Cruising For A Big Mickey Hangover

Mickey and Minnie in Alaska | Tannya Joaquin photo

These days, whenever a newscaster is talking about a cruise, it usually involves horror stories. You know, norovirus, overflowing toilets, no food – or seasickness so bad no one can keep down their food.

Thankfully, this isn’t one of those times. The Disney Wonder seven-day cruise from Vancouver to Alaska was … well, wonderful.

I could write a whole column about the nonstop cruise cuisine. In fact, I did last week. Whenever you take a cruise, it takes a while to get back to your normal routine. Meaning moderation. Self-serve ice cream 24/7? Not something you can do every day. Certainly not several times a day.

Now, I have been on many different cruise lines – Princess, Carnival, Seabourne. But this was my first time sailing with Disney. Granted, it’s been 20 years since taking cruises with my parents, but there’s one big change I noticed immediately. Omnipresent antibacterial soap dispensers. Cast members give you wipes anytime you enter dining rooms or get on or off the ship.

Yes, Mickey Mouse runs a tight ship. All children onboard know it’s really Capt. Mickey at the helm. That’s part of the Disney magic, which is the real draw of this cruise.

Sure, the magnificent scenery will take your breath away. Think blue glaciers, waterfalls, soaring bald eagles and spouting whales. Still, that can’t compete with the joy on your child’s face when they spot the biggest star in their universe: Mickey Mouse.

Mickey and friends make cameos throughout the cruise and star in fun musical productions. All your favorites are there: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Cinderella, Belle. Seeing these characters come to life for your children is a priceless feeling.

It also brings out the kid in you. Cuddling with a blanket and cocoa or cocktail while watching a Disney classic by the pool is a nice break from reality. No cellphones, no status updates. Just you, your family and Aladdin, Ariel or Nemo. You get immersed in their worlds.

You get so wrapped up in the Disney magic, you come down with a serious case of Mickey mania. Disney makes that easy to do by providing Mickey money, or “key to the world” cards. You snatch up practically everything Mickey in the gift shop.

Mickey lollipops, rubber bands, costumes – even a Mickey Pirates of the Caribbean sword. Never mind how you’ll squeeze that into your already over-stuffed luggage.

You completely forget how much you’re spending until you get home and your credit card statement arrives. Then, you have a Mickey hangover.