Big Changes Coming to Disney Magic

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Exciting new things are coming to Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Magic for families that love to hit the open seas.

At Rapunzel’s Royal Table, passengers will be treated to an all-new dining experience inspired by the beloved story of Disney’s Tangled. The restaurant will feature characters, live entertainment, themed menus, special activities and a parade to cap off the evening.

All of the themed events at Rapunzel’s Royal Table compliment Tangled: The Musical, an original production running during each Disney Magic sailing.

Families travelling with teenagers know how fickle they can be, but the crew at Disney Cruise Line has redesigned a portion of the ship specifically for teens ages 14-17, dubbed the Vibe.

The Vibe features a new coffee and smoothie bar, video and virtual reality games, DJ spin-off activities and more in an urban loft environment. The area will be monitored by trained Disney counsellors.

For the parents and guardians of the group, the Cove Cafe is a place for adults only where they can enjoy coffee and tea or get wild with wine and a cocktail. The Cove Cafe also hosts adult beverage tastings at select times.

Other changes announced include the addition of Club Disney Junior in Disney’s Oceaneer Club, a redesigned Rainforest Room with steam and hydrotherapy in Senses Spa for adults and more.

The new enhancements will debut on the Disney Magic ship starting March 9, 2018, on sailings from Miami. The four- and five-night sailings visit Key West, the Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

The Disney Magic will be repositioned to Europe for the summer season on May 14, 2018.

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Disney’s Magical Private Caribbean Island

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Imagine having your own private island.

Well, Disney has done just that with its enchanted Castaway Cay. This tranquil retreat is just for Disney cruisers and embodies the perfect island paradise.

I’ve often said I’d take a Disney cruise just for a stop on this magical isle. The rest of the family heartily agreed after we returned from our 3-night sail on the Disney Dream, celebrating our grandson’s birthday.

The cruise itself was one fantastic experience. Food, service, staterooms and entertainment were all top-notch Disney-esque.

Our first port of call was Nassau— a fun place we’ve visited in the past—teeming with Bahamian and British flavour, miles of spectacular beaches and stretches of vivid coral reefs perfect for snorkelling.

Excitement, however, started to build as our ship slowly approached Castaway Cay. The tropical island hideaway located just 225 nautical miles from Port Canaveral, Florida is a stop on all Disney’s Bahamian and Caribbean cruises.

There’s no shortage of things to do here. (Actually, we found it impossible to do it all in a day.)

Ships dock right on the island, allowing Disney cruisers to disembark directly onto the pier. A short 15-minute walk leads to unbelievable amenities, including our first stop: powdery white and sandy Castaway Family Beach. The beach area is quite extensive with points and coves along the shoreline.

Trams are available for those who need them (or want to get to the beach faster) and traverse all Castaway Cay amenities. Beach towels are provided by cruise line members at the pier, so no need to pack those in your suitcase or beach bag.

Beach and Water Fun

After securing our chairs and umbrellas, the kids scurried to the bay’s turquoise crystalline waters. Snorkeling is available to those wanting to explore the Caribbean’s undersea marine habitat in Snorkeling Lagoon just off Castaway Family Beach.

Two submerged submarines from Magic Kingdom’s retired 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction add an element of adventure for intrepid snorkelers.

We found it impossible to resist Pelican Plunge, the 2,400 square-foot floating platform with two bending twisting water slides dropping squealing riders directly into the lagoon. A giant “bucket dump” of water delivering hundreds of gallons brought more anticipation and laughter. Four water cannons provided sharp-shooting fun with floating nautical targets.

Game pavilions near the Family Beach offer a variety of sand and shaded games like volleyball, tetherball, foosball, ping-pong, pool, shuffleboard and basketball. And there are also places where each age group can hang out with their peers that include planned activities like Teen Hideout or Scuttle’s Cove kids club for the younger cruisers.

Inner tubes, snorkel masks and fins can be rented from Gil’s Fin and Floats or Flippers & Floats on the beach, while kayaks, paddle boats, paddle boards and Aqua Trikes can also be rented for use in this water wonderland.

Hammocks are located beachfront and very popular with visitors. And while my husband was clowning around in one with our grandson, that wily, notorious pirate Captain Jack Sparrow snuck up on them, grabbed our camera and started snapping photos.

Disney to Expand San Diego Season in 2019

Disney Wonder

Disney Cruise Line will offer an expanded two-month season from San Diego in 2019, sailing to Baja and the Mexican Riviera as the company today announced some of its 2019 deployment.

There are also cruises to Southern Caribbean from San Juan, Puerto Rico, according to the company. From January to May, all cruises departing from Florida feature a stop at Castaway Cay.

Bookings open to the public on Nov. 2, 2017.

More details on 2019 itineraries can be found on the Ports and Itineraries for 2019 page of disneycruise.com.

The Disney Wonder returns to San Diego for an extended season from March to May 2019, with a variety of cruises to Mexico, including two-, four-, five- and seven-night voyages.

Most sailings to Mexico’s Baja peninsula call on Ensenada. Two-night cruises to Ensenada boast Friday departures from San Diego for a weekend experience.

Four- and five-night Baja options include a visit to Cabo San Lucas.

Seven-night sailings to the Mexican Riviera call on Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlán.

In January, three special Disney Wonder cruises from San Juan sail to the Southern Caribbean. The Disney Wonder arrives in San Juan after a five-night journey departing Jan. 9 from Galveston, Texas, with a stop in Falmouth, Jamaica.

On Feb. 3, a four-night cruise aboard the Disney Wonder takes guests from San Juan to Port Canaveral, Florida.

The Disney Fantasy continues to sail seven-night Caribbean voyages, with Eastern Caribbean itineraries visiting the Virgin Islands of Tortola and St. Thomas, and Western Caribbean cruises calling on Cozumel, Mexico, Grand Cayman and Falmouth.

The Disney Dream embarks on three- and four-night Bahamian cruises to Nassau and Castaway Cay and the Disney Wonder will alternate similar three- and four-night itineraries throughout February.

To kick off 2019, the Disney Magic continues sailing from Miami with four- and five-night voyages to the Bahamas, plus five-night Western Caribbean cruises.