A short hour drive from the Walt Disney World Resort, Port Canaveral, Fla., is home to many cruise lines that can take you to exotic destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico and beyond. Among those is the Disney Cruise Line, whose two ships, the Disney Wonder and the Disney Magic, make their home base in this port and bring that same Disney magic to guests out on the Atlantic Ocean as they do at the theme parks in Central Florida.
If you are making a trip to the Walt Disney World Resort, you now have the option to book a land and sea package thanks to the Disney Cruise Line. The DCL has both three and four-night cruise itineraries that take guests to Nassau, Bahamas and Disney’s very own private island, Castaway Cay, that can be combined with a three or four-night stay at any Disney hotel to make for an unforgettable week-long vacation. If you book this package, you can also add on additional transportation to and from the port, meaning that you won’t have to worry about transportation at all, since Disney also picks up guests staying at a Disney resort for free from the Orlando International Airport.
New to cruising and don’t know what to expect? As we mentioned above, Disney has worked hard to ensure that guests aboard either the Magic or the Wonder have the same experience that they do on Disney property, so you can expect to see those Disney characters that you know and love from the moment you step on board until you depart the ship. The sailaway celebration starts off every cruise with a bang, with Disney characters and a cast getting everyone on board ready for the days of fun to come. Your first day on every cruise will be at sea, giving you plenty of opportunities to check out the three pools on the top deck (one just for kids, one for families and another for adults only), the many lounges and activity areas or the Broadway-style productions that take place twice every night. Each evening you will also have a seating at one of the three on-board restaurants, which are all Disney themed, or you can choose to forego one evening in favor of the ship’s reservations-only restaurant, Palo. This five-star restaurant carries only a minimal additional charge, but you have to reserve your spot as early as possible to experience the delicacies at this dining establishment.
Both the three and four-night cruises dock first in Nassau, Bahamas, where guests can either book one of the many land excursions that are pre-arranged (you can reserve your spot online when you book or cruise on at guests services on the ship) or you can choose to explore the port for yourself. Nassau is home to many historic sites, quaint shops and beautiful beaches, especially at Paradise Island, which is just a short cab ride or water taxi away from Nassau.
Your second day on the DCL will be no doubt your best, as you will experience Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. This small island has separate beaches for families and adults, so the over-21 crowd has a stretch of white sand beach and crystal-clear water with a bar all to themselves. The island also has shore excursions you can book, an activity/sports area, merchandise shops and even several picnic areas for lunch, which is served free of charge on the island and includes soft drinks, fresh fruit, grilled meats and seafood and ice cream and cookies. Castaway Cay also has a great area for snorkeling, where Disney has several surprises hidden underwater, and be sure to keep a lookout for Captain Jack Sparrow wondering around the island and the Flying Dutchmen from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies which is parked just outside the ship on the island’s port.
From Castaway Cay, three-night cruisers will head back to Florida, while four-night cruisers will enjoy either a second day at Castaway or a whole day at sea before returning. If you would like to do an entire vacation just at sea, Disney also has seven-night cruises (and a few special cruises that are longer) that go to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, and each summer, Disney also sends one of its ships on special itineraries to different parts of the world. In the summer of 2007, DCL guests enjoyed sailing around Europe, while this summer, the cruises will depart from California with a Mexican Riviera itinerary on tap!
Whether you save your Disney cruise for the end of your vacation or start it off with a few days at sea, you won’t want to forget about your plans once you do make it over to the Walt Disney World Resort. Most importantly, you can save yourself both time and money if you purchase your discounted Disney tickets prior to your vacation with DWTickets.com! We are your No. 1 online source for discounted tickets to not only Disney, but also to Universal, Sea World and many other area attractions. To see these unbelievable discounted theme park ticket deals for yourself, click here now!