The Disney Cruise Line has been sailing from Miami for a while now, and yet most of the people I know that are avid cruisers have not been on one of their cruises. Are the cruises worth it? In my opinion yes, but that may be a little biased because, to put it lightly, I have a little more pixie dust in my life than the average person. I’ll present the facts and you can make up your own minds.
Check-in and Staterooms
We went on a Disney cruise this past Spring Break, and it was just as magical as any of the parks. True, you pay a bit more than some other cruises, but the service, attention to detail, cleanliness, and overall experience more than make up for it. We arrived more than thirty minutes prior to our check-in time. The whole process took no more than ten minutes. We went directly to have lunch because our stateroom was not ready. Our room was very spacious and had lots of storage. From all the literature that I’ve read on the Disney Cruise Line, it seems that all of their staterooms are slightly larger than the staterooms of their counterparts on other ships.
The all-you-can-eat restaurants and quick service buffets were equivalent to the quick service restaurants at the parks. We chose to go to all of our assigned dinner servings and became quite fond of our servers Minda and Emma. Your servers rotate every night with you, and they don’t just serve you. They entertain you with their crayon riddles, shows, magic tricks, and overall humor. The food at dinner was equivalent to the nicer, reservations-required Disney parks restaurants. Alcoholic drinks are an additional price, as they are on most ships. The catch with Disney cruises is that they allow each adult to bring in their own, sealed bottles of alcohol. Each adult can basically bring in a carry-on full of alcohol. Check out the FAQs section of their website for more information. (This definitely closes the gap on the price differences between cruise options.) While I’m on the topic of dining, have you ever heard of someone getting sick from eating on a Disney cruise? No.
I only expect the best in entertainment when it comes to Disney. After all, it all started with a mouse entertaining us.
The nightly shows are a must see. If you can’t make it to the theater, I suggest watching it on their channel in your stateroom. Character meet and greets are done at all times, all over the ship. The characters are scheduled for 15 minutes, but if you’re in the line you’ll still get to meet them. If you are towards the beginning of one line, you’ll have plenty of time to get into another line before it closes. Then there’s Pirate Night, where almost everyone dresses in some sort of pirate inspired outfit, and the night concludes with a stage show and fireworks in true Disney style.
Ports of Call
Check out the itineraries online. There are many different options, especially if you don’t mind sailing out from other ports. In my opinion, Castaway Cay is the best stop on any of their routes. Castaway Cay is Disney’s privately owned island in the Bahamas. It is beautiful, and this is my reason for stating that Disney cruises are for couples as well as families. Serenity Bay is the most tranquil and relaxing time I’ve had on a beach. While Castaway Cay offers family and teen beaches, Serenity Bay has plenty of seating options, umbrellas, and clear blue waters. I wouldn’t book any excursions during this stop, unless you want to do one of the water sports. I think Disney would be the safest option.
I haven’t begun to explain all there is to do on Disney ships. I suggest further research if you’re considering going on a cruise. Booking early is best, as prices can increase from day to day. Ask if they have any discounts for Florida residents, Disney Visa cardholders, or annual pass members. The great thing about Disney is that if a discount or special becomes available after you book, even after you’ve paid in full, they will apply it. In our case, we got a check in the mail for the difference after we had paid off the trip without even knowing about it. Disney just did it automatically.