If there’s one question that I get asked a lot through this blog, and from family and friends, it is why we love Disney Cruises so much. With our 4th Disney Cruise coming up in just 2 weeks, I thought I’d do a post to explain our seemingly mysterious loyalty to Disney when it comes to cruising!
We took our first Disney Cruise 5 years ago, and it was the 7 night Mexican Riviera Disney Cruise that embarked from Los Angeles. Since then, we’ve also taken the 5 night Bahamas Disney Cruise, and the 7 night Alaskan Disney Cruise. Our experience with Disney Cruise Line, each and every time, has been so remarkable that we just cannot help but remain loyal to them.
My whole family knows I’m picky when it comes to traveling experiences, because my profession as an Event Planner for the past 14 years has immersed me into the luxury hospitality world, elevating my standards quite a bit. So, it is not surprising that I have unusually high standards when it comes to hospitality and experiences, and Disney has hit the mark for me every single time. While we do recognize that we’re paying a premium for this, Disney has always made us feel like we got our money’s worth from an experience standpoint. This is very important when you’re traveling with young children!
Here are my top 5 reasons for choosing Disney Cruise Line over others:
- They’ve got the logistics down, and that’s an understatement. I’m a self-proclaimed logistical queen. I handle logistics for some of the most complex events imaginable. Logistics matter, a lot, when it comes to creating a smooth, flawless experience for guests. Disney starts their communication with you shortly after you book, with email reminders, pack lists, and lots of really helpful information to help you plan and prepare for the cruise each step of the way. When you’re ready to check in on embarkation day, the whole process is unbelievably smooth (much of it thanks to the preplanning that they get you to do online). If there’s a wait of any kind, have no fear, as Mickey and Minnie will likely make an appearance to say hello.
2. Disney’s entertainment simply cannot be beaten. From friendly character greetings to dance parties on deck to their daily Broadway-like productions, they know how to entertain. In our 3 different Disney cruises, they’ve pretty much had the exact same shows, but we still love it every time so that’s saying something! Every staff member on board seems to be very talented in engaging with guests in a fun, entertaining way.
3. Theme dinners are so much fun on Disney Cruises. For our Mexican Riviera and Bahamas cruise, we had a Pirate Night that ended with the most spectacular fireworks in the middle of the sea. There’s something so magical about watching fireworks like that! For the Alaskan cruise, we were bummed that there were no fireworks, but their Frozen night did include a performance by Anna and Elsa, and lots of snow!
4. The Kids’ Club on Disney Cruises have enough entertainment to keep your kids there like forever. There are cooking classes with Disney characters, princess tea parties, video games, movie nights, and just an endless array of activities from morning until late at night. Best of all, they have a sophisticated security system for checking kids in and out of the club, which makes parents feel safe! Traveling with tweens or teens? No worries, because there are separate clubs just for them. We once tried to sneak into the teens’ club to see what it was about, but apparently Disney only activates your room key to admit you to the teen’s club if you are indeed a teen!
5. Disney’s staterooms are known to be on the larger side compared to other cruise lines, and having that extra space is especially great when you have young children. When we retreat to our stateroom at the end of the evening, we are always greeted by interesting towel animals, chocolate, and a navigator that tells us what activities are available the next day so we can plan ahead. Each stateroom has 2 phones that can be used all around the ship, and you can also download the Disney Cruise app ahead of time and use it to text your friends and family on board!
In summary, we just love cruising with Disney! We’ve cruised on the Disney Wonder and the newer Disney Dream, and both have been phenomenal. The Disney Dream has the AquaDuck which is a high speed water coaster ride that goes around and off the side of the ships, which was super fun. It also had a a beautiful adults-only wine and champagne bar name PINK, a place that my sis and I hung out in quite often while the kids were in the Kids Club. 🙂 Oh, and how could I forget Castaway Cay, the Disney-owned private island that’s pure paradise?!
I have to say that of the 3 different Disney cruises we’ve taken, the Alaskan cruise was the least “special”. I think the absent of the fireworks, and the types of excursions offered on the Alaskan cruise, just didn’t compare as well as the other ones. Our favorite was definitely the Bahamas cruise! Having said that though, we’re embarking on another Alaskan Disney cruise in two weeks since we wanted to remain on the West Coast, so even though it was the least special cruise of the 3, we obviously still loved it enough to go back a second time.
Lastly, I should note that as fabulous as Disney is, there are still a few things they can improve on, including:
- Increase the sizes of the pools on deck. They are tiny!!! Considering how many kids are on board, they really need pools that are two or three times bigger than their current sizes.
- Disney desperately needs to update their Disney Cruise Line website. A lot of the pre-embarkation check in and excursion booking processes are done on their website, and the platform is just not very reliable or user friendly.
- Again, Disney needs to stay ahead of the game when it comes to technology. Currently, the only way to order any special gifts and amenities pre-embarkation is by fax. FAX! I told the rep on the phone that I don’t even know how to get a hold of a fax machine these days!
Here are a couple videos of our previous Disney cruises to give you an idea on what it was like for us!