Disney Cruise Line’s Enchanted Garden


Disney Cruises are nothing short of amazing in all aspects: the detail of the ships, the shows, the restaurants, the food… Oh, can we please talk about the food? I have never eaten as much food as I have on a Disney Cruise!

The only thing better than eating the food is the atmosphere in which you do it! There are 3 Main Dining restaurants on Disney’s Cruise ships. One of them is called Enchanted Garden. Located on Deck 2 of the Dream and Fantasy, this beautiful restaurant will have you “ooh-ing and aah-ing” before you even walk in.

Your servers will greet you with a smile at the entrance and take you to your seat. On your way there you will notice some of the seating areas look like oversized, round chairs.


But the one thing that will grab your attention is the enormous, 7 foot tall fountain in the middle of the room…topped off with a stone Mickey Cherub. The décor is inspired by the gardens of Versailles and completely overtakes you from floor to ceiling…literally.


The ceiling of this restaurant is something you’d have to see to believe. Look up at the “sky” and you will feel like you are right smack in the middle of a gorgeous garden. As if that’s not enough to look at throughout your meal, the sky transforms above you while you eat – from a daylight sky, to a pretty sunset and finally to a starry night. Even the light fixtures transform with the scenery. Flowers bloom and the entire room changes from day to night. Amazing!


Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available at Enchanted Garden. Breakfast and lunch buffets are only available on certain days of your cruise. Your Personal Navigator (daily cruise schedule) will have more information as to what those days are. During lunch, the restaurant offers open seating. This means that you are welcome to sit anywhere you like.

Dinner at Enchanted Garden is a 4-course meal. There is something on the menu for everyone (including those picky kiddos- and even the pick adults!)…and what a menu it is! The best part – it’s included in your cruise cost so there’s no need to bust out the wallets!

For the most part, there is no additional cost for beverages – the exception being bottled water, drinks from the bar and specialty coffee. Regular coffee, soda, milk and juice are all covered!

Dinner starts with Apps, Soups and Salads such as:  North Atlantic Lobster Ravioli, Thyme and Garlic Brioche, Curried Carrot and Apple Soup or a Romaine Wedge with Creamy Romano Dressing and Homemade Spiced Croutons. Do I have your attention yet?

How about some of the Main Course menu items? Let’s start with my favorite:


Grilled NY Strip Steak with Thyme Roasted Vegetables, Double-baked Potato topped with handmade Herb Butter.

Glazed Portobello Mushrooms with Brown Lentil and Parsley Sauce and Sun-dried Tomato Cream Drizzle.

The Enchanted Garden Tuna Salad (Sushi Grade seared Tuna on Organic Field Greens, Micro Greens, Wakame and Squid Salad, Sesame Seeds and White Shoyu and Lemon Vinaigrette).

 Marjoram Scented Organic Chicken Half a Chicken served with Baked Sweet Potatoes and Sautéed Baby Spinach

 Let’s not forget about dessert! Who could forget dessert?

Try the Sweet Temptations – A trio of Esterhazy Cake, Strawberry Cheesecake, and Chocolate Silk Mousse. Or maybe the Almond Meringue soaked in Maraschino Liqueur and layered Pastry Cream or the Banana Foster Sundae (Rum-glazed Bananas, Vanilla Ice Cream, Whipped Cream, and Caramel Sauce).

Now I’m hungry!

Disney Cruise Line has some of the most elaborate restaurants you will ever see. Have you eaten in one of them?

For more information about Disney Cruise Line or any other Disney Destination, contact me today!

Erin Santamaria 1-877-377-0505 or erins@travelwiththemagic.com

You can also find me on Facebook or Pinterest.

Adult Activities on board Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruises are more for the kids, right? Wrong! There are plenty of reasons to sail on board one of Disney’s 4 cruise ships…even if YOU are the “kid” in your traveling party!

There are tons of activities for adults on the Disney Cruises. Whether you are traveling without children or trying to find something to do while your kiddos are enjoying some kid club time, there are some great ways to relax and enjoy some time with your fellow adults!

  • Adult Dining- Palo is an amazing restaurant serving Northern Italian cuisine and has a beautiful view of the ocean. Adults love the view, food and quiet time that is offered here. No children are permitted.


  • Spa – Who doesn’t love a good massage? The spas on board Disney Cruise Line are like nothing you’ve ever experienced. Pamper yourself with a massage, have your hair done in the salon or get your sweat on in the fitness center. A couples villa sounds like the perfect way to spend the day!


  • Pool – Quiet Cove Pool is a fantastic way to escape the business of the ship. This is an adult only area and is a great spot to relax and enjoy the quiet, grab a drink and soak up the sun.


  • Nightclubs – There are multiple nightclubs on board the ships…each with its own theme. Whether you are in the mood for dancing, singing, laughing, relaxing or even watching sports – there is something for you here!


  • Castaway Cay Activities – Castaway Cay is Disney’s own gorgeous, private island. The adult activities don’t end once you step off of the ship. Enjoy a massage out in the open beach air on Serenity Bay. This is an entire beach just for adults and the ultimate way to relax!


If you are interested in learning more about Disney Cruise Line, Walt Disney World, Disneyland or Adventures by Disney, contact me today!

Erin Santamaria – ErinS@travelwiththemagic.com 877-377-0505

You can also contact me on facebook or follow me on Pinterest. http://www.facebook.com/ErinxSantamaria


It’s a Small World Nursery – Cruising with babies & Toddlers

 “I can’t wait to take my kids to Disney when they’re older. Right now they’re too young.” – I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard this…too many!  People often feel the hustle and bustle of the theme parks at Walt Disney World might be too much and too crazy for their little ones so they would rather put off their Disney vacation. But why do that when you can satisfy your Disney craving now AND take your kiddos with you? A Disney Cruise is the perfect way to get your Disney fix and still have a relaxing and entertaining vacation with your family…no matter their ages! There is truly something for everyone on these amazing ships.

Based on their ages, there are TONS of activities to keep the kids occupied. For this blog, let’s focus on what Disney Cruise Line has to offer for their smallest guests (ages 3 months to 3 years).  It’s a Small World Nursery on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy was inspired by the classic attraction, of course, and is a colorful, happy and safe place for your children to eat, play or nap. The kids love it! Most importantly though, you will love knowing that they are in good hands and having fun!

Its a Small World Nursey

There are 3 areas of It’s a Small World Nursery.

Acclimation Zone

Play Area

Napping Area

The first area is meant for children to get used to their surroundings. This might as well be called the “welcome area”. I haven’t heard of many children crying while going in…only crying when leaving!

Its a Small World Nursery area

While you are having a massage or enjoying some time at the adult only pool, your kids will be enjoying the play area of the nursery. Trained Disney counselors will lead your children in crafts, movie time, and other activities that I wish I could participate in myself. Games, books, puzzles…it’s all here!

It's a Small World Nursery

If your kids decide that they’ve had enough fun and need to rest up, there is a separate area for taking a snooze and recharging for some more baby fun and adventure! Did I mention that the crib sheets are adorable? Well let me take this opportunity…so cute.

It's a Small World Nursery

Some key pieces of info to remember for It’s a Small World Nursery:

Items typically found in your diaper bag should go with your child to the nursery.

This includes:

Diapers, wipes, bottles, milk, formula, extra clothes and a favorite blanket or pacifier

There is an additional charge for kids to stay in the nursery but it really is worth it.

$6 per hour for the first child

 $5 per hour for the second child in the same family

A spot for your child must always be reserved in advance.

120 days in advance – Concierge and Platinum Castaway Club Guests

105 days in advance – Gold Castaway Club Guests

90 days in advance – Silver Castaway Club Guests

75 days in advance – all other Guests

Hours should always be confirmed once on board but are usually as follows:

9am-11pm on the Disney Dream.

For Disney Fantasy hours, check the Personal Navigator to confirm times.

To say that a Disney Cruise is a great place for small children (as well as big ones!) is an understatement. It’s the perfect way to introduce Disney to them gradually and prepare them for the Disney Parks!

If you would like more information on Disney Cruise Line, Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani or Adventures by Disney, feel free to contact me for more information.

I would love to help your family plan the first of many Disney Vacations.

Contact me for a free quote and let me help you set sail on a journey you’ll never forget!

Erin Santamaria


Toll Free: 1-877-377-0505

You can also find me on facebook – http://www.facebook.com/ErinxSantamaria



Midnight Dessert Buffet onboard a Disney Cruise


On our first 7 day Disney Cruise, after a few days of enjoying all the amazing food options Disney has to offer on their menu, they offered the Midnight Dessert Buffet. Amazing!  Just when you feel you have seen and tried the best, they offer up yet an amazing display of desserts for you.  I have done several different cruises since, and Disney seems to always do it one better every time we come back.

If you want to enjoy the beauty of some of these creations, you might want to get towards the front of the line, which can very easily start lining up outside the main restaurant close to a half hour ahead of time.  But when they open those doors and you see the massive line up they have to offer, you will be more than happy you were there to see them first, and capture as many photo’s to share with everyone back home, before the creations are all gobbled up.

And of course, Disney always does their best to accommodate everyone’s nutritional needs.  There is a vast variety that are low sugar, or sugar free and are just as sinfully delicious to look at and taste as the rest.

So, when you encounter on a 7 day Disney Cruise, don’t miss out on this one.  There will be plenty for everyone, and certainly options so far out of this world, not one will go untouched.



Private Cabana’s on Disney’s Castaway Cay!

Looking for a bit of a retreat on Disney’s already private island, Castaway Cay?  Well, look no further than the private cabanas nestled between the family beach and the adults only serenity beach.

I was fortunate enough to get one of these on our last Disney cruise and let me just tell you, it did not disappoint!

Once we got off the ship we took the tram to our check in point.  After checking in we were lead to the cabana entrance









And taken to our cabana, we had #12

Our host gave us the run down and showed us the button to push if we needed anything throughout the day and then we went about settling in.

The cabanas have a small refrigerator stocked with water and soft drinks.  There is also a basket with some snacks (we had fruit, chips and granola bars).  You also get sunscreen and towels so there is no need to bring that off the ship if you don’t want to.









There is a living area and some great lounge chairs outside – these things were so comfortable!









And what is a day of relaxation with a hammock?







The price of the cabana also includes floats, sand toys, snorkeling equipment and bicycle rental.  We made use of all of these things except the bike rentals, we just ran out of time!

Maybe the biggest perk to the cabanas though is the private beach, there is no jockeying for chairs or great spots, no bumping into and stepping around other beach goers, it’s just you and the other families in the cabanas.  Our cabana beach looked like this all day….

























Of course all this luxury doesn’t come free.  The cost of the cabanas is $499 for up to 6 guests and you can add up to 4 more for an additional fee of $50 per person.  We shared our cabana with another family which really made it much more affordable and totally worth the expense in our opinion! You can reserve the cabanas online in advance or at the Port Adventures desk on board, word of warning though, they go fast!  If you want to take the worry out of planning your next Disney cruise, just drop me an email at Michelle@travelwiththemagic.com, I’d love to help you plan your trip and my services are free!


Questioning a Disney Cruise….Read on

The Disney Fantasy

Not sure if you want to do a Disney Cruise?  Well neither was I until I recently went on the Disney Fantasy.  All I have to say is WOW.


I had my concerns before I set sail for many reasons…

1.        I get really motion sick.

2.        Would there be enough to do

3.       How was the food going to be

4.       Security


Well only Disney can take all my worries away like MAGIC.  From start to finish it was like magical experience.



When you check into the Disney Cruise they take a picture of you and your cabin members, little did I realize that this is for facial recognition through your whole cruise.  How awesome is that …Where ever you go on the ship they ask your cabin number then instantly your picture pops up.  So not only was there safety but a friendly very personnel connection with you and the cast members.


The kids clubs are also more secure then the best daycares.  When you dock at Castaway, the same team member that works the clubs works the island.  So no worries that your kids will have to re-adjust to someone new.


Those are just 2 of the things that I loved about the security aboard the Disney cruise.


Now onto food…


Well if you have been to Disney then there is no doubt that the food is AWESOME. But how about the ship? Well that is better than fairy dust….


You have rotational dinning which means you have a different restaurant on the cruise every night.  What I thought about this was how cool what I like best is my wait staff that was with me the first night was with me every night so by the 2nd night my cherry coke was waiting for me.  How cool was that.


Next is you can order anything you would like on the menu, if you get it and it’s not what you like well go ahead and pick something else.


My favorite part of the meal is you get to be a family. They serve the kids first and then someone from your wait staff will ask you if you would like them to take your kids to the kids club so that you can finish your meal.  Wow you mean I get family time and adult time and a hot meal all in the same setting.  LOVE THE DISNEY CRUISE!!


So your family isn’t into restaurants ok well how about buffets no schedule needed.  The buffet is open from sunup to sun down and the food has everything you could want from fresh donuts to eggs and fresh seafood to prime rib or just soup and salad.


Not a buffet fan that’s ok there are 2 walk up restaurants by the pool.


Need a snack? Unlimited ice cream, fresh hot cookies and drinks from coffee and tea to soda and juice and milk as often as you would like.


There are a lot of foods to choose from and even the pickiest eater doesn’t go away hungry.


Worried about what to do no problem you will not be board on the Disney ship.


You have so many options as a family you can see the Disney characters, swim in the family pool, watch a movie, catch a live show, golf, and so much more.


As a adult you can visit the adult only pool and lounge, go to the adult only spa and restaurants.


As a kid you will be amazed at the pool area the kids club rock!!  I actually heard kids crying because they had to go back to their parents.


The deck party’s are a lot of fun and the theme nights are awesome.  Aboard the Disney Cruise you get to be a family, adult and a couple all in the same trip.


As for getting motion sick well coming in and out of port moved the boat a little more then I liked but the higher up on the ship I was the better.  So it was really ok.


I had doubts about if a Cruise was right for me and my family but after this I would say that it was awesome and everyone should do it !!  There are so many things that were amazing.  But for me I loved the all in one ADULT, FAMILY, COUPLE idea and kids and adults of all ages will be in awe from start to finish I know I still am…


Castaway Cay – A Hidden Hide-A-Way


Ever wonder where the best little hide-a-way is for a relaxing vacation?  Well, Disney found it in the Bahamas and named it Castaway Cay.  This little private island was once known as Gorda Cay, and is located near Great Abaco Island.

When you arrive to Castaway Cay, which you can only get to on a Disney Cruise Ship, you pull right up next to the island.  One of my favorite things, is you can literally walk off the ship and be on the island, take a step the other way and you are back on the ship!  As you walk your way over to the beach areas, you will pass Marges Barges, home of many different excursions, the Castaway Post Office, and, the one and only, Flying Dutchman!

Castaway Cay has so much to offer!  Like everything Disney does, it caters to all age groups. For the adults that want some private beach time, you can visit Serenity Bay, away from the noise and hustle of the other beach areas, and relax in some quiet beach time, a massage, and even occupy a private ocean front cabana.

Then there is the teens only beach, which has plenty to offer in the water as well as out for teens of all ages.  The Hide Out is a teens-only activity area. Many activities are planned to keep the teens engaged in tons of fun events throughout the day as well.

And, let’s not forget our little ones.  Scuttle’s Cove is a free supervised area for the little ones, provided by Disney counselors.


Along the family beaches there are two in water play areas, Pelican Plunge and Spring-a-Leak.


The food and shopping on Castaway Cay is also something extra special.  There are open-air BBQ dining locations, 2 shops featuring Castaway Cay gifts and souvenirs, as well as a post office where you can mail your friends back home and have the one of a kind post mark from Castaway Cay, Bahamas!



My first time Cruising….The Disney Fantasy


                Arriving at Port Canaveral, I see the Fantasy in the distance. Windows roll down and my camera comes out. Wow what an amazing ship, it is huge! I go through security, check-in and have my picture with Minnie Mouse. I am so excited I can’t wait to walk on to the ship. They start calling groups to board, it is my turn & I am so anxious. The camera is ready and I am snapping pictures of everything. We walk up the gang plank and they introduce me like I am on the red carpet. I am greeted by the crew with clapping and cheering, walking into the atrium on deck 3 and the first thing I spot is the cascading chandelier made of Swarovski Crystals and the grand staircase. It is absolutely stunning along with Mademoiselle Minnie Mouse, a statue that greets you when you enter the atrium.

Once aboard I am unable to get into your stateroom, the crew is loading all of the luggage, so I venture to the AquaDuck. “Don’t forget to pack your bathing suit and sunscreen in your carry-on bag because you will be unable to get it out of for luggage for some time and the little ones will be chomping at the bit to go swimming”. The AquaDuck is a thrilling water coaster that you board on deck 12, Aft. It is 765 feet of acrylic tubing that has twists and turns and even an over the ocean curve. If you can keep your eyes open is thrilling. You even travel through the Forward Funnel in which tweens in The Edge an exclusive tweens only space (ages 11 through 14) located at Deck 13 will see you going by! You take your final plunge on deck 11 where you will find the Mickey’s pool a 2-foot-deep pool with Mickey’s happy face and a one deck high twisting slide. This is also located beside of Nemo’s reef, a splash deck for little one’s starring characters from Finding Nemo.

After adventuring through the AquaDuck and the splash and pool areas, I continue to the back of the ship which in sailing terminology means the Aft of the ship. There I find the AquaLab, an 1800-square-foot water play area for the older kids that has water jets, bubbling water & geysers. This is located near the entrance of the AquaDuck. Also located at the deck 13 Aft is Goofy’s Sport Deck which includes putt-putt golf, virtual sports simulators and a basketball/volleyball court, in which we saw Goofy and Max playing a game of hoops with the kids.

Finally it is time to find my state room, room 7634, and get ready for dinner. I dined at 5:45 pm first dining every night. There is rotational dining aboard, you will be assigned a time and  be advised as to which dining location you eat at each evening, this appears on your key to the world card so you will never forget, since this card you will need at all times aboard and off the ship. It is your key to everything.

My first dinner was in the Animator’s Palette. Animations at its best, watching your own hand drawn pictures come to life on the screen. This was my favorite location to dine at, out of the 3 dinners we had. Not saying that I didn’t like Enchanted Garden & Royal Court, I did. It was fun; it transported you back to the 1920’s and 1930’s when animation began. Starting in black and white and ending in color. The food was excellent. Keeping our wait staff for the entire cruise was outstanding; they remembered from night to night what you preferred and even knew what we didn’t like. Hats off to Liam, he was able to make Tammy an unbelievable cherry coke that she had each night with her dinner. I on the other hand, had wine, pink lemonade & coffee every night.

Every evening, at 8:30 pm in the Walt Disney Theatre I attended a Broadway –style production, the first being, Wishes, Aladdin and lastly Believe. Each and every show was outstanding. The actors and actresses were truly amazing, the stage and props were unbelievable. The theatre is located on decks 3 & 4 forward. The venue is beautiful and has the most comfortable seats.

Outside of the Walt Disney Theatre is where I got in trouble, yes it is the shopping district. One of my favorite parts of the ship.

Character Meet and Greets are continuously happening, I met so many characters and had my picture taken so much, I felt like a star. My favorite of course was Minnie & Mickey you can never go wrong with having these two by your side.

New on the Fantasy for little ones are the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and the Pirates League.  This is where young ones receive pixie-dust and pirate makeovers. These children come out looking adorable, oh and yes, quite scary when they get the pirate makeover. Arrr..

For my teen Whitney I had to visit Vibe, a teen only space that is very well tucked away, it includes an indoor lounge and outdoor deck. This is for teens ages 14-17 where they can watch television, play video games, surf the net, get some sun on the deck while cool mists of water are coming out to cool them off.  The best thing about this club for your teen is Mom & Dad are not allowed. So you can hang out without us watching your every move. Also for teens are the Chill Spa which is located inside of the Senses Spa, this is a place to receive facials, massages & manicures.

Speaking of the Senses Spa this is one place you definitely want to get a reservation for, this place was amazing, from the massage rooms to the 2 private luxury villas. Senses Spa is also located on Castaway Cay at Serenity Beach, the adult only beach. They have the cutest little massage cabanas overlooking the beach area.

Speaking of Castaway Cay on Sunday morning at 9:00 am we were at Disney’s own private island a 1000 acre island owned by Disney and exclusive only to the Disney Cruise line. I disembarked and went on an adventure to see everything the island had to offer. From jet skis to parasailing to just laying out in the sun, there is no chance for you to get bored. There are tons of activities for the kids on the island from snorkeling, swimming with the stingrays, biking around the island and playing on the huge waterslide. Lunch was served between 11:30 and 2:00. Ice cream and I are the best of friends now. I had so many soft serve ice cream cones on board and on Castaway I was dreaming of ice cream. You can even order a Mickey bar on the ship.

Castaway also has shopping areas; of course I found all of them. There are plenty of bars on the island so if you have the urge to have that island cocktail it is there for you. You don’t even have to move from your quaint spot on the beautiful white sandy beach, they have waiters and waitresses walking around to get your drink order. Finally it is time to return to The Fantasy for my final night.

It has come, my final evening aboard the Disney Fantasy. I tour the ship one more time having dinner and watching the last Broadway show of the cruise. After visiting Oh La La, one of the five adult only areas located in Europa. Europa, located on deck 4, Aft of the Fantasy, is a nighttime entertainment district exclusively for guests 18 and older and is home to a variety of lounges and nightclubs. I go back to my stateroom pack my suitcases, all the while thinking of the next time I will be here, hopefully for 7 nights with my family, not only living the Disney Dream but making memories of a lifetime.

My final morning comes early, 6:00 am and we are docked at Cape Canaveral, in just a little while I will be disembarking and heading home. I board the Magical Express and head to the airport. What a great trip!

Happy Sailings!


And then there were four

Disney Cruise ships that is. I have had the pleasure of sailing on all four of the Disney Cruise ships since 2009. My first experience was a 3 night sailing on the Disney Wonder in an inside stateroom and it was fantastic. I had not sailed since my honeymoon in 1997 and Disney did not disappoint. Just walking up to the beautiful ship I was in awe. Once we boarded the ship the crew greeted each and everyone and welcomed them aboard by announcing them by name. The atrium of the ship was magnificent; I was like a little kid in a candy story. This cruise spent one day in Nassau and one day at Disney’s Castaway Cay. Castaway Cay is the best part of Disney cruise line. It is a wonderful island oasis that is just for guest of DCL. There is an adult only area which is so peaceful and tranquil for you to relax. There are many activities to take part in as well on the family beach area.


My next experience was on the Disney Magic, this time it was a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise in a Verandah stateroom. The ports were St Maarten, St Thomas and Castaway Cay. Just like the Disney Wonder the Magic was great. The islands are absolutely breathtaking and on the 7 night cruises you have a character breakfast and you rotate through the three dining rooms twice. That is a great thing about DCL; you have different dining experiences each night. This was also the first time I had experienced Palo, the adult only dining experience. I had the best meal ever and the wait staff there was phenomenal. This was also a cruise with my family and the kids had such a great time in the kids clubs we had to pry them out of them each night.

In 2011 the Disney Dream made its debut which is the first of two new ships in the Disney fleet. It is larger and has some features that the Magic and Wonder don’t have. One, being the Aqua Duck, and the other being Remy, another adult only dining experience. This was a four night Bahamian cruise in a Verandah stateroom. I was totally impressed by all of the new technology on board this ship; there were wave phones which help to keep up with your sailing party which is a great plus on a large ship. They also are trying to conserve on this ship by having your stateroom lights off unless you put your room key in the slot near the switch.

Last but not least I had the great privilege of sailing on the Disney Fantasy for a short three night preview cruise prior to its maiden voyage. The Fantasy is the last of the DCL ships and it did not disappoint at all. DCL gets lots of guest feedback and tweaked some things on the new ship that are absolutely fantastic. They revamped some of the adult lounge areas and made more space for adults to relax on the pool deck. Another thing they added to the pool deck is the Aqua Lab which is a water play area for older children and adults alike. My son stayed in the Aqua Lab quite a bit during our cruise. The best part on the Fantasy was dining in Animators Palate. At the beginning of the meal your servers have everyone draw a picture on a special placemat. They then collect them and during dinner your drawings come to life which is amazing. Your actual drawing dance and move right before your eyes and you feel like an animator.

No matter which ship you sail on with Disney Cruise Line you won’t be disappointed. They offer many different sailings from more ports than ever. You can find one to suit you not far from home.

Laure Simms



The Disney Fantasy

Several members of team Travel with the Magic were on the Disney Fantasy in March 2012 for Disney’s Earmark Conference here are some pictures from the Fantasy.