Karen and Ted have recently celebrated their 100th voyage on the Disney Cruise Line – they’re the first couple to have ever been on that many Disney Cruises!
With such a long history under their belt, we thought they’d be the perfect people to tell us more about how to make the most of a Disney Cruise trip. Check out their advice below to learn more about the history, experience, and even secrets of the Disney Cruises! [Answers edited for clarity and length]
Q: What was your first Disney cruise like? What has changed over time since the day you started going on Disney cruises?
Our very first cruise was on the Maiden Voyage on the Disney Magic ship which was Disney’s ﬁrst ship. It was only a 4-day cruise but it was an exciting, fun cruise for us having never been on a cruise ship before. It was an interesting experience as there wasn’t even a cruise director on that cruise.
Disney Cruise Line always listens to guest feedback and since this first cruise they have made many improvements, enhancements, built larger ships, created longer cruises, added exciting itineraries, etc., for the enjoyment of their guests.
Q: What are some tips that you can offer for those who are going on a Disney cruise vacation for their first time to make the most out of their experience?
Review the excursion options for your cruise and book those online in advance, as well as any adult dining reservations so you are not disappointed. Don’t stress if that does not work for you, as when you board the ship it is possible those options may still be available if you ask.
Once on board, take a little time each evening to review your daily cruise navigator and highlight the activities that interest you the most.
Take lots of pictures for memories but make sure to enjoy your cruise “live and in the moment” as much as possible and not through your camera or phone.
Q: What have been some of your favorite moments on the cruises?
Alaska cruises going through the Inside Passage and Tracy Arm and the awesome Fjords. You are so close to the mountains you feel you could almost touch them…Videos and pictures you see at home do not compare to seeing this beautiful scenery in person! Don’t be concerned about the cooler temperatures as the excitement you will experience when you are surrounded by this awesome scenery will warm you up and will be so worth it!
Many other favorite cruises such as the Baltic, Mediterranean, Caribbean. Visiting so many countries, experiencing the different cultures, the beautiful and amazing scenery and enjoying the tropical weather.
Holidays on a Disney ship are the best! So festive with the holiday decorations, enjoying costumes of the adults and children and trick or treating during Halloween, Santa Claus visit, etc., watching all the excitement of the children with all the special holiday events.
Q: What makes a Disney cruise special to you?
The warmth that you feel from the Disney Cruise Line crew. They work long hours and are so committed to pleasing their guests. Being away from their family and friends for some as long as 6 months cannot be easy for them but they always seem to reach into their soul for that extra energy to bring joy and smiles for their guests. Whether you are an adult or a child the Disney Cruise Line crew will ensure that you enjoy your days on the ship and you will forever appreciate and remember their caring and kindness.
Q: Do you have any rituals or traditions for each Disney cruise trip that you go on?
We always bring little sweet treats for the crew. They remember us on each ship and they look forward to these treats, especially ones we specifically bring from their home country such as India candy. It brings us joy to see them smile and tear up as it makes them think of home and they are so appreciative that a guest thought of them.
We do not have many rituals or traditions as doing so can sometimes prevent you from trying new things and you can miss new experiences. We try to make each cruise a little different/unique and not having so many rituals/traditions helps us discover something new and exciting to experience on every cruise.
Q: Apart from being on a ship and going on attractions, what makes a Disney cruise vacation different from spending a vacation at a Disney Park?
Disney parks are fun and exciting but can be exhausting and stressful with the crowds. Most experiences in the parks require standing in long lines, taking buses and utilizing a lot of your precious vacation time. On a Disney cruise the only line that you may spend some longer time waiting will be for a character meet and greet, which is so worth it when you see the faces of the children meeting these characters. After a vacation at the parks you feel like you need a vacation to rest up. But after a Disney cruise, with all the options that you have, you don’t feel you need another vacation just to get some rest and relaxation…a cruise offers so many options to fit your desires on your vacation
Q: Anything else you’d like people to know about the Disney cruise experience?
Although Disney Cruise Line can be more expensive than other cruise lines, we suggest you try Disney ﬁrst. You will not be disappointed!
Although we have sailed solely with Disney Cruise Line, throughout the years we have spoken with numerous people who have sailed with Disney and other cruise lines and the feedback has always been that in comparison Disney is the best and they have no desire to cruise with any other cruise line again.
We are the first Disney guests to reach a 100 cruise milestone with Disney Cruise Line and we do not have any children. You can enjoy a Disney cruise without children and we encourage everyone, whether you have children or not, to sail on a Disney ship. We feel confident it will be one of your best vacations and you will definitely want to return for more Disney cruises just as we did for 17 years.
We hope that Karen and Ted’s advice has inspired you to take your very own Disney Cruise!
If you’re still doubting how a Disney Cruise can cater to adults, stay tuned – next week Karen and Ted give great advice for adult vacationers who want to know whether or not a Disney Cruise is right for them.
Like what you see here on DisneyExaminer? Help support us grow and be rewarded with even more content and experiences by becoming a DisneyExaminer Patron!