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Disney Characters at Castaway CayCruises With Character

by Georgina Cruz

“Laughter is an instant vacation,” comedian Milton Berle once observed. And there is no greater motivator of smiles, giggles and chuckles in children and the young at heart than seeing the antics of favorite characters from animated films and television shows coming to life, now in 3D, during a cruise vacation.

Maybe it is Goofy, goofing around out on deck aboard a Disney ship, or Spongebob Square Pants dancing during a breakfast on a Norwegian Cruise Line vessel. Or maybe it is Fun Ship Freddy—like a living, walking funnel—greeting you onboard a Carnival cruise ship or the Penguins from “Madagascar” in an aquatic spectacle. Yep, there is a whole wave of character fun ready for your enjoyment at sea.

Here are some personages you can encounter on your next cruise:

Disney CharactersDisney Cruise Line — What? You think you saw a mouse on your ship? Definitely yes, if you are sailing on Disney Cruise Line ships! And that mouse is the world’s most famous rodent, Mickey Mouse, who is often seen in his captain’s uniform walking out on deck, greeting guests, posing for pictures and signing autographs. He is sometimes accompanied by that other world-famous mouse, Minnie, who participates in deck activities, poses for photos and signs autographs all decked out in a cute sailor’s outfit.

Several times during the cruise there are character meet-and-greet sessions so guests can get close to their favorite Disney characters –maybe Snow White or other Disney Princesses, or perhaps Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto. Captain Hook, the pirate from the Disney “Peter Pan” movies may drop in to the children’s club and give the kids some pointers as to how to become a good pirate and green army men may join in during the Toy Story Boot Camp activity inspired in the Disney-Pixar “Toy Story” movies.

On seven-night or longer voyages, Disney Cruise Line offers a character breakfast and a character tea—maybe you can sip a cup with Peter Pan’s Wendy Darling—and there is no extra charge for attendance.

Disney animated films with the beloved characters are screened in the ships’ movie theaters and when the sun goes down, the characters keep on shining during stage shows including “Disney Dreams” with Mickey, Minnie, Peter Pan and a host of others, and “Toy Story, The Musical” with Buzz Lightyear, Woody and other beloved characters of the “Toy Story” films.

Even on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, passengers can interact with characters and pose for pictures with the likes of Captain Hook and Mr. Smee.

NCL CharactersNorwegian Cruise Line — Families can enjoy activities and entertainment themed to Nickelodeon characters and shows with Nickelodeon At Sea aboard NCL ships. Among the options are Nickelodeon’s signature messy game show, “Slime Time LIVE!” where you can get all slimed up; interactive games poolside; Dora’s Music Party, where youngsters can sing and dance with Dora the Explorer; and a Breakfast with Nickelodeon where you can hobnob with Dora, Diego and Spongebob Square Pants, among other characters.

The Breakfast With Nickelodeon has a fee: $15 for adults, $10 for children. Everyone gets a chance to pose for pictures with the characters and a sit-down meal is served including fresh fruit and yogurt, juice, a platter with eggs, sausage, pancakes and other breakfast favorites, and coffee.

Characters Royal CaribbeanRoyal Caribbean — Due to an alliance between Royal Caribbean and DreamWorks Animation, passengers will be able to interact with characters from “Shrek,” “Madagascar,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “How To Train Your Dragon.” This cast of characters will set sail for the first time on Allure of the Seas at the launch of that ship in December and will afterwards be frolicking on Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas.

As part of this alliance, characters including Shrek, Fiona, the Penguins of “Madagascar,” Po of “Kung Fu Panda” and others will interact with guests during special meals in the dining room, parades, special events and photo opportunities.

A new lineup of activities in Royal Caribbean’s children’s programs will be themed to DreamWorks movies and the DreamWorks films themselves will be available in the ships’ theaters that will be outfitted with 3D screens. The DreamWorks Animation cast of characters will take the stage at the Allure of the Seas’ Aqua Theater during a show filled with acrobatics and high diving stunts. And the ship’s ice skating rink will set the scene for a show inspired in “How To Train Your Dragon.”

The DreamWorks experiences are included in the cruise fare.

Carnival Cruise Lines MascotCarnival Cruise Lines — Imagine your ship’s “funnel” coming to life and walking around on deck to pose for pictures. Well, Fun Ship Freddy, Carnival’s mascot, sports the shape and the blue, red and white color scheme of the line’s ships’ funnels. Fun Ship Freddy greets passengers when they board the ship on embarkation day, poses for photos during the voyage, and is huggable to boot.

It turns out that Freddy likes to dance: junior cruisers will see him attending parties and activities at Camp Carnival, the line’s program of supervised activities for children. He also attends some adult special events as well. 

If you are not sailing on these lines, you may still encounter some extraordinary characters during your voyage: maybe a pirate or a dance hall girl, perhaps a dolphin or other creature in the dining room or at the gangway as these surprise characters are onboard many ships to pose for fun, memorable photos. Smile for the camera!

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