River Cruising is one of the fastest growing businesses in the travel business. While big ship cruising grows every year by 3%, River Cruising is growing every year by as much as 13%. Once looked at as the vacation for seniors, the age of river cruisers is getting younger. This is largely because the retiring baby boomers are taking the entire family on a river cruise.
River cruising through Europe allows you to enjoy the peaceful and scenic countryside and offers a smooth ride along the world’s most remarkable waterways. Castles and fortresses tower on both sides, as if you could reach out and touch them. When your ship docks in the heart of town, you get to stroll ashore for included excursions or set off to explore on a complimentary bicycle. Here are some of the reasons why you would want to do a River Cruise with AmaWaterways if you are going to visit Europe:
1. All-Inclusive Cruises
Contrary to big ship cruises, River Cruising is all-inclusive. Your cruise, meals, drinks, transfers and excursions are all included in one neat package. No surprise bill at the end of the cruise other than tipping. You get mimosas for breakfast and wine and beer are included with every meal. You get to taste some of the finest beers and wines that the region has to offer, and it’s all included in your cruise package.
2. Unpack Once and Get Comfortable
Like the big ship cruises, you only have to unpack once. This is really helpful for people who don’t want to be dragging their luggage around with them and unpacking and repacking at every destination. You get to visit different cities and countries and your hotel travels with you. The amenities on a river cruise can compare to a first class hotel. You will get to leave the ship with ease as only 150 passengers are on the ship. No long waiting lines to get on or off of the river boat. Your stateroom is very stylish and comfortable so you can relax after returning from an excursion. And while you can go topside, you can enjoy the scenery from the comfort of your balcony as you leisurely sail to your next destination.
3. Dock Right in the Heart of Historic Cities
Enjoy the excitement of waking up in a new town, docked just steps from markets, museums and landmarks. Ships rest close to the town center so you can easily sample local culture and favorite past times. Simply walk off the ship and into the heart of the city. Take a guided excursion or instantly blend in with daily life. And if you do have to travel to a destination further from the shore, we include transportation in your package.
4. Discover the World’s Most Scenic Waterways
You get to cruise through some of Europe’s oldest cities or on the world’s most scenic waterways. These were the original highways between great cities built along the water’s edge. Over the course of your journey, you’ll find yourself surrounded by rolling vineyards, hilltop castles and time-honored cities. Vibrant locales not accessible by sea or that can take hours to reach by motor coach are up close and personal on a river cruise.
5. Intimate Environment, Inclusive Value
With river vessels accommodating a mere 150 passengers, you will never wait in a long line to board or disembark. Smaller tours and intimate meal settings with open seating create a warm, personal atmosphere accentuated by five-star service. Your inclusive vacation provides incredible value from the champagne breakfast and free-flowing hand-selected European wines with dinner to a fleet of bicycles, free Internet access, included sightseeing excursions and live cultural entertainment onboard. On a river cruise, your vacation’s price tag doesn’t keep adding up. Compare this to a big ship cruising.
6. A Smooth, Relaxing Way to Cruise
Constant, soft-flowing river waters are always peaceful and smooth, so leave any fears of motion sickness behind. Take a dip in the pool or sink into the bubbling whirlpool, get pampered with decadent spa services or enjoy live music in the lounge. The deck invites you with a fresh river breeze and unforgettable changing scenery.
7. Themed Cruises
Amawaterways offers themed cruises. If you love to paint, or even if you only love to admire art, this cruise is for you. An artist on board will help you paint a masterpiece you will be proud to take home. There are themed cruises for beer lovers, wine lovers and Jewish heritage lovers. Whichever river cruise you pick, be it themed or not, you are going to be talking about this vacation for a very long time and you probably will not want to travel any other way!
Being its Carnival’s flagship, and bringing back the first cruise ships name, they have high ambitions for this ship.
I have expectations for it to be less of a Booze cruise, and more of an experience.
Info from Carnival….
Mardi Gras sails in 2020 with a nod to where we’ve been and a salute to where we’re headed. Our vision involves inspiring you to have a great vacation! When we launched our first ship, 1972’s TSS Mardi Gras, we knew we were shaking things up. We made cruising a lot less stuffy, a bit less fancy, the kind of fun everybody could enjoy. Nobody expected this ship to change the cruise world, but here we are! In 2020 we’ll be launching a brand-new ship with a familiar name. You guessed it: Mardi Gras. We aren’t just paying homage to our first ship — in cruising circles this name suggests innovation, signals the start of something big. And it shouts “fun!” at the top of its lungs. Everybody can enjoy Mardi Gras, sailing from Port Canaveral in 2020!
“The new Mardi Gras will follow the trailblazing lead of her predecessor, introducing features and technological innovations that have never been seen before on a cruise ship while setting a new standard for seagoing vacations.” – Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line announced some details about the ship, including that it will have 20 decks and six themed zones.
The themed zones include Grand Central (Decks 6-8, midship), French Quarter (Deck 6, rear), La Piazza (Deck 8, midship), Summer Landing (Deck 8, rear), Lido (Decks 16-17, rear) and The Ultimate Playground (Decks 18-20, rear).
The Ultimate Playground will include the largest and most elaborate Carnival WaterWorks aqua park in the fleet, as well as an expanded SportSquare. It also will feature BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster, the first roller coaster at sea, where riders will travel along an 800-foot-long track as speeds of nearly 40 miles per hour.
The accommodations on Mardi Gras will include more than 20 stateroom categories and multiple levels of suites.
Carnival said the Mardi Gras also will include the most expansive open decks on any Carnival ship, and an atrium that will serve as the hub of the ship.
The benefits of booking as an Apollo Travel group are free On board credits, dining together and customized excursions.
Sailing March Feb 26, 2022
Ship: Mardi Gras (First ship to not be named CARNIVAL something)
Year Built: 2020
Guest Capacity: 6,630
Cruising Speed: 17 knots
The 180,000-ton “XL-class” Mardi Gras will have a maximum capacity of 6,500 passengers and about 2,000 crew members. It will be the first cruise ship based in North America to be powered by liquefied natural gas.
Port Canaveral is building a two-story, 188,000-square-foot cruise terminal that will be used by the Mardi Gras. It is part of the port’s largest single construction project in its 65-year history – the $163 million Cruise Terminal 3 complex on the port’s south side that also will include a 1,800-space parking garage.
Let’s face it. Money doesn’t grow on trees and cruising, however fun, can be a costly experience.
You have finally saved up enough money to take your family on a 7-day Eastern Caribbean Cruise. With your heart excitedly pounding in your chest, you call Apollo Travel Orlando, and say “Lets do it”!
Cruising, here we go!
Next, you look and see “what are my options”, they bombarded you with a myriad of options to bump up your cruise experience. You’re on vacation, so why not indulge, right? You picked a few excursions and maybe a beverage package to spice things up on your cruise. These things add up to a hefty sum. Unless you have budgeted for these hidden costs, you might end up with a substantial credit card bill on the next billing cycle.
Especially for first-time cruisers, the final bill at the end of your cruise can be jaw-dropping. Hence, we came up with a list of 18 hidden costs of cruising that bumps up your cruising budget and leaves a dent on your savings account. Ouch!
Most cruise lines automatically add a $14–$18 gratuity charge to your account per person per day. In addition, an automatic 18% gratuity is added to all bar bills and spa services. They pool together and divide gratuities among all crew members.
Note: a. If you think you have received sub par service, you can have the amount changed at guest services. b. Some cruise lines will allow you to prepay your gratuities before your cruise.
c. You can always give a little extra to your favorite crew member for exceptional service.
Excursions are fun, but they’re not cheap. Depending on the type of excursion activities you are into, excursion fees can quickly add up, especially if you have a sizeable group.
How to save: a. Shop around and find the best deals. You don’t have to book your excursions through the cruise line. However, be wary of the schedule and transportation availability. You don’t want to be left behind when your ship leaves. b. Save on dining by eating your lunch on board the cruise ship. c. You can skip them. There are enough fun activities on board the cruise ship to keep you entertained.
Some people (like myself) savor a little bit of culinary luxury on board a cruise ship. However, cruise ship specialty dining options charge an extra $40- $60 per person. Sometimes, even higher.
Here are a few things you can do to save: a. Purchase a dining package. It is like prepaying for specialty dining offerings at a discounted price. You’ll end up paying roughly $25 per person instead of paying full price. b. Skip specialty dining options. There will always be an abundance of complimentary dining options onboard.
Alcoholic Drinks and Beverages
Your throat will never run dry on a cruise ship. For meals there will be water, coffee, iced tea, juices and milk that are all complimentary to your cruise fare. However, alcoholic beverages, premium coffee and tea, soft drinks, beer and wine are not, and can quickly add up especially with the automatic 18% gratuity added to bar drinks.
How to save: a. Purchase a beverage package. Just like dining packages, most cruise lines offer prepaid options for premium beverages. Depending on your personal preferences, beverage packages are priced differently, so you can pick what you want. b. Purchase wine by the bottle instead of by the glass. You can always save what’s left for your next meal. Note: Some cruise ships allow you to bring a few bottles of wine on board. Be sure to read cruise policy and take advantage of it. c. Check your daily cruise newsletter for drinks specials or something like a “Drink of the day” and take advantage of reduced prices on some drinks.
If you would like to stay connected on social media, or stream movies and videos at sea, you can pay for your ship’s Wi-Fi service. This would typically cost around $15–$20 per day for unlimited access, depending on the cruise line. Some lines charge based on the amount of data you use. Take the time to read about what they offer on your cruise.
How to save: Some cruise lines have a free access area that may come with a coffee purchase. Some even have internet cafes that offer free or discounted internet service on board.
For the most of us, we do not live near embarkation ports and would need to fly to get there. This can be an enormous expense depending on where you’re at.
How to save: a. Purchase your plane tickets as soon as possible. Airfares typically go up the closer you are to your planned date of departure. b. Go on a road trip. Driving is a lot cheaper than flying as long as you don’t mind getting behind the wheel for hours on end. Yikes!
Now that you’ve arrived at the airport, you still need to get to your Port of Embarkation via ground transport. There are several options to choose from, but depending on how far the port is from the airport, it can cost over $100 per person back and forth.
How to save: a. Go for a third party shuttle service around the area. This is a cost effective option. Paying for taxi or Uber can be costly depending on the distance between the nearest airport and your cruise’s embarkation port. b. Ask a friend or family member who lives around the area to drive you to your embarkation port. c. You can always take the bus (most economical)
Spa and Salon Services
Getting a massage on your cruise can be quite a luxurious experience, but paying for it afterwards can quickly pile up on your final bill especially with the automatic 18% gratuity added to the cost.
How to save: a. Check your daily newsletter for special discounts on spa and salon services. b. Some cruise lines offer bundled services at discounted prices. Watch for special discounts on embarkation and port days.
Onboard Shopping and Souvenirs
Cruise ships offer a lot of fun activities including duty-free shopping on board your cruise. With so many cruise memorabilia to choose from, it is at times tempting to buy that little figurine, or maybe that nice-looking T-shirt you’ve been eyeing as a souvenir. Remember that for the most part, cruise ship prices aren’t exactly deals. From spending $10 on souvenir key chains to spending thousands of dollars on jewelry, there are enough things to buy on a cruise ship that might burn a hole through your wallet.
How to save: a. Research and compare prices online. b. Have a budgeted amount for shopping. (Okay this doesn’t really help you save, but it helps you avoid overspending.)
For immortalizing precious moments, souvenir photos are great and it might tempt you to buy a few prints to take home. However, 8×10 photos can easily cost over $20 each.
How to save: a. Ask for deals and discounts. Some would offer discounted prices if you buy a certain number of prints. b. Learn to take better photos on the cruise ship. You can take the photo yourself, or ask a fellow cruiser to snap a photo for you.
Gambling on a cruise ship can be costly. According to some sources, the odds of winning slots on cruise ships are lower than that on land because some gambling and gaming laws don’t apply. I am not a gambler myself, and I have no way to prove the above statement. But if you rack up gambling losses, you’ve just made your cruise a whole lot more expensive than you budgeted for.
Tip: Only tip I have on gambling is to have some gambling money set aside and stop playing once it is gone. Set limits and stay with them. Some cruise ships even give out free onboard gambling credits just to get you hooked into playing big.
Getting sick on a cruise ship can be very costly. This is completely optional, but purchasing a short-term travel insurance is the one thing you can do to offset unforeseen health care charges on your trip. Get you a travel insurance quote here
How to save: Shop around and try to find the best deal for your state of health. Always read the fine print and read what’s covered or not. Travel insurance can cost as low as $20 for your trip to $400 depending on its terms and conditions.
Part of the allure of cruising is the plethora of activities on board the cruise ship. Although most of them are free of charge, some activities do incur additional charges. Some of these “non-free” activities include fitness classes, cooking classes, wine tasting events, and other fun activities like laser tag, Go Karts, IMAX movies and even ice skating.
How to save: a. Watch for deals on your daily cruise newsletter. Some cruise ships offer discounted rates if you bundle. b. There are others things to do on a cruise ship that will not cost you extra. You can watch Broadway-like productions, exhilarating game shows, comedy shows, trivia games, BINGO, karaoke showdowns, and other fun-filled activities to keep entertained.
Port Fees and Taxes
The cruise line pays for tax and port charges on every port the ship docks. These charges usually translates into a 12%–15% on top of your cruise fare depending on the cruise line.
To avoid the possibility of airline delays and the eventual outcome of missing your cruise, Apollo Travel always advise for would-be cruisers to arrive a day ahead especially if you’re flying in. However, that also means you’ll be staying overnight in a hotel.
Whether you fly or you drive to your port of embarkation, deal with long-term parking fees is a real possibility. This will usually run around $8–$20 dollars per day depending on the location and the level of security they provide.
How to save: The only way to save on parking fees is to shop around for the best parking rate in and around the area. If you have someone who can take you to the port, that’s even better.
Most major cruise lines will now charge a small fee for room service to your stateroom account. For instance, Royal Caribbean charges around $7.50 per room service order. Carnival has recently announced that they are now charging a nominal room service fee per item effective mid January 2019.
How to save: You can always enjoy the cruise’s complimentary dining options whether buffet style or at the main dining room. If you prefer, you can take some food items from the dining room to your stateroom as a snack for later with no extra charge.
In-stateroom babysitting services are no longer available on some of the major cruise lines. However, late night babysitting are still offered so parents can enjoy some late night activities while someone looks after their little ones. Typical charge is around $8 hourly.
One of the few things I adore about cruising is the way you can define your own cruise experience. For the true cost of cruising, it all depends on how much you want to indulge and spend money on. Except for automatic gratuities, port fees and transportation costs, you can choose to spend nothing more than the cruise fare you’ve already paid for. There are plenty of things to do, food to eat, activities to enjoy and sights to behold on a cruise ship that makes them worth your while without having to pay anything extra.
This list should not discourage you from cruising. Rather, it should encourage you to plan your next cruise, calculate your expenses ahead of time and have a better perspective of what to expect from your cruise to get the biggest bang out of your buck. Bon Voyage on you
The Department of State hasissued updated passport guidancein response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In accordance with new safety guidelines, the Postal Service has made changes to its passport application process.
Beginning March 25, 2020, the Postal Service will conduct all passport application servicesby appointment only. You can use a computer or mobile device to go tousps.com/schedulerto make appointments.
Passport fairs will resume only after it is safe to do so.
Make your passport the first of your travel check-off list
To help you prepare for your international traveling any time of year, here are some passport application tips that are spot-on for happy adventurers. You can access passport information on our Passport Page on USPS.com®.
The Postal Service™has operated as an agent for the U.S. Department of State to process passport applications since the 1970s.
The Postal Service is currently expanding offsite availability of its passport acceptance services and extending appointment hours across the country. You can see a list of passport offices throughout the country at the Department of StateTravel Newsroom.
In 2007, more than 18.3 million passports were issued. The Postal Service accepted applications for more than half — 9.8 million. Those passports expired in 2017, creating a surge in passport applications and renewals.
In addition, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (enacted in 2009 that requires a passport or passport card when entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and other countries of the Caribbean by land and sea) has added to the surge.
Preparing to travel out of the country
First, as you make your foreign travel plans, don’t forget to check your passport’s expiration date. It should be valid for at least six months after you return home and needs to have two or more blank pages. Also, be sure to check your family’s passports.
The passport application process can take several weeks, so it’s important to apply for your first-time or renewal passport as soon as you know you and your family will need them. You can check the current approximate processing time on the State Department’s Travelwebsite.
The good news is the Postal Service has 4,800 passport acceptance facilities around the country that can accept first-time passport applications on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. It’s easy to find one by using theUSPS™Locatorfor a list of Post Office™ locations near you that process passports.
Gearing up for future travel and in need of a passport? The Postal Service will be here to help by offering the convenience of passport application and renewal at passport fairs, once it is safe to do so.New fairs will be listed regularly so be sure to visit the USPSpress releasepage and click on your state. During the fairs, appointments are not required. Customers are encouraged to arrive early, as applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis until the applicant maximum capacity has been reached.
USPS processes first-time passport applications and passport renewal applications for those not eligible to renew by mail. See ‘How do I renew my passport?’ in the FAQs listed below for information on renewal by mail.
Passport Execution Fee Effective
The Department of State passport execution fee for submitting your passport application to a passport acceptance agent (a United States Post Office, state or local government or State Department official) for verification and review is $35. For more information, see details at the Department of State.
Applying for a Passport is Just a Few Clicks Away
There are a total of 4,800 Post Offices around the country that offer passport acceptance service. Of these, more than 3,100 offer appointments via telephone, and these select offices now offer the ability to schedule appointments through the online Retail Customer Appointment Scheduler™(RCAS™)tool.
Current applications for the first-time at acceptance facilities throughout the country, routine passport processing is estimated to take between 4 to 6 weeks.
We encourage adult applicants to apply well in advance of travel plans as we anticipate longer than average wait times for passport processing over the coming months. First time applicants are encouraged to apply at the nearest acceptance facility.
Acceptance facilities do not accept renewal applications, so adult renewal applicants should mail in their application.
Take a new photo
There are new guidelines for passport photos. If you want to renew your passport and your existing photo shows you wearing eyeglasses, you will need to take a new passport photo without them. At some Passport Acceptance Facilities, photos can be taken for an additional fee.
Please see our video onUSPS TVfor a short presentation with some helpful passport tips. The tips include how early to apply for a passport, where to locate a USPS office for assistance, how long a passport is valid, expiration requirements, application requirements, and other important information to ensure your passport is ready for travel.
For more than 40 years, passport acceptance has continued to provide a convenient service for customers as well as a revenue stream for the Postal Service. The Postal Service is proud to work with the Department of State to provide customers with such a convenient way to apply for their passports.
Frequently Asked Questions
We want to ensure your passport application process goes smoothly and that you have the resources you need to begin your travel planning. Here are some common questions USPS passport acceptance clerks are often asked regarding passports.
Q: How do I apply for a first-time passport?
First-time passport applications must be submitted in-person at a passport acceptance facility (e.g., U.S. Post Office).
Here’s what you’ll need to do at a Post Office facility:
CompleteForm DS-11: Application for A U.S. Passport
At some locations, you can have your passport photo taken on-site for an additional fee.
Q: Can I renew my passport at the passport acceptance facility?
No. First time applicants are encouraged to apply at the nearest acceptance facility. Acceptance facilities do not accept renewal applications, so adult renewal applicants should mail in their application.
Q: How do I renew my passport?
You can apply for a passport renewal by mail if the following apply to your passport:
Undamaged and able to be mailed with your application;
Was issued when you were age 16 or older
Was issued within the last 15 years; and
Was issued in your current name or you can legally document your name change with original or certified copy of your marriage certificate or the government-issued document evidencing your legal name change.
If you meet the above criteria for a mail-in renewal request:
CompleteForm DS-82: Application For A U.S. Passport by Mail
Include your most recent U.S. passport book and/or card
Include a certified copy of your marriage certificate or court order if your name has changed
Your trip is booked and the anticipation of your upcoming adventure is building. As you plan and prepare for your upcoming trip, review these tips to make sure you don’t forget anything important.
Visit the tourism website for your destination country and review any new requirements they have due to Covid-19. Many countries have requirements in place for Covid-19 testing, minimum travel insurance coverage and more. You can also check theCDCorWHOwebsites for information.This websiteis a handy resource for finding Covid-19 testing locations all over the world.
Make copies of the endorsement page of your passport. Leave one copy at home with a friend or family member. Take another copy with you, in a separate part of your luggage from the actual passport, or take a photo of it with your smart phone.
Take a small amount of cash ($100-300) in local currency for ease of transition at your destination. Many international currencies can be purchased from your own bank (if it’s large enough) or through a large, corporate bank.
Make sure your credit card will work in the country you’re visiting. Most European banks have switched almost entirely to the more secure chip-and-PIN technology. Fewer businesses abroad are accepting the outdated magnetic-strip cards. You may also want to find a credit card with no foreign transaction fees, as this can save you a lot of money.
Acquaint yourself with the electrical voltage requirements in the country/countries you are visiting. If the voltage is different from the US, purchase a converter and/or adapter. Your best bet is to buy an adapter with different settings that adjust to most outlets, so you only have to bring one adapter instead of one per country.
Check with your cell phone provider about plans and pricing for international calling, texting and data.
Place any liquids (soaps, shampoos, etc.) that will be in your carry-on in clear 3 oz. bottles, together in a clear quart size Ziploc bag.
Make note of the telephone number for the phone number of services in your travel protection plan.
Call your debit and credit card companies to advise them of your travel dates and destinations. You can also do this by logging onto your online account.
Keep any prescription drugs in their original containers and pack them in your carry-on luggage.
Learn a few key phrases in the local language of your destination. (Simple things, like “Hello”, “Goodbye”, “Thank you”, “Where is the bathroom?“)
If you have any food allergies or severe medical conditions, it’s important to learn how to inform others about those issues in a foreign language. If you don’t feel comfortable with your language skills, print out a document with relevant phrases or make flashcards to carry with you.
Do not pack your travel documents (itinerary, passport, paper tickets or vouchers) in your checked luggage.
Unless you are planning to attend a black tie or similar event, leave your valuable jewelry at home.
If you’re like us, here’s how you prepare for a big trip: You pack way too much, realize your suitcase won’t close, then start taking stuff out. The snorkel gear, the sarong, that second jacket… you don’t really need those. But there is one thing you definitely, absolutely need to pack: Travel insurance.
A lot of people weigh the additional expense and ask, “Is travel insurance worth it?” Most of the time, the answer is an all-caps YES. This is why.
Reason #1 travel insurance is a must: Most of us can’t afford to lose our vacation investment.
Let’s say you pay $7,000 for a once-in-a-lifetime luxury cruise around the Mediterranean for your 25th wedding anniversary. The day before sailing, your mother suffers a serious fall and ends up in the hospital. When you call the cruise line and explain what happened, they’re sympathetic — but you’re not getting your money back. Company policy clearly states that there are no refunds if you cancel within 14 days of departure.
Situations like these are why travel insurance is a must. When you have travel insurance with trip cancellation benefits, you can get reimbursement for prepaid, nonrefundable trip costs when you must cancel for a covered reason. Covered reasons can include situations like the covered serious illness or injury of the insured person, a travel companion or a family member; the death of the insured traveler, traveling companion or a family member; a natural disaster or other event that renders your destination uninhabitable; etc.
Reason #2 travel insurance is a must: Medical emergencies overseas can be really expensive.
Consider this scenario: On a driving tour through Argentina, a truck slams into your rental car, leaving you with a broken leg and other serious injuries. When you arrive at the hospital, you summon the strength to pull out your health insurance card. The staff just shake their heads. You’ll need to pay up front for treatment — and your medical bills rapidly climb into the tens of thousands. If you require medical evacuation, that cost can hit $200,000 or more, depending on the country you’re in and the proximity to the nearest hospital.
As the U.S. State Department notes, “many foreign medical facilities and providers require cash payment up front and do not accept U.S. insurance plans. Medicare does not provide coverage outside of the United States.”1
When you have travel insurance with emergency medical benefits, it can pay for losses due to covered medical and dental emergencies that occur during your trip. Emergency medical transportation benefits can pay for medically necessary transportation to the nearest appropriate medical facility, as well as the cost of getting you home following a covered injury or illness. The Allianz Global Assistance hotline staff may even be able to arrange payment in advance for covered emergency medical care. The upshot: When you’re wondering “is travel insurance worth it?”, weigh the small cost of buying insurance against the massive costs of a medical emergency overseas.
Reason #3 travel insurance is a must: You don’t want minor mishaps to ruin your trip.
A vacation is really an investment in your happiness. And when that vacation starts off with a canceled flight, a missed connection, a missing bag or another travel hiccup, that happy travel feeling fades.
Travel insurance can help make these situations better. Travel delay benefits can reimburse you for additional accommodation/travel expenses and lost prepaid expenses due to a covered departure delay of six or more hours. Baggage delay benefits can reimburse you for the reasonable additional purchase of essential items during your trip if a common carrier delayed or misdirected your baggage for 24 hours or more. Several more benefits address other common travel mishaps, so check your plan to see what’s included.
What’s the first thing you should do when you experience an emergency overseas? Most American travelers call the local U.S. embassy for help — but they often disappoint those travelers to discover that embassy staff’s powers are limited. They can help you replace a stolen passport; contact family or friends in the U.S.; find medical care or legal assistance; communicate with local police; and connect you with various resources. But an embassy cannot pay for your medical care, provide emergency transportation (except during rare, major catastrophes), or otherwise take care of any financial losses you suffer while traveling.2
That’s why the State Department advises American travelers to carry travel insurance — specifically, travel insurance that includes emergency medical benefits, emergency medical transportation benefits, and coverage for other unexpected expenses, like trip cancellation and lost or stolen luggage.
Reason #5 travel insurance is a must: It’s easy to find affordable travel insurance.
Cost is probably the number one reason people don’t buy travel insurance. We understand! If you’re already paying thousands for a long-awaited cruise or resort vacation, it’s tough to spend even a little more on insurance.
Here’s something a lot of people don’t know: Insurance can be really affordable. When you get a quotefor travel insurance, we’ll present you with multiple coverage options, so you can pick the best one for your trip and your budget. Our least expensive plan, OneTrip Cancellation Plus (formerly the Essential Plan), offers three key protections — trip cancellation, trip interruption and trip delay benefits. If you know you’ll be taking more than two trips this year, your most cost-effective travel insurance option may be an AllTrips plan, which protects all your travel in a 365-day period.
The best way to find a low-cost travel insurance plan is to get a quote for your next trip and then compare plans. Remember: If you’re not completely satisfied, you have 10 days (or more, depending on your state of residence) to request a refund, provided you haven’t started your trip or initiated a claim. Premiums are non-refundable after this period.
The Disney Wish, the fifth ship in Disney Cruise Line’s fleet, will introduce a brand-new, distinctly Disney design concept unlike anything at sea.
The motif of enchantment — found at the heart of so many beloved Disney stories — is the architectural and thematic foundation of the ship’s design, weaving imagination, emotion, and adventure into the very fabric of the vessel’s unique personality.
The spellbinding Grand Hall — a bright, airy, and elegant space that will welcome guests as they first step onboard — is the truest embodiment of the enchantment motif. The heart and hearth of the Disney Wish, this fairytale castle-inspired atrium is touched with Gothic, Baroque, and French Rococo influences that will give life to the columns, carvings, trimmings, and adornments.
The Grand Hall, also referred to as Disney Cruise Line’s castle on the seas, will be the enchanted gateway to everything that awaits onboard the Disney Wish: fairytale worlds, heroic challenges, epicurean indulgences, thrilling adventures, galactic encounters, peaceful escapes and so much more. The Grand Hall is an enchanted realm where glittering trails of pixie dust climb majestic three-story columns, spill across the ceiling and animate the shimmering chandelier above with an effusive burst of magic. The chandelier is the manifestation of wishes come true – a swirling spiral of crystal gems punctuated with light, its crown jewel a wondrous wishing star.
At the base of a grand staircase, beneath the glow of the wishing star, will stand the personification of wish fulfillment herself: Cinderella. A pillar of The Walt Disney Company’s legacy, Cinderella’s story is the epitome of magic transforming wishes into dreams and dreams into reality. The beautiful bronze statue of this beloved princess is just one of many tributes to her story in the Grand Hall’s design – others include railings that glisten with elegant stained glass in her signature colors, rich carpeting embellished with icons from the film, and sophisticated nods to her carriage and glass slipper in the delicate metalwork and light fixtures.
The Grand Hall Stage is the new concept for Disney Cruise Line’s traditional atrium and is located right in the heart of the Disney Wish. Here, guests will be able to gather for fun theatrical surprises throughout the day.
The Disney Wish will continue Disney Cruise Line’s innovative family dining concept, where guests experience one of three imaginative restaurants each night accompanied by a dedicated service team that is assigned to their family throughout the voyage. With exceptional attention to detail, guests will enjoy a variety of dining experiences with friendly, familiar, personalized service every evening.
With the debut of three brand-new family restaurants, the Disney Wish will take guests on an unparalleled culinary journey to an enchanted Frozen kingdom, an Avengers technology showcase and the golden age of Hollywood.
From theatrical entertainment to cinematic adventure to sophisticated elegance, dinner aboard the Disney Wish will be so much more than a meal – it will be a chance to interact with favorite Disney stories in exciting new ways that only Disney Cruise Line can cook up.
In addition to elaborately themed, upscale restaurants, the Disney Wish will offer a variety of dining options ranging from quick bites, casual dining and 24-hour room service to specialty treats, gourmet cafes and premium dining exclusively for adults.
Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure
Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure is Disney’s first Frozen-themed theatrical dining experience, bringing the kingdom of Arendelle to life through immersive live entertainment — featuring favorite characters like Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf — and world-class cuisine infused with Nordic influences.
Extending the Frozen Story
Only on the Disney Wish will families be invited to attend a royal engagement party for Queen Anna and Kristoff, picking up the story where Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen 2 left off. Elsa and Olaf will host the celebration with catering provided by their friend Oaken’s “Hearty Party Planning Service… and Sauna” and live entertainment by “local” musicians who specialize in Nordic renditions of familiar Frozen songs.
Throughout the meal, guests will enjoy live musical performances by these beloved characters and will even get the opportunity to join the festivities with fun table crafts, hilarious sing-alongs and a grand finale that’ll have everyone in the audience on their feet.
Designed in the style of a theater-in-the-round, this purpose-built entertainment venue will feature dining tables situated around a small center stage and all the theatrical bells and whistles needed to bring a story to life in 360-degree glory. Invisible fiber optics embedded in the ceiling will conjure Elsa’s icy magic, and panoramic windows will magically transform from real-time ocean views to the colorful dancing lights of the Aurora Borealis.
Disney Cruise Line is developing brand-new looks for Anna and Kristoff, plus an all-new way to encounter Olaf through true-to-scale, cutting-edge puppetry that can talk and interact with families as they dine, lending his signature humor and charm to the merriment.
The one-of-a-kind menu for Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure combines traditional flavors and ingredients from the Nordic region with modern, family-friendly fare. Guests will delight in this scrumptious smorgasbord of superior seafoods, rustic game dishes and tasty nods to the Frozen story. And, last but not least, dessert! It wouldn’t be Queen Anna’s party without plenty of chocolate.
Worlds of Marvel
Worlds of Marvel is the first-ever Marvel cinematic dining adventure, where guests will play an interactive role in an action-packed Avengers mission that unfolds around them, complete with a worldly menu inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This upscale-restaurant-meets-technology-showcase will up the ante on the traditional “dinner and a show” concept. Outfitted with state-of-the-art Pym Tech and decked out in signature Stark-itecture style, the venue offers surprises in all shapes and sizes, from the tiniest design “Easter eggs” to the larger-than-life story that takes place.
True to its name, Worlds of Marvel will take families on a flavorful tour of the real and fictional settings of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with dishes inspired by legendary locales like African Wakanda, Eastern European Sokovia and the Avengers’ home base of New York City.
Worlds of Marvel will feature an original storyline starring fan-favorite Avengers and an infamous foe. More information will be announced at a later date.
Named for the year The Walt Disney Company was founded, 1923 is an elegant celebration of the company’s legacy, paying homage to the golden age of animation and offering a tasteful tribute to its Californian heritage.
Combining classic Hollywood glamour with a dash of Disney whimsy, 1923 features two lavishly appointed dining rooms, aptly named for the men behind the magic of the original film studio – Walt and Roy Disney. The rooms are adorned with more than 1,000 drawings, props and other tools of the trade, providing an inside look at the evolution of Disney animation from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Frozen 2.
At 1923, guests will enjoy sophisticated dishes designed with families in mind and inspired by the fusion of cultural flavors found throughout the Golden State. The diverse menu will mirror the region’s unique blend of Asian, European and South American cuisines and will feature local ingredients like fresh produce, wild honey and earthy pistachios. All paired, of course, with a superlative selection of world-famous Napa Valley wines.
Exquisite Specialty Dining
Aboard the Disney Wish, guests will savor gourmet meals and exceptional beverages at Palo Steakhouse, Enchanté by Chef Arnaud Lallement and The Rose, an upscale suite of epicurean excellence exclusively for adults, inspired by the elegant icons of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Beauty and the Beast.
Palo Steakhouse is an evolution of the Palo restaurant that Disney cruisers know and love, now combining the relaxed sophistication of authentic Italian dining with the classic refinement of a modern steakhouse in a genteel setting inspired by Cogsworth, the tale’s majordomo-turned-enchanted-clock.
An elegant, welcoming environment with spectacular ocean views off the back of the ship, the venue has been designed with a warm, luxurious palette of rich woods and shining metals, along with artwork and details that evoke ornate clocks, pendulums and gears. A private dining room will be available for more intimate gatherings of up to 12 guests.
At Palo Steakhouse, guests will choose from a selection of exquisite Italian dishes and the world’s best steaks, from the most elite American prime cuts to melt-in-your-mouth Australian wagyu to succulent Japanese Kobe and Miyazaki beefs. The show-stopping menu will be paired with the finest Italian wines and bold craft beers – and for dessert, a fan-favorite indulgence: signature Palo chocolate souffle, prepared fresh-to-order and served piping hot with luscious vanilla bean and chocolate sauces.
Enchanté by Chef Arnaud Lallement
Enchanté will offer the most luxurious dining experience onboard, featuring a gourmet menu crafted by three-Michelin-starred Chef Arnaud Lallement — of L’Assiette Champenoise, near Reims, France — one of the culinary masterminds behind the French-inspired fine dining experience at Remy aboard the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
This romantic and intimate venue will evoke the dazzling candlelight and lavish hospitality of the film’s candelabra maitre d’, Lumiere, with shimmering light fixtures and illuminations that will give life to the two intimate dining areas and private 10-seat dining room. With an elegant infusion of soft blues and metallic embellishments, the enchanting atmosphere will be completed by stunning ocean views.
The menu will feature superior products and seasonal ingredients sourced from around the world to create an exceptional ensemble of international dishes, masterfully developed with the passion, philosophy and expertise of Chef Lallement. From the moment they enter the glittering champagne room, guests will be swept up in a sumptuous journey marked by consummate cuisine, superlative wines and first-class service.
DISNEY WISH ENTERTAINMENT
Aboard the Disney Wish, families will discover a mesmerizing new world created especially for them: a celebration of Disney’s rich legacy of enchanting storytelling that brings to life the fantastical worlds and beloved characters at the heart of Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars adventures like never before.
Families will embark on a splashtacular adventure with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse aboard the first-ever Disney attraction at sea; and travel to a galaxy far, far away in a first-of-its-kind Star Wars experience onboard a Disney ship.
Adults aboard the Disney Wish will escape, relax, dine and play in more ways than ever with exclusive venues and entertainment tailored just for them. When the ship sets sail in summer 2022, guests ages 18 and older will find a variety of opportunities to unwind and indulge, including a first-of-its-kind lounge in a galaxy far, far away and a trio of premium culinary experiences inspired by a tale as old as time.
Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge
For the first time on a Disney ship, guests will embark on a space-jumping tour of the Star Wars galaxy at Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge, a high-end bar styled as a luxurious yacht-class spaceship. This richly themed, immersive experience will be reserved for adults every evening, offering interactive tasting experiences and signature beverages inspired by the films.
The venue’s sleek interior design and metallic detailing is inspired by lavish star cruisers similar to Dryden Vos’ ship in Solo: A Star Wars Story. While guests sip their galactic concoctions, this space-faring voyage will transport them to iconic locations from the eras of the Republic, Empire and First Order, employing hyperspace jumps to travel from planet to planet while sensational scenes unfold just beyond the ship’s panoramic viewport at each stop.
Ranging from serene vistas to action-packed encounters, the spectacles seen through this virtual “window” into the galaxy will feature famous space ships from the films and fan-favorite locales like Batuu, Tatooine, Mustafar and Coruscant. The experience will be amplified by surround-sound audio and a holotube that presents holographic models of nearby ships.
In addition to Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge, adults will enjoy a variety of relaxed bars and upscale lounges aboard the Disney Wish. More information will be released at a later date.
The Rose is a chic lounge at the entrance of Palo Steakhouse and Enchanté. Inspired by the fateful flower at the heart of the story, guests will enter The Rose through a corridor of beautiful, bespoke artwork commissioned exclusively for the Disney Wish. This grand entrance culminates in a gilded, golden rotunda, unfolding into a plush lounge with rich velvet seating, glorious views and magical illuminations.
The Rose will be an idyllic setting for a pre-dinner aperitif or after-dinner cocktail, with an extensive selection of high-end wines and liquors. Guests will also indulge in a special menu of gourmet amuse-bouche and small plates from the Enchanté galley, curated by Chef Lallement.
Quiet Cove Pool District
At Quiet Cove, guests aged 18 and older will find a secluded adults-only district dedicated to lounging, sipping and soaking. Set away from the bustle of family activities, this peaceful refuge will offer breathtaking panoramic views of the ocean from a luxurious infinity pool.
While kids are hanging out with Disney characters in the coolest kids’ clubs at sea, parents will enjoy much-needed “me time” with an escape to Quiet Cove. Here, they’ll take a dip in the pool, unwind in a whirlpool spa, relax in a chaise lounge and indulge in a cool beverage from Cove Bar – an open-air watering hole offering beer, wine and cocktails.
A Disney Cruise Line guest favorite, Cove Cafe is a chic poolside lounge that will offer gourmet coffees, teas, specialty drinks and treats throughout the day. For the Disney Wish, the sophisticated yet casual spot will get a fresh new look that reflects the Oceania-inspired artistry of Disney’s Moana.
Senses Spa and Senses Fitness
Senses Spa is a tranquil oasis offering indulgent spa and beauty treatments, drawing on the serenity of natural elements to promote pampering and relaxation. The spa will feature private treatment rooms, lavish spa villas for couples, and steam and aromatherapy rooms designed to help guests decompress, rejuvenate and recharge both body and mind. In addition to a menu of massage, facial and acupuncture therapies, guests will be able to select from a menu of specialized treatments that are customized to their needs, such as pain management and sleep improvement.
The reimagined Senses Fitness will offer state-of-the-art exercise and wellness facilities, including a main room with exercise equipment, weightlifting machines and free weights, along with a dedicated cycle studio and an aerobics room. Complimentary, instructor-led fitness classes will be offered throughout the cruise.
The Disney Wish will offer several brand-new spa and salon experiences, which will be announced at a later date.
For the Whole Family
The Disney Wish will present a splendid line-up of world-class entertainment experiences that will immerse families in the fantastical worlds of their favorite Disney stories like never before. The combination of innovative new venue concepts and evolutionary storytelling techniques will set the stage for original productions, guest-favorite shows and brand-new experiences for the entire family to enjoy.
Disney Cruise Line is combining innovative design and technology to create the next generation of family entertainment venues onboard the Disney Wish. These imaginative environments will surround guests in storytelling in all-new ways, putting them front and center as they play a part in the magic.
If the Grand Hall is the castle of the Disney Wish, Luna is the town square: an event gathering place that evokes the warmth and enchantment of classic Disney stories. This brand-new entertainment hub will transition from a daytime setting for family fun into an elegant evening venue for adult-exclusive entertainment, offering a variety of live shows and interactive programming throughout the day and night.
Featuring a celestial design inspired by the Disney and Pixar short La Luna, the venue will be outfitted with a two-story LED screen wall, stylish stage, full-service bar and spacious seating – creating an energetic atmosphere on the lower level that will buzz with community and life. The balcony will offer a more intimate setting for enjoying the festivities in small groups, with secluded seating in semi-private booths.
Introducing a completely new category of active family play to the Disney Cruise Line portfolio, Hero Zone is a futuristic sports arena where physical activity will blend with imagination, alternating between an elaborate family obstacle course and a free-play sports hub.
Here, families will take on action-packed physical challenges themed to some of Disney’s most incredible heroes during over-the-top, game show-style competitions. Balcony viewing space will be available for other guests to watch, cheer and admire the fearless feats performed during the epic games.
Live Shows at the Walt Disney Theatre
A hallmark of the Disney Cruise Line experience is the unparalleled roster of original Broadway-style stage shows developed exclusively for the fleet by world-class creative teams. These dazzling shows will be presented in the Walt Disney Theatre, an elegant 1,274-seat show palace that spans three decks with orchestra and balcony seating.
On the Disney Wish, the design of the Walt Disney Theatre will evoke an enchanted forest, imbuing the atmosphere with a sense of magic inspired by scenes from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ legendary film Fantasia. The theater will be equipped with state-of the-art technology, including the most robust projection mapping capabilities of any Disney ship and a Dolby Atmos 3D audio system — a first for the cruise industry — to create a transformative theatrical experience rivaling anything on land or at sea.
The Disney Wish will premiere two brand-new, original stage shows in the Walt Disney Theatre. More details will be announced at a later date.
‘Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular’
As part of its line-up of theatrical productions, the Disney Wish will feature a reimagined adaptation of Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular, a guest-favorite show from across the fleet. This fast-paced musical comedy is based on the classic Disney Animation tale of “street rat” Aladdin meeting the wise-cracking Genie, battling the evil Jafar and falling in love with Princess Jasmine.
Iconic scenes and songs from the movie will be re-created on stage, including a lively, Las Vegas-style rendition of Friend Like Me and a breathtaking performance of A Whole New World atop a flying magic carpet. Grammy Award-winning composer Alan Menken created an original song for Disney Cruise Line entitled To Be Free, a solo performance for Jasmine.
More Movies at the Wonderland and Never Land Cinemas
The Disney Wish will elevate the onboard cinematic experience with two intimate screening rooms steeped in Disney storytelling. These boutique cinemas will be the first in the cruise industry to offer Dolby Atmos 3D audio technology for the most immersive movie-going experience on the high seas.
At 84 and 86 seats respectively, the Wonderland and Never Land cinemas offer guests more options than ever before to watch classic and first-run films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and more.
Wonderland Cinema is inspired by the fantastical world of Alice in Wonderland, with nods to the otherworldly creatures and distinctive characters who inhabit the ever-curiouser Tulgey Wood. The woodland motif will continue into the ceiling to create the feeling that guests are peering up through the enchanted tree canopy above.
Never Land Cinema is inspired by Peter Pan’s flight from London to Never Land, sweeping guests up in their own flight of fantasy, past the second star to the right and straight into the magical world of movies. As guests revisit iconic scenes such as Skull Rock and Mermaid Lagoon, the venue’s night-sky color palette will light up with the flutter of Tinker Bell’s wings.
Outdoor Entertainment on the Upper Deck
Up on deck, the family pool district of the Disney Wish will double as an entertainment venue. With a poolside stage and a jumbo LED screen, guests will enjoy a variety of entertainment ranging from movies and live sporting events to brand-new deck parties and nighttime fireworks spectaculars developed exclusively for this ship. More information on these new experiences will be announced at a later date.
Aboard the Disney Wish, kids of all ages will find a ship filled with fun – from an immersive wonderland of heroes, princesses and storytellers, to a whimsical nursery for babies and toddlers, to seriously cool hangouts for tweens and teens.
In true Disney Cruise Line fashion, the fleet’s newest ship will offer dedicated clubs for every age group, each presenting imaginative programs with the care and expertise of Disney-trained counselors. Translation: More fun here than anywhere else at sea.
Disney’s Oceaneer Club
Children ages 3 to 12 will enter the captivating worlds of favorite Disney stories in the reimagined Disney’s Oceaneer Club, a real-life wonderland of immersive spaces specially designed to unlock their imaginations.
Aboard the Disney Wish, this club will feature more themed spaces than ever, each filled with endless entertainment – from storytelling, arts and crafts, and dress-up to toys, games and watching Disney movies. It will also offer more opportunities for kids to have fun with their favorite Disney friends during an exclusive line-up of interactive games and programs where characters don’t just stop by – they stay to play.
With the club located on deck 2, parents will be able to check in their children in the Grand Hall on deck 3 and then send them “down the rabbit hole” on a twisting slide that lands directly and securely into the central hub.
Decorated with black-and-white sketches of Disney and Pixar characters, the hub will feature a stage and its own slate of special shows, activities and character appearances.
Marvel Super Hero Academy
Marvel Super Hero Academy is a high-tech Avengers headquarters where young “recruits” will train to be the next generation of Super Heroes with the help of their own real-life heroes, like Spider-Man, Black Panther, Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Kids will begin by choosing a super hero suit from a selection of power sets based on Marvel heroes like Iron Man and Captain Marvel, and watching their choices become nanotech forms around mannequins in real-time. Then it will be time for “Avengers: Mission Training,” a gesture-based technology game where they put their new suits and skills to the test as they virtually battle bad guys.
Fairytale Hall is a royal trio of activity rooms where kids will join some of their favorite Disney Princesses and Frozen Queens as they let their creativity shine at Rapunzel’s Art Studio, read and act out stories at Belle’s Library, and test newfound icy powers at Anna and Elsa’s Sommerhus.
Inspired by her love of expression, Rapunzel’s Art Studio will be a creative escape where kids will have the best day ever making their own arts and crafts projects, like floating lanterns and paintings.
Belle’s Library will be a cozy corner for reading and acting out stories with the help of Disney characters. An enchanted painting above the fireplace will magically transform to bring the tales to life.
Anna and Elsa are never far from snow, even in their summer cabin. Here, kids will unlock icy powers during “Frozen Fun,” a series of gesture-based games hosted by Olaf, which include snowball fights with friendly trolls and a hunt for mischievous Snowgies – the tiny, playful snowmen created by Elsa in the animated short Frozen Fever.
Walt Disney Imagineering Lab
Walt Disney Imagineering Lab is a first-of-its-kind opportunity for kids to discover the secrets of world-renowned Disney Imagineers — the creative masterminds behind Disney theme parks, resorts and cruise ships — with hands-on activities and inventive experiments. Sorcerer Mickey, the ambassador of Walt Disney Imagineering, may even stop by to lend a wand to the newly minted magic makers.
One of the most exciting things Imagineers get to do is design roller coasters. At the Ride Studio, kids will create a coaster along the lines of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain or Matterhorn Bobsleds – and then climb into a capsule where they will virtually ride their imaginative masterpiece.
More new spaces and experiences at Disney’s Oceaneer Club will be revealed at a later date.
It’s A Small World Nursery
For the littlest cruisers ages 6 months to 3 years, It’s a Small World Nursery will offer babysitting services in a whimsical environment inspired by the beloved Disney attraction of the same name. Here, little ones will play games, make crafts, watch movies, read books and even spend time with special Disney friends under the expert care of Disney-trained counselors.
In the nursery, toddlers will take a playful trip around the world in the company of Disney, Pixar and Marvel characters reimagined as “it’s a small world” dolls. Each section of the space is themed to different areas of the world, with characters grouped by their homelands.
In the play room, magical murals will feature interactive hand cranks that trigger delightful effects. Little ones will be able to spark a cascade of ice magic from Elsa’s hand, send Aladdin and Jasmine swaying on the magic carpet, uncover Flynn Rider as he clings to Rapunzel’s enchanted tresses, and more. A toy train will chug along the ceiling, filling the space with colorful lights, playful sounds and kinetic energy.
Edge and Vibe
Older kids ages 11 to 17 will chill and play in their own way aboard the Disney Wish, with trendy hangouts and counselor-led programming designed to engage the unique interests of tweens and teens. Featuring all-new looks that combine sophisticated design with youthful Disney touches, these clubs will offer customized fun and, for extra cool points, secret entry ways accessible only to the VIPs.
Edge – At Edge, tweens ages 11 to 14 will have fun, make friends and play games in a bright, colorful hangout inspired by a chic New York City loft. A faux-grass picnic area and graphic art displays called “photo walls” will provide ample opportunities for tweens to capture cool, shareable vacation pics that will be the envy of their friends back home. Located on deck 5, the exclusive entrance to Edge will be hidden behind a framed piece of art that reimagines world-famous paintings in a pop art-inspired compilation of Disney characters, including Minnie as the ‘Girl with the Pearl Earring’ and Donald as Salvador Dali.
Vibe – At Vibe, teens ages 14 to 17 will meet new friends, watch movies, play games and participate in entertaining activities created just for them. Inspired by a Parisian artists’ loft, this stylish space features classic architectural elements with an electric retro twist, with vibrant neon signs and funky pop art. Combine those with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the ocean, and every angle in Vibe will offer a selfie-worthy backdrop for the trendiest teens on the high seas.
DISNEY WISH RECREATION
Disney Cruise Line will take fun in the sun to the next level on the Disney Wish with the debut of AquaMouse, a brand-new family water attraction that will bring to life the adventures of The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse animated shorts like never before. Additionally, three uniquely themed districts will offer fun water features, quick and casual dining options, and dedicated space for families, children and adults to relax and soak up the sun.
AquaMouse – The First Disney Attraction at Sea
Families will be immersed in The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse animated shorts aboard AquaMouse, the first-ever Disney attraction at sea. Complete with show scenes, lighting and special effects, and splashtacular surprises, this first-of-its-kind water ride will send guests on a fun family adventure through 760 feet of winding tubes suspended high above the upper decks.
As the story goes, Mickey and Minnie are starting their very own seaside excursion company — aptly named Port Misadventures — onboard the Disney Wish, and adventuresome cruisers will join them on an undersea excursion to Mermaid Lagoon that will inevitably (and hilariously) go awry.
The journey will begin when guests board their two-seater ride vehicles and ascend into a magical tunnel that will teleport them into the cartoon world of Scuba Scramble, a new animated short that plays out through oversized virtual portholes. Along the way, they’ll encounter curious sea creatures, familiar Disney friends and more than 60 water effects that bring the subaquatic hijinks to life – all perfectly synched to an original musical score by Emmy-nominated composer Christopher Willis (The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse).
At the height of the show, guests will blast out of the tunnel and embark on a wild water ride around the upper decks. First, they’ll zip into the forward funnel through an enclosed tube surrounded by dazzling lighting effects, followed by a quick dash through a dark tunnel that opens up to reveal breathtaking views of the ocean.
They’ll then jet up and down a series of speed blasters as they are propelled toward the grand finale: a soaring loop over the edge of the ship, with clear views down to the deep blue sea. With that, they’ll splash down for a sendoff message from Mickey and Minnie – another successful tour in the books!
Fun in the Sun for the Whole Family
In addition to AquaMouse, families will have more pools, more deck space and more dining than ever before in an expansive pool district themed to Mickey and friends.
Located on decks 11 and 12 midship, this area will include six pools of various sizes and depths, spaciously staggered among tiered decks and surrounded by lounge chairs to provide families with space to stretch out and soak up the sunshine. Throughout the day, guests will enjoy a variety of poolside entertainment on Funnel Vision, a jumbo LED display that screens Disney movies, TV shows, live sporting events and more. For guests seeking a laid-back environment, another family pool will be available on deck 14 forward.
The Disney Wish will feature brand-new food and beverage offerings on the upper decks, including relaxed indoor dining and a fresh take on quick and casual fare with a festive character twist. More details on these experiences will be released at a later date.
A Whimsical Water Wonderland for Kids
Little ones will go to “swim”-finity and beyond in a new Toy Story-themed waterplay district designed especially for families with toddlers and young children.
Children will have a tub-full of fun in the Toy Story Splash Zone, a fantastical water playground where Woody, Buzz and friends will be adorably reimagined as larger-than-life rubber bath toys that move and spray water at kids’ whim. Inspired by the Disney and Pixar short “Partysaurus Rex,” this bathtub-themed splash zone will combine the Old West of Woody’s Roundup with the intergalactic world of Buzz Lightyear, featuring two toddler-sized slides and pop jets, geysers and bubblers galore.
To complete the splish-splashing antics, everyone in the family will enjoy a trip down Slide-a-saurus Rex – a double-looping waterslide that sends guests plunging “down the drain” with the rest of the toys when the metaphorical bathtub overflows.
Other features of this playful pool district will include Trixie’s Falls — a six-inch-deep wading pool with a small fountain and waterfall — and Wheezy’s Freezies, a smoothie bar serving up refreshing fruit blends for the perfect cool-down treat.
Sun-Drenched Serenity for Adults
At Quiet Cove, guests ages 18 and older will find a secluded adults-only district dedicated to lounging, sipping and soaking. Set away from the bustle of family activities, this relaxing refuge at the back of the ship will offer breathtaking panoramic views of the ocean from a luxurious infinity pool.
While kids are hanging out with Disney characters in the coolest kids’ clubs at sea, parents will be able to enjoy some much-needed “me time” with an escape to Quiet Cove. Here, they’ll take a dip in the pool, unwind in a whirlpool spa, relax in a chaise lounge and indulge in a cool beverage from Cove Bar – an open-air watering hole offering beer, wine and cocktails.
A Disney Cruise Line guest favorite, Cove Cafe is a chic poolside lounge that will offer gourmet coffees, teas, specialty drinks and treats throughout the day. For the Disney Wish, the sophisticated yet casual spot will get a fresh new look that reflects the Oceania-inspired artistry of Disney’s Moana.
Enchantment is the special ingredient that brings the worlds of Disney films to such rich and vibrant life. Translating this concept into a design theme provides an unparalleled platform to infuse Disney storytelling into the cruise experience, giving the Disney Wish a completely new look and feel.
Watch the video below as Disney Cruise Line reached a significant construction milestone marked by the traditional keel laying ceremony of the Disney Wish. Keel laying takes place when the first block, or section of a ship, is lowered into the building dock, and a newly minted coin is placed under the keel for good fortune. The coin created for the Disney Wish features Captain Minnie, who made her debut aboard Disney Cruise Line ships in 2019 as part of a collection of initiatives aiming to inspire the next generation of female leaders in the cruise industry.
The Disney Wish will continue the Disney Cruise Line tradition of incorporating an elegant, classical exterior design — a tribute to the golden age of cruising — in the emblematic colors of Mickey Mouse.
A hallmark of Disney Cruise Line is the adornment of two character art pieces on the hull of each ship. For the Disney Wish, elegant filigree artwork on the bow — an intricate scrollwork pattern reminiscent of the classic ocean liners of the 1930s — will feature Captain Minnie Mouse for the first time, solidifying her pioneering place at the forefront of the fleet’s future.
The stern of the Disney Wish will boast a custom sculpture of the optimistic and adventurous Rapunzel. Suspended by her golden tresses, this artistic Disney Princess will appear to be “decorating” the exterior of the ship with her trusty paintbrush and the help of her chameleon pal, Pascal.
To take it one step further into enchantment, Imagineers have added a whimsical curvature to the deck edge along both sides of the Disney Wish, which will create a sense of magic and visual movement both inside and out.
This new ship will be powered by liquefied natural gas and, at approximately 144,000 gross tons and 1,250 guest staterooms, will be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
What is the difference between a contracted room block and a flexible group for my All-Inclusive destination wedding?
Are you dreaming of the perfect wedding on the beach but find yourself stuck and overwhelmed when it comes to research, reservations, and nit-picky details?
We know that coordinating travel arrangements for your group of guests requires careful planning. To ensure the best fit, we offer two distinct options to accommodate your type of group, number of travelers and flexibility of schedule.
1. Traditional group travel
This is the perfect booking option for travelers on the same itinerary who need flexible payment and cancellation policies for the entire group plus, other general group contract benefits.
A traditional group typically comprises:
20 or more people
10 or more rooms
All traveling together (but with various date combinations)
Flight & hotel packages, or just accommodations
Set price for all travelers with pre-reserved block inventory!
2. Flexible Groups
They’re ideal for small groups of 10 or more who want to vacation together at the same resort, yet need flexibility with their travel dates, flights, length of stay or who may travel from different cities.
No need to sign a group contract!
Guests can book from any origin and the hotel will still see them coming as one group
You can customize every booking to the clients’ individual travel needs
How it works
Terms and Conditions:
* Must use unique promotional code for additional qualifying travel companions
* Names are required at the time of booking and name changes are not allowed.
* The offer requires a minimum of 10 people using the promotional code provided.
* Promotional code does not ensure that all associated Flexible Getaways passengers will be accommodated on the same flight in the event that a schedule change occurs.
* Offer is not retroactive and cannot be applied to previously booked packages.
* Group inclusions and amenities can change at any time and are at the resort’s discretion. Any complimentary stays or upgrades will be applied to the couple’s reservation unless otherwise informed to your group specialist.
* All resort credits are assessed approximately 3-4 weeks after travel and are refunded to the designated reservation via the original form of payment. Hotel complimentary credits are typically based on the most common hotel room category booked and the most common length of stay booked.
Hotel’s complimentary credit value is at the hotel’s discretion. Only rooms booked throughDestination Weddings Expert, LLCwill count toward complimentary credit eligibility.
* Lead booking does not determine package rates. All packages are subject to availability and pricing at the time of booking.
* Minimum 3-night hotel stay required.
* All guests must stay at the same hotel unless otherwise contracted withDestination Weddings Expert, LLC.
* Discount will recalculate if modifications are made to the booking.
* Standard Terms and Conditions apply and are outlined during the booking process; other restrictions may apply.
Why Choose Us
Apollo Travel Orlandois dedicated to ensuring your experience, as well as your guests, is seamless from start to finish. When reserving your destination wedding with us, you’ll enjoy:
Flexible deposit, payment, and cancellation options
The best vacation prices—including flight, hotel, and activities
Complimentary room upgrades and money-saving offers based on group size
Customized itineraries and group activities
Group Travel Protection Plan, protecting your travel investment
You’ll receive professional, personalized one-stop-shop service
Besides the mere location differences between these two popular vacation spots, Cancun and the cities located in the Riviera Maya are different. In some ways it is hard to believe that they are neighbors except the blue of the Caribbean gives it away. This article digs into the variations of each destination and highlights the not so obvious differences.
WHAT IS CANCUN AND WHAT IS THE RIVIERA MAYA?
Cancun is a large city located at the northeast tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. It was the very first tourism specific destination built in the early 70’s. The Riviera Maya is a region to the south of Cancun that starts at Puerto Morelos and ends at the Sian Ka’an Biosphere. In some ways we are comparing apples and oranges – city verses region – but Cancun and the Riviera Maya are compared all the time, if not thought to be the same. When people inform me they thought they were the same, my reply is this “Is Atlantic City and the Jersey Shore the same?” This analogy seems to clear up whatever was unclear. Cancun is a large metropolitan city with a residential population reaching almost one million. The tourism zone, where hotels and entertainment businesses are highly concentrated, is outside the main city center on a small peninsula that surrounds a natural lagoon. Though there are small hotels and vacation rentals in the city center, tourism resides in this area, away from the residential neighborhoods. The Riviera Maya region includes the following popular cities – Puerto Morelos,Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras, Xpu-Ha, Akumal, Soliman’s Bay, Tank Ha Bay, Tulum, and the Sian Ka’an located on over 133 kms/88miles of beach coastline. The largest city is Playa del Carmen with 250,000 residents. Tulum is the second largest city with a population of just under 100,000 people. Other cities are small in comparison with populations well under 20,000 people. These geographical differences, and the fact that people compare a city to a region, make both of these areas very, very different. But Cancun the city is different from Riviera Maya cities.
CANCUN AS A DESTINATION – HOW IT WORKS AND WHAT TO EXPECT
Cancun has a national population in its core city with 90% of its tourism happening in a designated beachfront area of the city. This separates every day life from vacation life. It also separates residents from visitors. • The sheer size of Cancun makes it difficult to navigate not only for regional day trips but urban exploring. A taxi, public bus or private driver is a must if you wish to explore outside the hotel zone. Though not impossible, it makes exploring a challenge or a tad bit intimidating to the first time visitor. • When visitors choose to leave their resort or large hotel, they are shuffled to more tourism hot spots in the hotel zone. Very few visitors dive into downtown Cancun to experience the local authenticity of Cancun residential neighborhoods and markets. The ‘bubble’ is what Cancun staff support when getting people out and about. • With a large percentage of all inclusive resorts, Cancun has gained the reputation of ‘Spring Break Haven’ where college kids party during the winter months. Cheap resorts, lots of night clubs, and high-end shopping centers have created this atmosphere, but has made Cancun a profitable tourism center. • International brands like Wet and Wild water parks, Hard Rock Cafe, Outback Steak House, MontBlanc, Nike, etc can be found in Cancun to appeal to American and international tourists visiting the hotel zone in Cancun. • Predominately this area is frequented by American and Canadian tourists with a small influx of European and South American visitors.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE RIVIERA MAYA – HOW IT WORKS AND WHAT TO EXPECT
Each city in the Riviera Maya has its own unique feel, tourism base and extraordinary attractions. Developed after the rise of Cancun, these cities are less populated and come with a lifestyle that is focused on the beach and local cenotes. •Tourism is highly diverse with people from around the world visiting local cities. It is not uncommon to hear various European languages, Spanish, and English spoken everywhere by both staff and visitors. Some Riviera Maya cities have a high concentration of US and Canadian residents, Puerto Aventuras and Akumal being known for this. •These cities are less about resorts, which are located outside city centers, and more about small hotels, vacation rentals and in some cases beachfront cottages (cabanas). This is not the hospitality landscape in Cancun. •Most cities are walking cities as they are small and intimate. It is easy for a visitor and locals to walk to restaurants, local attractions, and to the beach. Playa del Carmen has experienced tremendous growth over the past decade but has retained its neighborhood feel in the downtown core. What we do appreciate is the recent addition of arts and cultural activities that Playa did not have just a few years ago. •It is natural that the concentration of tourism is by the beach, with city centers revolving around hotels, shopping and vacation rentals, but residential neighborhoods are closely located if not a part of the hotel and restaurant areas. This urban mix retained a local feel to the cities where visitors and residents mix, happily. This neighborhood feel makes the cities of the Riviera Maya friendlier, more local, and information about where to go and what to do easily exchanged. •Each Riviera Maya city is a stop on the main 307 highway, the only highway that runs along the coast. This main artery connects local attractions to visitors with easy, making exploring a pleasure, inexpensive and really easy to navigate. Most Riviera Maya visitors and locals visit cenotes, other small cities, Mayan ruins, and local cultural attractions with greater flexibility than Cancun visitors.
MIXING UP CANCUN WITH THE RIVIERA MAYA
We understand all too well the differences between Cancun and the Rivera Maya. We also understand the nuances of both locations. What we love is the diversity of the two areas. We live in the Riviera Maya so we can enjoy the ease of exploring, smaller communities, and direct access to the beach. We value the mix of visitors and locals, and love that we can have tacos on one corner and a burger on the other. We also appreciate the benefits of Cancun. Brand name shopping is useful (think Costco or the Apple Store) and in the old days Cancun was the place you had to shop.Back then Riviera Maya cities had maybe one grocery store and food choices were limited. Today that has changed but Cancun still has stores and retail outlets not found in the Riviera Maya. Unfortunately if your travel agent or online booking website is not familiar with the area (which in most cases they are not, many have not even visited the area) you may find yourself in a hotel or resort that doesn’t match your dream. We have heard time and again that people feel stuck in Cancun. We talk to people who thought they booked a hotel in Playa del Carmen only to learn it is 20 minutes away and not remotely close to the famous 5th Avenue or near the glorious beaches of Tulum as promised.
TALK TO A LOCAL WHO LIVES IN THE RIVIERA MAYA
If you know what you want for your vacation and would like to investigate the best place for your week off, talk to a local (pointing finger over my head) A local will listen to what you want and quickly point you in the right direction. If you want to hit the nail in the head the first time, talk to someone who knows.
So give us a call. Drop us a line. Ask away and we are happy to give you the lay of the land. And if you choose to come to the area, be sure to let us know so we can meet up for a cocktail and share travel stories! We love to hear how your vacation is panning out and what you think of the area. If you are already booked, contact our concierge who is happy to get you where you want to go, suggest great restaurants and guide you to local attractions worth seeing!