Disney Alaskan Cruise Part 4 of 4 – Highlights of the Disney cruise

This is the final installment of a 4 part blog on our Disney Alaskan Cruise.   The four parts address with the following:

  1. The Alaskan cruise experience (not related to Disney)
  2. The Disney cruise experience (ship, activities, service)
  3. My thoughts on the highlights of the Disney cruiseView of a rainbow from our stateroom

Part 4: Thoughts on the highlights of the Disney Cruise
There were many wonderful aspects to the Disney Cruise to Alaska.    Below are a my thoughts on the best parts of the cruise and the areas that I thought could use improvement.

The Best Parts

  1.  Service is the strength of Disney. People went above and beyond to make the cruise wonderful. For example, the afternoon of the 6th day of our journey, I saw Edward D’Costa, the head of food services at a BBQ. I asked him about a salmon dish that was prepared a few days prior at another BBQ. It was the best piece of salmon I had ever had and I was wondering how it was prepared. Edward called the head chef and had the meal prepared for me again that evening. 

  2. The persistent focus on safety and cleanliness. One of our excursion guides told stories of how on very rare occasions other, cruise ships will come into port under quarantine. The staff on the Disney Magic are constantly cleaning this vessel at all hours of the day and night. Dishes, trays and silverware were usually hot out the washing machines and handled by the staff with gloves. I don’t know if this is a practice on all cruise ships, but if one is going into a room to eat, a cast member will be handing out sanitary towels  for a good hand wipe. Disney provided paper towels to use for opening the doors to leave the toilets. Not green, but certainly a best practice.  Subtle reminders were posted about the ship reminding the guest of the importance of good hygene.

  3. The youth activities program was excellent. The teen and tween activities were impressive, well thought out, engaging and entertaining. On the first night of the cruise, the teens were brought together to scope out what activities would be interesting and when.   I thought that getting this input made for a better experience for “The Child”.   

  4. International crew: There were 50 nations represented on the crew of the Disney Magic. This made for rich conversations with the staff.

  5. The two “Wave phones” that were provided in each stateroom allowed guests to text and call each other throughout the voyage.  It allowed us to stay in touch with “The Child” during the journey.  It also allowed her to stay in touch with her friends from the Youth Activities program.

 Possible Improvements

  1. This cruise needed a constant supply of warm, freshly made chocolate chip cookies.    The colder the day, the more chocolate chips cookies that should be passed out.   In all honesty, the ones aboard ship were not the best.   That is my biggest complaint.

  2. Even though Disney has provided them jackets, gloves and hats a large compliment of crew members from the tropics (Columbia, Jamaica, Trinidad, Tobago) were clearly unaccustomed to the cold and windy weather. At times it is hard to watch and interact with people who were so clearly so uncomfortable, yet trying their best to perform their duties and make the experience magical. The cruise could benefit from more Alaskan and B.C. staff who could better speak to the local experience and are used to the local weather.

  3. Information regarding the expected dinner attire came within a week of the cruise. The term cruise casual, informal and formal were ambiguous and not timely. This lead to last minute stress to us and several other families. I ignored the request for formal attire and for pirate night apparel and wore dress pants and dress shirts most every night.

  4. My daughter reported that the variety of food for teen-agers got old after about 4 to 5 days. It was neat to be able to walk up, order and be handed freshly made hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken strips and pizza until late in the evening, the menu got old after about 5 days. Perhaps simple sandwiches could be added to the teens menu later on in the cruise?

  5. The Runners experience. The running deck is unremarkable and comes off as an afterthought. With the advent of Run Disney, I would have expected the running deck to be more inspirational and if nothing else, be consistent with Disney’s current race promotions.  A good run 10 mile run on the deck, required 30 boring laps. Inspirational posters and a way to count laps would have helped.   Additionally, as the three stops are great trail running towns, I would have liked DCL to have a pre-arranged runs. Several of us runners found some great trails to run, but it would have been nice to have the information provided to us ahead of time.

Once again, this is a wonderful cruise and I highly recommend the experience.

 

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Disney Alaskan Cruise Part 4 of 4 – Highlights of the Disney cruise

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