If I can go parasailing, dance with a dolphin, take a sled ride with a pack of dogs, and go panning for gold, then so can you! Those are just some of the many adventures you can embark upon when you go on a Disney Cruise. These excursions are best planned in advance so as soon as your window of opportunity opens to book them, do so because space is often limited. As I mentioned before, you can spend very little extra on these outings or a LOT, it just depends on what you’re looking for. Even if you don’t spend any money on excursions, you can still head into town at each port and explore your surroundings. We’ve done that on a number of occasions and that is a lot of fun, too.
Excursions on a Disney Cruise are very well organized as you would expect. Often they are run not by the crew but by companies on the shore of whatever port you happen to be in. You will have tickets for each excursion you will be taking part in and the ticket will tell you the time and place you should meet. You will also need your Key to the World Card (which you will need everywhere anyway) and if landing in non-US territory your passport. If you need to go somewhere beyond your port of call, don’t worry! Whatever excursion you are on has planned that in advance and will get you to and from the ship with ease. Just be sure to stay with your group and be back on board before the ship is about to leave. They are not counting to see if you have caught up.
Each trip has some pretty unique experiences to choose from and every cruise takes advantage of the locations on your itinerary. Our first cruise was a 5-day voyage that took us to locations in the Caribbean – Key West, Nassau, and Castaway Cay (Disney’s own private island). In Key West we mostly explored the shops in port and ate some extremely good key lime pie. It IS Key West after all. In Nassau we did the dolphin encounter where we had the chance to hug and dance with a dolphin and learn more about these amazing animals. But the highlight of our trip was Castaway Cay. There we got to go parasailing, feed the manta rays, swim with the manta rays (which by the way is very cool), have a BBQ feast, and take plenty of pics with our favorite Disney characters. There is so much to do on Castaway Cay that you’ll have to explore it yourself.
Our second cruise was a 7-day voyage to Alaska via a port in Vancouver, Canada. That was probably our favorite trip. It meant less time outside on the deck and very little swimming even in the summer, but we had so much fun. It was on this trip that we were able to pan for gold with Donald Duck and Chip and Dale! After panning for gold, we had an all-you-can-eat salmon feast complete with rice, beans, salad, and cornbread. And at the end we had s’mores over a campfire using real tree branches (clean ones by the way). It was also on this trip that we had the chance to go dog sledding by a professional team of dogs. The best part was not the sledding as fun as that was. The best part was getting to pet all the puppies that were dogs-in-training. Just too much fun. We wanted to take them all home with us. In Ketchikan, we stayed mostly in port, saw the totem poles, ate some great salmon and fudge, and went to a lumberjack show where my daughter Emma helped win for her team! That was a lot of fun, too.
Our third cruise was again to the Caribbean but to different ports. In Grand Cayman we went to a turtle farm where we learned all about them and even got to pick them up. Some of the turtles are beyond the “picking up” stage by hundreds of pounds and we’d watch them swim by. In Cozumel we went into port and went shopping. By far the worst port we had gone to. It was dirty and parts were run down and it just felt like people were trying to sell you cheap knock-offs of everything. They had people in port who posed as statues for money and one of them jumped off his perch and scared my youngest daughter. We didn’t give him any money. Our last stop was Castaway Cay, but it was a rainy and stormy day so there was very little to do on the island. Most of it was closed off for safety purposes so we stayed on the ship most of the day. Weather sometimes plays deeply into the enjoyment of your excursions. Despite those setbacks, we still had a great time and can’t wait to go again.
On and off the ship, the Disney Cruise Line offers so many enjoyable ways to spend your time. The Disney cast offers legendary guest service and they continue to find ways to improve your experience. Wave phones were something new on our second trip (onboard communication devices that acted like cell phones) and were extremely helpful. And now I’ve read they offer tickets to see the characters so you don’t have to wait in line for a photo meet and greet. Totally helpful. What kind of fun will you encounter on your Disney Cruise?
- If you’re curious about the cruise in general, read about it by following this link.
- Want to know more about the rotational dining experience? A quick overview is provided on our blog!
- What can you do onboard? Too much to tell you about, but we can give you a slice of what it’s like.