I’ve now voyaged four different times on the Disney Cruise Line and I loved it so much I will never sail on any other cruise line ever again. If you want to know why, check out my top ten reasons to go on a Disney Cruise!
10. Soda, Coffee, Tea Included.
I didn’t realize at first that this needed to make the top ten reasons to go on a Disney Cruise list, until I spoke with a friend who was getting ready to sail on a different cruise line and asked how much the “soda package” was on the Disney Cruise Line — um, there isn’t one? It is included already, so no matter how much soda you drink (or in my case the 6+ cups of coffee I drink in a day) it is both free on board and readily available at numerous self-service stations.
9. Castaway Club.
This is a club you’re automatically initiated into once you’ve completed 1 Disney Cruise Line vacation. From then on out you’re considered part of the Castaway Club and treated to special perks, early booking opportunities, and swag on board; plus they usually mail you some fun stuff in the mail after your subsequent cruises.
They do have various levels you can work towards to receive even MORE perks and swag, such as Silver, Gold, and Platinum. They know once you’ve sailed once, that like me, you’ll never want to sail on anything but the Disney Cruise Line, so start earning those Castaway Club sailings!
8. Activities for Kids.
Not only are there a variety of activities for kids with their families such as family trivia, games, and pool activities, but there are also safe and fun spaces JUST for kids! (In full disclosure, there are activities in the kids only area I WISH I could participate in!) They can do science experiments, have dance parties with their favorite characters, do art projects, and so much more. Or for the teens and pre-teens, there is a chill place to hang without younger siblings tagging along.
Each kid-zone is age appropriate, staffed by certified Disney cast members, and there are very strict security measures to enter or leave, so parents feel comfortable leaving their kiddos there while they enjoy some adult time on the ship! And for the youngest of sailers checking out my top ten reasons to go on a Disney Cruise, there is the “it’s a small world nursery,” Jack-Jack’s Incredible diaper dash, and of course, numerous character meet and greet opportunities.
7. Adult Only Spaces.
One of the number one questions I get asked about a Disney Cruise Line vacation is, won’t it just be for kids? Absolutely not. There are just as many, if not more, Adult Only areas on board the Disney Cruise Line, such as Cove Coffee Bar, an adults only multi-level pool deck, Senses Spa, and numerous night clubs for dancing and drinking the night away!
The Spa almost earned it’s own spot on my top ten reasons to go on a Disney Cruise list, because it is truly such an amazing experience. I highly recommend taking the tour of the spa the first day, because they often run specials, have drawings, or give samples of the services they offer before you even leave port. I once got painted in a detoxing mud mask and floated in a warm water bed that provided the feeling of weightlessness — that was quite possibly the most relaxed I’ve ever felt in my life.
In addition to adult only areas, there are also adult only activities such as the Newly Wed Game, whiskey tastings, wine pairings, cooking classes, trivia (side note — I have quite the stellar winning record for Disney themed trivia on board the Disney Cruise Line and I have the swag to prove it), and so much more! There is never a time during your vacation where some type of activity won’t be going on.
6. When You Wish Upon A Star.
This is the sound of the ship’s horn. :) Any time the ship is ready to leave port or the Captain is about to make an announcement, you’ll hear that tune. It is magical.
These whimsical Disney details are what I love about the Disney Cruise Line — a world renowned pianist could be playing classic Disney tunes, there could be hidden Mickey’s in the carpet, or artwork on certain decks might come to life if you get close enough. There is truly magic in every detail on board the ship.
5. Castaway Cay, Disney’s Private Island.
This was an obvious choice for my top ten reasons to go on a Disney Cruise, as Castaway Cay has repeatedly earned the Cruiser’s Choice Award for Best Cruise Line Private Island. Castaway Cay almost deserves it’s own top ten list because there are so many amazing activities and benefits.
First and foremost, it isn’t crowded because only Disney Cruise Line ships can dock there, and usually only one ship at a time. That means, plenty of space and plenty of chairs. Ever been to a beach where you had to pay to sit in a chair? Not here!
There are a handful of paid excursions on the island such as parasailing, bike riding, snorkeling and more! But there are also lots of great complimentary activities such as basketball, volleyball, a kids splash area, and more.
Also included…the food! Yep, you can eat a wonderful buffet style lunch on the island, and remember the complementary soda/coffee/tea you get on board? (reference number 10) — Still counts here! The only thing that isn’t included are alcoholic beverages and the souvenirs you want to buy, but that is the same story anywhere you’d go (obviously.)
For the active travelers out there, I highly recommend the Castaway Cay 5K run fun. The first time I did this event there were only a handful of runners and we got plastic mickey shaped “medals” at the end. When I did it last year, it was practically a legit runDisney event. We had bibs, got upgraded medals, and there were far more participants.
(Side note: there is an actual runDisney Challenge event that includes Castaway Cay 5K race after doing the Marathon Weekend, but I did not do that. I can, however, book it for you!) Goofy even made an appearance in his workout gear! It was a fun, active way to start the day.
(Expert Tip: Pack your swimsuit/change of clothes with any fellow travelers that aren’t partaking in the race so that you can shower and change on the island rather than walking all the way back to the ship.)
4. Live Theatre Entertainment.
Each night, whether you have the early seating or the late seating for dinner, you’ll also have access to an evening entertainment option. Usually it is a live theatre-style show that combines classic Disney characters, some of the most talented singers, dancers, and performers you’ll ever see (and remember, they are doing this on a moving ship!), and a heart-warming message that reminds us of the reasons why we are spending our valuable time (and money) on a family vacation. Some nights it is a specific Disney Broadway-style show, such as Beauty and The Beast or Frozen, and some nights they debut an early release movie about to open in theaters, it just depends on your sailing. But regardless of which shows you see on your sailing, you will be entertained!
3. Character Appearances.
I always tell my families with kids that like to meet characters to do it on a Disney Cruise vacation rather than in the Disney Parks. Main reason — fewer lines!
I cannot tell you how many times we would randomly be walking along Deck 5 (maybe doing the Muppet Scavenger Hunt game…) and oh, hi, Cinderella! And we get to have several minutes interacting with her with no one else around Or recently with our son, he got to sneak up on his favorite, Donald Duck, and the cast member even reminded guests that there were no lines for Donald, he was just coming to hang out with everyone.
Some characters do have lines, don’t get me wrong, but it is a very smooth process. Some even offer free ticket reservations for popular character meet and greets such as Elsa and Anna and The Princesses.
Expert Tip: This can be completed during online check-in, again it is free, you’re just reserving a time slot, so that you can continue to enjoy your vacation rather than spending hours waiting in line (kind of like a FastPass+ mentality.)
It is also fun on certain themed nights, such as Pirate night or Formal night, when the characters dress for the occasion! I mean, you cannot get a picture with Mickey dressed as a ship captain or a pirate anywhere in the Disney Parks!
Hands down, the most important thing. So then why didn’t it make number 1 on my top ten reasons to go on a Disney Cruise? Well, because it is my list and I’m a foodie. But, this does play into the food and food safety. They enforce a clean hands policy before even entering the restaurant — you’re handed hand sanitizer wipes. Disney is impeccable about cleanliness, both in the Parks and on the Cruise Line.
At almost every port of call they are scrubbing the exterior of the ship. Day and night you’ll see crew and cast members cleaning, touch up painting, whatever it takes to keep the ship looking great and keeping guests safe. You also have a personal stateroom attendant that keeps your room spotless (even with a toddler!) This item on my list is one of the biggest reasons I would never go on any other cruise line other than the Disney Cruise Line.
1. The Food.
The most incredible food you may ever experience will be on the Disney Cruise Line. There are amazing chefs from across the globe cooking in these kitchens, and when you think about the volume they have to produce, it is even more incredible that the quality is still that great!
There is food flowing from every corner — you could literally eat the entire trip if you wanted to. Breakfast, snacks, lunch, second lunch, slice of pizza, fresh fruit, dinner, and free soft-serve ice cream 24/7! The dinner meals are my favorite part of the trip (with a close second as any Disney themed trivia…reference number 7.)
Here is how dinner works — you rotate between 3 spectacular themed restaurants but your server and assistant server travel with you to each restaurant each night.
Why is this amazing? Because they get to know you and your preferences. For example if you always order iced tea with a side of Splenda, they will preemptively put that on the table when you arrive by the second or third night of ordering the same beverage. My toddler had milk in a cup with a lid and straw with his name written on it and his I dotted with a Mickey Mouse. Yes!
It is the little things, people, that make the big differences on a magical vacation. You’ll hear me say it time and time again, the Disney details are what set these vacations apart from anything else you’ll ever experience. You’ll be hooked for life…like me, your personal Disney Travel Agent in Overland Park.
Another perk that I must mention about the food on board the Disney Cruise Line is that you can order whatever you want. What.Ever.You.Want. The standard dinner menu has an appetizer, salad/soup, main course, and dessert on the menu for you to choose from. But guess what? If you can’t decide between the steak and the lobster - you can order them both. All the desserts look good? — order them all. It doesn’t cost you anything extra. Order the chicken, but don’t like it? They will bring you out a completely new meal. And don’t feel bad about it! Don’t see anything on the menu you like? — tell them what you do want, and the chef will make it for you. We had a friend we traveled with that was a vegetarian, and she didn’t like the one token vegetarian menu item that evening. She said she likes Indian food, so they brought her out rice, naan, and a full vegetarian Indian spread. The customer service at Disney is above and beyond anything you’ll ever experience anywhere else.
Honorable mentions to this list because, quite frankly, only ten reasons to go on a Disney Cruise just isn’t enough:
Fireworks (They are the ONLY cruise line that has permission to set fireworks off at sea! So cool!)
Themed Cruises (Star Wars, Marvel, Halloween, Christmas, and more to add to an already magical experience!)
Family Portraits (With new backgrounds every night, get a great family photo with professional cameras while everyone is together, dressed up… and tanned!)
The Aqua-Duck Waterslide
Free Soft-Serve Ice Cream 24/7 (It was mentioned in the list above, but Finnegan though it deserved it’s own number)
Have I mentioned that you’re going to love your Disney Cruise Line vacation yet?
If you’re not completely convinced after reading my top ten reasons to go on a Disney Cruise, that is okay!
Let’s set up a time to chat about what is important to you and your family and find the best vacation to fit your family. That’s what I love and live to do as a Disney Travel Agent in Overland Park. <—Click the link to contact me today!