There’s a time in life for back road adventures, and a time when you want to kick back in a deck chair, have Olaf from Frozen bring you daiquiris and watch your kids swimming in the pool. I’ve done the backpacking-around-Australia bit and spent six weeks with a sore neck from sleeping in the car every night. Two kids and a decade later, it’s Disney Cruise time! My brothers and sisters in parenting, we’ve earned it.
Disney Cruise Line has four ships in its fleet: Wonder, Magic, Dream and Fantasy, the latest addition. All the ships are designed with families in mind and cater for kids from babies to 17-year-olds. On board you can swim, eat at one of the many buffets and restaurants, drop the kids at kids club and go to the gym, eat, watch live entertainment, eat, hang out with Donald Duck. And did we mention eat? Because there’s lots to eat.
Disney Cruise Lines has the most amazing activities for kids, and they’ve cleverly split the areas according to age, so babies are entertained in the nursery while 16-year-olds can spend time away from pesky younger siblings who are always trying to borrow their stuff. The Disney Dream has the AquaDuck, the first water coaster at sea, which is something all the kids would be on board with. On board. Get it? Because it’s a ship.
At the Bibidi Bobidi Boutique, little princesses and pirates get a fairy story makeover. The Oceaneer’s Club has Disney character dress-up, and the exclusive 14 to 17-year-old space where kids can game, go online and listen to music would have impressed even my cooler-than-thou 15-year-old self.
Besides the fact that you can leave the kids in supervised activities and have a massage, the Deck Parties are the most awesome part of the cruises. Each one has a theme – think pirates or Pixar characters – and families spend the day at a music and dancing extravaganza, topped off with fireworks at the end of they day. I think we all know a few families that, for better or for worse, would spend the entire cruise at the Frozen Deck party.
Disney Cruise Liners sail to parts of North America, Central America and Europe. There’s no Australian departure port yet, making the closest one Vancouver. It’s a long flight, but you can get caught up on all the Disney classics on the way.