Cruise

Cruises 101

by Sherri Eisenberg

Disney Cruise Line

Number of ships: 2
Ship capacity: 2,700 passengers
Price range: Inexpensive

The audience: Of course the majority of passengers are traveling with at least one young child, and probably more. (Yep, those are the squeals of "tag" you hear on the pool deck.) But the line has done a terrific job of setting aside adults-only areas on both ships—at the pool, at dinnertime—and Castaway Cay, the private isle in the Bahamas, has a grown-ups' beach, too.

Strengths: Cabins come with second bathrooms—a real plus for families trying to get several sets of teeth brushed at bedtime—and lots of space to pull out the sleeper sofa. The subliminal Mickey-head decor is in fact subtle, so you have to look closely to find the mouse-ear patterns in the rug and curtains.

Weaknesses: The pervasive commercialism can be overwhelming, from the Disney programming on the TV to the Disney toys in the gift shops to the cartoon-themed live shows. You may not be able to find Mickey, but Mickey will find you.

Insider tip: Don't kill yourself packing for every family eventuality. The ships contain all sorts of lifesavers, from cribs to prepared-to-order baby food to diapers. There's also evening babysitting service for kids three and under—meaning parents can have a night to themselves.

Itineraries: Focused on the Caribbean and the Meditteranean. A four-day Bahamas cruise might depart from Port Canaveral, Florida, and stop in Nassau and at Castaway Cay, the line's private island ($499 per person, plus $329 for each child under 12).

Disney Cruise Line
Tel: 800 951 3532

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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