This Week in Cruise: Disney's New Private Island, European River Lines

Disney Cruise Line opened its new private island experience, Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point on Eleuthera in the BahamasTravel Agent was aboard Disney Magic for the ship's arrival at the new destination on its first day of guest operations. Generally, we found gorgeous beaches, inviting cabanas, plenty of eco-activities, multiple eateries and a strong emphasis on immersive Bahamian cultural experiences including Junkaroo. Bahamian workers, most Eleuthera residents, were also were friendly and helpful to guests.

One challenge for some guests, though, was the nearly half-mile walk along a pier from the ship to reach the island destination; that occurs prior to guests reaching any transportation trams. While a few golf carts were provided at the ship to transport cabana guests and those with accessibility needs (but only those who'd pre-registered with guest services), the process needs tweaking. Disney says it's poring over initial feedback to fine-tune the operation. Look for our full report on the experience soon. 

Strong Demand

This year, river lines are seeing exceptionally strong demand for Christmas Markets time cruises, and some lines including AmaWaterways and Viking have already opened bookings for their 2026 voyages. Travel Agent sailed last Christmas and provided our insight about Christmas Markets cruises.

Currently, however, European river lines are dealing with high water on certain rivers, including the Danube. That's required some operational changes. In some cases, guests have moved from one ship to another to complete their vacation or been transported via land to some destinations, according to Cruise Hive.

Carnival Corporation has decided to phase out its P&O Australia brand operations, which will be absorbed into Carnival Cruise Line. The flagship Carnival brand already has a strong Australia presence and the two P&O Australia ships will become Carnival ships. The parent company stressed that its corporate decision has no impact on the P&O brand in the U.K., which will remain separate.  

More Cruise News

Princess Cruises has expanded its 2025-2026 Japan and Southeast Asia cruise season. Riviera River Cruises has added a new yacht cruise and tour for 2025. A new cruise line, Neonyx, is sailing the Greek Islands.

Crystal moved its North American reservations team to Miami, while sister brand Abercrombie & Kent has expanded its luxury expedition cruise portfolio for 2025.

On the food-and-beverage front, ultra-luxury Seabourn unveiled a new zero-proof cocktail program, while The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection detailed dining aboard the new Ilma.

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