Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Team Post: Why would you recommend a Disney cruise?

Amy: My husband and I cruised on the Disney Wonder for our honeymoon. It was a three night cruise that left from Port Canaveral and stopped in Nassau and Castaway Cay. I’ve been on four different cruises with four different cruise lines and Disney Cruise Line (DCL) was clearly superior. The ship was beautiful. We were greeted with Chihuly glass flowers covering the ceiling in the main hall. The staterooms were larger than other ships and well-appointed. It’s a higher priced cruise so those things should be nice. However, there are three main reasons why I would recommend DCL.

At the end of dinner at Paulo. Get the
chocolate soufflé!
1. Great for kids or also great for avoiding kids
If you want to take your whole family on a cruise, Disney has wonderful programs for children. They have special areas of the ship designated for kids and teens. Cast Members lead children in all sorts of activities. This is also one of the reasons why DCL is great for adults who are not traveling with children. Since our cruise experience was for our honeymoon, we weren’t interested in dealing with anyone else’s children. There are separate pools for kids, families, and adults only. Disney’s private island also has a dedicated adults-only private beach so you can relax and listen to the waves in peace. Paulo is a wonderful adults-only fine dining restaurant onboard ship that is not to be missed. The next time we travel on a Disney cruise it will be with Tink and we’ll play on the family beach and in the family pool and let her play in the kids zones. Other than Paulo, the ship’s restaurants are family friendly. Our table mates included one little boy but we didn’t see him until breakfast on the last morning. He was having so much fun in the kids club that he ate meals there and not with his parents.

2. Stage shows
DCL features Broadway-caliber stage productions during each night of your voyage. The theatre takes the space that other cruise lines use for a casino. (Gambling’s not my style so I didn’t miss the casino at all. I don’t mind spending money, but I can’t handle losing money.) We had the late dinner seating so we went to the early show. While onboard, we saw Hercules, The Golden Mickeys, and a show I believe was called Disney Dreams. We thoroughly enjoyed the stage shows but if you prefer, there are plenty of other things to do during the performances.

3. Castaway Cay

I loved Castaway Cay. This is Disney’s private island. The ship docks at the island, eliminating the need for tendering to shore. You step right off the ship onto solid ground. The family and teen beaches offer water sports, playgrounds, bike rentals, and lots of lounge chairs. If you are traveling with teens, they can hang out in their own supervised part of the beach for a little controlled freedom. Lunch is served on the island and of course, there is a gift shop or two. Andy and I hopped on the tram to the other side of the island and the glorious adult beach. Ahhhhh! This area is quiet and peaceful. The April water was too cold for more than one quick dip and we managed to badly sunburn our legs and I still remember this as a fabulous place. There are paths for walking and biking and cabanas for beach-side massage and other spa treatments. One of the highlights of Castaway Cay for Andy was lunch. Our server on the ship had told us there was a surprise. At the adult beach, we had steak, lobster, and salmon grilled fresh there right off the water.

DisneyDad: If you have ever wanted to go on a cruise, consider Disney Cruise Line. I have been on 7 different cruises over the years. You can find cheaper cruises, but you’ll not fine a better cruise line for the price. “I don’t have any children to take on a cruise” you might think. Ok, borrow some if you think you need kids on a Disney cruise. The truth is adults can have fun on a Disney cruise without kids. My wife and I have been on DCL twice without kids and have thoroughly enjoyed both cruises.
If you need a casino to have fun at sea, DCL is not for you as they do not have one. What they do have is some of the best entertainment at sea. Their stage productions are second to none. While you don’t need to have kids to enjoy the cruise, it does help to “like” Disney as many of their stage productions have a Disney theme. Unlike other cruise lines, Disney also shows first run movies from the Disney studios in their 1000 seat widescreen theater. The same day a movie premiers at theaters, it will premier on board.

While on board, you don’t have to see kids. We actually went hunting for kids just so we could see the children's areas on board ship. While kids and children areas are abundant on board so are the adult areas. There are plenty of adult lounges on board. There is an adult-only pool on board, and on Disney’s private island, Castaway Key, there is even an adult-only beach.

The crew is courteous and efficient. Our cabin stewards have been efficient and unobtrusive. The dining staff are helpful and become part of the entertainment on some nights. Food is, of course, plentiful and delicious whether you choose to eat in a dining room or at a buffet. Disney has the most efficient disembarkation process of any cruise line we have been on. You simply go to breakfast and wander off the ship when you have finished. The Cruise Director guaranteed we could find our luggage within 30 seconds. We spotted ours in less than 10 seconds before we even got off the escalator going down to the luggage at Port Canaveral.

Cruises leave from central Florida at DCL cruise terminal at Port Canaveral.

DCL currently has 2 ships, The Disney Magic and The Disney Wonder. Early 2011 The Disney Dream will join their fleet and will begin cruises from Port Canaveral. The Disney Wonder will begin sailing from Los Angeles for Alaskan and Mexican Rivera cruises. The Disney Magic also does seasonal European cruises.

Would you recommend a Disney Cruise Line vacation? Why or why not?


  1. I really want to do a Disney cruise! Thanks for the great post!

  2. I loved reading about Disney cruises. We are going to go to the parks next year and give our youngest one more week long vacation at WDW then our next trip (2012 or 2013) will possibly be a cruise. We have never been on one, but have recently been talking a lot about trying one out. Thanks for the information!

  3. Beth, I think your children would adore a Disney cruise. We didn't get to it in the post, but there was a pirate dance party with the characters on the top deck followed by fireworks at sea.


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