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What do you get when you combine Marvel Super Heroes and Villains with a Disney cruise? Marvel Day at Sea! Whether you’re a newcomer to the Marvel universe, a lifelong fan,or traveling with someone who is, you will love this action-packed day aboard the Disney Dream, setting sail from Miami January-March 2023.

More than 30 Marvel Super Heroes and Villains will be featured in new heroic encounters and live entertainment throughout the event.

Which Marvel characters will be there? Captain America Sam Wilson, Mighty Thor, Shang-Chi, Marvel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Kate Bishop, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Thor, Loki, Black Widow and more.

Shows and activities include Heroes Unite (a nighttime spectacular with stunts, special effects and pyrotechnics), shows in the Walt Disney Theatre, an interactive training experience, a costume bash with a high-energy party on the upper decks, an adult-exclusive dance party and so much more.

Guests can experience this epic day at sea on the following Disney Dream itineraries in 2023:

Departing Jan. 7, Jan. 21, Feb. 4, Feb. 18 and March 4, 2023, the Western Caribbean itinerary features Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.

Departing Jan. 16, Jan. 30, Feb. 13 and Feb. 27, 2023, the Western Caribbean itinerary includes stops at Cozumel, Mexico and Castaway Cay.

These cruises are extremely popular and will sell out. Contact me today if you want more information or you’re ready to book your Marvel-ous cruise.

Packing for an Alaskan cruise is VERY different from packing for a warm-weather cruise. The weather in Alaska is unpredictable, it can be warm and sunny one minute and drizzling the next. Remember that even though it is summer, it won’t be warm! 

The key to packing for Alaska is layers!

  • Pants – jeans or khakis (you may want to leave room underneath for long johns)
  • Ladies may opt for leggings; you may even choose a fleece-lined pair
  • Long johns or tights – perfect for those chilly days!
  • T-shirts – cotton is best.
  • Sweater or sweatshirt – don’t bring anything too bulky.
  • Flannel – these are very Alaskan and easy to peel off if it gets warmer.
  • Vest – great to layer! I like this one for women and this one for men because they are easy to pack and water resistant.
  • Lightweight puffer jacket – I like this one because it is water-resistant and has a hood! There is a similar version for men. You may want to size up if you will be layering underneath.
  • Waterproof rain jacket – I like this one and this one because they fold nicely into a little pouch. Here is a good option for men. 
  • Wool or warm socks

Shoes

  • Tennis shoes for walking
  • Nice shoes for dinner
  • Waterproof shoes or hiking boots – this will depend on your planned excursions, but you will need some type of shoe that can get wet. Merrell makes great waterproof hiking boots. XTRATUF boots are very popular with Alaskans. Timberland and Sperry also have great options. 
  • Slippers – I like to wear them in my cabin, but they are not necessary

Accessories

  • Pashmina – great to wear as a scarf or wrap over your shoulders at dinner or while on deck
  • Warm scarf – great while on deck or on excursions
  • Baseball cap
  • Beanie
  • Gloves 
  • Small umbrella

You may also want to bring:

  • At least one pair of shorts – you may have a warm day; the weather in Alaska is unpredictable! 
  • Bathing suit – it may only be warm enough on embarkation day to swim or you may want to hit the hot tub
  • Flip flops – for the pool or hot tub
  • Waterproof rain pants – probably only necessary if you have some type of excursion that you will get wet on like hiking and it rains. Also available for men and kids
  • Binoculars – they don’t have to be super fancy; your excursions will likely have a few pairs for everyone to share but it is nice to have your own on the ship

Formal nights in Alaska are WAY less formal than what you generally see on other cruises. There won’t be any tuxedos or formal dresses. Men will wear a suit but you will also see a lot of sports coats with a collared shirt and dress pants. Ladies will wear nice dresses, but it will be chilly so don’t forget tights or nylons and a light sweater.

For dinner on non-formal nights dress; you will see everything; most will wear business casual. Most ladies will be wearing pants and a blouse or sweater and sometimes even dresses. Men will wear dark jeans or khakis with a dress shirt or sweater. You don’t need to get dressed up by any means but should look nice. 

Packing Tips

Power outlets have traditionally been scarce in staterooms, though cruise lines are slowly modifying them to have more. A 3-way plug or extension cord may help if you have many devices to charge – it must be cruise ship approved and not be a surge protector.

Bathroom counter space is also lacking so you may want to bring a hanging toiletry bag. The counter should be fine for 2 people, but a family of 4 will be crowded for space. We also travel with these magnetic hooks to hang bags, hats, etc. The staterooms walls are magnetic and these come in a few different sizes to hold different weights. 

You may want to bring a low-wattage nightlight particularly if you are in an interior stateroom.

Cruise cabins are small. Consider bringing Poo-Pourri. That’s all I’m going to say about that!  

The three things you MUST bring are sunglasses, sunscreen, and bug spray. Even though it is cold the sun will reflect off of the ice in the mountains or the water and it is bright! You will regret not bringing sunglasses. I prefer polarized lenses, but any sunglasses will do. Along those same lines, the reflection of the sun will cause you to burn so bring sunscreen. Mosquitos are jokingly known as the Alaska state bird; enough said. 

Take a wristwatch. Clocks are few and far between onboard. You also need a watch when you are off the ship. The port you are visiting may not be on the same time as “ship time”. Set your watch to “ship time” and leave it there. When they say the ship will leave at 3PM, that does not always mean 3PM local time, and you may very well (literally) “miss the boat”. And do not use a cell phone as your watch (it may sync to local time).

In your checked luggage, place photocopies of your passport, medicine prescriptions, return airline tickets, and emergency contacts. You may also want to keep the international toll-free number of your credit card company in case you lose your credit cards.

You will need a bag to carry your items if you are going on an excursion, shopping or even just wandering around the port.  You will need to bring your stateroom key card, photo ID, phone, credit card and some cash. A small bag is fine (I like a crossbody bag) but a small backpack may be best to store your extra layers in. 

Many guests will bring a nice big Tervis or travel coffee mug with a lid. You can fill it up and enjoy a morning walk around the ship with your coffee or with ice water and tea. Great for sitting out by the pool or on the balcony.

If you are ready to book your Alaskan cruise, contact me today!

Since I first posted about our experience on social media, I have had so many questions about it so I decided to answer some of them in this blog post.

Galactic Starcruiser – Is it worth it?

10,000% yes!

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Star Wars movie. I may have, back in the 80’s, but I really don’t have a clue about the storyline or characters. However, it was by far one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.

What’s it like? It’s kind of hard to explain without giving away too much. The best way to describe it is part dinner theater and part name-your-own adventure. It’s an immersive experience that you can be involved with as much or as little as you’d like. In many regards, it’s like an ocean cruise (in space). Your accommodations and meals are provided. You get to meet some of the crew, and you decide how to spend your time – at leisure or fully immersed in the classes and planned events. 

You don’t need to know much about Star Wars to ‘get’ it. The Cast Members are incredible. They draw you in and you become part of the story. The basic premise is you board the Halcyon for a cruise to Batuu. Things don’t quite go as planned. You communicate with the captain and other officials from the ship with an app (Disney Play) that gets activated when you board. Your adventure is dictated by how you respond. My husband, son and I each had different storylines and missions.

How is the food?

The food was fabulous! A lot of it looked different and kind of funny (hello blue shrimp 😳). One of our table mates was a 7-year-old boy. He asked for “normal” food and was brought standard kid food without an issue.

All of your food and non-alcoholic beverages are included. The dining room is set up with a buffet for breakfast and lunch. For dinner, it becomes a regular dining room with a plated meal.

My son (who is 8) tried almost everything. Just like at home, there were things he liked and things he didn’t like. Our server was great and brought us more of the things he loved. I don’t eat gluten, and my husband and son can’t have shellfish. They accommodated us beautifully and without issue.

Do you have to dress up?

The short answer is no. I would guess that 60% or more were dressed up. There were more on the first night than the second. I had heard (and I agree) that costumes make you more memorable to the Cast Members. However, if you don’t want to dress up, no one cares. We saw everything from costumes to no costumes to Star Wars t-shirts. There were people dressed up as specific characters but most were like us – looking like we were from somewhere in the galaxy. We had fun with it. We wore the same outfits both nights and wore our “street” clothes on our excursion to Batuu. When you’re trying to decide on costumes, just do what feels right for you.

Do you get to pick which parks to visit?

Technically, I guess you could, but your voyage only includes admission to Hollywood Studios. It’s important to remember that this is an immersive experience. You are part of the story, so you are given missions to complete. Many of them are on Batuu (aka Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios)

You can begin to board your transport to Batuu as early as 8am on day 2, and you must return by 4pm. We headed over at 8:15. The transport is themed in typical Disney fashion, but I’m pretty sure we were in the back of a box truck. 🤪

Since we didn’t have another Hollywood Studios day planned for this trip, we quickly rode Slinky Dog, Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, all by 10:20. Then we headed to our reservation at Oga’s Cantina, which was part of our story.

After completing our missions at Oga’s Cantina, we used our Lightning Lane entrances for Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run and Rise of the Resistance.

We then did a few more quick missions (scanning QR codes around Batuu to collect supplies) and headed back to the ship a little before 1pm. They have activities onboard all day, and my son wanted to participate in the Droid racing. (He came in second behind the only adult participant) 🙄🤣

After that we headed back to Batuu for a few more missions. Activities onboard really kicked into full swing at 4pm.

So to answer the question, you really wouldn’t want to visit other parks during your stay as you’d miss out on the experience. After talking to others on our voyage, we learned that we were the minority in leaving Batuu to ride other rides, but it worked for us.

Would you do it again?

Absolutely! Our story would be different so we’d probably have a totally different experience. It was so much fun and unlike anything we have ever done before.

If you’d like to take a voyage on the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser, contact me today!

At the recent D23 Expo, the biennial exposition for the official Disney Fan Club, it was announced that Disney Cruise Line is bringing the magic of a Disney vacation to Australia and New Zealand beginning in late October 2023. 

The Disney Wonder will offer cruises ranging from 2-6 nights and will depart from four home ports: Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia; and Auckland, New Zealand. The limited-time “Disney Magic at Sea” cruises will immerse guests in Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars stories. 

For those looking for a longer cruise (13 and 15 nights), the transpacific cruises will sail both directions between Honolulu and Sydney. These will be the first South Pacific voyages for Disney Cruise Line, giving guests the chance to experience destinations like Fiji and Samoa. And if you’re looking for even more, you can add a special Adventures by Disney itinerary in Sydney. The Sydney Escape offers a 4-day, 3-night adventure, where you can explore some of the best that this magnificent city has to offer, making it the perfect pre- or post-adventure for your South Pacific Disney Cruise.

I am so excited about this news! Imagine adding a Disney cruise to your trip to Australia, New Zealand or Hawaii! Combine the magic of Disney with the magic of these destinations and you truly have a bucket list vacation that everyone in the family will remember for a lifetime.

To book your Disney Cruise, contact us today!

Our family recently experienced the two-night adventure aboard Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at Disney World. Walt would be over-the-moon excited about what his creators and imagineers have come up with as it is truly out of this world (yes, puns intended). 

I couldn’t help but notice the parallels between the Starcruiser and a Disney ocean cruise. Once we stepped onboard, everything was included: meals, accommodations, entertainment, character greetings and endless activities. We even had a ship orientation, Captain’s reception, and everyone’s favorite – the muster drill.

While there are many similarities between a cruise and the Starcruiser, this was like nothing we have ever experienced. It was part live immersive theater, part themed environment, part culinary extravaganza, part real-life role playing and so much more!

Every guest creates their own story based on the decisions they make, and our personalized itinerary was kept updated in our Play Disney Parks app via communication from the crew and characters. 

You may wonder what kind of decisions have to be made. There are many. For instance, will you hide a stowaway to help the Resistance? Prove your mettle to join an elite smuggling ring? Bring the stolen ship aboard and watch out for the First Order? Each decision takes you down a different path. You can make decisions as a family or let each person create their own story.

Some of the activities offered include Lightsaber Training, Bridge Training, Sabacc Tournament, Droid Racing, and Model Ship Building. 

The 2-night experience includes an excursion to Batuu. Your missions throughout Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge—including your adventures on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run—will influence events back on the ship. You’ll be able to enjoy one-time entry to these attractions during your excursion to Batuu. It’s all connected—and all part of your personal Star Wars story.

Guests onboard are encouraged to dress the part. Dress in your Jedi best, or dress to impress in your Coruscant best. No need to worry if your costume closet is a bit bare at home. There is a shop onboard the Starcruiser. 

Even the dining is immersive. On the first night, you’ll enjoy an expertly curated menu of delicious dishes from around the galaxy while engaging in unique experiences that continue your Star Wars story. And there is a special musical appearance by a galactic superstar. On the second night, you’ll enjoy The Taste Around The Galaxy where you’ll learn the name, inspiration and ingredients with the serving of each course.

To book your trip to a galaxy far, far away, contact me today!

I’m sure most of you have seen the luggage nightmare that has been plaguing travelers this summer, especially in Europe. No one wants to lose their bags. The immediate reaction is to carry on instead of checking your bags. That’s all well and good, but that doesn’t guarantee you won’t have to gate-check your bag. Every other traveler has the same idea, and overhead space could be full before you board the plane! 

I’m not a carry-on kind of gal. I can sometimes cram it all in going but coming home I have way too many souvenirs. And let’s be real, I need options and have way too many toiletries. Anything more than a few days and my bag is getting checked! 

So, what can you do? 

Bluetooth tracking devices are an easy and affordable option to keep track of your bags. I like Apple Air Tags because you can use the “Find My” app to see where your bags are even if you are not close to them. Tile is another option. I prefer the Air Tags because they are easy to set up and have a more extensive network than Tile, making them easier to locate. 

Blue Ribbon Bags is a service that tracks and expedites the return of your delayed baggage for 96 hours from the time your flight lands. If four days go by and your bags still aren’t delivered, Blue Ribbon Bags pays $1,000 per bag – no questions asked, no receipts necessary. All you need to do is file a claim with the airline and Blue Ribbon Bags will handle the rest! 

You could opt not to bring your bags and ship them instead! Luggage Free offers door-to-door delivery of your luggage and golf and ski gear too. When you sign up, they email you instructions and labels to attach to your luggage, then they collect your bags from home and ship them to your final destination. Your shipment is fully insured, tracked in real-time, and comes with an on-time guarantee. 

It is important to remember that lost or delayed baggage is generally covered with travel insurance which is another reason why I always recommend purchasing it. 

Happy Packing!

On occasion, I use affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

There’s nothing more special than seeing our children (or grandchildren) light up when they see those loveable Disney characters. Character dining at Disney World has always been a favorite among guests because they get the chance to get up close to their favorite characters for a laugh or a hug. 

Disney has just shared some great news – more character dining experiences are returning! Here are the characters and dining locations where you’ll find your favorite fare and special characters:

September 20 – Winnie the Pooh and friends at The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom Park (lunch and dinner). Feast on options like Carved Prime Rib, Seasonal Ravioli, and Peel & Eat Shrimp in this greenhouse-inspired beauty.

September 27 – Lilo and Stitch at ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (breakfast). Enjoy tasty treats like the Pineapple Coconut Breakfast Bread and Mickey Waffles, and sip on the iconic Lilikoi Juice and the yummy Moana Smoothie.

October 4 – Minnie and her friends at Cape May Café at Disney’s Beach Club Resort (breakfast). Enjoy your morning favorites at this feast, including the mouthwatering Salted Caramel “Beach Buns.” And what breakfast is complete without the famous Mickey and Minnie Waffles?

These character dining locations join other newly returned experiences, like the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and Chip ‘N Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. What a wonderful way to enjoy one of your meals while visiting Walt Disney World!

Disney Cruise Line’s Fall sailings will once again include Halloween on the High Seas from mid-September through October, and then from mid-November through December Disney’s Very Merrytime sailings.

Disney Dream

After her summer in Europe, the Disney Dream will take a Transatlantic cruise back to New York City where she’ll sail to Bermuda throughout the fall.

Disney Fantasy

The Fantasy will continue sailing from Port Canaveral, with 7-night itineraries to the Caribbean.

Disney Magic

Beginning October 5, 2023 the Magic will sail Eastbound through the Panama Canal to its Fall home port in San Diego. She’ll sail two to seven-night cruises to Baja and the Mexican Riviera throughout the fall before returning through the Panama Canal to Galveston in early December.

Disney Wish

Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Wish, will continue sailing from Port Canaveral, with 3–4-night itineraries to the Bahamas.

Disney Wonder

No information was released on what the Wonder will be doing this Fall.

If you would like to book your Fall 2023 Disney Cruise, contact us today!

With the steady return of live entertainment to Walt Disney World Resort, park guests are once again creating special moments with their favorite Disney characters. Let’s kick things off with some exciting news for Magic Kingdom Park

  • Encanto’s Mirabel made her debut in the “Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade” on June 26! According to TikTok, the fans went wild!
  • July 6th – the always iconic Minnie Mouse will join Mickey Mouse in Town Square Theater once again. Both will be decked out in their EARidescent fashions designed specifically for the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration, and they will be ready for hugs and photos.
  • July 10th – keep an eye out for familiar Fantasyland friends Peter Pan and Snow White as they greet guests at Magic Kingdom Park once again.
  • July 31st – look for the Harmony Barber Shop to begin creating magical memories on Main Street again!
  • Aug 25th – Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique will soon welcome young guests once again for royal head-to-toe transformations. (Only the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Resort locations are reopening at this time)

At our beloved Ft.. Wilderness

  • Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is stomping at Pioneer Hall once again!
  • July 6 marks the return of Chip ‘N Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, where you can join the nutty friends for a campfire celebration followed by a Disney Movie!!

At Hollywood Studios

  • July 17 – Star Wars Launch Bay Reopens! A celebration of the legendary space saga, Star Wars Launch Bay is your place for a warm embrace with Chewbacca, a face-to-droid encounter with BB-8 or a run-in with Darth Vader himself for those brave enough.

And those are just the next few weeks! We have even more fun, hugs and memories on the horizon. In the coming months, a visit to Magic Kingdom Park will bring chances to meet Aladdin, Jasmine, Merida, Pooh, Tigger and Storybook Circus pals like The Great Goofini in Pete’s Silly Sideshow. Your favorite toys will be ready for playtime in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Donald Duck and friends will rejoin their prehistoric party at “Donald’s Dino-Bash!” in DinoLand U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

When it comes to holiday magic, nobody does it better than Disney, and I am thrilled to announce the return of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park! The party kicks off on November 8th and runs through December 22nd. This separately ticketed event is scheduled on 24 select nights. Here’s what’s in store:

Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration – a variety show Mickey and his pals at the Cinderella Castle stage

Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks – castle projections, fireworks and seasonal songs

Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade – Santa with Mickey Mouse and friends

Special treats – complimentary cookies and hot cocoa throughout the park

Jingle Cruise – the Jungle Cruise transformed with yuletide cheer

Holiday makeovers for some of your favorite attractions – Space Mountain, Tomorrowland Speedway, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor and Mad Tea Party

A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas – dance party on the Rockettower Plaza Stage

50th Anniversary celebration keepsakes and photo opportunities – themed for the holidays

Tickets are limited and go on sale on July 7th, so in between trips to the baseball field and the pool, you’ll want to check your calendar.