney recently released some special desktop and mobile wallpapers to celebrate the Marvel sailings!
Holiday Cruises—If your cruise coincides with a major holiday or holiday season, you can bet Disney will make it special. Halloween on the High Seas begins in September and runs throughout October. Very MerryTime takes over in early November and wraps-up just before New Year’s. Both celebrations feature magical holiday decorations and special events. Cruises that coincide with Christmas and/or New Year’s Eve are very popular—book early if you’re interested. Thanksgiving cruises offer traditional dinners, and major religious holidays will have clergy onboard for observances.
Inaugural Cruises—The first sailing of a new ship, or the first sailing of a ship on a new itinerary is a big deal. On the up side, you get the thrill of being “the first” to sail, and you may get a few extra treats—on the Western Caribbean Inaugural Cruise in May 2002, we were treated to a Mexican mariachi band before embarking, given special “fans” to wave as we set sail, and presented with complimentary champagne glasses. We were aboard for the Dream’s Christening Cruise, January 19-21, 2011 (an invitation-only event), and Jennifer returned on January 26 for the Dream’s Inaugural Cruise, which was available to the general public. There were commemorative gifts, special merchandise, and the premieres of a new stage show and a revised Pirates In the Caribbean Night, among many notable events. While any early sailing on a new ship may exhibit some glitches, we’ve encountered very few, and the excitement of being “first” more than makes up for the small disappointments. First-time visits to new ports of call may be honored with a small ceremony and debarking cruisers may receive a special welcome.
Ernie Sabella and Dave
Celebrity Cruises—Many cruises have at least a minor celebrity or notable speaker, while others feature bigger names. For some years, Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper held a Film Festival at Sea, and the 2012 California Coast itineraries highlighted Pixar animation. Most celebrity guests have some connection with Disney, and include actors, artisans, and authors–guests have included Ernie Sabella (voice of “Pumbaa” in Disney’s The Lion King—see photo), Leslie Iwerks (granddaughter of Ub Iwerks), Raven, and former presidents George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter. Disney rarely announces their celebrities or speakers ahead of time, but you can call 888-DCL-2500 to inquire.
Fan Cruises—Disney fans love to cruise together, and usually one group or another is organizing a group cruise. Check with your favorite community for plans!
The Disney on Broadway: Stars Set Sail cruises in summer of 2017 feature a wide variety of broadway stars and celebrities. Disney plans fun events throughout each cruise that may include the chance to personally meet each star at a Q&A session, a late-night show just for adults, a theater class for teens and tweens, and more. Here is the full line-up of celebrities (as always, subject to change):
Top Photo Slice: (℗ 53517) Photo contributed by © Jennifer Marx
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