The Disney brand is one of the most popular and best known of all international brands. From movies to theme parks to character collectibles, Disney is simply a great escape to pass some vacation time or leisure away virtually any time of the year. This means the company is more than just a business, and with people from all over the world looking for a temporary escape from reality, Disney continues to create new ways for people to find that special place.
The Disney Cruise is one of those unique experiences for people who love the ocean. As expected, everything is Disney-themed, so instead of your run of the mill cruise experience you will get Disney-eyed before returning back to port. Many call the cruise and immersive experience, and because it is intended for both adults and kids, the number of things you can do will make your cruise time seem shorter than it actually is.
With this in mind, here are 20 things you didn’t know about what the cruise is all about, including some things that will appeal to those who are concerned about the consequences of all this fun. If after reading you are interested in booking a cruise, the most important fact to keep in mind is that The Disney Cruise experience is all about having fun and relaxing.
1. Live shows and entertainment occur every night of the cruise for the grown-up types..
In other words, there are no “off” nights where you begin to look for something to do or end up sitting in your cabin. While you may not be a big fan of every show or personality, you have the opportunity to check out acts that are previously unknown to you, giving the cruise a sense of surprise. Best of all, there are nightclubs and lounges that are for adults only, giving parents their own positive timeout.
2. There are kids clubs for every age, freeing up adults to actually enjoy the vacation.
The Disney Cruise knows the event should be fun and relaxing for everyone, so they provide trained counselors who will watch your children and give them the opportunity for an immersive experience. Having fun is always an option, but give credit to the business for creating a familiar child theme with plenty of activities so the children can have a timeout from mom and dad.
3. They have renamed one of the essentials of any warm weather travel destination.
The more common “all you can eat” concept has been replaced with “all you care to eat.” Naturally, this only applies to ice cream as far as we can tell, but it isn’t certain exactly whether this means there are unlimited amounts of the icy dessert for everyone. Forget the online reviews on this one since what is too much for some is not enough for another. Especially the kids. But according to the company, there is more chicken (10,000 pounds) and melon (15,000 pounds) served aboard the average cruise ship than almost every other kind of food.
4. You will have access to adult-only beaches.
Yes, there are family beaches as well, but this feature can easily give one the impression that The Disney Cruise is more for the adults than the children. Or perhaps there are parents who will leave the kids with the grandparents and have the opportunity to spend several days acting like a child among people of their own age.
5. Everything is Disney colored – even the lifeboats.
People who have taken cruises before likely have noticed that the color of the lifeboats is always orange. This is by law, making them easier to spot on the ship and for rescue craft. Disney has been given special permission from the U. S. Coast Guard to paint their lifeboats yellow so the color can be consistent with the Disney theme. We just hope you don’t have to use one.
6. The cruise ship is not Made in the U.S.A.
This may be troublesome to some people, but The Disney Magic was made in Italy. In fact, it was built in two pieces, with one half built in Ancona, Italy, while the other was built 100 miles from Ancona, in a location just outside of Venice. When the two halves were finally completed, The Ancona piece was towed to Marghera just outside of Venice and welded together. You might ask which part of the ship is the better half.
7. There is a fireworks at sea display that takes place on the ship.
We can only presume Disney knows what they are doing here since it has been a common event for quite some time because as we all know by now, a fire on a ship is never a good thing. The show is titled “Pirate in the Caribbean” and can be seen on the vast majority of Disney Cruise trips. They advertise it as “pyrotechnics” so it may not be as fiery as one might imagine given the state of modern technology.
8. Among the industry “firsts” is the cruise ship’s unique bathroom set up.
The yellow lifeboats were mentioned earlier, but for everyday living The Disney Cruise staterooms have what they call “a bath and a half.” Instead of just one place to spruce up they divided the space into two sections. One has the expected sink and toilet while the second half has an additional sink and shower. It seems much like the morning madness of getting up and ready with everyone fighting for bathroom space has been efficiently taken care of by Disney.
9. It is an ethnically diverse experience.
Beyond the fact that there are on average three crew members for every passenger, the crew members will represent about 85 different nationalities. Whether you are interested in talking to someone about a different country or want to connect with someone from your homeland, it is likely you will be able to find someone who will be happy to spend a bit of time with you.
10. If you find yourself drinking a lot, you will be in good company.
The average Disney Cruise will serve up 3,125 gallons of soda, 2,700 bottles of wine and champagne, and more than 12,000 cans and bottles of beer. Part of the reason is the warm climate the ship will be passing through, and part of it is that it is evidence people are there to simply have a good time. However, we could not find any bottle counts on bottled water consumption.
11. Speaking of wine, if you are a connoisseur of Italian wine you will definitely want to visit the Palo restaurant.
The Palo restaurant is one of the more interesting rooms on the ship, as both the food and environment are secretly dedicated to the country that built both the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder - Italy. They have a wine list that features some of the best Super Tuscan wines in the world, with varieties such as Sassicaia, Ornellaia, and Tignanello. Even if your palate is not the most discerning, visiting the Palo is a worthwhile experience.
12. Pound for pound, there is more pineapple eaten on the average cruise than all the main types of seafood combined.
The amount of salmon, shrimp, and lobster tail (3500 pounds total) is still 1,000 pounds short of the total amount of pineapple eaten. This cannot be proven just yet, but Disney may be the largest importer of pineapple than any other company. It is somewhat of a headscratcher why people eat so much seafood at sea, but the amount of beef consumed (5,000 pounds) tops the protein food list.
13. You can take a trip back in time to the 1920’s and 30’s.
The 1920’s marked the beginning of the production of the Mickey Mouse animated film cartoons, which featured a less colorful Mickey but was amazing for its time. The Disney Cruise pays homage to the time and its creator by designing the décor of the Buena Vista Theatre in the style of the movie houses of the period. Back in those days, theatres were often elegant places to attend, and taking a visual backwards journey will have you truly missing the days gone by.
14. For those who prefer the more crowded environs of modern day movie theaters, The Disney Cruise has accommodations for those people as well.
The Walt Disney Theater is the main place on every Disney Cruise where the main shows will be performing. The size of the theater will depend on the type of ship you are booked on. The larger seating capacities are found on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy cruises, while the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder only hold 977 people. Just to give you a mental image of the theater, each theater spans three decks.
15. If you want to catch the premiere of a movie, book a cabin on the Disney Cruise.
Of course this may be truer of Disney first release films, but one of the unique features of a Disney cruise is you can see the premiere of many movies while cruising some of the seven seas at the same time the movie is premiering for the land lubbers. This includes movies that are of the 3D variety. But they have yet to create a way for you not to have to stand in line. Sorry.
16. You might have to forget about taking that midday cool dip in the swimming pool.
This fact may not appeal to every passenger, but all of the swimming pools on The Disney Cruise ships will automatically begin heating the water when the pool temperature drops below 75 degrees. It’s not hot tub temperature but it may not be cool enough for some. As of this writing there is no way to avoid this tepid temperature, though on a majority of cruises this is not an actual problem.
17. Each ship is truly very environmentally friendly.
Diversity among crew members was mentioned earlier, so for those concerned about the amount of waste created by hundreds of people in a confined space for days you will be glad to know each cruise ship actually has a designated Environmental Officer. Their job is solely to make sure recycling, waste processing, and water reclamation procedures are strictly followed to maintain the environmental quality of the ship and the waters it travels on.
18. The island of Castaway Cay has its fresh water supply brought in from afar.
Castaway Cay is one of the most popular features of The Disney Cruise, and with so many people making regular demand of its water resources, the island’s natural environment is not able to keep up. To meet the demand, Disney has fresh water shipped in from Port Canaveral where it is stored in a storage tank that holds 80,000 gallons at a time. With the average person using about 100 gallons a day, a single filling should accommodate about 1,000 people for a week without a refill.
19. Oil and water don’t mix, so the ship takes precautions to make sure the two never meet.
With all the food preparation requirements, cooking oil is something commonly used to make things taste delicious and safe for consumption. The average cruise will use about 1,000 gallons of cooking oil per week. Instead of just heaving it overboard, the used oil is collected and offloaded so it can be converted into biodiesel fuel that is actually used to run a fleet of BMWs. Environmentally friendly times two.
20. Some people work and play at Castaway Cay.
There are only about 60 total, but someone has to keep things working throughout the year. But these Disney Cruise employees not only work on the island, they live there as a place called home. It’s not clear whether they can claim a foreign residence when it comes tax time, so if you are interested in applying for a position you might want to check that out first.
What makes these facts both interesting and fun is that The Disney Cruise is able to do an odd thing – to take fun seriously. This sounds like a contradiction, but glancing back through the list you will see that there are 1,001 little things that passengers will not give a second thought to during their cruise.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker