Sunday, May 31, 2020

A Look Back at My Favorite Cruise Photos

Nothing too exciting is going on in the world of Disney Cruise Line at the moment.  Cruises are suspended and are scheduled to resume at the end of July.  Since nothing is happening, I'm struggling to think of something worth blogging about.  So, I took a look through the pictures I've taken on past cruises and decided to compile my favorites.  Aren't random ideas great?

This is one of my first photos from when I went on the Wonder in 2018.  To this day, I haven't seen anybody swimming in the crew pool seen in the photo.  I have seen someone in the pool working on it when it was drained, though.  I'm assuming the Dream and Fantasy don't have a crew pool because nobody used them on the Magic or Wonder.

This photo was taken on Deck 10 of the Wonder near the Wide World of Sports Deck.  The words on the plaque are in Italian, but translated into English (by Google Translate, so it's probably not entirely accurate), it says, 
"Fincantieri [the shipyard that built the Magic and Wonder]
Italian Shipyards
Max. 5990
Year 1990"
5990 is the Wonder's hull number, assigned to it by the shipyard.  The Magic's hull number is 5989.  This plaque is an interesting feature of the Magic and Wonder.  I have yet to find a similar plaque on the Dream or Fantasy, maybe because they were built in another shipyard, Meyer Werft.

These photos were taken on the Wonder's promenade in 2018.  This section of the promenade gets closed off whenever the ship enters or leaves a port.  I would love to see what happens here when it's closed.

These two photos were taken in Antigua, also in 2018.  I like the first photo because it gives a good look at the design and detailed characters on the Wonder's bow.  The second offers a look how long the Wonder is.  If you're not comparing it to the newer Disney ships, it looks really long.  The second picture also shows some of the lifeboats being tested, which is a pretty common occurence in port, but it's still cool to see.  Speaking of lifeboats, did you know the Magic and Wonder have more lifeboats than the Dream and Fantasy?  The Magic and Wonder have 10 on each side (20 total), while the Dream and Fantasy only have 8 on each side (16 total).  The Dream and Fantasy have larger lifeboats, and can easily fit everybody on the ship in them.  Nobody has to swim!

I took this on the Wonder the following year.  It's an edited picture of the lights in After Hours, the adult lounge area.  This is one of the best pictures I've ever taken!

Here's another edited photo from the Wonder in 2019.  I like how dramatic the lines are in this picture.

Next is a photo from when I went on the Dream in 2019.  I took this photo from Goofy's Sports deck early in the morning, before anybody was playing Goofy Golf.  If you want to get great pictures, get up early!

This is the Dream's atrium, taken in 2019.  Did you know the atrium chandelier is based on a fountain?  If you look at it upside down, it actually looks like a fountain.  It would be cool if there were fire sprinklers in the chandelier, then it would be an actual fountain!

Next up, we have the view of the pier in Nassau in 2019.  Walking between two massive ships feels really feels like walking on a street in a city, except there are no cars, the buildings can move, float, and have water parks on top of them.

This photo, from when I was on the Fantasy in January, is a rare look into a lifeboat.  Each of the Fantasy's lifeboats can hold 270 people!  Not much room for social distancing in the lifeboats, though.

This Stormtrooper was seen on the night before Star Wars Day at Sea 2020.  I love this picture.  It's so amazing how the picture is all blurry except for the Stormtrooper.  Now, I know in Obi-Wan Kenobi's experience, there's no such thing as luck, but this was unquestionably a lucky picture.

This is a photo of the Sun rising over the ocean, also from the Fantasy earlier this year.  When you wake up early, you get to see some amazing things, like this sunrise and...

A person walking in the AquaDuck!  This might be my favorite DCL photo I've ever taken because of how weird it is.  I had seen hundreds of people riding the AquaDuck on a raft, but I had never seen someone walking through it.  Later in the cruise, someone told me they had seen someone walking through the AquaDuck at a different time, so this wasn't a one time thing.  Maybe someone walks through it every day to make sure everything is working right.  Have you ever seen someone walking in the AquaDuck?

So, out of my thousands of DCL photos, I found fifteen especially good ones.  I know I have more than fifteen favorites, but I have to leave some for the next time I don't know what to blog about!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Virtual Vacation!

These days, many people have a lot more spare time on their hands. Some people choose to spend their time productively by doing activities like exercising, reading books, or learning how to speak a foreign language.  While I'm usually productive, I often think about how wonderful a Disney cruise would be right now (you know, if there wasn't a global pandemic).  I wish I could be sitting outside on the amazingly comfortable promenade chairs beneath the yellow lifeboats or looking out at the ocean while riding the AquaDuck.  But, no, I'm still at home trying to make it through the last few weeks of online school.  I guess the only way to bring back Disney cruise memories is by looking through my thousands of cruise photos.  Or is there another option?

Good news, there is!  On the Disney Cruise Line website, there is a collection of 360° photos showcasing various locations across the Disney ships.  These photos include the pools, the restaurants, the youth clubs, and the spas.  A few of the pictures even let you move to different areas to get a different view!  Also, some photos feature points of interest you can click on to learn more about them.  These points are probably intended to give people that have never been on a Disney cruise a better understanding of what features the ships have, so if you've ever been on a Disney cruise, you probably won't learn much.  They're a nice touch, though.

Below are links to all of the photos:

Every photo was impressive, but I think my favorite was the Fantasy's Oceaneer Club.  During my cruise on the Fantasy in January, I had seven nights to go to the Oceaneer Club to take pictures during open house, but I never went!  I guess I don't have to take any pictures now, since you already know what it looks like.  I'll go to the Club next year, so I can see it in person and take my own photos of it.  I especially want to see the Star Wars Command Post, it looks amazing and if I was a 3-12 year old I would probably spend all day there.  It looks quite different from the Dream's Millennium Falcon, so I need to check it out. Also, in the adjacent Pixie Hollow room, why are there what appear to be cardboard Thor's hammers?  Is the next Marvel movie going to be about Tinker Bell?

I hope you enjoyed these 360° photos as much as I did!  They're a great feature to the DCL website and give people a glimpse into what Disney offers on their cruises.  I hope Disney adds more in the future, maybe of the sports decks, the bars, or the other restaurants.  They should add a picture from Cabanas, complete with food!  If they do, be sure to play some tropical music and sounds of people talking in the background while viewing it for complete immersion.

Monday, May 18, 2020

The Magic Isn't Doing Any European Cruises In 2020 & the Wonder Isn't Doing Any Alaska Cruises In 2020

Today, I was wandering the Disney Cruise Line website, looking for something interesting that's worth blogging about.  I looked through the list of available cruises and noticed that the next Alaskan cruise is in 2021.  This is strange, since Disney has only announced coronavirus cancellations up to July 27th.  The Wonder should have some Alaskan cruises in August 2020 since they're not included in the suspension, but I think Disney is about to make a new announcement saying that the Wonder won't be going to Alaska this year.

After learning about the Wonder, I realized that the Magic could have a similar case. Sure enough, all of the European cruises (which are on the Magic) this summer aren't listed on the website.  But, if there won't be any cruises in Europe, then why did the Magic go to Europe?  It was likely to let crew members from Europe finally go home.  I'd rather cross the Atlantic Ocean on a cruise ship than an airplane anyday.  In the next announcement that should happen soon, Disney will probably also state that the Magic won't be doing any European cruises this year.

So if the Magic and Wonder aren't doing any cruises in August, it'll just be the Dream and Fantasy cruising that month (unless all of the August cruises get canceled too).  The Dream will keep going on its usual 3 and 4 night Bahamian cruises, and the Fantasy will keep alternating between Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises.  So for what's left of the summer after the suspension ends, there will only be the typical cruises that happen all year, assuming the suspension doesn't get extended.  I really hope all of this COVID-19 stuff is over soon, it's not good for anyone.  If Disney makes a new announcement about Europe and Alaska, I'll write about it here as soon as I can.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Update: All Disney Cruises Are Cancelled Until July 27th

Yesterday, on their website, Disney announced that all cruises are cancelled until July 27th because of the coronavirus.  All of the people affected by this suspension will have the choice of receiving a full refund or full cruise credit to be used in the next 15 months.

I was surprised by this announcment.  The last cancellation announcement said cruises (on the Dream and Fantasy, at least) were cancelled until the middle of June, and now they're cancelled until the end of July.  I knew Disney would extend the cancellations, but I didn't think they would go until almost August.  Disney is taking no chances with this virus.

Hopefully Disney won't have to extend the cancellations even more, but it's possible.  As you likely know by now, these cruise cancellations will be extended past July 27th if necessary.  Be sure to check the Disney Cruise Line website for more information and the latest updates.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Why's the Magic Going to Europe?

In Disney's most recent cruise cancellation announcement, they cancelled all of the cruises on the Magic until July 2nd.  The Magic was scheduled to leave Florida to go to Europe today, May 11th.  However, since it won't start cruises back up for a while, it doesn't have to go yet.
Well, even though it's not doing anything until July, the Magic is currently on its way to Europe!  It's roughly on schedule, too.  After hanging out with the Dream and Fantasy in Port Canaveral on Wednesday, May 6th, the Magic stopped at Castaway Cay and then left for Europe.

But why?  Its next cruise is on July 13th, and more cruises could be cancelled after that.  The weather is nice in Florida right now, they could've stayed to enjoy it more.  You also can't beat the lines at Disney World now, what a missed opportunity.

A likely reason why it left is because of the openings in the European ports it was scheduled to visit.  Back when its cruises weren't cancelled, there was a spot reserved for the Magic at various ports it was going to visit, and those spots are almost certainly still available, so, why not go?  The Magic usually goes to Europe around this time each year, so the ports know when to expect it.  Sticking to a routine is good, especially in a pandemic.  Plus, sailing across the Atlantic Ocean is much more entertaining and exciting for the crew than just sitting outside of Port Canaveral.  By now, the crew has probably ran out of things to do, and I'm sure most of them are bored.  Sailing across the ocean is giving them work to do and places to see.

It'll be interesting to see what the Magic will do in Europe until cruises resume.  If you'd like to watch where it goes, visit and search for "Disney Magic".  You can also search for the three other Disney ships as well as almost any other cruise ship out there.  Happy searching!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

A Magical Day In Port Canaveral

Today, May 6th, is an unusual day in Port Canaveral.  There are three Disney cruise ships in port there!  This rare event is a result of the COVID-19 cruise cancellations.  The Disney Magic, Disney Dream, and Disney Fantasy are docked together in Port Canaveral today, and it looks beautiful.  The Fantasy is docked at Disney's cruise terminal, and the other two are at the adjacent terminals.  I believe this is the first time that three of Disney's ships are in port together, and it may be the only time that it ever happens.  It would be great if all four ships were in Port Canaveral together, but unfortunately the Wonder is on the West Coast of the US, in San Diego.  Check out the below Tweet from PTZtv, the company that runs the Port Canaveral Webcam livestream.  
Seeing the Magic right next to the Dream and Fantasy really makes me appreciate how much larger they are than their older sibling.  It's cool to see how far technology came in the time between the constructions of the Magic and the Dream.  Technology has also come a long way since the Dream was built in 2011, so I'm sure the Wish will have tons of surprises for us.  It would be amazing if Disney were to get the four current ships and the Wish together to celebrate its completion at the end of 2021.  Disney, please do this, you could use the pictures in all of your advertisements!

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Wish List: A Better Pool Deck

If you've ever been on a Disney cruise, then you probably know how crowded the pools and slides can get, especially on sea days.  All four DCL ships suffer from this problem, and the Wish and its sister ships need to have larger pools.

First, let's face it, the DCL pools are small.  I understand that the crew has to be able to cover them up for deck parties, so they can't exactly be Olympic-sized, but for a family and kid-oriented cruise line, Disney has some tiny pools.  Kids and parents almost constantly crowd the small pools that aren't nearly large enough for the demand they face.  I'm sure Disney has noticed this, so I think it's safe to say the Wish will have bigger family pools.  I've never seen the Quiet Cove Pool very busy, but I'm not an adult, so I'm not exactly an expert on that pool.  Have any of my adult readers ever seen the Quiet Cove Pool crowded?

In addition to overcrowded pools, the Dream and Fantasy have another problem the Wish can avoid, though this one is less important.  The AquaDuck is a wonderful water slide, but its line is commonly outrageously long during the day.  The line sometimes stretches all the way down the AquaDuck's staircase and onto Deck 12.  People shouldn't have to waste time on their cruise waiting in a line!  

Although the line is commonly a problem, it doesn't really affect me, since I only ride the AquaDuck in the evenings before and during the 5:45 dinner.  Riding the AquaDuck at night is so much better than riding it during the day.  This is mainly because there is virtually no line at night, but also because the view of the dark ocean is beautiful and the lights on the AquaDuck are awesome.  

So, how could Disney shorten the wait time with the Wish's AquaDuck?  By adding a second AquaDuck, of course.  Doubling the slides would double the amount of riders every minute, which would cut the wait time in half.

Is a second AquaDuck likely?  No.  It would be really cool, though.  The Imagineers will likely just make some alterations to the slide to improve efficiency, which would be just fine with me.

Another idea I have for the pool deck is to have more minor water slides, like Mickey's Slide on the Dream and Fantasy.  Ideally, the Wish would have an AquaDuck, a Twist n' Spout, and one or two more slides like the Twist n' Spout but smaller. These slides would give thrill lovers alternative slides to ride while the AquaDuck's line is too long.

A final suggestion I have involves the poolside quick service restaurants.  On the Magic and Wonder, the poolside restaurants are spread out across Deck 9.  However, on the Dream and Fantasy, they are all together in a row.  I prefer the way the Dream and Fantasy have them organized, and I'm sure the crew likes the convenience of having them all in one place as well.  I don't see a reason why the Imagineers wouldn't organize the poolside restaurants on the Wish like the Dream-class ships, so like the larger pools, it's relatively safe to say this'll happen.

So, those are my wishes for the Wish's pool deck, but I want to know what you want.  Do you have any suggestions for the Wish's pool deck?  Write them on a comment card and place it in your stateroom on debarkation day.  Or you could just leave a comment if you'd like.