A Spook-tacular Disney Cruise

Halloween is in the air. It’s that special time of year that ghosts peek out of their hiding places, and the only night when you might be greeted by a zombie on your doorstep without even having to worry about your brains being eaten.

As the autumn leaves fall on your lawn and you power up the leaf-blower hoping your back won’t give out like it did last year, you might be looking for a special getaway to extend this holiday fun. If you prefer one with just the right amount of witches, goblins, and candy, along with a suitable dose of sandy beaches and sparkling turquoise waters, I have an idea you might want to tuck away in your trick-or-treat bag.

Intrigued? Disney cruises offer a way to make your Halloween season last a lot longer than one simple night of prosaic trick-or-treating.

Sailing to various island destinations in the Caribbean, as well as Mexico, the Panama Canal, and even the Canadian Coast, Disney cruises seamlessly blend the theme of Halloween with destinations worthy of your bucket list. 

Special activities include Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party, where guests can enjoy dancing with their favorite Disney characters donning seasonal costumes. And don’t forget to pack a costume of your own! Other nights, guests enjoy Halloween-themed music events, interactive movies, scary storytelling, and even special foods created with a full cup of spooky and just a pinch of scary.

But it’s not just about Halloween on a Disney cruise. Their four state-of-the-art ships are a treat to savor any time of the year.

As an eleven-year-old who had the opportunity to sail on the Disney Dream, my particular favorite feature of their ship was the waterslide named the AquaDuck, which is really a water rollercoaster that propels you through a clear tube. I also enjoyed the Oceaneer Lab and the Edge, which is a special area just for tweens. Teenagers even get their own exclusive hideout to escape the adults.

Of the two options available to me at my age, I confess my personal favorite was the Oceaneer Lab where I participated in Star Wars Jedi training. Where else can I knock down live storm troopers using the Force without worrying about getting sued? The Oceaneer Lab also has video game stands with lots of games to play, movies, and cooking classes. One unexpected thrill in the Oceaneer Lab is washing your hands. I kid you not – they have a machine that actually washes your hands for you. I guarantee you’ll want to buy one of these for your house.

Younger than me? You don’t have to worry on a Disney cruise. There are dedicated areas for kids of all ages with wonderful staff members – Disney calls them “cast members” – who are there to keep kids safe and happy.

Also, Disney cruises offer many delectable places to eat. Cabanas is one of the buffet-style restaurants, and Eye Scream is sure to get your mouth watering with soft-serve ice cream available to you whenever you have a craving. But if you have a more discriminating palate, you might want to go for a table service meal at the Enchanted Garden, Animator’s Palate, or the Royal Court. My personal favorite is Animator’s Palate, where you are greeted by animated characters from Finding Nemo on screens. There are other surprises in store for you during your dinner there, but I won’t spoil your fun by divulging any details. Here’s a tip: Be prepared to eat with people you don’t know at dinner. But you can request a private table when you make your cruise reservation, if you prefer. There’s also adults-only dining for those who want to have a quiet, kid-free experience.

Disney cruises feature many different Broadway-caliber shows so you have a new experience every night. They are surprisingly good with talented casts and innovative sets. You can also see first-run movies at their movie theater.

However, it’s not all perfection. My one complaint is that the pool is small. With so many kids in swim diapers in it, one can’t help but wonder what exactly is making the pool warm. But since it’s Disney, I’m sure they keep it clean… ish. Older kids like me may prefer the AquaDuck or the other waterslide options that are available on the different ships.

A better option for swimming, in my opinion, can be found on the beaches of the varied tropical destinations Disney cruises sail. Many of the Halloween itineraries include a stop at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island where you can snorkel with magnificent fish in a reef. I even saw three baby squid during my visit there. You can also bike, hike, participate in a 5k run, or parasail. But that’s just the beginning. There are lots of port adventures from which you can choose.

A special combination of cruising delight and Halloween fun, Disney’s cruises are a spook-tacular way to enjoy this season. But fear not! If you have no time to cruise over Halloween, you can enjoy an equally amazing Disney cruise any other time of the year.

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