Ship: Disney Dream
Cruise Line: Disney Cruise Line
Itineraries: Three-, four-, and five-night Bahamian cruises from Port Canaveral, Florida
Price: Three-night cruises start at $471 per person based on double occupancy; third and fourth berth fares from $363
Standout Perk: First-ever shipboard water coaster
The Disney name is synonymous with family entertainment, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this cruise line’s three ships were built with kids in mind. The Disney Dream, which made its maiden voyage in January, is more than a decade younger than its predecessors, and with 14 decks, 1,250 staterooms, and a capacity of 4,000 passengers, it’s a great deal larger. That means more amenities, including the first shipboard water coaster. Nearly 800 feet long and four decks high, AquaDuck propels two-person rafts upward, downward, through river rapids, and even over the side of the ship for a view of the ocean 150 feet below.
Known for lavish live productions of the G-rated variety, Disney Cruise Line outfitted its newest ship with a 1,340-seat theater that spans three decks. Beloved Disney characters take star turns in the nightly musicals. Each cruise includes a pirate-themed evening complete with an appearance by Captain Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean fame and an extravagant fireworks display.
The ship is a showcase for Disney’s technical wizardry. Play spaces designed for kids age 3-10 feature interactive floors that let them soar over the streets of London with Peter Pan, leap over lasers with Stitch, and step into the world of Tron. At Animator’s Palate, one of half a dozen restaurants (including two reserved just for adults), more than 100 wall-mounted LCD screens create the sensation of dining beneath the sea. Visits by Nemo, Dory, Crush, and other Finding Nemo characters punctuate meals. Can’t spring for an outside stateroom? Hakuna matata! Each of the ship’s 150 inside staterooms boasts a “magic porthole" —a monitor that displays real-time video of what’s going on outside the ship.