• Jennifer Hancock

What's So Special About Disney Cruise Line?

Updated: Mar 18, 2019

Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the Bahamas

There is so much to love about Disney Cruise Line vacations. When speaking about the 3 new Disney cruise ships being added to the fleet in the next few years, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Bob Chapek promised ships with "immersive Disney storytelling, world-class family entertainment, and imaginative innovations that are fantastically fun and uniquely Disney.” This is an excellent summary of the Disney Cruise experience. But you may be wondering, "Is this premium vacation experience worth the premium price tag?" My answer is, "YES!" and here are the reasons why:

1. Classic Ship design: Disney cruise ships were designed to look like the early 20th century transatlantic ships. Bruce Vaughn, chief creative executive for Walt Disney Imagineering commented, “We want our guests to get excited just seeing the ship – evoking a beautiful, classic 1930s ocean liner.”

Disney's aim was to combine a modern classic design with what Vaughn calls “a dash of Disney whimsy.”

From the outside, Disney ships' colors are the same as classic Mickey Mouse with a black hull, bright red funnels and yellow striping and lifeboats. The cruise line’s signature yellow filigree design on the bow features classic Disney characters, including Minnie, Mickey, Donald, and Pluto. On the inside of the ship, the décor is influenced by Art Nouveau on the Disney Wonder & Fantasy, while Magic and Dream were inspired by the Art Deco style. The atriums are stunning and Disney touches abound throughout the ship.

2. Entertainment: There is so much to say about the entertainment on Disney Cruise Line. My absolute favorite thing about the entertainment on Disney Cruise Line is that it is totally appropriate for all ages! Each Disney ship features nightly entertainment, including Broadway-caliber productions. Enjoy performances such as the musical comedy "Villains Tonight!", "Tangled: The Musical", "Frozen, A Musical Spectacular" or "Disney’s Aladdin". You can even watch first-run movies in the Buena Vista Theatre. There’s entertainment for kids of all ages on the Disney cruise ships!

For the adults, the nightclubs and lounges have excellent theming with muted Disney touches. For example, the Pink Champagne bar is a nod to the famous Pink Elephants from Dumbo.

Plus, Disney Cruise Line is the only fleet of cruise ships allowed to launch fireworks at sea. On Caribbean itineraries, the fireworks occur on Pirate Night. Most guests dress up: some in elaborate costumes - others with just a simple pirate t-shirt or the included Mickey pirate bandana given to you onboard. This is such a fun night - complete with a pirate menu, deck show, photo ops with Pirate Mickey, Minnie, Chip & Dale, Hook, Smee, and of course, Captain Jack Sparrow! Let's not forget the midnight pirate buffet either - featuring Disney parks style turkey legs, a crepe station, desserts, and more!

3. Special dining features: Dining on a Disney Cruise ship is unique in several ways. Each restaurant features a sophisticated Disney theme. For example, you may find yourself transported to Tiana's Place, Rapunzel's Royal Table, Triton's(Little Mermaid theme), Lumiere's(Beauty and the Beast theme), Animator's Palette, where your placemat drawings come to life - AND MORE!

The second feature that makes Disney dining stand out is that they use a rotational dining method. With rotational dining, you will have three servers - a head server, main server, and assistant server who will rotate with you to all of restaurants throughout your cruise. Each time we've cruised with Disney, we were amazed at the personalized service we received. For example, our children requested Shirley Temples on the first night and they were already waiting for us on the table each night thereafter.

A favorite dining aspect on Disney Cruise Line is that 24 hour room service is FREE! Some of our favorite room services items include: baked macaroni and cheese, cheese platters, Mickey ice cream bars, Krispy Kreme donuts, and the "cake of the day".

Another perk offered on Disney Cruise Line is that soda is included! There are self serve soda fountains, plus a coffee, tea, and hot chocolate station on the pool decks open 24 hours. Plus, soda is available free of charge in the dining rooms.

4. Unique Character Experiences: Meet your favorite Disney characters including classic characters, Disney princesses, Disney Junior characters, Marvel super heroes and more! Characters have scheduled meet & greets throughout the day. Some characters even participate in activities with the children at the Oceaneer Lab and Club. You can also find them at character breakfasts(7+ night cruises), Pirate night, in the theater, and on Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. You may even bump into a few of them unexpectedly throughout your cruise.

5. Youth Clubs: The theming and activities at Oceaneer Club(ages 3-12), Oceaneer Lab(ages 3-12), Edge(preteens), and Vibe(teens) cannot be beat! Where else can you imagine that you are toy-sized and play in Andy's room from Toy Story? Themes include Disney Junior, Pixie Hollow, Wandering Oaken's Trading Post(Frozen), Marvel, Star Wars, Animator's Studio, and more! Disney Cruise Line has the most extensive youth club hours of all the cruise lines at sea! Children' programming begins as early as 7am and runs continuously until 11pm - or even 2 am for teens! Kids can enjoy interactive games, story-telling, character appearances, sloppy science projects, cooking classes, arts & crafts, video games. You can even try your hand at navigating a Disney Cruise ship on the ship simulator. Plus, adults can stop in to play during open house hours!

6. Private Island: Disney's private island, Castaway Cay in the Bahamas can't be beat! In fact, Cruise Critic gave them the 2018 Best Cruise Line Private Island award. Everything you need for an all-inclusive beach day is here - from lounge chairs and beach umbrellas to tasty food and family-friendly entertainment. Kids will love the Pelican Plunge water slide area, teens have their own hang out spot, and adults have their own private beach, Serenity Bay. Search for Disney sculptures and movie props in the snorkel lagoon, rent bicycles to explore the island, snap a pic with a Disney character, or nap in a hammock - your choice!

7. Staterooms: Disney Cruise Line has some of the largest staterooms at sea. Standard inside staterooms are 184 square feet and deluxe staterooms are 214 - 304 square feet. Staterooms sleeps 3 to 4 with a queen size bed, single convertible sofa, and upper berth pull-down bed(rooms that sleep 4). The upper berth pull-down bed even has a hidden mural of Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Wendy and the boys flying through the sky! The split bath design is unique to Disney Cruise Line. One bathroom has a tub with shower(some categories even have round tubs and rainfall shower heads), vanity and sink. The other bathroom features a vanity, toilet, and sink, which affords more space for getting ready. The inside rooms of the Dream and Fantasy feature "magic portholes" with real time views from the bridge cam - and surprise appearances from animated Disney characters too! Oceanview rooms feature one or two portholes and verandah rooms feature spacious balconies with beautiful sea views. Disney Cruise Line also offers deluxe family oceanview rooms with a porthole or verandah that can accommodate 5 guests - a very uncommon feature for non-suite staterooms. Speaking of suites, Disney Cruise Line offers several concierge level suites ranging in size from standard 304 - 1,781 square feet! Concierge guests enjoy benefits such a private Concierge Lounge and sun deck, complimentary evening cocktail receptions, and personalized service from the concierge team.

8. Pools and Recreation: There is never a reason to be bored on a Disney Cruise ship. In fact, one great tip is to expect that you can't see and do EVERYTHING that is available. The freshwater pools for adults and children, splash areas, and water slides are a blast. Enjoy activities such as basketball, ping pong, foosball, shuffle board, and mini-golf(available on the Dream and Fantasy). Join in on group adult or family activities - such as game shows, karaoke, cooking demonstrations, or arts & crafts. You can even watch them race babies at "Jack Jack's Incredible Diaper Dash" or race vegetables competitively at the "Mickey 200". Don't forget the fun isn't just for the kids: adults have their own nightly entertainment and games, plus several lounges with live entertainment. Looking for some quiet adult relaxation? Check out the Quiet Cove Pool and hot tubs, the Cove Cafe serving specialty coffee and tea, or Senses Spa's Rainforest Room.

9 The Disney Difference: The Walt Disney Company is well known for their outstanding parks and resorts. You can expect the same quality customer service, cleanliness, and attention to detail while on board a Disney Cruise ship. Cast members are highly skilled when it comes to delivering excellent customer service. Disney ships are sparkling clean and very well maintained. Dining room servers and your stateroom host are very attentive to your needs. If you have a food allergy, your head server will work closely with you to guide you as you order allergy friendly meals. They will even place your order the night before for the following day's meals.

10. Multi-generational: Disney cruises truly have something for every one! There is much to do for family members who wish to be active and just as many places for those who wish to relax and watch the world go by while at sea. Cruising offers an excellent mix of time spent together and apart. Come together for meals, port excursions, evening entertainment, or activities throughout the day.

Think you might want to give Disney Cruise Line a try? I would love to assist with the planning. Plus, my services are FREE to you. Contact me today for a no-obligation quote: jhancock@magicalmomentsvacations.com

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