Archive for March, 2010

New Round of Disney Dream Details

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

More juicy details have emerged about Disney’s newest build, the Disney Dream. When the ship debuts next year, a slew of high-tech, interactive and totally fun ship features and activities will bowl over guests of all ages, especially the kids on board.

Disney Cruise Line partnered with Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative force responsible for designing Disney theme parks and resorts world-wide, to develop a bunch of new forms of family entertainment for the ship, including:

Animator’s Palate
Like sisters Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, Disney Dream will also have an Animator’s Palate restaurant, though of course with its own twist. Via the same digital wizardry as her fleetmates, the Dream’s restaurant will be transformed into an ocean floor before diners’ eyes while Crush, the surfer-dude sea turtle from Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Nemo,” seems to swim around the restaurant engaging in live impromptu interactions with guests.

Interactive Play-floor
The 3- to 11-year-old set targeted in the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab will love the spaces’ interactive play-floor, where they can enjoy team play on an interactive floor controlled by their actions. For example, one game has children scrambling around the perimeter of the interactive play-floor with their movements controlling the pitch of a virtual tilt maze.

Living Characters
Also in Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab youth areas, Disney characters come to life and interact with children via a 103-inch screen. Crush, the animated sea turtle from the Disney•Pixar motion picture “Finding Nemo” and the mischievous animated alien Stitch show up on screen to chat, play and joke with kids in live, unrehearsed conversations.

Enchanted Art
Throughout the Disney Dream, Enchanted Art will immerse guests in Disney storytelling in a totally new way. The Enchanted Art around the ship seems to magically come alive when guests pause to admire the artwork and it will be a part of fun activities as well, such as a detective themed adventure where guests of all ages join a ship-wide quest to find clues.

Family Affair: Cruising with the Whole Crew, Grandpa, Grandma & The Kids

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

I had cruised with my mom, my dad, and my children, but never all at once. The “idea” of cruising with both offspring and parents always had seemed like a great idea, but yet there was that nagging fear we’d all drive each other crazy. Still, I had to give it a try. When opportunity knocked I forged ahead and not only planned a cruise for us, but vowed to enjoy it. My husband claimed he couldn’t take leave from work (oh sure), so it would be the five us.

Want to cruise with your extended family? See Heidi’s seven tips to make yours a successful and fun family cruise at the bottom of this post. Got some tips of your own? Share them in our comments section below.

I booked the brood on a 10-night cruise roundtrip out of Singapore to Thailand and Malaysia aboard the Costa Marina (these days fleetmate Costa Romantica is doing similar routes). The cozy, homey Marina was a great way for my folks to get a taste of Asia and by far the most convenient mode of transport for a pair of testosterone-fueled little boys, two 60-somethings with medical issues, and a tightly-wound mother-child who still struggles with not sweating the small stuff.