Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island,
provides activities for both
children and adults.
As a veteran cruiser, mother of three grown children and
grandmother of nine, I’ve long advocated the concept of cruising as
a multi-generational vacation. But what about a two-generation
vacation? Grandparents taking grandchildren on trips is quite
common these days. And, certain cruise lines, such as Disney,
provide an experience tailored for kids that also meets the needs
Our four-night cruise on the Disney Wonder from Port Canaveral,
Fla., to Nassau, Bahamas, and Castaway Cay was a perfect time for
us to get to know our 6-year-old grandson Jakob. The trip provided
a wonderful adventure for Jakob, and enough activities so that my
husband and I were never bored.
A child’s first reaction to the Disney Wonder is exactly that
wonder. Jakob’s eyes grew enormous as he spotted the giant mouse
ears on the ship’s funnels. And when he heard “When You Wish Upon a
Star” sounding as the ship’s horn, he was sold.
Staterooms on the Disney Wonder are designed with families in
mind. Not only are the rooms a comfortable size, they feature a
unique “split” bathroom. One room holds a sink and commode; the
other, a tub, shower and sink, with plenty of H20 Plus Spa bath and
shower products to keep adults happy. Recent upgrades also include
Sealy Posturepedic Plush Euro-top mattresses and Frette
300-thread-count Egyptian cotton linens.
The ship’s Vista Spa and Salon were expanded last year to
include indoor treatment suites connected to outdoor verandas and
personal hot tubs. Adults can enjoy a romantic couples massage or
other treatment for two, while kids check out Disney’s famous youth
Jakob joined the Oceaneer Club, designed for children 5-7. He
and his newfound friends baked chocolate chip cookies, learned to
hula with Lilo and Stitch, tried their hands at animation and even
performed some science experiments. The full daily roster of
activities for Jakob meant that we had plenty of time to relax by
the adults-only pool; enjoy a quiet evening in Palo, the
adults-only restaurant, or browse the Internet at several Wi-Fi hot
We realized that we could enjoy ourselves without worry, because
of the sense of security we felt with the children’s programs. Upon
registration, Jakob received a security wristband and we received a
pager, so staff members could always reach us if it became
Not surprisingly, entertainment on the Disney Wonder is a hit
with all age groups. Stage shows and an outdoor Pirates IN the
Caribbean deck party provided Broadway-caliber fun. And even
Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, featured a special area just
for adults. But we were having too much fun being grandparents.
Once Jakob saw The Flying Dutchman, the 175-foot-long vessel used
in the second “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, anchored nearby, he
didn’t want to leave.
The Disney Wonder sails three- and four-night
Caribbean cruises throughout the year. Its sister ship, the Disney
Magic, is celebrating an historic season of Mediterranean cruises
during the summer of 2007. And Disney Cruise Line is planning to
more than double its capacity. Two additional ships will enter
service in 2011 and 2012.