A Disney cruise provides a “best of both worlds” vacation for clients who love Disney and who also love cruises. As Disney Cruise Line (DCL) prepares to mark its 25th anniversary with select 2023 sailings, the line has recently announced more reasons to love Disney cruising in the next few years.
“Clients who have been to Disneyland or Disney World know Disney is famous for storytelling, safety, and unique family-friendly experiences,” said Steve Griswold, owner of Pixie Vacations in Atlanta. “And the same level of Disney service and storytelling extends to Disney Cruise Line."
For 2023: Disney Cruise Line’s 25th Anniversary Celebration and the Debut of DisneyBand+
Disney has brought magic to life at sea since 1998, and to celebrate its milestone anniversary, DCL is sprinkling extra pixie dust across its five-ship fleet from May through September of this year.
“For two-and-a-half decades, [DCL] has built an incredible legacy of creating unforgettable vacation memories for families around the world,” said Sharon Siskie, senior vice president and general manager of DCL. "We’re thrilled to invite guests of all ages to be part of our very special anniversary festivities."
During “Silver Anniversary at Sea” summer cruises to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Europe and Alaska, clients can expect new family entertainment and activities, limited-time enhancements and other surprises, all “imbued with the magical spirit of this once-in-a-lifetime event."
The MagicBand+ technology clients know and love at Walt Disney World and Disneyland will soon make its way to the high seas with the debut of DisneyBand+ on select summer 2023 Disney Wish sailings.
DisneyBand+ will allow cruise passengers to take advantage of Disney wearable technology for the first time, including unlocking stateroom doors, linking photos taken onboard by Disney photographers and making purchases, all with a tap of the wrist.
Noting that wearables are “catching on across the cruise space,” Heather Straight, co-president and CEO of Key to the World Travel in Grand Rapids, Mich., believes they make a cruise vacation even more relaxing.
“DisneyBand+ is definitely a welcome addition to Disney cruising,” she said. “I love not having to carry a key card or wear a lanyard.”
The rechargeable bands (available in three exclusive DCL designs) will also activate “enchanting surprises” and “moments of magic” — and, because they’re “adventure-proof,” clients can wear them in the pool, while snorkeling at Castaway Cay, or on the Wish’s AquaMouse attraction.
“Even the littlest explorers can experience the magic of DisneyBand+," wrote Jacqueline Logan, public relations manager for Disney, on the Disney Parks Blog. "Children ages 3 and up can use their bands … to access kids' clubs."
Clients who already have MagicBand+ from Walt Disney World or Disneyland can use them during their Disney cruise; similarly, DCL DisneyBand+ can be used at the theme parks.
New For 2024: Disney Treasure and Lighthouse Point
On March 30, 2023, Disney Cruise Line’s second Wish-class ship — Disney Treasure — marked a significant construction milestone as a newly minted coin featuring an etching of Captain Minnie Mouse was placed under the keel, a maritime tradition to bring good fortune.
Announced by Josh D'Amaro, chairman for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products at D23 Expo in 2022, the name of DCL's sixth ship (expected to set sail in 2024) was inspired by Walt Disney's love of exploration. It will feature a three-deck-tall atrium representing the kingdom of Agrabah from Disney's animated classic "Aladdin," complete with a statue of Aladdin, Jasmine and the Magic Carpet.
“We're dreaming up a brand-new design concept that feels unlike anything Disney Cruise Line has ever done before,” D’Amaro said. “The theme of the ship is adventure … and at the heart of every adventure is a treasure. It’s going to be an epic journey into Disney stories.”
D’Amaro also revealed that DCL’s new private island destination, Lighthouse Point on the island of Eleuthera, will be 90% solar-powered and that Disney is working with local advisors and artists to ensure an authentic guest experience. Lighthouse Point opens for select summer 2024 sailings.
“I like that Lighthouse Point has a focus on nature and culture, but also leans to a resort island feel,” Griswold said. “I’m very excited to see a fresh new take on Castaway Cay after all these years, and I’m sure DCL will take the best from Castaway while adding ‘lessons learned’ when creating Lighthouse Point.”
I’m very excited to see a fresh new take on Castaway Cay after all these years, and I’m sure DCL will take the best from Castaway while adding ‘lessons learned’ when creating Lighthouse Point.
New For 2025: Disney Cruise Vacations in Southeast Asia
DCL and the Singapore Tourism Board recently announced that Disney will homeport a brand-new ship in Singapore for at least five years, offering Disney cruise vacations in Southeast Asia for the first time.
“Disney Cruise Line is undergoing an ambitious expansion with new ships and new destinations around the world,” D’Amaro said during a news conference in Singapore. “We are incredibly excited to make Singapore the home port to our seventh-launched ship, which will sail from here year-round starting in 2025."
The still-unnamed new ship — the former Global Dream, which DCL purchased in 2022 — is expected to carry 6,000 passengers and feature the entertainment, dining and service DCL is known for, as well as experiences with princesses, superheroes and characters from a galaxy far, far away.
Over the next several years (and beyond), these new DCL offerings will provide advisors with more opportunities to match every client with their perfect Disney cruise vacation.
We are incredibly excited to make Singapore the home port to our seventh-launched ship, which will sail from here year-round starting in 2025.
“A personalized experience is so important, and that's where [advisors] do such an amazing job,” said Javier Moreno, senior vice president of Disney Destinations Sales. “Because of close relationships they build with clients — and understanding the best possible Disney experience for them — they can really tailor and customize that experience.”
Jodi Bainter, director of travel agency sales for Disney Destinations, agrees.
“Travel agents take the time to get to know the guest and align the best vacation to what each guest is seeking,” she said. “They do a lot of really hard work to make sure our shared guests have a magical vacation.”