The Disney Wish will sail its inaugural season of three- and four-night cruises to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, from its new home port of Port Canaveral, Florida.

“When you wish upon a star. . . your dreams come true.” Aboard Disney’s newest cruise ship, the Disney Wish, dreams certainly can come true. This 5th ship in the Disney Cruise Line offers 3-& 4-night cruises to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, from Port Canaveral, FL.

With the theme of “Enchantment,” the Disney Wish combines classic Disney characters with heroes from Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars to deliver a new level of high-tech, immersive experiences above and beyond what any other Disney cruise ship offers.

The new cruise ship introduces several innovative “firsts” that will delight Disney fans of all ages. From its Fairytale Grand Hall to its newest Tower Suite, upscale theatrical family dining experiences, new water features, fun kid zones and expanded adult-only spaces, Disney has definitely sprinkled some new pixie dust around this ship.

Disney introduces the first-ever, 2-story Tower Suite, housed in one of the ship’s iconic funnels. Offering amazing views, this suite has a private elevator, access to the concierge lounge and sun deck with two whirlpools, a bar, wading pool and lounges. (Get your reservation in early as it’s already booked more than a year out!) The Disney Wish also has four royal suites and 70 concierge staterooms (double any other Disney ship). And its family staterooms are also a step up with 70% offering verandas.

Worlds of Marvel is the first-ever Marvel cinematic dining adventure, where guests play an interactive role in an action-packed Avengers mission that unfolds around them, complete with a worldly menu inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The Disney Wish introduces three new story-driven dining adventures. “Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure,” is a theater-in-the-round experience of music, story and live characters from the popular “Frozen” movie. The “Marvel Cinematic Dining Experience” invites all Marvel fans to play an interactive role in an action-packed Avenger’s mission using a Quantum Core located on their dining table. A third dining room, “1923,” celebrates the year that the Walt Disney Company was founded and pays homage to the golden age of animation. Guests will rotate through all three dining experiences (along with their serving staff) during the cruise.

Get ready for adventure on the high seas with “AquaMouse,” the first-ever Disney water attraction at sea. This wild water ride showcases animated shorts of Mickey and friends through port holes as it climbs to the top before cascading through 760 feet of winding tubes suspended above the upper deck. Water escapes are in abundance with more pools and deck space than any other Disney ship. There are 3-themed waters districts and 6 pools designed for family members of all ages.

Marvel Super Hero Academy is a high-tech Avengers headquarters where young “recruits” will train to be the next generation of Super Heroes with the help of their own real-life heroes, like Spider-Man, Black Panther, Ant-Man and the Wasp.

Disney’s “Oceaneer Club,” for ages 3-12 will have even adults wishing they could spend a day here. The “Marvel Super Hero Academy” trains young recruits to become the next generation of Super Heroes. First, they design a Marvel-inspired super-hero suit and then test the suit’s power in a game. At the new “Walt Disney Imagineering Lab,” kids design their own rollercoaster and then take it for a virtual spin. At “Fairlytale Hall,” kids choose from arts and crafts, storytime with Belle, or play in the “virtual” snow with Anna and Elsa. Tweens and teens have their own spaces known as the “Edge” and the “Vibe.”

Couples, singles and even grandparents who want to spend some time with their grandchildren, but also want to relax, unwind, or bar hop all night will find several new adult-only spaces on the “Disney Wish.” The “Quiet Cove” pool area has its own bar, whirlpool and the first infinity pool aboard a Disney ship. The “Outdoor Oasis at Senses Spa” is also a first for the Disney Line, offering an outdoor rainforest area, spa treatments, and food and drink options.

The most anticipated new lounge is the “Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge” where guests can sip out-of-this-world libations while staring out a 20-foot-wide-widow into space with views that change every 7-10 minutes. At night it’s an adults-only space, but during the day Star War fans of all ages can visit the lounge. They even serve non-alcoholic cocktails to those too young to drive a hyperspace vehicle.

I was invited as a media guest to sail on this inaugural Disney Wish Cruise in May 2022. All views and opinions in this story are my own. Photos courtesy of : The Walt Disney World. For more info see: https://disneycruise.disney.go.com/why-cruise-disney/wish/

Disney, Entertainment & shows, Family Fun, Florida, Resorts, B&Bs, Inns, Uncategorized

Epcot’s Multi-Year Transformation

(David Roark, photographer)

EPCOT is undergoing one of the largest transformations of any Disney park in history. It was due to be completed by the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World on October 1, 2021, but was delayed because of COVID. Many of the new rides, experiences and restaurants are now open and several more are due at EPCOT to open summer of 2022. One of the most anticipated rides at EPCOT, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, opens May 27th. This new family-thrill coaster takes guests on an intergalactic chase through time and space. The coaster rotates 360 degrees, features the first reverse launch on any Disney coaster and will be one of the longest fully enclosed coasters in the world. 

Check out my full article here.

Food and Wine, Mountain Adventures, North Carolina, Resorts, B&Bs, Inns, Romantic get-a-ways, Uncategorized

Romantic Inns and B&Bs in Western North Carolina

Front porch with rockers at Tiffany Hill B&B


Head to western North Carolina any time of year to experience the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Soak in the relaxing vibes with a stay at a mountain inn or bed & breakfast as a destination itself, or as a jumping off spot to explore the area.

Check out my article at TraveltheSouthbloggers.com

Canada, Uncategorized

Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia

“Southern-Traveller Heads North” chronicles my recent trip to Maine, Nova Scotia, Quebec & Montreal. Today’s post continues with my third adventure in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia. Because of high seas and winds we were not able to dock in Sydney the previous day.)

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There’s so much to see on this tiny island of Nova Scotia that I had to make some difficult decisions since our time ashore was limited. Since I am a photographer, the ship’s shore excursions usually frustrate me because they only make one or two stops for photos. For that reason I arranged a tour with Tours by Locals, which I discovered is a worldwide network of independent local guides. (I highly recommend checking them out before your next trip–very reasonable prices also.) Continue reading “Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia”


Southern-Traveller Heads North!

From Maine to Nova Scotia, Quebec and Montreal

Although my blog usually features southern destinations, for the next several weeks I’ll be featuring my travels aboard Holland American’s 7-Day Canada & NE Discovery Trip.

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Bar Harbor, Maine

Embarking from Boston, our  ship’s only stop in the US was Bar Harbor, Maine. I fell in love with this low-key, beautiful seaport town. Dating back to the 18th century, the port was built on shipbuilding, lumbering and fishing. By the 20th century, Bar Harbor had become the summer playground to America’s wealthy such as J.P. Morgan, Joseph Pulitzer, and John D. Rockefeller, all of whom owned “cottages” there.  But with World War I, the Great Depression and a devastating fire in 1947 which swept through the town destroying most of the estates, the leisurely class mostly vacated the town. Continue reading “Southern-Traveller Heads North!”