Disney’s AquaDuck is a
765-foot “water coaster.”
Wow factors on
By Ralph Grizzle
FAMILY CRUISING CONTINUES to get
easier for parents and more exciting for kids.
A decade ago, activities for children on cruise
ships were limited. Concessions to kids typically involved strapping a waterslide to the
Today, however, the major family-friendly
lines are vying to outdo one another with the
greatest wow factors.
Waterslides still reign supreme, but today
they are mega-slides that drop, twist, turn and
race kids—and willing parents—along the
length of the ship in ways that land-based
resorts can’t compete against.
What are some of the most innovative
features? Here’s a look.
The wow factor on Disney’s newest ships,
Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, is the
AquaDuck, a 765-foot-long “water coaster”
that whisks you along an enclosed transparent waterslide-style tube high above the ships’
decks. The first of its kind at sea, the
AquaDuck drops you through the Forward
Funnel, torpedoing down four decks before
you splash into a lazy river at the end of the
plunge. Just make sure your kids meet the
height requirement of 42 inches.
Family-friendly features include inside
staterooms featuring digital “portholes,” which
are LCD screens that show position-relative
views taken from cameras mounted to the
exterior of the ship, and Animator’s Palate,
which debuted on the original Disney ships
and has taken a giant leap forward on the new-
est Disney vessels. To the delight of all, the
dining room comes to life during mealtimes,
with screens that emulate the effect of being in
an aquarium with Crush and other characters
from Disney’s Finding Nemo.
The Costco Connection
Costco Travel offers a great selection of fun-filled, family-friendly ships and sailings. Plan
and book your cruise on the Travel site at
Costco.com or call 1-877-849-2730.
industry, and the FlowRider, a surfing simulator at sea.
New on the twin ships is ziplining.
Thanks to a design that left the central part of
the vessels open, it’s possible to zip from one
side of the ship to the other high above the
Boardwalk, one of seven “neighborhoods”
aboard the vessels.
My own children, especially my teenage
son, enjoyed all of these activities on Allure of
On Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the
Seas, which begins sailing in 2014, you and
your kids will be able to drive bumper cars
and step aboard a full-blown, London Eye–
like, jewel-shaped glass capsule that will
transport you up to 300 feet above the ocean.
Along with all of these innovative thrills
for kids, ships are also improving the family-friendly staterooms. Families have a broader
selection of stateroom configurations than
ever before, with more interconnecting staterooms than in the past and more family-friendly suites.
Also, children’s programming has made
great strides, with age-appropriate activities
and facilities for kids ages 2 and up available
on nearly all ships these days. The programming allows for a good mix of time apart and
It’s hard to think of a vacation that’s easier
for families or more enjoyable for kids than
on one of today’s modern kid-friendly ships
with wow factors that make for memorable
time together at sea. C
DISNE Y CRUISE LINE
JULY 2013 ;e Costco Connection 77
A father and an avid cruiser, Ralph Grizzle
has cruised with his kids from the time they
were infants through their teenage years.