People often ask my why they should sail Disney Cruise Line. They want to know what makes a Disney cruise better than Royal Caribbean or Carnival. Now, I\’m not saying there\’s anything wrong with Royal Caribbean or Carnival or (insert your favorite cruise line here)! I do think there\’s a lot that\’s right with Disney though!
Not so long ago we gave you our top 10 reasons to sail Disney… but I thought there were even MORE reasons why you should sail with Disney!
10. No casinos onboard. I have nothing against casinos! Really, I don\’t! They\’re a fun way to pass
time for some people; I\’ve even gone and done a little bit of playing slots. BUT no casino onboard any Disney ship means there more spaces for kids! From the nursery to the high school teens, Disney has a space for your kids! The nursery is for our littlest sailors, of course. Then Oceaneers\’ Club and Oceaneers\’ Lab is designed for kids ages 3-12. This allows siblings and friends to be able to pay together in one area. The Edge is the tween club; created just for kids ages 11-14, this area is full of video games and areas for hanging out. For teens ages 14-18, Disney has the Vibe–an awesome location with video games, great lounge areas for just hanging out with friends, and, depending on the ship, even their own smoothie bar and outside pool and deck area.
9. Servers travel with you to restaurants. This may not seem like a big deal to you if you\’ve never cruised before, but imagine that you are greeted by name every night when you arrive for dinner. Your servers know that you prefer red wine to white wine or that your son only drinks chocolate milk! Maybe they remember that you like to try two desserts every night or that you want the kids\’ meals brought out quickly so they can leave and go to the kids\’ club. Or maybe you (or a loved one traveling with you) have a severe allergy; rather than being worried and explaining EVERY SINGLE NIGHT about your peanut/seafood/milk allergy, your server knows. They tell you what is safe to eat on your menu tonight, or they work with you and a chef to make sure something safe is prepared for you.
8. First run movies! Yes, a really nice theater with first run movies is located on every Disney ship to include some 3D movie options! If you\’re like me and you missed the last, oh… 8 years worth of new releases, this is a great opportunity to catch up on your movies! And not just cartoon Disney movies either. On my last cruise, we had Maleficent, Cinderella (the 2015 one), Bears, Into the Woods, Guardians of the Galaxy, and McFarland USA in addition to Frozen and a few others.
7. Fireworks at Sea. Disney was the first cruise line to do fireworks at sea! After all, who knows more about lighting up the night with fireworks than Disney who performs fireworks shows nightly in their parks? Disney does fireworks on every cruise on every ship with the exception of the Alaska cruises (to preserve the wildlife and nature there) and the current Norway cruises. I know someone reading is telling me that Disney isn\’t the only cruise line with fireworks…and they would be correct. In 2013, Norwegian Cruise Line announced that the Breakaway would have fireworks on every cruise; I\’m sure they\’re lovely, but that\’s one ship in a fleet of 14.
6. Free room service. Yes, totally free. 24 hours a day. No extra charges at 3:00 am, no limited hours. With very few exceptions (canned sodas, for example), it\’s totally free.
5. Larger than industry standard staterooms… Compared to other cruise lines, Disney\’s staterooms are quite large! They\’re designed for families! For example, the average size of an inside cabin on Carnival Cruise Line is 185 square feet; Royal Caribbean\’s largest inside cabin is 178 square feet. On Disney, the average size on the inside cabin is 193 square feet; the largest inside cabins are 214 square feet. That may not seem like a huge difference, but for a family of four on a seven night cruise, every extra inch is important!
4. Cold towels and flavored water available when you return to the ship in port. I know…this probably sounds silly, but imagine that you\’ve been off on a Port Adventure all day. Maybe you\’ve been snorkeling or zip lining or just lying on the beach. Now you\’ve been through security at the port and made the long walk down the pier in 90 degree temperatures, and you\’re greeted by smiling Disney Cast Members who offer you four choices of cold water–plain, lemon infused, lime infused, orange infused–and nice cold towels for your face! Ahhh…
3. No fees EVER for kids clubs! Nope…not after 10 pm. Nope, not on port days. No fees during the hours the clubs are open. Speaking of hours, there are no random closed hours. Unlike other cruise lines, the kids clubs on Disney ships are open from morning (usually around 9am) until late night (typically midnight) and don\’t close during the dinner hour or the middle of the afternoon. You can even leave your kids in the clubs on the ship and do a Port Adventure with just adults! (The nursery does have fees of $9 per hour.)
2. Lifeguards at the pools and splash pads. In recent years, there have been two serious almost-drownings onboard cruise ships. In both cases, the children were pulled out of the water by another passenger, and both children sustained serious injuries. One of these happened on the Disney Fantasy in 2013; after that incident, Disney Cruise Line put lifeguards at all of its pools, slides, and splash areas for safety. The other incident happened on a Royal Caribbean ship. As of April 2015, Royal Caribbean still does not have lifeguards on its ships nor do Carnival or Norwegian Cruise Line.
1. Castaway Cay. Yes, I know. That was our number one pick last time, too, but that\’s how much we love Castaway Cay! Beautiful beaches, clear water, delicious food…what\’s not to love? Want to be active? Rent a bike, go snorkeling, swim to Pelican Plunge and go down the slides, play basketball, or take a hike! Want to be lazy? Find a hammock or a chair under an umbrella, order a fruity drink, and soak up the sun. Didn\’t bring your kids? Go out to Serenity Bay where you must be at least 18 and enjoy a peaceful day. Brought your kids but want a break? Take them to the kids club located on the island while you find a hammock!
Whatever your top reason is, let\’s book a Disney cruise. You won\’t regret it!
Susan Burks is a Disney travel planner at WishdrawalsTravel, wife to an active duty military member, and a homeschooling mom to a space-loving 10 year old! As a former teacher and a Disney enthusiast, she loves being able to combine her love of Disney and education in the Disney parks.