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Welcome! Are you planning a Disney Cruise? Or just here to see what we have to say about this controversial topic?
Disney Cruises are pricey. They are among the most expensive cruise experiences that you can take. The ships are smaller than some of the more popular ships on Royal Caribbean and other popular cruise lines. In fact, for the price of a suite on a 7 Night Bahamian cruise on Royal Carribean in September ($1,716) you are only going to get a 3 night Bahamian Cruise on Disney Cruise Line ($1,676).
So, what are you getting with Disney and is it worth it? The short answer is that it depends on your crew and what you are looking for. A Disney Cruise might not be the right vacation for your group depending on what you value in a vacation and what you are looking for.
Let’s get this one out of the way really fast.
Disney is not going to be a party cruise, so if that is what you are looking for, you might want to look at other cruise lines. In fact, on our first cruise, there was a group of cruisers in what appeared to be their mid-twenties, they partied hard. Every time that we saw them on the ship, they were highly intoxicated, loud and obnoxious. They received a number of eye rolls from other guests and also disapproving looks because of their behavior. It’s your cruise, there is no arguing that, but it is important to be respectful of your surroundings.
On our disembarkation day, we saw them, quite hungover arguing with guest services about their outlandish bill because they had consumed so much alcohol and didn’t realize that their card would be charged every $300 spent.
The level of service on a Disney cruise (typically) far outweighs that of any other cruise line. With rotational dining, which is exclusive to the Disney Cruise Line, your serving staff has the opportunity to get to know you, what you like, what you drink, etc. The rotational dining offers the opportunity to have a unique, more tailored dining experience where you experience all of the main dining areas.
Dietary restrictions are taken very seriously by Disney so if that is an issue for your crew, you will be taken care of on the Disney Cruise Line.
Disney is often associated with standard competitors like Carnival and Royal Caribbean, but it has select features, like dining options and overall service, that rival premium lines like Celebrity. Disney was the first line to introduce family staterooms with separate bathrooms, something still not standard on all other ships.
Disney offers free room service, where most other cruise lines tack on additional fees for room service.
Disney offers unlimited soft drinks and snacks throughout the entire ship. There are only a few items that are extra. Popcorn, surprisingly is extra, alcoholic drinks are extra, Remy and Palo are extra and the sweet shops located on several of the ships are extra as well. Cove Cafe, which is a specialty coffee shop is also extra but the sweet treats in Cove Cafe are included. Everything else is included on your cruise.
Broadway-caliber Disney based theater productions are out of this world. The shows are high caliber, entertaining and great for guests of all ages.
Fireworks. Yes fireworks. Each Disney cruise offers a night of fireworks, weather permitting. that are shot off from the middle of the ocean or wherever your cruise is. Other ships have been known to hang close to the Disney ships on nights fireworks are happening so their guests can get a bit of a view of them.
Characters. Disney cruises have the characters. While characters aren’t for everyone, I’m 36 and proud to say, I get in line for characters. I love meeting them. It’s the Disney difference for me. The characters are everywhere and they are amazing. The outfits are unique and it adds to the cruise experience for us.
Cleanliness. Disney is known for their cleanliness around the parks and it is no different at sea. Disney’s ships are in tip top shape and they are constantly cleaning and polishing and making sure that the ship is clean and gorgeous.
It’s Disney so of course, it’s family friendly. Disney goes the extra mile to make sure that guests of all ages are taken care of. There are family areas throughout the entire ship and the kids clubs are immersive and amazing. Friends who have cruised with kids tell us over and over that their kids disappear to the various kids clubs for their age group and it’s tough to get them to want to leave.
There are specific venues for tweens and teens and then kids and a nursery as well for kids under the age of three who are not potty trained. The kids clubs have everything from video games, sports, dancing, movies, games, and themed areas for various Disney classics, Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars. There’s even a Millennium Falcon space on the Disney Dream!
Disney didn’t forget about the adults. There are a plethora of adults only areas and because most of the cruisers are families, the adults only areas are usually quiet and not that crowded. We don’t have kids so we don’t cruise with kids obviously. We love cruising with Disney. The adults only areas are amazing and quiet and relaxing and Cove Cafe, which is the specialty coffee shop and is adults only. There is adults on entertainment, lounges and bars that are 18 and up. There truly is something for everyone on board.
We touched on dining above and we are going to go in a bit of a different direction from most Disney sites. If you are looking for an incredible 5-star dining experience, you could pay extra for Remy or Palo on board but Disney food is more family friendly. While good, and unlimited so you are free to eat as much of it as you want, the food isn’t over the top stellar. If you are looking for culinary adventure, and expect it from paying top dollar for a Disney Cruise, you won’t get it in the food. You are paying for the Disney service and the dining experience.
You won’t find celebrity chef restaurants but the dining experiences are just that, experiences. The restaurants are themed and you might even have character experiences at your dinner. From Tangled, to Mickey Mouse, Princess and The Frog and more, the dining experiences are unique and pure Disney.
Don’t get me wrong, the food isn’t poor quality by any means but for us, the food was perhaps talked up to us a little too much, prior to getting on the ship, because we expected out of this world dining every single meal and that just wasn’t the case. The food coupled with the experience was great and we still don’t get off a Disney cruise without gaining at least five pounds.
Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island. There is both a family friendly section and an adults only section. Each section has its own barbecue. There are shops, snorkeling, bikes to rent, a 5k to run, a slide (who doesn’t love a slide) and so many fun excursion options.
Castaway Cay is a relaxing, clean, laid back island in the Bahamas and for many encompasses the perfect day. Other cruise lines also have private islands that are brighter and have more bard and more slides and adventures so again, it comes down to what you are looking for. For the ultimate in relaxation and a clean, fun laid back day, you can’t beat Castaway Cay.
It comes down to this, what are you looking for? Are you wanting nightlife? Lots of bars? Disney characters aren’t your thing? Saving money? Then a Disney Cruise may not be for you, and that is completely okay! We don’t all have to like and enjoy and want the same things from out vacations. That’s why there are options.
We wanted to breakdown what you get on a Disney cruise for the price and manage expectations a bit because there are a lot of people who will just tell you Disney is the best period, end of story and for a lot of people, that may be the case, but maybe not you.
Disney knows about service and providing an experience and that’s what we love. We love the Disney touch, the characters, the service, the cleanliness and the relaxation but maybe you are looking for something else.
If you are interested in learning more about Disney cruises, head over to the Disney Cruise Line website and check out the sailing itinerary for 2020 and 2021.
To read more about Disney Cruises and our experiences, check out the Disney Cruise Line tab on our blog.
Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.