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Family Adventures with Disney Cruise Line in Alaska

posted on March 11th, 2013 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager

With Disney Cruise Line’s return to Alaska just three months away, and now that we’ve announced another summer season there in 2014, I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about family-friendly Port Adventures on this popular itinerary.

Just like I did for the Disney Magic’s summer season in Europe, today I want to tell you about shore excursions that have exclusive youth activities for the Disney Wonder’s summer season in Alaska.

Totems, Exclusive Lumberjack Show and Potlatch Park Featuring Exclusive Youth Activity - Not only will families experience the exciting competition of the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show on this adventure from Ketchikan, they’ll also learn about the culture of Alaska’s natives, including the art form of totem carving, at a recreated settlement. Here kids have the chance to join Disney Cruise Line youth counselors and paint their very own wooden feather, which will be later added to a totem pole designed specifically for Disney Cruise Line guests.

White Pass Scenic Railway Featuring Exclusive Youth Activity – Since one of the family favorites from Skagway is a vintage rail car through the breathtaking White Pass summit, we dedicated a portion of this tour that allows parents to relax with a glass of champagne while kids expel energy in their own rail car. Under the supervision of local staff and joined by Disney Cruise Line youth counselors, they enjoy sing alongs, games, activities and stories of the gold rush…without anyone reminding them to use their “inside voices!”

Here’s a video to give you a better idea what this experience is all about…

As you’re planning your Alaskan adventures for this summer, which Port Adventures seem best for your family?

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Filed: Disney Cruise Line

Southern Caribbean Voyages with Disney Cruise Line

posted on March 8th, 2013 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Lush rainforest, cascading waterfalls, white sand beaches and beautiful azure waters…a pretty nice thought, huh? These are just some of the amazing sights our guests will enjoy next year when the Disney Magic departs from San Juan, Puerto Rico for the first time ever!

The brand-new Southern Caribbean cruises sail to the tropical islands of St. Lucia, Grenada, Barbados, St. Kitts and Antigua. Check out this video of some of what you¹ll experience on this seven-night voyage, and tell me, are you adding it to your travel list, too?

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Tagged: DCL, Disney Magic, Video

Filed: Disney Cruise Line

Recipe for Disney Cruise Line’s Osso Bucco

posted on March 6th, 2013 by Stephen Walker, Fleet Culinary Standards and Consistency Chef, Disney Cruise Line

Hello, everyone. You’re going to love the flavorful Disney Cruise Line recipe I’m sharing this month: delicious Osso Bucco served with Saffron Risotto! It’s the perfect dish with which to surprise your significant other for a romantic meal. Why not try it tonight? Let me know how it goes!

Osso Bucco with Saffron Risotto
Serves 4

Osso Bucco

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 center-cut veal shanks
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (such as Merlot)
  • 4 cups veal stock*
  • 1 (14-ounce) can peeled plum tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped

Saffron Risotto

  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided
  • 4 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Red Wine Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 1/2 large carrot, finely diced
  • 1/2 leek, finely diced
  • 1 1/4 cups red wine
  • 2 cups reserved Osso Bucco cooking liquid


  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For risotto:

  1. Bring vegetable stock to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and keep warm on stove.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large, deep sauté pan or stockpot over medium heat. Add shallots, cooking until just tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add rice, stirring to coat in butter. Cook until rice turns milky white and opaque, and just begins to stick to bottom of pan.
  4. Add wine and brandy, and stir 2 minutes, until liquid is almost absorbed. Crumble saffron into pan, stirring to combine.
  5. Ladle about 1 cup simmering stock into rice. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring often, until stock is almost completely absorbed. Continue adding stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring gently until almost all broth is absorbed before adding next cup. Add stock until rice is creamy and cooked through.
  6. Stir in mascarpone, cream, and Parmesan; season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter.

For osso bucco:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Heat oil in a heavy stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season shanks with salt and pepper; working in batches to avoid crowding pan, add shanks to pan. Sear shanks until golden brown, then transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add garlic, carrots, celery, and onion to pan, adding additional oil if needed; cook, stirring often, until softened.
  4. Add wine and tomatoes to pan, stirring until wine is reduced by two-thirds. Add shanks back to pan; pour stock to cover shanks by three-quarters.
  5. Cover pan and place in oven. Cook 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until shanks are very tender.
  6. Remove shanks from cooking liquid; strain cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve and set aside.

For red wine sauce:

  1. Heat oil in a large, deep sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, celery, carrot, and leek. Cook until vegetables begin to brown.
  2. Add wine and cook until almost completely reduced. Add strained cooking liquid and simmer until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Strain sauce through a fine-mesh sieve.

For gremolata:
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring until completely combined.

To serve:
Spoon risotto in the center of a dish; place a shank over risotto. Top with gremolata and drizzle with red wine sauce.

*Cook’s Note: If you cannot find veal stock, you may substitute half beef stock and half chicken stock.

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Tagged: DCL, Dining, Recipe

Filed: Disney Cruise Line, Disney Dining

New Disney Cruise Line Youth Activities in Europe

posted on March 5th, 2013 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager

As my team developed Port Adventures for the upcoming summer season in Europe, one of our goals was to create a selection of offerings desirable to the many types of family units that cruise with Disney. I’m proud to say we accomplished that goal!

Today I want to tell you about some of the excursions that are perfect for families with young kids. On these excursions, we set aside a special part of the tour where parents can have time to themselves, while kids have a break just to be kids during a special craft with Disney Cruise Line youth counselors.

Here are a few of the new excursions with specially integrated youth activities for 2013:

Mask Workshop, St. Mark’s Square and Doge’s Palace Featuring Youth Activity – This adventure takes families on a guided tour of Venice before giving parents the chance to stroll the nearby shops and cafes while children decorate a traditional Venetian mask.

Ephesus and Sirince Village featuring Exclusive Youth Activity – After a visit to the ancient ruins of Ephesus, families will travel to the countryside village of Sirince, where parents are free to explore the market, sample fruit wines and taste local delicacies, while children make their very own bracelet, featuring popular Turkish symbols.

Delos Island Featuring Exclusive Youth Activity – Following a family visit to Delos to tour one of the most important mythological and archaeological sites in Greece, parents can enjoy free time to explore Mykonos on their own while children participate in a fun mosaic activity.

Next up I’ll give you details on some of the adult-only excursions. As always, when the ship’s in port, venture ashore!

Read on for more about Disney Cruise Line’s itineraries in Europe:

  • Exploring Europe with Disney Cruise Line in 2014
  • Sailing the Mediterranean with Disney Cruise Line in 2014
  • Disney Cruise Line’s Return to Europe this Summer
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A Glimpse at Disney Cruise Line’s 2014 Itineraries

posted on March 1st, 2013 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line

Now that Disney Cruise Line has unveiled the complete list of itineraries and ports for 2014, I’m sure many of you are busying researching and planning which voyage is best for your family. It’s a tough decision, isn’t it?

Luckily, Cruise Director Darren walks us through all of the options available in this video. Check it out, and let us know in the comments which new itinerary we can expect to see your family enjoying in 2014!

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