May 30, 2023


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

The Disney Magic
The Disney Magic

Disney Cruises

In the event you’re studying this text, you’re possible excited about a Disney cruise. If in case you have younger children, it’s a super trip possibility: children get the Disney expertise with out the strains of the theme parks, and adults get … pleased children. 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 per week.

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

A Disney cruise is often costlier than different cruise strains, nonetheless, in order that makes the selection of whether or not to guide with them a bit extra sophisticated. In the event you’re excited 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 likely appear apparent, however it’s place to begin. A Disney cruise has a LOT of Disney components, from character appearances to artwork to the soundtrack within the hallways to the restaurant and exercise themes. We’ve been to quite a lot of the Disney parks not less than as soon as, and our youngsters after all grew up on Disney motion pictures, however we’re not a Disney household. In the event you love Disney, you’ll love the cruise. In the event you hate Disney, don’t go! In the event you’re within the center, like we’re, you’ll possible have an ideal trip. Disney’s ships are good, they’re very family-friendly, and so they do quite a lot of issues very well. You might be bored with the Disney components by the tip, however it’s not a giant deal.

My kids loved the character appearances their first two cruises
My children 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 picture since our youngsters weren’t in any respect!

How Previous Are Your Children?

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

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

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

After which there are the children golf equipment, which run from ages 3-12 for the Oceaneer Membership, 11-14 for Edge and 15-17 for Vibe. My children loved the children golf equipment essentially the most between the ages of 4 and eight. My daughter at 10 felt too outdated for the Oceaneer Membership however was too younger for Edge and due to this fact didn’t have as a lot enjoyable. In case your children love children golf equipment, they might be pleased at any age. Simply needless to say children 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 can be their base. Actually, all teenagers want is a spot to hang around. However the Vibe employees was overzealous in attempting to get the kids to take part in all actions, and there wasn’t anyplace to calm down in case you didn’t need to take part. So my son (15) and I frolicked the whole cruise, and my daughter (17) spent the cruise together 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
Enjoyable with my 15-year-old son since he wished nothing to do with Vibe

Do You Need to Store or Gamble?

With different cruise strains there is usually 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 not often 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 the event you take pleasure in spending some huge cash on board, you might 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 children! 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 websites, tradition, actions and the flexibility 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 unhealthy stops. If there’s a Disney itinerary that makes you excited for almost all of the locations, guide it! If not, and in case you don’t 100% care concerning the Disney components, guide one other cruise ship that’s going the place you need to go.

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

Observe: 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 every day with 8,000-15,000 cruise passengers – which isn’t enjoyable for anybody.

Do You Like Versatile Eating?

Disney has two set dinner occasions each evening and can assign you to a desk both by yourselves or with different cruisers. You rotate amongst three eating rooms however hold your similar servers and desk mates. Different strains supply versatile eating the place you may eat at totally different occasions, tables and eating places each evening, and that supply a buffet in case you don’t really feel like a dinner with desk service. We’ve at all times been fantastic 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 wish to be locked right into a set schedule.

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

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