New York City and Disney Cruise. My top Travel Recommendations together!
Last month kids and I went on a Disney Cruise from New York City to Canada, visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick. This was the fourth Disney Cruise for me and second for my kids, and this time we made it “The Presnal Girls Family Cruise” by inviting my mother-in-law and sister-in-law as well (girl only plus one boy, my 9-year old son). The cruises out of New York City are of course ideal for the NY locals – no need to fly anywhere to catch your cruise! We were happy to fly back to New York, where we just moved out a few months ago, and be “back home” for a few days prior our cruise. But if you are not NYC local – the Disney Cruise from the city will be even a bigger experience for you.
You can read more about Disney Cruises on Skimbaco Lifestyle and stay tuned for the details of our Canadian cruise, but now learn more how Disney decided to take New York City as one of the ports of call, and why I recommend taking this double-duty trip and getting on a cruise of a lifetime AND visiting one of the best cities in the world on the same trip.
Repeat Customers Tell It All
One thing I noticed immediately on board on our cruise from NYC to Canada: the large amount of repeat customers who had sailed on Disney Cruise Line before. And how can you tell? Disney Cruise Line gives out a special lanyard for all “Castaway Club” members that come in different levels (silver, gold, platinum) that immediately tell how many times you’ve been on board. Typically Disney Cruises have about 30% of repeat customers, but on the new itineraries the number goes way over 50% each time. In fact, I even heard of a Disney Cruise Club that will travel on all four seas with Disney Cruise line this year now when they opened up so many new ports for this year!
One of the reasons Disney Cruise Line keeps bringing these new exciting ports of call and itineraries is their very loyal customer base. I asked the cruise director if the repeat customers get tired of the same entertainment shows on board, and are they usually the reason Disney keeps bringing also new entertainment and shows, like the new Twice Charmed (a new spin in Cinderella), and his answer surprised me. He said that typically it’s the repeat customers and the most loyal Disney Cruise fans that want to see the same shows again, and they find great joy seeing new actors or singers doing the familiar shows they’ve gotten to love over the years. Speaking of the shows – even the New Yorkers who are used to high quality Broadway shows were very impressed by the level of the entertainment shows on board Disney Magic.
It is quite a process for the Disney Cruise Line to create new travel itineraries and the planning takes a few years. Disney Cruise Line wants to offer unique travel experiences, but create itineraries that are also affordable and they can keep their prices competitive and the distances and fuel cost has a lot to do with it. It also is a big process to create port adventures to offer different activities on the ports of the calls that are both unique to Disney and unique to the location. A lot of research goes to making sure that everything is up to the quality and customer service that people expect when it comes to Disney – and they truly go lengths to create the “Disney magic” in every step of the way.
New York may seem as an intimidating port – the city has the best of entertainment, food, and an array of things to do and experience, but Disney Cruise Line has been taking the challenge well, and keeping the cruising New Yorkers more than happy on the sailings already done from the city.
Visit New York City
I felt like we were getting two trips in one when combining the quick trip to New York City with the cruise, and I think that’s one of the coolest parts of Disney Cruise Line’s new routes around the US (and in Europe next summer). We met my mother-in-law Donna and sister-in-law Lauren in the city day before the cruise and showed them a few of our favorite things in the city – like eating Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity and getting cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery – and showing them a quick tour of Times Square (there is an amazing Disney Store!), 5th Avenue Shopping (I was so happy to visit Uniqlo store, where we bought Mickey Mouse tees for the cruise and kids loved going to their favorite LEGO store right next to Rockefeller Plaza), and Central Park.
We stayed at Ink48 boutique hotel is walking-distance-close to the ship terminal, and all the mid-Manhattan sights were on a walking distance (just have good walking shoes!). Broadway shows and Hell’s Kitchen and its restaurant galore – everything is on a walking distance from Ink48 and the Cruise Terminal, and it is very easy to combine a NYC trip with the cruise, and get two completely different type of vacations in one trip.
All Disney Magic Sailings from New York
The Disney Magic sails two other kind of cruises from New York City besides the five-night New England Coast to Canada cruise we did. The Disney Magic also does eight-night cruises to the Bahamas and two-night cruises that will give a sampling of the Disney Cruise Line experience over a weekend. Read more and book your trip at Disney Cruise Line’s website.
NYC to Canada
The nine five-night cruises up the New England coast visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick.
Departure Dates: July 15, Aug. 5, 12, Sept. 2, 7, 12
NYC to Bahamas
The eight Bahamas cruises will include a day at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay; Nassau, Bahamas; and a stop at Port Canaveral, Florida, where you can take a bus to nearby Walt Disney World Resort for a day’s visit. As part of this itinerary, you will get a one-day Walt Disney World Park Hopper ticket and roundtrip transportation between their Disney ship and the resort.
Departure Dates: July 20, 28, Aug. 17, 25
Two-night Weekend Disney Magic Cruises from NYC
The two-night cruise out of New York are perfect for families looking for a quick getaway with a day at sea over a weekend. Rates for the two-night cruises start at $996 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.
Departure Date: Aug. 10
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Disclosure: We were on the cruise as Disney Cruise Lines’ guests, but we purchased additional flights to New York City (from Sweden, mind you!) and an additional state room to bring additional family with us – because we truly think Disney Cruises are amazing family vacations.