Why take a cruise? For many, he splendor of sailing, majestic ships, beautiful ports, gourmet meals, relaxation at its most luxurious are the reasons. Why take a Disney Cruise Line cruise? All of the above and so much more. Disney Cruise Line has four ships and each of them are amazing. I’ve narrowed it down to my top ten reasons. In no particular order, because, well, it would be way too hard to figure out how to rank them. It was difficult enough keeping it to ten reasons!
Larger than average staterooms, most with split bathrooms
Let’s face it, unless you are going for a huge suite, staterooms on cruise ships are not known for being spacious. However, Disney Cruise Line (DCL) does its very best to give you space and makes use of every single foot of it. On average, DCL provides about 25% more room in the staterooms. What I love most, most staterooms offer a split bathroom. The bathroom is split into two rooms. One part has a sink and bathtub/shower and the other part has a second sink and the toilet. Having a split bathroom sure helps my family get ready for dinner! The décor is beautiful and definitely has the Disney touch. Look for hidden Mickeys in your stateroom (and around the ship). You’ll find them. There is ample closet and drawer space and the bed is high enough to store your luggage underneath.
Manageable lines for characters
Tired of waiting in long lines to see your favorite characters at the Disney Parks? On a DCL cruise, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much easier it will be. In your stateroom each evening, your stateroom host will leave a daily Navigator for the next day when he/she makes up your room for the night. Think of it as your daily newspaper that has all of the day’s activities.
The Navigator indicates what activities are geared towards families, adults, teens, tweens, as well as the Kids’ Clubs schedules. It will list what characters will be out and about on the ship for photo opportunities and autographs. Some meet and greets require that you get a ticket which is free and first-come first-serve. Just see Guest Services once you are onboard. For example, Elsa and Anna from Frozen are very popular. Characters also make appearances in the Oceaneers Lab and Club (Kids Club) as well as on Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island) if this port is on your itinerary.
DIStracted Tip: Bring a highlighter with you so you can keep track of your favorite activities for the day. Even better – bring a different color for each member of your family. That way no one will miss what they want to do that day!
Broadway-style Disney shows
Additionally, you can see an array of Disney characters by attending the wonderful Broadway-style shows onboard. These are original, high-quality musicals that you will not want to miss.
Rotational dining in three different dining rooms and free room service
Do you think going on a ship means sitting at the same table, in the same dining room for every meal? Not on a DCL cruise! There are three different main dining rooms, each with their own theme, on each of the four ships and you will get to experience all of them. Each night your amazing wait staff will follow you. So you will have the same wait staff serving you dinner no matter what dining room you are in. Because the wait staff stays the same each night, they will get to know you and make your dining experience exceptional.
Want to order from room service? Yes, even food from room service is included (beverages are an additional charge). Order sandwiches, cheese platter, cookies and milk at night (our family favorite), Mickey ice cream bars anytime you want. You’ll find a menu in your stateroom. Yes, Mickey bars are free onboard. Ask for one after dinner! It’s not just the kids that enjoy a Mickey bar for dessert.
Fireworks at sea? Yes please! On select Disney cruises, there is Pirate Night: a pirate-themed dinner and nighttime deck show complete with a fireworks show. Get your pirate gear ready! Many passengers dress up. Don’t be afraid to show your Pirate DisneySide. The deck party includes some of your favorite Disney characters. You don’t want to miss it.
Kids of all ages will find activities to interest them. The Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab are supervised areas for kids ages 3 – 12. Your child will be given a band to wear (similar to Walt Disney World’s Magic Band), that is used so you can sign your child in and out. You can relax, knowing that they will be happy and safe there. There are so many activities, your kids may not want to leave.
For those kids ages 11 – 14, there is a youth club called Edge. There are counselors but kids are free to come and go. This is also true for those that are 14 – 17 years old. Their hangout is called the Vibe. All of these amazing activities for kids are included in the costs of your cruise. There is no additional charge. However, if you have a child under 3 and plan to use the nursery, there is an additional charge. I highly recommend that you make reservations in advance.
Traveling without kids? Or with tweens or teens that you know will want to do their own thing? Or planning on using the Oceaneer Club/Lab or nursery so you can have some quiet time? Yes, Disney Cruise Line delivers with this too. There are designated areas that are strictly for adults (18 and over). In addition to the spa and salon, there is an adult-exclusive pool. There are also nightclubs and lounges onboard.
Free beverages (excluding alcohol and specialty coffees)
Soft drinks, coffee, tea, milk, etc. are free. Beverage stations onboard offer free soft drinks. These same beverages are also free at meals. You must pay, however, for alcoholic beverages and speciality coffee drinks as well as any drinks ordered in the bars and lounges.
If your itinerary includes a stop at Castaway Cay, you are in for a wonderful day. Castaway Cay is Disney’s private paradise island, located in the Bahamas. Only guests on the DCL ship that is docked for the day will be on the island. There are plenty of lounges, chairs and umbrellas for everyone to use. Don’t worry about going back to the ship to eat, Disney provides an island BBQ for lunch. Don’t be surprised to see some of your favorite characters walking around as well. In addition to the Family Beach, kids, tweens and teens will find that they have their own designated areas and activities. Serenity Bay Beach offers quiet, adult-only time and is reserved for those 18 and over only. Also, port adventures are offered on this island, or you can just kick back and relax.
Quality entertainment, excellent kids’ programming, exceptional dining are offered and all of it done with that Disney touch. You will have a lifetime of memories when you take a Disney cruise. And trust me – before the cruise is even over, you’ll be booking your next one. It’s that good.
What is your top reason?