June 8, 2023


Seven years in the past Travelocity requested me to write down about Disney Cruises, and how one can determine if one is ideal for your loved ones. On the time we had completed three 12-night Disney Cruises in Europe. Now that we’ve taken a 4th Disney Cruise, with older youngsters, it appeared like an excellent time for an replace.

The Disney Magic
The Disney Magic

Disney Cruises

In case you’re studying this text, you’re probably serious about a Disney cruise. When you have younger youngsters, it’s an excellent trip possibility: youngsters get the Disney expertise with out the traces of the theme parks, and adults get … joyful youngsters. Plus there are the usual cruise advantages – you get to unpack as soon as and see a number of locations, and also you don’t have to fret about cooking for every week.

The Disney Magic anchored in Santorini, Greece
The Disney Magic anchored in Santorini, Greece

A Disney cruise is often costlier than different cruise traces, nevertheless, in order that makes the selection of whether or not to ebook with them a bit extra sophisticated. In case you’re serious about a Disney cruise however haven’t made up your thoughts but, right here are some things to consider earlier than reserving.

The Disney Fantasy
The Disney Fantasy

Do You Like Disney?

This will appear apparent, nevertheless it’s an excellent place to begin. A Disney cruise has a LOT of Disney parts, from character appearances to artwork to the soundtrack within the hallways to the restaurant and exercise themes. We’ve been to a whole lot of the Disney parks at the very least as soon as, and our children after all grew up on Disney motion pictures, however we’re not a Disney household. In case you love Disney, you’ll love the cruise. In case you hate Disney, don’t go! In case you’re within the center, like we’re, you’ll probably have an incredible trip. Disney’s ships are good, they’re very family-friendly, they usually do a whole lot of issues rather well. You could be bored with the Disney parts by the top, nevertheless it’s not an enormous deal.

My kids loved the character appearances their first two cruises
My youngsters beloved the character appearances their first two cruises
Got a photo with Minnie since there was no line. My teens refused to be photographed with characters!
On our final cruise I received a personality photograph since our children weren’t in any respect!

How Previous Are Your Youngsters?

We’ve gone on Disney sailings with our children at 9 completely different ages (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 15 and 17), and their enjoyment of the cruise parts has assorted from cruise to cruise, from child to child, and from 12 months to 12 months. Total, based mostly on our expertise, I’d say Disney Cruises are greatest for teenagers between three and 10. That is the age vary when youngsters usually benefit from the Disney parts probably the most. In fact each child is completely different – in case your teenagers nonetheless love Disney, they’ll be joyful on the ship.

3-10 is the idea age for a Disney Cruise
3-10 is the thought age for a Disney Cruise

My youngsters, in any respect ages, beloved their independence on the ships – having the ability to go away us to get ice cream and snacks, watch motion pictures, or simply discover. It’s arduous to get misplaced or into an excessive amount of hassle on board.

After which there are the youngsters golf equipment, which run from ages 3-12 for the Oceaneer Membership, 11-14 for Edge and 15-17 for Vibe. My youngsters loved the youngsters golf equipment probably the most between the ages of 4 and eight. My daughter at 10 felt too previous for the Oceaneer Membership however was too younger for Edge and subsequently didn’t have as a lot enjoyable. In case your youngsters love youngsters golf equipment, they could be joyful at any age. Simply remember the fact that youngsters on the high of these age ranges many not benefit from the golf equipment as a lot since many of the others there might be youthful.

My oldest daughter has forged close friendships on most of our cruises
My oldest daughter has solid shut friendships on most of our cruises

On our most up-to-date crusing, each of my teenagers had entry to Vibe. They went into the cruise hoping that Vibe could be their base. Actually, all teenagers want is a spot to hang around. However the Vibe employees was overzealous in attempting to get the teenagers to take part in all actions, and there wasn’t wherever to chill out should you didn’t wish to take part. So my son (15) and I frolicked the complete cruise, and my daughter (17) spent the cruise along with her new associates – just about in every single place apart from Vibe. Hopefully Disney will repair that and your teenagers can have a greater expertise at Vibe.

Relaxing with my 15-year-old son since he wanted nothing to do with Vibe
Stress-free with my 15-year-old son since he needed nothing to do with Vibe

Do You Need to Store or Gamble?

With different cruise traces there could be a heavy emphasis on getting folks to buy whereas on board, with ships resembling floating malls. Disney’s not like that. On our ships, the Disney Magic and Disney Fantasy, there have been just a few shops, and we hardly ever walked by them. There have been additionally some shops at Disney’s Castaway Cay within the Bahamas promoting Disney and seashore merchandise.

Disney's Castaway Cay felt a little like a theme park, with lots of places to shop and get drinks
Disney’s Castaway Cay felt a bit like a theme park, with numerous locations to buy and get drinks

Disney has desks with details about future sailings and concerning the Disney Trip Membership, however I’ve by no means felt prefer it was a tough promote. Likewise there are not any casinos on board, with bingo being the one playing. In case you take pleasure in spending some huge cash on board, you could be happier on a non-Disney cruise.

What Are the Port Stops?

Disney cruises are about each the on-board expertise and the ports. The on-board expertise is excellent – nicer than different ships that I’ve been on – however even then it begins to really feel repetitive after a couple of nights. The adults on board discover this greater than the youngsters! So select an itinerary that makes you (the adults) excited for every cease.

Our two Mediterranean cruises included Barcelona (Spain), Malta, Athens, Rhodes, Crete, Santorini and Mykonos (Greece), Ephesus (Turkey), Naples, Palermo, Civitavecchia, La Spezia and Venice (Italy), and Corsica and Villefranche (France). Our Northern Europe crusing went to Copenhagen (Denmark), Oslo, Bergen and Kristiansand (Norway), Akureyri and Reykjavik (Iceland) and Invergorden and Kirkwall (Scotland). Our Caribbean cruise included Cozumel (Mexico), Falmouth (Jamaica), Grand Cayman and Castaway Cay (Bahamas). At any port cease our priorities are sights, tradition, actions and the power to flee from different cruise goers. Some locations are nice for that, and a few are horrible, and every of our cruises had good stops and dangerous stops. If there’s a Disney itinerary that makes you excited for almost all of the locations, ebook it! If not, and should you don’t 100% care concerning the Disney parts, ebook one other cruise ship that’s going the place you wish to go.

Iceland was a great cruise destination
Iceland was an incredible cruise vacation spot

Word: please don’t do day journeys to Florence or Rome from a cruise ship and please don’t go to Cinque Terre on a day journey, and I’d extremely suggest skipping cruises to Santorini and Mykonos, since these islands are overwhelmed day by day with 8,000-15,000 cruise passengers – which isn’t enjoyable for anybody.

Do You Like Versatile Eating?

Disney has two set dinner instances each evening and can assign you to a desk both by yourselves or with different cruisers. You rotate amongst three eating rooms however maintain your similar servers and desk mates. Different traces provide versatile eating the place you may eat at completely different instances, tables and eating places each evening, and that provide a buffet should you don’t really feel like a dinner with desk service. We’ve at all times been tremendous with the Disney eating expertise, selecting the early eating schedule on our first three cruises and the late seating on our final cruise, however I do know others who don’t prefer to be locked right into a set schedule.

The Enchanted Garden on the Disney Fantasy
The Enchanted Backyard on the Disney Fantasy

Different Assets