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.
Should I use a travel agent or book directly with a cruise line?
One of the most common questions I passionately answer both in person and on online communities (I’m looking at you Reddit), is about how to actually book a cruise. Should you use a travel agent or book directly with a cruise line? I’ll tell you right out the gate that whether you’re looking into your first cruise or well on your way to the highest levels of a cruise line’s loyalty program, I highly recommend using a good travel agent, but let’s talk about why by addressing some common questions and misconceptions.
Do people still use travel agents?
More travelers than ever leverage the expertise and help of travel agents for their vacations. Let’s look at some quick facts:
In fact, according to ASTA (the American Society of Travel Agents),
Last year 22% of leisure travelers from households earning at least $50,000 used a travel agent – up from 14% just three years ago.
‘Millennials’ seem the biggest fans of using travel agents, with 30% having used an agent in the last year.
They seem satisfied: 59% of millennials indicated that their trips planned with agents were better than trips planned without agents. This compares to 53% and 58% for gen x-ers and baby boomers, respectively.
So yes, more people use travel agents each year, and the majority feel their trips were enhanced by using a travel agent.
How is a travel agent paid, doesn’t it cost me money to use an agent?
In short, it rarely costs you money to use a travel agent, and in fact, the agent can very often help you save money on your trip (more on that in that below). When an agent books a hotel room, cruise, tour, etc, this means the provider doesn’t have to sell, market, or service the booking – the agent takes care of all of that. A travel agent may get a commission from the cruise line you’re sailing with.
Many agents don’t charge fees for their services, though some do, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. These fees could be for value-added services (such as keeping track of price changes) or for booking airfare, something that agents only do as part of trip with a cruise, hotel stay, etc. Much of the time if an agent does charge fees, they’ll credit them towards your booking once it’s completed. This is because an agent doesn’t want to do your research and planning so you can go book on your own.
What is the advantage of using a travel agent?
There are many benefits to booking with a travel agent, from cost savings, to having an expert there to help guide you and plan your trip.
For one, they often have access to special rates or additional incentives (such as onboard credit, complimentary specialty dining, etc) which are not available when booking directly. We can relate these perks to agents being members of travel consortia, which are networks of affiliated travel agencies that offer collective buying power, or offered as part of group travel. Often, group travel doesn’t mean you’re traveling as part of someone else’s event, it’s simply when a travel agency has numerous travelers on a given sailing, at a certain hotel, etc, and is afforded special perks. Outside of these arrangements, most cruise lines require that in most cases, all advertised prices must be the same. If you see a different rate between agencies, it’s very important to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples (are the stateroom categories exactly the same, does one price include airfare, are drinks included, etc).
Save you money
Further, agents can sometimes save you money by keeping an eye out for price drops, and being aware of other incentives, such as a big discount by paying for a trip with a certain credit card, or other tricks they come across as they review many promotions and other updates each day.
Beyond the perks offered with your booking, another significant reason to book with a travel agent is the service. A good travel agent has personal experience with travel, but also gets great feedback from his or her clients so they’re continuously learning about different offerings. This means that the agent can help get to know you, find out what you enjoy, what type of vacation you’re looking for, etc, and make recommendations based on the knowledge they’ve amassed. There is no “best cruise line”, but there probably is one that is best for you, and for this trip.
Another great service agents provide is being your primary point of contact for your trip. This can be a big factor, as your cruise may be much more than just a cruise. You might need a car to get you to the airport, a flight to the city you’re cruising from, a hotel in that city, a rental car, restaurant reservations, your cruise, shore excursions, and more. Your agent can not only make these arrangements, but if you need to make changes or get more information, you’ve got one person you can speak with that will help you with everything.
Can’t I get a better deal booking directly with a cruise line?
As mentioned, cruise lines require that except for groups, prices are the same across all travel agents, and this applies to the cruise lines’ internal sales teams as well. Cruise lines depend on travel agents to sell cruises and help service those bookings, so they certainly don’t want to undercut the agencies they work with. The cruise line has to market cruises, guide prospective guests through the process, and then be available for any changes or challenges that come about. When a travel agent does this for the cruise line, that’s money that in a way, the cruise line has saved, which get’s back to why cruise lines and other companies pay travel agent’s commission.
Cost vs Value
Getting a deal also means knowing that you’re getting the right cruise for you – a lower price isn’t the only measure of value. While it’s true that 10+ years ago there was far less information out there on cruise line, hotel, and rental car websites – making the role of a travel agent more essential if you didn’t know exactly what you wanted, the amount of information on the internet today can be overwhelming. Yes, cruise lines put their information out there on the web, but like any other business, they control the message – so Princess Cruises may have a ton of information, but they’ll understandably be slanted to make their own line seem to be the most logical choice no matter what your preferences may be.
That’s great, but I like doing the research, and I don’t want to give up control of my booking.
Me too! According to another ASTA study, the biggest reason people say they don’t use a travel agent (aside from the 57% who said they just hadn’t thought of it) is that they want control. While when you book with a travel agent you’ll see certain changes aren’t available to you online or on the phone (such as changing stateroom categories, or adding a person to your reservation, for example), that doesn’t mean you don’t have control. Many of these changes can be a pain to understand, or require waiting on hold for a cruise line to do it. Let your agent wait on hold and figure out these changes.
Many other arrangements, such as booking shore excursions and specialty dining can be handled directly with the cruise line if you’d like, but your agent can take care of them for you as well, and most times, is able to help with things that might leave you stuck online, such as finding out your desired dining time is booked–an agent may get you wait-listed, or even work some magic on his or her side. Sometimes, a travel agent can even help you skip to the front of a waiting list for a sold-out sailing or other tour.
In the end, you’re not relinquishing any control, in fact, you’re making it so you have slightly more control, potentially less waiting on hold, and you have a single point of contact for all your travel needs.
They make it easy
When you book a cruise directly you’re entering your contact info, birthday, picking your dining time, bed arrangements, traveling companions’ information, etc. Is it a real pain point? No, it’s not terrible, but now imagine doing the same for your rental car, hotel, cruise, and more – all while triple checking for mistakes. An agent will take care of all of this for you, once again, a single point of contact. Booking multiple trips? A hotel and a cruise? Your agent will note and remember your preferences. For example, my spouse recently found out she is allergic to down pillows. If I’m booking directly I need to remember to note this, but first I have to figure out how to even communicate this information. My agent has ways to annotate bookings, and knows just who to reach out to, so I know that any cruise or hotel stay he arranges for me will result in our walking into our room on day one with foam pillows instead of down.
Because this relationship has been established, when I book a trip, I usually do so in a two sentence email to my agent. He has my information, knows my preferences, how I like to pay for things, etc. In the end, I get a nice summary of my trip with all the pertinent information. Done.
If you really enjoy clicking through and booking on your own, many cruise lines let you do this and then transfer your booking to an agent as long as you make the request within the first 30 days. This means you setup the initial booking but your agent can still maintain it.
Want to have more control but with less work? Use a travel agent.
Should I use a travel agent to book a cruise?
We just spent some time answering this, but the genuine answer is that you should use a travel agent for booking much more than just cruises! We mentioned that if you have pre or post cruise plans, an agent can help with your hotel, car, and other reservations – but it turns out some people take trips that aren’t cruises! Who knew? Keep this in mind, as whether it’s business travel or a land vacation, it really can be a relief. Personally, we’ve booked hotels and other arrangements for entire department meetings using our cruise travel agent, and looked like the hero when we just said, “don’t worry everyone, I’ll handle it all.”
Okay, you’ve convinced me, but how do I find an excellent agent?
At the beginning of this post, I emphasized the importance of using a good travel agent. This means finding someone you click with, and someone that isn’t just a call-center worker for a travel company, but a person that will remember your preferences, providing a real value. In this way, it’s somewhat personal – we all communicate and work differently, so I’d recommend asking a trusted friend, or perhaps a frequent traveler. Don’t be afraid to speak with an agent about what value they provide – just like any other service, a simple “why should I choose you over others” may be quite revealing. If you speak with an agent about a cruise, and they ask you just a question or two about your trip before making a recommendation, speak with another agent. A good agent will want to understand your likes and dislikes, what you do for fun, what type of restaurants you go to, what you’ve liked or disliked about past vacations, etc. The more an agent knows about you, the better recommendation they can make to ensure you pick the right trip for you.
To get agent recommendations, you can ask cruise lines or others for agencies they work with, or just do a search and read about different agencies online to see how they resonate with you. You may already belong to some groups that have travel agencies, such as certain credit card companies, social groups, professional organizations,.
Ultimately, once you find a wonderful agent, it makes your traveling easier, more rewarding, and more affordable. This means you can take more cruises if you use a travel agent. Well, that was my takeaway at least.
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The expansion and stiff competition in the cruise industry has make this vacation option into a more affordable product, with important consequences and implications from the demographic point of view, reflected in a series of changes in the composition, attitude and behaviour of a younger and and increasingly more active clientele.
The Cruise Passenger Profile
The demographic of the cruise market have changed with the new demands of a rapidly evolving world and social network. Within the last years, the average age of cruise passengers has dropped of those potential customers of this service from North America, Europe and emerging Asian markets interested in spending their income in enjoying luxurious vacations.
What was traditionally a market for an elite class, seniors and retirees with stable income, and newlyweds, has become a luxurious travel and holiday option available for the family market; mostly through the attraction of budget holidays, with more and more people interested in this offer in a growing tide that underpin the optimism that the cruise industry will maintain an increasing occupancy rate and future profitability.
According to statistics provided by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) in 2004, and based on a study conducted in the United States and the United Kingdom, 97% of cruisers are 25 years or older, and with annual earnings over USD40,000+, in a segment that represents about 44% of the total US population. And, in accordance with this same study, the demographic profile of the average cruise passenger would correspond to a 55-year-old university-educated person, married, employed and with an annual income over USD75,000.
In 2008, CLIA offered the following profile of the average cruise vacationer:
Predominantly white/Caucasian (93%) person.
Around 46 years old (down from 49 in 2006).
Well-educated, with 65% of college graduates, and 24% of post-graduates.
83% are married.
58% work full-time.
Average household income of around USD90,000.
A cruise trip each three years among other three types of yearly vacations.
Details of the average cruiser in other countries are scarce due to the lack of research and data on this subject.
Cruise Passenger Attitudes and Behaviour
According to statistics published by CLIA, around 15% of the total US population has cruised ever, and 7% to 8% have done so within the last three years. This means that 85% of US citizens have never taken a cruise, which represents a remarkable upside potential for this sector.
There are several sources with a variable influence on vacationers when considering the idea of taking a cruise:
Word of mouth (45%).
Spouse’s desire (38%).
Destination websites (38%).
Long-considered idea of cruising (37%).
Once taken the decision, there are distinct information sources to be considered when planning the vacation:
Cruise websites (26%).
Internet advertisement (10%).
Travel agents (14%).
Travel magazines (13%).
Magazine advertisements (10%).
Direct mail (5%).
In any case, people interested in taking a cruise generally plan their vacation four or six months out.
The 80% of cruise passengers book some of their vacation through local travel agents. Nearly 42% of respondents say that travel agents provide a high-quality service, and around 60% are very or extremely satisfied with their service.
The proximity of embarkation ports are a considerable inducement to future cruising for around 70% of potential user of these services, as a result of the saving of money and hassles derived from not having to fly to embarkation points.
Typical, cruise passengers travel in pairs, usually with spouses or boyfriends/girlfriends (80%), with a 29% (2008) of people travelling with kids under 18 years old (from 13% in 2002), and a 25% enjoying this sort of offer in the companionship of friends.
Destination is one of the most influential aspects when choosing a vacation aboard a cruise ship, and the most of people frequently name the Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii, Bahamas, Europe and the Mediterranean Sea as their favourite options.
On a comparative basis versus other tourism categories, and whether a first-time or frequent cruiser, the cruise experience consistently receives top marks from customers on a wide range of important vacation attributes, with an increasing number of people indicating the intent to purchase a cruise.
Cruise prospects recognized the high value of cruise vacations, and people who have already experienced this service consider it as providing the best value for their leisure money. Around 95% of all cruisers rate their experience as satisfying, with a 45% claiming the highest “Extremely Satisfying” ranking, and a 80% of them convinced that taking a cruise trip is an excellent opportunity to sample destinations and geographical areas before visiting them on a future land-based vacation.
There is also a high level of repeat cruise passengers, with around 50% of customers taking a cruise yearly, and around 25% interested in repeating the experience in the future.
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