Saturday, October 5, 2013

Disney Cruise: Part IV: The Entertainment

I think most people have the misconception that a Disney Cruise is just for kids. It may seem odd that a family of adults and one teenager would choose a Disney Cruise over others. You are right in the sense that the activities and opportunities for children are endless on the Disney Fantasy, but they are just as endless and entertaining for adults as well! Being surrounded by the glee of children only adds to the magical experience for everyone. But, if you would rather not see any children, there are designated areas just for adults. When I wasn’t people/children watching, I honestly hardly even noticed children on board the ship! We spent a lot of our relaxing time in the adult section of the ship. We had our own area of pools, hot tubs, lounging chairs, bars, etc.

There were also private sections inside the ship. The inside adult section was called Europa, and there were several lounges and bars that represented different countries in Europe. Some of the lounges included: Meridian, Ooh La La, O’Gills Pub, and Skyline. Ooh La La had a fun fancy feel to it. I think it was a French theme. But you are overwhelmed with feminine decor and champagne bubbles behind the glass in the walls. Skyline was another fun one because it had digital windows that made it really look like you were looking out the windows of a tall building. You were transported to another country every 15 minutes! The digital windows included moving cars and people. On closer look, you could find Star Wars characters roaming the streets, sometimes engaging in light saber fights! If you knew where to look, you could also find Mickey in the window of his apartment. Such a clever idea! As the windows changed to a new city landscape in Europe, the music would change to reflect the country, as well as the drinks served. They think of everything! And if you were looking for more family-oriented entertainment, D Lounge was made for you. If you were a pre-teen, The Edge was exclusively for you. If you were a teenager, The Vibe was exclusively for you. Something for everyone! On the first day, we were able to tour The Vibe before it was closed to those not between the ages of 14 and 17. It was fun to tour this area because this is where Bryan would spend a lot of his evening time. Before the cruise, I was worried that Bryan may not like to go to the Vibe alone. When it comes to social situations, Bryan can be more of an introvert. If he didn’t want to go to the Vibe, that would have meant the rest of us couldn’t spend the evenings in the adult section. But we were thrilled to find that Bryan really enjoyed going to The Vibe. They had their own cafe, including shakes that you can’t get anywhere else on the ship. They had their own outdoor area including a pool, ping pong table, and other things. Inside, there was a dance club and big screen. They also had tons of little….I’m not sure how to describe this...but basically holes in the wall where you could sit/lay, and above you there was a screen that you could pull up basically any Disney movie ever made, listen to music, or hook up your iPod. Pretty awesome. Bryan was especially excited about the Zombie movie they were making. Each night, they worked on filming a zombie movie, and at the end of the cruise, the families could be invited for the premiere of the movie. Such a genius idea! It was a fun interactive activity, and a good way for the parents to see what they had been doing all week.

Ooh La La Lounge:

Bubbles behind the glass

Terribly blurry, but you get the feel of the feminine lounge

Hanging out at the outdoor section of The Vibe

One thing I must mention….in the alleyways of Europa are the most gorgeous and ornate bathrooms I have ever seen! Who would think anyone would give a hoot about the bathrooms, but these bathrooms were beautiful! The bathroom stalls are actually circular, even the golden doors slide open and closed circularly. Up and down the entire walls of the bathrooms are mosaic tiles, picturing vibrant flamenco dancers. I must also add that Disney kept all of their bathrooms immaculate! For each bathroom, there was a worker whose only job was to go into the bathroom after every person or group and make sure it was all clean, and the toilet paper was folded to a point. I was really impressed by that!

Inside the bathroom...yes, there is a mirror on the ceiling

Our favorite destination for late nights (while Bryan was in The Vibe), was The Tube. I guess you could call it the adult club. There was drinking, dancing, comedy acts (like Ron Pearson) and games, and other shows. Yes, there is drinking on Disney Cruises. You would be surprised how much alcohol is consumed every day, at all times of the day. I can’t imagine how much money we saved, compared to other travelers, since we don’t drink! The dancing was always a fun thing we looked forward to each night. The “Match Your Mate” game show, however, was probably mine and Jason’s favorite. They had a hilarious MC! And he would invite/pick three different couples of different marriage lengths, and take turns asking questions about the spouse while they were out of the room. Basically, you would win if you could answer the most questions the same as your spouse. The questions and answers were often times hilarious! There were some great couples! The oldest couples were usually the most hilarious. They did this game show two different nights on the cruise. The nice thing about the adult club on a Disney Cruise is you still get adult material but it is toned way down! Instead of getting R-rated comedy, you are getting PG-13. So it is still funny and border-line inappropriate, but nothing that makes you uncomfortable or wanting to leave. It’s great! I remember when we went on the Carnival Cruise, we wouldn’t even go to the late night stand-up acts because they were so crude! Not the case on this cruise! We were very pleased!

Now, let’s talk about the Night Shows! Again, comparing Disney to Carnival: The night shows on Carnival are fun...but nothing too memorable. I remember falling asleep one or two of the nights...and I think we even skipped out on one night. Each night felt similar to the last...taking some genre or decade and beating it to death. The singers and dancers were great, but you would just get bored of the whole medley. There wasn’t really a story, so you would get over it quickly. The Disney Night Shows, were full on Broadway productions! Amazing talent, costumes, staging, backdrops (including digital projections), lighting, layers, and even fireworks! And on top of that, the whole show is filled with songs that you remember and love! It was awesome! Three of the nights were productions with stories that took you through different Disney songs and movies. One night was a production of Aladdin (that one was really good!). One night was a hilarious ventriloquist (Ronn Lucas, who did another adult performance in The Tube). One night was a magic show by a talented married couple (Kyle & Mistie Knight). One night we got to watch Monster’s University in 3D. Such a cute movie! So each night was comprised of a delicious and filling dinner, a spectacular show in the gigantic Walt Disney Theatre, relaxing time (usually including getting ice cream or cookies), and then hours at The Tube. These were late nights, people! We were so exhausted each night and each morning, but wanted to experience more, so we forced ourselves to wake up at an early hour.

Anxiously awaiting our first Night Show!

Another Night Show

When you weren’t doing any of the other fun things on the ship, you could stop by the Buena Vista Theater. The theater was basically playing different movies non-stop! There were always movies we wanted to watch there, but you had to make a serious effort to try and schedule it in...with so many other things to do! There were a couple times that the big Walt Disney Theatre played a movie after all of the night shows. For example, after both showings of Aladdin were over, we headed back at 10:30 PM to watch The Lone Ranger. Another great movie!

So you get the idea that there was TONS to see and TONS to do on the ship! And we loved every minute of it! I haven’t even talked about the “special nights” yet! I’ll tell more about those in a later post.

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