Dreamin'of Pirate Fun!
Captain Jack and Captain Hook Sail In
for Disney Dream's Pirate Night with Fireworks
By Susan J. Young
Ahoy maties! No one does pirate fun better than Disney. That’s my assessment from a buccaneer themed evening onboard the new 130,000-ton Disney Dream.
This new ship delivers many more potential pirate crew members for Captains “Jack” and “Hook” – based on the vessel's maximum occupancy of 4,000 guests, up from 2,700 per ship for the line’s other vessels.
Mickey’s Pirates in the Caribbean
Actually, "Mickey’s Pirates in the Caribbean" party onboard Disney Dream usually takes place in waters between the Bahamanian and U.S. coastlines as the ship makes its way home to Port Canaveral after a three-, four- or five-night Bahamas cruise.
While that patch of ocean clearly isn't within the Caribbean Sea, Disney's "geographic license" (stretched a bit for entertainment’s sake) is just fine with its guests.
After spending a day at Disney’s private Bahamian island, Castaway Cay, cruisers are sun-drenched, mellow and eager for a pirate-themed Caribbean-style experience to complete their cruise vacation.
To put cruisers in the buccaneer spirit, Disney places red pirate bandanas emblazoned with small Mickey Mouse characters in all guest staterooms.
Kids of all ages will enjoy "Mickey's Pirates in the Caribbean" stage show on Disney Dream. Mickey and other favorite characters in pirate attire go up against Captain Hook!**
Starting at at 8 p.m., on Decks 11 and 12, "Mickey’s Pirates in the Caribbean" delivers a family-focused show atop the ship.
Kids of all ages dance, sing along to pirate songs (as the familiar words are splashed on the top deck's gigantic video screen), and watch the live performing action.
Talented pirate crew members – clearly members of the ship’s own entertainment crew – stand on platforms to enthusiastically lead the audience in dance and song.
“Yo, ho, You ho” is clearly visible as are words to other pirate songs.
In a cute skit, Captain Hook goes head to head with Mickey and friends.
No worries as the forces of good definitely win! Mickey reigns supreme, even at sea.
It’s a kid-centric program. The little ones enjoy the skit. Plus, they burn off lots of energy as they race around, play pirate and sing songs.
Later in the evening, at about 10:30 p.m., the Buccaneer Blast, a separate event gets under way on Decks 11 and 12.
It’s a bit more intense party with lighting flashes, thunder claps, periods of brief darkness and a huge pirate skull appearing on the video screen (as shown at left*)
A different type of talking pirate skull (as shown in the photo at right*) also appears to put the crowd in the mood for what’s to come.
That animated entertainment morphs into a spectacular fireworks show at sea.
The pyrotechnics and their colorful starbursts spread out in the sky just above the ship. It's impressive.
At first, I thought some of the fireworks might actually land on the ship – but, alas, the bursts stopped short.
It's clear Disney does this a lot and has it all under control. Incidentally, Disney is the largest buyer of fireworks in the United States and perhaps worldwide.
The choreography of the fireworks and music are perfectly timed. The crowd loves hearing dramatic portions of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” motion picture soundtrack as the fiery spectacle unfolds.
Guests onboard Disney Dream enjoy a fireworks spectacle as part of Pirates Night.**
SouthernCruising.com was told by a Disney official onboard that a few other cruise lines actually print “Disney fireworks” or “fireworks” in their daily newsletters.
So guests sailing on those other lines' ships -- vessels sailing in proximity to Disney Dream or other Disney ships -- have an opportunity to also enjoy the colorful aerial spectacle at sea.
Once the fireworks conclude, though, it's advantageous to actually sail on Disney to view the rest of the "live" action.
Ghoulish-like creatures from Davy Jones’ locker emerge from the wings onto the stage.
That’s spectacular enough, but then Captain Jack Sparrow -- in a flurry of noise and raucous activity -- rappels down the ship’s red funnel to the stage (see the photo below*).
Soon an epic battle at sea ensues between good and evil.
I must say that the actor portraying Captain Jack on our sailing was a dead ringer for the real Johnny Depp in the lovable pirate role.
My mom (shown in her pirate bandana at left), asked, “Are you sure that’s not him?”
I really had to look myself, but, alas, no it wasn’t.
That said, Disney strives for authenticity, so the resemblance is strong.
Best of all, “Captain Jack’s body language is superb in the characterizations movie lovers have come to expect from the hapless buccaneer.
Yes, maties, you'll see Captain Jack's quirky facial expressions and his arms flailing wildly in the air as he strolls across the deck.
At one point in the midst of the pirate action, Captain Jack will take time from the heat of battle to corral a couple of ladies to waltz merrily across the deck.
The inappropriate timing is just what cruisers expect -- as they giggle at the absurd behavior of this non-traditional pirate persona.
At one point, Captain Jack escapes from the fight simply by ducking down behind a barrel.
Soon he seemingly vanishes. But then the crowd views him in a video (shown above*), explaining: “This is the night when you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow.”
Then, in a flash -- he's gone.
The ghoulish creatures continue their dance-focused performance (as shown at left*) as a wispy white female figure glides down the staircase to the stage.
Unfortunately, at this point on our cruise, Mother Nature intervened. It began to rain steadily and so the party ended early.
The cruise line pulled the performers off the stage and the guests cleared the decks -- clearly a safety move.
Other pirate fare? Prior to the evening shows, guests might have their photo taken with pirate-attired Mickey Mouse (as shown below*) in the ship's atrium.
In addition, just prior to the nighty top deck shows, crew members conduct pirate party games on Decks 11 and 12.
And, if parents want to leave younger kids in the supervised kids’ program and take older ones to the top-deck pirate party, Disney’s Oceaneer Club offers early evening “So You Want to be a Pirate” and face painting and pirate crafts activities.
In Oceaneer Lab on pirate day, children also focus on pirate crafts and face painting.
After the Buccaneer Blast, Disney also provides a continuation of the top-deck pirate party for adults.
At that top-deck "Club Pirate," a DJ spins late-night tunes for these more experienced “swabbies."
Disney characterizes its high-tech musical party as “the hottest dance club in all the seven seas.” Guests move and groove to the tunes through 11:30 p.m.
Guests might also attend a late-night showing of “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” on the open deck’s Funnel Vision screen.
And, as guests return to their stateroom or suite, they'll discover several chocolate “gold pieces” placed on the bed. It's a fitting conclusion to a perfect pirate-themed evening.
* Photos owned, copyrighted and used courtesy of Susan J. Young. All rights reserved. Do not copy or utilize these photos in any way without written permission from SouthernCruising.com (tm)
**Photos owned, copyrighted and used with permission of Disney Cruise Line. All rights reserved. Do not copy or utilize these photos in any way.