Land ho! Our Disney Cruise is pulling into Nassau, Bahamas. After a few fancy docking maneuvres and a rope or two thrown to the deckhand we’re officially docked in our first port of call. The big question is what should we do in Nassau. Let’s get our DVC Duo Disney Cruise Nassau, Bahamas port of call underway. Watch out for those sea legs when stepping ashore!
Put away the spreadsheet, Nate! We’re not talking Walt Disney World level planning, with Fastpassselections and more. On a Disney Cruise, a little planning goes a long way. Prior to boarding the ship, we like to determine whether or not we plan to do a shore excursion or not in every port.
When our plan calls for a shore excursion, you’ll find us booking it as far in advance as possible. It’s one less thing to worry about on your embarkation day. However, once aboard you can always call an audible and add on an excursion at the Guest Services desk.
Cruise Insights:The big advantage of booking your excursions through the ship is the guarantee that you’ll be back in time for boarding.
Our plan for our Disney Cruise Nassau day was to explore. More often than you’ll find us strapping on a backpack and heading out to find the local spots. Disembarking the Disney Magic was a breeze, should we say tropical breeze? All you need is your key to world card and a photo I.D. for guests 18 and older.
Exiting the port you’ll head through the Bahamas port-security at Prince George Wharf, this will be the same port-security you’ll pass through on your way back. Right outside port is an array of shopping options, everything from jewelry to handbags and the oh so delicious rum cake. Additionally, you’ll see the famous bar Carlos and Charlie’s off to the far right.
Cruise Insights: When leaving the ship we like to bring a photocopy of our passport with us in case of an emergency.
Should we go right or left? Our first stop on our walking tour on our Disney Cruise Nassau port day is the Queen’s Staircase. Yes, we said a walking tour. A mighty walking tour it was. There are tons of cabs and tour options when stepping out of Prince George Wharf as well.
Tucked away on the outskirts of downtown Nassau is a 102 ft staircase that was carved out of limestone in 1793. Them some old stairs. The coolest part was the small waterfall adjacent to the staircase. Definitely watch your step heading up, as the stairs can get a little slick from the waterfall.
A top the staircase you’ll find Fort Fincastle. Built-in the same year at the staircase, the fort has historical relevance as it relates to the colony time period of the island. With grand views of the island, you can see Price George Wharf and Paradise Island (home to Atlantis).
Cruise Insights: Locals recommend walking up, but not down the staircase. We unknowingly did both. It’s safe to walk down if you take your time.
No, we’re not talking about the new Pixar movie. Next stop on our Disney Cruise Nassau day is Paradise Island and Atlantis. Let the walking tour continue. Looking back we would recommend taking a cab to Paradise Island. It is walkable, but a longer walk than you may expect.
Paradise Island is known for Atlantis. The larger than life resort is a combination of a casino, water park (think Blizzard Beach), and small shopping area. If you’re looking to spend time at the water park, we recommend purchasing tickets on the ship. On our walking tour, we explored the beach, shopping, and resort. In our book, it was a good to see once type of thing. We’ve previously experienced the water park and it’s definitely enjoyable.
Wrapping up our time on Paradise Island we stopped off at Margaritaville. We’ll just leave it at. Next time, we’ll just head back to the ship for a snack.
Passholder Insights: On Paradise Island, there is only one public beach at the far end. Be aware people will say you have to pay, but you do not. It’s public.
It’s good to see once type of location. Our Disney Cruise Nassau day was enjoyable, how can you not enjoy 80+ degrees and sun in December. The island has limited things to do beyond the excursions. If you enjoy snorkeling or fishing definitely check out the options here. For us, the next time we pull into Nassau we may stay on the ship or look at a beach-related excursion. Oh, our ship is pulling away time for us to sail!
We know winds are coming from the east! We received confirmation of a Mary Poppins attraction coming to Epcot’s World Showcase at this year’s D23 expo. Our confirmation came in grand form with Dick Van Dyke making the big announcement. The big question is have the winds settled on what the Mary attractions will be? Let’s wander over to Cherry Tree Lane to see what we can uncover!
What is a Disney attraction? Immediately we all think of an attraction as a ride, like Tron Life Cycle Run. In the Disney “world”, an attraction could be a variety of different things, from a ride to a show and even a character meet ‘n greet. When Disney announced the Mary Poppin attraction it left what the experience could be wide open.
Passholder Insights: The most unique character meet ‘n greet is in the Magic Kingdom. Next to Be Our Guest you’ll find Enchanted Tails with Belle.
What We Know
Mary will be setting up shop in the back of the UK Pavilion. In the back of the pavilion, replacing the stage for one of our favorite shows, Disney Imagineering will be recreating 17 Cherry TreeLane. With Admiral Boom in tow. Guests will enter the Mary Poppins attraction through the front door of the famed house.
The newest piece of information is around the projected budget for the attraction. According to Jack of DSNY Newcast, the budget is estimated to be $80 million for the project.
Passholder Insights: Recently Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore have returned to UK Pavilion for a meet ‘n greet in the back of the toy shop. It’s unknown how long this could last.
We’ve Got Options
There are always options! With the Mary Poppins attraction, it seems the options are forever changing. As we discussed in a previous article the direction Walt Disney Imagineering could go with the attraction is one of two ways. The first according to Jim Hill of Jim Hill Media is an elaborate meet ‘n greet where guests would encounter Mary and Bert within the house.
Our second option leans towards a flat or spinning attraction according to Jack of DSNY newcast and marni1971 (a reliable insider). The attraction would be an indoor spinner similar to Dumbo but with a spin. No pun intended. This attraction could use an older filed patent around an Omni-table technology or something similar. According to Jack, the table would have a seamless 360-degree screen encasing the ride mechanism. At the moment, Disney Parks has not made any announcement around the details of the Mary Poppins attraction.
PassholderInsights: The use of 360-degree seamless screen technology can be seen at the Epcot Experience.
We’ve got our thinking caps on! In the DVC Duo house, our projection is the new attraction would lean towards a meet ‘n greet. Based on the projected budget of $80 million the project cost would line up perfectly with the Somerhaus in the Norway Pavilion. The Anna and Elsa meet ‘n greet cost about $75 million to build.
According to Jim Hill, Disney Imagineering is leaning towards downsizing the meet ‘n greet when compared to the scope of the Somerhaus. If this true, then we could potentially see both a flat attraction and a character meet ‘n greet based on the projected area. For now, we’ll have to wait for the winds to settle down to get our clear picture of what’s to come with a Mary Poppins attractions. Until then, keep your umbrellas close, you never know when you’ll need them!
Food, did you say more food? You know how we think, we’ve always got food on the brain. It looks like the Disney rumor mill has returned from its holiday break in the form of a potential new Magic Kingdom restaurant. Can you ever have too many dining options? We think not. Let us grab our forks and digging into this tasting rumor!
We’re taking a lap! Walking around the Magic Kingdom you’ll find the park has six and a half sit down restaurants. The half is Be Our Guest, as the restaurant is a quick-service spot for breakfast and lunch then sit down for dinner. What really stands out is that Tomorrowland do not offer a sit-down restaurant option.
In the beginning. A lot of Disney World rumors stem from the same source, and our new Magic Kingdom restaurant is no different. As we spoke about our Disney Subscription Boxarticle, a lot of the rumors for potential changes at the parks come from the different surveys issued by Disney Research.
Recently, Disney Research has been circling a survey with questions around what food options would guest like to see in the Magic Kingdom. The options range from every cuisine imaginable. This survey is what is kicking off of the new Magic Kingdom restaurant rumor.
Passholder Insights: Most times you’ll find Disney Research either at the park’s main gate or at the end of an attraction.
Where Would It Go?
That’s the million-dollar question? Well, if we’re building a new Magic Kingdom restaurant, more like multi-million dollar question. In our potential 5th park article we talk about the different park expansion pads. At the Magic Kingdom, there are two areas that could make a lot of sense.
The obvious one is on the edge of Tomorrowland, between Carousel of Progress and Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. Currently, the Buzz Lightyear meet ‘n greet is in this area. Behind the wall is the cast member area that was originally planned to have the Main Street Theater that was announced at the 2017 D23 Expo. Disney Imagineering could use this area and shift the entrance to Tomorrowland to add a new Magic Kingdom restaurant. Depending on the building height, they could even include a roof-top deck with views of Happily Ever After. Can you say, new Dessert Partyoption?
Let’s head out to right field for our second option! The not so obvious option for a new Magic Kingdom Restaurant is behind Big Thunder Mountain. With the attraction being themed on all sides, Disney Imagineering would not have to be concerned with exposing any of the magic. The big question about this spot is the length of the walk for guests. If this spot were to be used for a new Magic Kingdom restaurant we would assume that additional experiences would be included.
Passholder Insights: When exiting Big Thunder Mountain keep an eye for the geyser, it goes off at random times of the day.
We’re always up for more restaurants! Looking into our crystal ball, if Disney World were to add a new Magic Kingdom restaurant the Tomorrowland area would make a lot of sense. Especially, with the Tron Coaster opening in 2021, there will be more guests in Tomorrowland. We’re projecting if any type of new dining experience is added to the park it would not occur until after the 50th anniversary. All this food talk got us hungry, we’ll meet you at the Jungle Navigation Co.!
Raise your glass! It’s time to talk about the Disney Cruise Champagne Tasting. You had Serena at champagne. We couldn’t think of a better way to kick-off our first Disney Cruise than with a glass or two (or more) of bubbles. It’s vacation, no judgment here! For our cruise decided to sign up for the Disney Cruise champagne tasting offered at 2 pm on our embarkation day. POP!! What’s that sound? Looks like we’re ready to kick-off our Disney Cruise champagne tasting. Cheers!
What Is It?
It’s Disney Cruise champagne tasting! Need we say more? Yes, yes we do, that’s why we are here. Throughout your Disney Cruise, you’ll find different adult beverage seminars. They range from champagne tasting to tequila tasting, and even mixology courses.
The tastings are a combination of a seminar focused around the specific beverage of choice and of course the tasting. It’s why we’re all here!
Cruise Insights: The beverage tastings during your days at sea will be the most popular.
The time has come. Our glasses are set-up and it’s time to pour some bubbly. Before we taste, we need to find the location. Depending on the ship the location will vary. For our Disney Magic Cruise, the Afterhours Lounge was used for the seminar. Ok, back to the tasting!
Our Disney Cruise champagne tasting consisted of 5 half pours or about two and a half glasses. The seminar was lead by the ship’s sommelier. Yes, each ship has its own sommelier on board. Crazy, right? While each glass is poured our sommelier walked us through the different aspects of tasting champagne and what to look for in good champagne. Did you know the smaller and tighter the bubbles the drier the champagne? Us, either!
We tasted our way through the glasses from the sweeter options to the driest options, then capped off our Disney Cruise champagne tasting with a glass of dessert champagne.
Cruise Insights: If you’re looking for a wine recommendation at dinner, ask your server to speak with the sommelier. They usually will give you a few options that pair well with your meal.
Sign Us Up!
How do we sign up? Great question. Signing up for a Disney Cruise champagne tasting is really easy, as you can sign up on the Disney Cruise app. Similar to the My Disney Experienceapp. Or you can head to guest services when you board the ship to see what options are available.
The cost of the different tasting seminars will vary. For our champagne tasting, the cost was $35 per person which includes tax and tip.
Cruise Insights: We recommend signing up as early as possible for the different beverage seminars, as they fill up quickly.
Worth It? Our Thoughts
For us, it was definitely worth it. First and foremost the champagnes we tasted we’re definitely good quality. One of the options is our favorites from the France pavilion in Epcot. All the bottles range from $50 to $70 per bottle when purchased at your local liquor store. Overall, it’s a great value at the $35 price point.
Our favorite part was the timing. By scheduling our champagne tasting prior to settling sail, it set the tone for our cruise. RELAXING! With the tasting lasting a little more than 30-minutes, we had plenty of time to settle in. If you enjoy champagne or just looking for an adult time out prior to setting sail we definitely recommend it. A toast to success Disney Cruise champagne tasting experience, cheers!
We’re so ready! It’s hard not to be excited about your Disney Cruise first day. In the second part of our first Disney Cruise, we’re setting aboard the Disney Magic. Our passports have been checked, our key to the world cards created, all that’s left to do is make our way down the gangway. Ready or not here we come!
The Warm Welcome
On your Disney Cruise first day, the magic starts the moment you set onto the ship. Most cruise ships welcome you aboard with a picture and warm smile. Disney Cruise Line does as well just with a little extra pixie dust. Setting aboard the ship guests are brought into the main lobby where the crew personally welcomes them aboard with the “Disney Cruise welcomes aboard the DVC Duo”. Crew members are spread around the lobby clapping, smiling, and saying hello.
Cruise Insights: When boarding the ship you’ll have the option to take a picture as part of your embarkation or you can bypass the picture.
Let’s eat! Where else would we go, you know how we love our food. Once onboard the Disney Magic you’ll have two options for a late lunch, the buffet at Cabanas or a sitdown lunch at Luminaires. We opted for the buffet.
For us, the buffet is where it’s at. With our port of call being Miami, we were fortunate enough to have stone crab claws for lunch. Yum! Throw in a little outdoor patio dining on the back of the ship and you got a couple of happy cruisers. Beyond the crab, the buffet was filled with delectable options from prime rib to salmon and every you could imagine in between.
Cruise Insights: If you’re planning on enjoying an adult time out your Disney Cruise first day is the only opportunity to pre-purchase any drinks at a lower cost.
Let The Fun Begin!
Right away you’ll be faced with a variety of choices. What do on your Disney Cruise first day? There are tons of activities to enjoy from the word go. After enjoying a fantastic lunch (we’ll elaborate on lunch in an upcoming Foodie Friday article), we were off to our champagne tasting (full review coming soon). We’re kicking off to first Disney Cruise in style. Off to the Afterhours lounge.
Cruise Insights: A lot of activities can be booked prior to boarding the ship through the Disney Cruise website, which is similar to My Disney Experience.
Wave goodbye! After completing your muster drill, or as Nate likes to call it the mustard drill (all that’s missing is a hot dog), you’ll want to head to the top deck for the sail away show. Spots fill up fast, so we recommend heading straight up. For us, we like to go to the top-level to get that bird’s eye view of everything.
By far of the best things on Disney Cruise Line is the entertainment. The shows are fantastic and the tone is definitely set with the Sail-A-Way Party. Who knew Mickey had those types of moves!
Cruise Insights: On the stage level there is an area for kids only. It’s a fantastic location and they also get to dance with the characters.
Wrapping Up The Night
To cap our Disney Cruise first day, we headed off the show, dinner, and a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) welcome party. Depending on what you selected, you’ll either have the show or dinner first, then switch. We chose the later dinner, so we headed to the theatre.
On our Disney Cruise first day, we also had a DVC welcome aboard party. The party included free drinks, DVC updates, and special offers. You had us at free drinks! The special offers are very similar to the offers DVC members receive outside of the cruise around purchasing additional points, with the main difference being an additional onboard ship credit. For our cruise, the onboard credit was $500.
Overall it’s successful Disney Cruise first day, next stop the Bahamas!