Setting Sail With Disney


Published:

While the Disney brand is synonymous with families and children, the cruise line also has many surprising and luxurious amenities that will appeal to adults. Whether you are taking the family, celebrating an anniversary or a second honeymoon, or looking for a fun girlfriends’ getaway, consider the Disney Cruise Line for a sailing adventure like no other.

The Disney Dream, one of four ships in the Disney fleet, made its maiden voyage in January 2011 and sails from Port Canaveral, Fla., for three- and four-night cruises to the Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. During summer, the ship alternates four- and five-night itineraries with two stops at Castaway Cay. Despite the enormity of the Disney Dream, the 4,000-passenger cruise ship is intimately and richly detailed with an Art Deco interior design throughout the ship, which has 1,250 staterooms.

World-class dining

Disney Cruise Line is well-known for its diverse menus and world-class dining options. Unlike other cruise lines, Disney has unique rotational dining where guests enjoy a different restaurant each evening, but servers rotate with them.

“Your servers get to know you as an individual and your children, and build that relationship and rapport,” says Lara Picket, the hotel director for the cruise line.

The result is over-the-top customer service, which many guests believe sets the Disney Cruise Line far above its competitors.

“I’ve been on Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and am going in Carnival this summer, and Disney is by far the best we’ve been on,” says Joy Lee of King, who sailed on the Dream with her husband, 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son three years ago. “The food is better, and there’s always someone there to help you or serve you, and the ships are prettier! I like rotating to different themed dining rooms each night, yet having the same servers.”

The Dream has two adult-only and upscale dining options, which are an alternative to the rotational dining. Disney’s signature restaurant at sea, Palo, features ocean views and exquisite modern Italian specialties. Adults will also enjoy Remy, with its French-inspired gourmet cuisine and world-class wine list.

On board amenities

Whether you’re seeking fun or relaxation, there’s no shortage of adult activities onboard the Dream. Adults can sunbathe at the Quiet Cove Pool on Deck 11 and enjoy refreshments from Cove Bar, which is part of the pool.

There’s an ocean-view gym with nearly 2,500 square feet of exercise equipment and space for complimentary group classes such as yoga, Pilates, aerobics or spinning.

All ages will enjoy AquaDuck, the first water coaster onboard a cruise ship that extends out over the boat, above the ocean. The exhilarating flume ride stretches 765 feet in length and spans four decks in height.

When you are ready to relax, Senses Spa and Salon provides a tranquil environment for adult guests. A variety of services are available such as massages, body wraps, facials, manicures/pedicures and hair styling. In the spa’s Rain Forest room, guests can experience the benefits of steam, heat and water therapy combined with aromatherapy, or recline in heated, mosaic-tile loungers while observing serene ocean views.

As day turns to evening, head to The District, an exclusive nighttime entertainment neighborhood for adults. The area includes five bars and lounges for mingling, dancing and late-night toasts.

Entertainment

All ages will enjoy a Broadway-style show each evening in the elegant Walt Disney Theatre. Your favorite Disney characters come to life in the 1,340-seat venue that spans three decks with orchestra and balcony seating. The cruise line has mastered the art of creating shows for families that also keep adults entertained.

“The cruise industry, when we started, was mostly for adults. So, it was a fun experiment for us to find that balance between entertaining the children and keeping the adults entertained and allowing them to have their vacations so that they could rest, relax, unplug and be pampered as well,” says Christian Abbott, the ship’s cruise director. “So entertaining adults spans from allowing them a quiet place to dine, a quiet place to have a cocktail, to enjoying a comedy show. … We dedicate a lot of the spaces around the ship not only for their comfort, but also for their entertainment,” says Abbott.

There are also adult-themed game shows, karaoke sessions and even an adults-only space to view the fireworks at sea.

Nassau, Bahamas

This island port is a destination on most three-, four- and five-day cruises and is a great spot for shopping, sightseeing and or having your hair braided. You can buy souvenirs and unique handmade crafts in the straw market, and the Disney Cruise Line also offers a number of shore excursions including harbor cruises, dolphin encounters, a tour of Atlantis on Paradise Island and much more.

Castaway Cay, Bahamas

“Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island paradise, is probably one of Disney Cruise Line’s best assets,” says Tina Pratt, a Disney Travel & Cruise Consultant for Aladdin Travel in Winston-Salem. Pratt recalls a client returning from a Disney cruise and telling her that the island is “the BEST place on Earth.”

If you are seeking adventure, there’s a variety of port excursions and island activities such as snorkeling, stingray adventures, bike rentals, water cycles, paddleboats, sea kayaks, sailboats, a game pavilion, gift shops, ecological tours and more.

Transportation is provided to and from various points on the 1,000-acre island, including a special tram to Serenity Bay, a beach area reserved exclusively for guests 18 and older. Highlights of Serenity Bay include lounge chairs for relaxing, two-person hammocks, private cabanas, a lunch buffet and a variety of drinks at the Castaway Air Bar. Serenity Bay visitors can also enjoy a therapeutic massage in a cabana or a yoga class on the beach.

Disney character appearances

Cruising with Disney isn’t complete without Mickey and the gang, and you’ll find a guide to character appearances and photo opportunities in your Personal Navigator, a handy activities guide that is delivered to your stateroom each evening.

Even if you aren’t traveling with kids, there’s something magical about the Disney experience, and meeting the characters. Adults traveling without kids “still want that family atmosphere,” says Abbott. “They still enjoy standing in the atrium and watching the kids meet the princesses.”

To learn more about the kid-focused amenities and activities on the Disney Dream, read “Disney Cream Cruise Offers Magic for Everyone in the Family," written by Charlotte Parent editor Michele Huggins.

If You Go

Disney Cruise Line
disneycruise.com
800-951-3532

Rates vary depending on when you sail and your stateroom. Rates start at $450 per person for three-night cruises, $600 per person for four-night cruises and $910 for seven-night cruises departing from Port Canaveral for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Tina Pratt, Disney Travel & Cruise Consultant for Aladdin Travel
tina.pratt@aladdintravel.com
336-983-3232

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Triangle Treasures: 8 Places for Fun

Explore these eight sweet spots in and around the Triangle for fun, exercise and learning with your kids.

North Carolina Zoo: A Perfect Day Trip

Discover why the North Carolina Zoo is the perfect destination for a day trip from any location across the state.

USS North Carolina Has Historic Tales to Tell

A trip to Wilmington is not complete without a visit to the decommissioned USS North Carolina Battleship, a historic landmark on the Cape Fear River.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

August 2019

Take part in a class that teaches individualized ways to foster motor development for your child. Learn about tummy time alternatives, best positions for your baby, how to help your child learn to...

Cost: 24.00

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
Website »

More information

Join Mindful Families of Durham, a Buddhist-inspired spiritual community that supports area parents, caregivers, and their children in the practice of mindfulness and the understanding of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
Website »

More information

Take part in a class that teaches individualized ways to foster motor development for your child. Learn about carry positions, best positions for your baby, how to help your child learn to crawl,...

Cost: 24.00

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Experience the vibrant Latin American culture through music, entertainment, arts and food. Enjoy dancing, music, authentic Latino food, kids’ activities and much more. A two-hour outdoor...

Cost: Free

Where:
West Weaver Street
Carrboro, NC  27510


Website »

More information

Hundreds of artisans from across the Southeast, festival foods, demonstrations, a kids' play area and live music highlight the town's signature arts and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Town Hall Campus
316 N. Academy St.
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

Discover Historic Yates Mill—a place of business, community, and exciting local history! Watch a brief slideshow, then explore the inner workings of the mill itself and witness the power of...

Cost: $5/Adult, 4$/Senior (60+), $3/Child (7-16), 6&Younger Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Geocaching is a treasure hunt where participants use GPS coordinates to track down hidden "caches." We will learn how to use traditional GPS units and the Geocaching App (by Groundspeak) and then...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 11 and older with disabilities make spaghetti, meatballs and a salad. Register online. Choose course #1247467.

Cost: $19/resident, $24/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

These programs are open to students 6–12 years old. Parent/guardians are welcome to stay for the program or drop-off. Preregistration is required. Learn about predator and prey...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

More information

Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Register online. Choose course #124969.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Unexpected NC is hosting a Mommy Meet-up at SnickerDoodles. This event is for new and experienced moms alike. Kids are more than welcome to attend and make some new friends.    ...

Cost: Free with registration

Where:
SnickerDoodles
3721 Lynn Road
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Unexpected NC
Telephone: 99-717-7298
Contact Name: Morgan Price
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Explore the ways you can plan ahead for the heat and care for yourself while outdoors on hot days. For ages 6 and up (adult accompaniment is required for all children); FREE. Registration is...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Plus-Plus is one shape with endless possibility. Younger kids can build 2-D mosaics and older kids can create 3-D masterpieces. Come into Learning Express Falls Pointe for an instructional...

Cost: Free

Where:
Learning Express Falls Pointe
9660 Falls of Neuse Rd
#130
Raleigh, NC  27615
View map »


Sponsor: Learning Express Falls Pointe
Telephone: 919-325-6057
Contact Name: Stephanie Gillespie
Website »

More information

Enjoy tea time for the whole family. Samples of hot tea, cold tea, and kombucha will be provided, along with games and family fun.

Cost: Free

Where:
IngenuiTea Kombucha Coffee & Tea
514 E Williams St
APEX, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: IngenuiTea Brews
Telephone: 919-438-3684
Contact Name: Mark Poole
Website »

More information

Read the story by Laura Numeroff and make brownies. Register online. Choose course #124737.

Cost: $23/resident, $30/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Listen to a story about Johnny Appleseed, the legendary character who's based on John Chapman, the American frontier nurseryman who planted apple trees in many states. Play the game of fruit...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Families take part in an unconventional family adventure race on a muddy obstacle course. Spectators may watch families compete. Parking is $5/car.

Cost: $30-$40/person for race

Where:
Hill Ridge Farms
703 Tarboro Rd.
Youngsville, NC  27596
View map »


Website »

More information

Shop for local handmade arts and crafts from local vendors. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Durham Central Park
501 Foster St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate African-American culture and history with an art gallery walk, vendors, kids' activities, food and more. See website for hours.  

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
Fayetteville Street
, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Want to get inside Historic Yates Mill? Join us for a half-hour tour (starting at 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30 & 3:00 p.m.) to view the main power drive and milling machinery while exploring the...

Cost: $5/Adult, 4$/Senior (60+), $3/Child (7-16), 6&Younger Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

East Cloud Kungfu hosts a Parent's Night Out event, featuring a safe environment for kids as they about the wide world of kungfu.   Check it out!...

Cost: $25 first child, $20 each additional child

Where:
East Cloud Kungfu, LLC
5655-A Western Blvd
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: East Cloud Kungfu, LLC
Telephone: 252-646-7053
Contact Name: Imari Colon
Website »

More information

Enjoy a charity radio controlled model flying event and fundraiser benefiting Meg's Smile Foundation. See all sizes/types of electric radio controlled aircraft and watch a drone...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sugg Farm at Bass Lake Park
2401 Grigsby Avenue
Holly Springs, NC  27540
View map »


Sponsor: Holly Springs Skyhawks RC Group
Telephone: 919-270-8467
Contact Name: Doug LeRoy
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Directories

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2018-19 Education Guide offers 678 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools, academic resources and an Exceptional Child special section.

The Triangle Go-To Guide

Our Triangle Go-To Guide connects you to family fun resources across the Triangle. In our 2019-20 issue, explore 1,028 resources for family fun.