The Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line

Overview

The Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line by Len Testa, Erin Foster, and Laurel Stewart is a no-nonsense, consumer-oriented guide to Disney's cruise vacations. This detailed guide points out the best of Disney's ships and itineraries, including a couple of stellar restaurants, top-notch children's activities, and Castaway Cay, one of the best vacation islands in the Caribbean. It also lists which on-board entertainment and restaurants should be skipped, including recommendations on what to do instead. Along ...

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Overview

The Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line by Len Testa, Erin Foster, and Laurel Stewart is a no-nonsense, consumer-oriented guide to Disney's cruise vacations. This detailed guide points out the best of Disney's ships and itineraries, including a couple of stellar restaurants, top-notch children's activities, and Castaway Cay, one of the best vacation islands in the Caribbean. It also lists which on-board entertainment and restaurants should be skipped, including recommendations on what to do instead. Along the way, this indispensable travel companion shows how to save money, choose the right stateroom, ship, and itinerary, and how to get to and from the cruise with ease.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is so jam-packed with information about the Disney Cruise Line that I read it cover to cover even though I have already been on two cruises on the Disney Magic." Lisa Goodmurphy - Gone with the Family
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781628090185
  • Publisher: Unofficial Guides
  • Publication date: 5/6/2014
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 219,845
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Len Testa is the coauthor of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World and The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland. He lives in Greensboro, NC. As a charter member of the official Walt Disney Parks Moms Panel, Erin Foster has researched and written answers to more than 10,000 guest questions about Disney travel. She lives in New York City. Laurel Stewart manages operations and does business development for TouringPlans.com. She is also a contributing writer to the Unofficial Guide series. Before making the move to the travel industry, Laurel worked for a large Redmond, Washington-based software company.
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Read an Excerpt

On Disney's Live Shows:

The Disney-themed theater shows usually come in two types: Re-tellings of familiar stories, and “jukebox” musicals. Disney’s Aladdin, on the Fantasy, is an example of the re-telling genre. The cruise version features live actors and multiple Arabian-themed sets reprising key scenes from Disney’s animated film, including the most popular songs, in about half the time of the original movie. The Magic’s Twice Charmed, a twist on the original Cinderella story, is probably the best theater show in this category; the Fantasy’s Aladdin is a distant second, and the Wonder’s version of Toy Story is third.

Examples of “jukebox” musicals include Dreams, Wishes, Believe, and The Golden Mickeys. Each of these shows feature songs and characters from many different Disney films, with each number linked together by a new, original story. We’re generally not fans of these shows. The storylines are trivial and their main job, apparently, is to get to the next musical number rather than provide interesting narrative. Lack of a plot, however, isn’t our primary objection to these shows – we realize it’s a Disney cruise. Rather, the big problem is that these shows recycle the same handful of characters and songs played in every entertainment venue throughout the ship. If you haven’t heard Be Our Guest from Beauty and the Beast performed a dozen times on board, have your hearing checked when you get back home.

Dining:

On the Dream's Remy:

What makes a great restaurant, such as Remy, different from restaurants that are simply very good, is that while very good restaurants usually have a few “signature” dishes which they do very well, virtually everything at Remy is exceptional. An appetizer of carrots – yes, the root vegetable - will be most delicious set of carrots you’ve ever had, probably in varieties and colors you didn’t know existed, and with a taste that is the pure essence of carrot-ness. Now imagine a meal of 3 to 8 courses, all equally as good, ranging from soups, seafood, and beef, to side dishes, cheese courses, and desserts. That’s a quotidian evening at Remy.

On the Wonder's Parrot Cay food:

Disney tries to “Caribbean-ize” its standard menu items by adding jerk seasoning, plantains, and tropical fruits as garnishes, but it’s essentially the same food you’ll get throughout the ship. Need to turn an Italian mozzarella and tomato plate into an island-theme appetizer? Add a bit of grilled gourd and it becomes the “St. Marteen Stack!” You’ll be much happier if you can swing reservations at Palo on the night you’re supposed to eat at Parrot Cay. If that doesn’t work, try the Cove Café’s antipasto sampler or room service.

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Table of Contents

PART 1 Getting Started
1. DCL Overview
2. Disney Cruise Line's Target Audience
3. Competitors and Prices
4. What's Included and Not Included in Your Disney Cruise
5. Cruising with Kids
6. Cruising without Kids
7. Where to Find Other Information
8. Our Itinerary Recommendations For Your First Cruise
PART 2 The Ships
1. Overview
2. Deck Plans
3. Common Ship Amenities
4. Unique Features on Each Ship
5. Ranking the Disney Cruise Line Ships
6. Staterooms
Overview and Recommendations
Which Deck to Choose and Why
Amenities Found In Every Cabin
What You Won't Find in Your Cabin
Stateroom Categories
7. On-Board Services
Guest Services
Your Stateroom Attendant
Onboard Airline Check-In
Laundry Services
Port Adventures
Health Services
8. Dining
Overview and Recommendations
Restaurant Types
Dietary Restrictions and How to Make Special Requests
Counter-Service Restaurant Profiles and Ratings
Buffet Profiles and Ratings
Sit-Down Restaurants (Rotational Dining Explained, Dress Code, Sit-Down Restaurant Profiles and Ratings)
Kid's Dining Options
Room Service
Coffee Bars
Wine Packages
Dining on Castaway Cay
9. Children's Activities
Overview
Only-Child Situations
Amenities Common to Each Ship
Ship-Specific Features
Activities for Teens-only
Club 18*21
10. Entertainment
Overview of Disney's on-board show types (jukebox musicals, story re-tellings, etc.)
Each live show rated and ranked
Other Live Acts
Movies
Character Greetings
“Theme Nights” and Seasonal Entertainment (Pirate Night, Formal Night, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Winter Holidays)
Nightclubs and Lounges Rated and Ranked
Where to Watch Live Sports
On-Board Seminars
Family Activities
Shopping
Pools and Water Play Areas
Sports and Fitness
Spas
11. The Ports of Call and Shore Excursions
Overview
Alaska
Bahamas
Caribbean
Europe and the Mediterranean
California Coast
12. Planning Your Cruise
Choosing an Itinerary
Saving Money
Departure Ports
Combining Your Cruise with a Disney Vacation
Combining Your Cruise with an Adventures by Disney Trip
The Itineraries
The Booking Process
Special tips for Special People
Making Dinner and Spa Reservations
Booking Shore Excursions
Packing and Preparing
Electrical Outlets
Passports and Travel Documents
Credit Cards and Payment Methods
Health Insurance

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