Last year we went on our first Disney Cruise, a trip that was on our bucket list for a long time!
As you can imagine we had a blast and here you’ll find 11 reasons you should go on one too!!
Staterooms are very roomy, even inside staterooms. We stayed in a oceanview stateroom that has a large porthole window with built-in seating.
Inside staterooms (available on Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy), feature a Magical Porthole, providing guests with a real-time view of the ship’s exterior, with a little help of some Disney characters.
A very nice thing (included in most staterooms) is the “split bath” which is a bathroom with a vanity, sink, shower and round tub and a half bathroom with a vanity, sink and toilet.
We had sailed 3 times before, in different cruise lines, and we can say that based on our experience, Disney staff provides an above the average service.
Our waiter and assistante waiter always called Isabella by her name. And every night when we arrived at our table, her glass of water was there, with her name on it! During a lunch at the buffet our assistant waiter saw Isabella getting soda from the machine and she was making a special mix with some of the available options. That night he asked if she wanted the usual (V8 juice) or the “special mix”. Of course she chose the special mix 🙂
The Disney Cruise Line has a rotational dining system that allows guests to dine on each of the three themed restaurants on board each Disney cruise ship. In our case, it was the Royal Palace, Enchanted Garden and Animator’s Palate.
We were assigned a table with another family, but we wanted to have a table of our own (yes, you can call us selfish), so we asked for one. They said they couldn’t promise anything but, to our surprise, we were given a very special table with prime location!
The food was great! With so many options we did not know what to order, so we did what our waiter suggested: order one of each!. In our defense, portion sizes aren’t big 🙂
We had the second seating, beacause we thought it would be too early to dine in the first seating, and we could also enjoy the ship a little longer. But since the shows for 2nd seating guests are before dinner, it turned out we had to go to our stateroom to dress up at the same time we would for the 1st seating – and Isabella fell asleep before desert every single night! So next time we will probably choose the 1st seating.
The buffets are amazing – it was difficult to resist all that temptation!
We had breakfast in the main restaurant and at the buffet – and both are great. Lunches were at the buffet and sometimes by the pool.
It is easier to meet characterrs on the ships than at the parks, but they are everywhere at different times, so we ended up walking a lot. Also, the lines can get pretty long. Download the Disney Criuse Line App in your cell phone and use it to locate characters and to manage time, since they are not available for a long time at each location!
Of course they were at the parties!
Children-only areas (age oriented) + AquaDuck
The areas for children are great, after all we are on a Disney ship 🙂 Children – and teens – have special areas according to their age, always with someone looking after them. We got to know these areas during the “Open House” hours – the only time parents can visit! Check the cruise daily planner to find out exact times.
We thought the pool was small for the amout of people on the ship, but there are other “water features” such as a slide, an area just for toddlers and, of course, the AquaDuck – a water roller coaster.
Isabella loved it. During busy times the line can beat the 1-hour wait. We found that the best times to ride it was while the ship was in port or during the 1st dinner sitting (late at night it was a good option too). Check times at the daily planner too!
*AquaDuck is available at Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. Disney Magic has AquaDunk, a more radical version of the AquaDuck.
All-you-can-eat ice cream (and all-you-can-drink soda)
It might sound silly, but there is ice cream available near the pool almost all day. It is soft-serve, not many flavors available and with a magic formula that holds the ice cream on the cone no matter what! In a ship full of children, this detail is very important. It is also available at Castaway Cay!
Sodas are also included on the cruise price. There is no need for a special soda package like other cruise lines. Next to the soda machines there are coffee and tea as well.
Castaway Cay, Disney’s Private Island
A private island just for Disney Cruise passengers. Can you imagine a better beach experience?
Our expectation was to find warm water, have fun on the beach, snorkel a little and play at Pelican’s Plunge (a barge with water slides). But in February we found a slightly different picture. We found the water to be cold and way below what we are used to (even for southern Brazil standards – in case you did not know, we live in southern Brazil)!
But of course we enjoyed the water – after the initial temperature shock 🙂 And if you want to get a beach chair by the water, be among the first to leave the ship!
After lunch and a little rest we went to Pelican’s Plunge – the barge with water slides. My husband and daughter fought the cold water once more and had a blast. One detail: the barge is in the middle of a bay and you have to swim to reach it (there are life vests available). A couple of rides down and we were heading for the ship (and Isabella to the pool).
Disney is the only cruise line with a fireworks display at sea. Do not expect fireworks fom Magic Kingdom, after all, we are on a ship. But they are still quite impressive.
Detective Hunt, we get to solve a mistery onboard
This is a great way to spend the day at sea, specially on a rainy day, or to work out (that’s right). On deck 5, by the main atrium there is a desk where you get your Detective Badge and choose a mission to help Mickey solve it. We walk around the ship looking for clues to solve the mistery. It is a lot of fun and we walk a lot (hence the exercise part of it).
And the adults have fun too!
No wonder Isabella fell asleep before dessert 🙂
Yep. No need to pack a lot. The self-service laundry is great for those who choose a longer cruise or split the trip between Disney World and the cruise.
11. Adults-only areas
If you want to take a break from the kids (yours or not) you can go to one of the adults-only areas – and there are a lot of them, like pool, restaurant and many lounges!
Have you ever been on a Disney Cruise? How was it? If you haven’t, I hope this post make you consider going on one soon!