Life Travel

More magic on Disney cruises 0

JIM FOX, Special to QMI Agency
The Disney Wonder is shown as it calls on Honolulu, Hawaii for the first time. (Photo by Kent Phillips/Handout)

The Disney Wonder is shown as it calls on Honolulu, Hawaii for the first time. (Photo by Kent Phillips/Handout)

The Disney folks are creating more magic for families wanting to explore new horizons by sea.

Disney Wonder is now sailing to Hawaii and the flagship vessel, Disney Magic, is cruising Canadian waters and to the Bahamas from New York City.

It’s not just for globetrotting kids, as Disney Cruise Line is “focused on providing a setting where families can reconnect, adults can recharge and kids can immerse themselves in worlds of fantasy.”

Surf’s up on the Wonder

Disney Wonder called on Honolulu, Hawaii for the first-time earlier this month, sailing past iconic Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach.

It was on a 15-night Hawaiian cruise roundtrip from Los Angeles with stops in Hilo, Kahului (Maui), Honolulu, Nawiliwili and Ensenada, Mexico. A second 14-night Hawaiian voyage will depart from LA on Oct. 14.

Sailings to the fabled islands in the Pacific are part of an expansion for the highly acclaimed cruise line, as “blending the enchantment of Hawaii with the magic of Disney is a natural fit,” said president Karl Holz.

Walt Disney had an affinity for the Hawaiian culture, from the 1937 Mickey Mouse animated short “Hawaiian Holiday” to the Polynesian theming of Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room attraction and later Disney World’s Polynesian Resort.

Last summer, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts opened Aulani, a resort and spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii.

A first-of-its-kind resort, Disney “imagineers” worked with the Hawaiian community to create a place that immerses guests in the culture, history and traditions of the islands, said public relations director Jason Lasecki.

After its first Hawaiian sailing, the Wonder is cruising on seven-night itineraries to Alaska from Seattle, Wash. throughout the summer and heads back to LA for week-long trips to the Mexican Riviera in the fall.

At the end of the year, Disney Wonder will reposition to Miami, marking the first time a Disney Cruise Line ship will sail out of South Florida. 

Taking Manhattan by sea

The Disney Magic sailed from Manhattan last week, marking its inaugural voyage from the “Big Apple” to distant shores including those in the Maritimes.

The ship will make 20 cruises from New York, including eight-night voyages to the Bahamas and five-nights up the New England coast to Canada.

To allow people to “test the waters,” Disney will offer two-night sampler cruises on weekends, leaving June 15, July 13 and Aug. 10.

Bahamas cruises will include a day at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, and at Nassau, along with a stop at Port Canaveral, Fla., giving guests an opportunity to visit the nearby Walt Disney World Resort.

As part of this itinerary, each guest will receive one-day Disney World Park Hopper ticket and roundtrip transportation between the ship and the resort.

Upcoming departure dates are June 22, 30, July 20, 28 and Aug. 17 and 25.

The New England coastal cruises will call at Halifax and Saint John for what Disney says will allow guests to “soak in splendid natural vistas, explore historic sites, visit quaint cafes and charming shops, and browse Canada’s oldest farmer’s market.”

Departure dates are June 10, 17, July 8, 15, Aug. 5, 12 and Sept. 2, 7 and 12.

For details and prices: www.disneycruise.com; 1-888-325-2500. 

Royal and splendid voyages

Cunard Line, which has a longstanding relationship with the “Royals,” is marking Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in style.

There will be a first-ever Royal Rendezvous of the ships Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth in Southampton, England on Tuesday.

“The celebrations will culminate in an evening spectacular where all three ships will be brought within close proximity of each other and a fusillade of fireworks and special effects will light up the evening sky,” said publicist Jackie Chase.

They will then head out for their “celebratory Jubilee voyages,” with special speakers in the “enrichment program” and showcasing rare collections of Royal art.

The ships will hold commemorative dinners with a menu highlighting the 74-year relationship between Cunard and the Queen, followed by a grand ball.

Cunard, the only line providing regularly scheduled transatlantic service, has a Diamond Jubilee Sale for bookings on Queen Mary 2 from now through June 7.

Fares are from $795 US with upgrades and onboard credits. www.cunard.com; 1-800-728-6273 

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