From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Ryan March
While every family sailing aboard a Disney Vacation Club Member Cruise enjoys what we hope is an experience they’ll long remember for all the right reasons, the October 2019 Member Cruise voyage from New York City was particularly magical for the Duzmal family of Kentucky.
“When we boarded the ship, a nice gentlemen approached us and said Disney Vacation Club had a gift for us,” Wesley Duzmal recalled. “We followed him to a nearby lounge, and we knew something was up as soon as we walked in and saw a bunch of Disney people gathered, including Terri Schultz (Senior Vice President, Disney Vacation Club, Guided Adventures & Expeditions and Golden Oak). Terri said, ‘We’d like to upgrade your room,’ and she flipped over a giant key revealing that, instead of the inside stateroom we’d booked, we’d be staying in the Roy O. Disney Suite!”
This randomly selected family of four would have plenty of space to unwind in the two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom suite, complete with its own dining salon, wet bar and more.
“It was truly incredible,” Wesley said. “The suite itself is gorgeous, of course, and the concierge crew was just awesome. Plus, when our kids weren’t in the teen club, they were taking full advantage of the free internet service that came with the suite!”
Victoria Duzmal said the suite became a favorite gathering place as their kids made new friends in the ship’s teen club.
“We got to know the parents of the friends our kids made in that club, and before long, our suite became the place for movie nights after the club would close for the day,” Victoria said. “One night, we even had to use the bunk beds as our kids hosted some of their new friends for a sleepover. They’re all still in touch today through a group text that started on the ship.”
When they weren’t enjoying the luxuries of their suite, the Duzmals enjoyed everything the Member Cruise voyage had to offer, from the daily in-room gifts (“We had to find places to stuff stuff,” Wesley said) to the more than 30 unique shows and experiences created by Disney Vacation Club.
“While it’s hard to single out just one favorite show, Matt Vogel was definitely a highlight for me,” Victoria said, referencing a standout show starring veteran Muppet Performer Matt Vogel, the man behind Kermit the Frog and numerous other beloved Muppets. “When Kermit sang ‘Rainbow Connection’ on stage, it felt like he was singing directly to me. It took me back to my childhood, and it was pretty emotional.”
The Duzmals equally enjoyed seeing the presenters and performers off stage, which is part of the unique magic of a Member Cruise.
“You try to respect the performers’ downtime, but I have to say, it was pretty cool to be able to mingle with them around the ship,” Wesley said. “That’s part of what makes this cruise so special. It begins to feel normal to just run into the voice of Kermit or Goofy or Mickey. And they’re all good, warm people – just as you’d expect from Disney.”
Planning is now underway for the next Disney Vacation Club Member Cruise, an already sold-out voyage set to sail from Vancouver, B.C. to Alaska Aug. 24-31, 2020, as well as for the 2021 sailing to be announced in the months ahead.
As a part of Membership Extras, an incidental benefit, these member benefits are subject to change, availability or termination and may require a fee. Membership Extras are available with eligible ownership interests. Visit http://disneyvacationclub.com/memextraspolicy for more information.