Disney Cruise Line is easily the best cruise line for families. Sure they may have a smaller fleet than some, but their ships are consistently rated among the best—and for good reason. The Disney magic you find on these water vessels is unlike anything else in the world, and it can all be traced back to the little details. Wondering what little details make up the magic found on a Disney Cruise? Below are 10 things you’ll only get on a Disney Cruise. All of these come together to create an experience that simply cannot be beat.
1. Disney Meet-and-Greets
Obviously, part of the appeal of any Disney vacation is the ability to meet your favorite Disney characters. DCL does not disappoint in this regard, offering guests plenty of opportunities to meet favorite movie friends. In fact, thanks to shorter lines, ticketed meet-and-greet events, and wandering characters, we’d even say meeting characters on the ships is better than meeting them in the parks!
2. Disney Character Dining
In addition to the traditional meet-and-greets, Disney cruises also tend to offer guests some sort of character dining experience. On longer cruises, a character breakfast is offered. Meanwhile, the Wonder and the Magic both offer a new dinner character dining experience. All of this is included in your cruise cost.
3. Rotational Dining
Speaking of dinner on the ships, did you know that Disney Cruise Line ships all have rotational dining? This means that you will rotate between three different dining rooms throughout your cruise. Each dining room offers a different experience, such as shows, interactive experiences, and theme menus. Best of all, your waitstaff moves with you, meaning you can develop a relationship with them.
4. First-Run Disney Movies
DCL is the only cruise line that plays first-run Disney movies. This means you can see the newest Disney film in a theater while at sea.Admission to the theater is included in your fare, and concessions are sold outside, meaning you get the full movie theater experience without the hassle of getting there (or the added cost of tickets).
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5. Nightly Family-Friendly Shows
One of the things that we don’t love about most cruise lines is the fact that most of the nightly entertainment is not kid-friendly. Sure, they might have one performance on the main stage that is geared toward families, but for the most part, the shows are for adults. Disney does things differently. They present a family-friendly show on the main stage each night of every cruise. Many of these are Broadway-caliber musicals, and all are fantastic.
6. Fish Extenders
Fish extenders are a super fun thing, and they aren’t found on any other cruise lines. Guests sign up for a gift exchange (these can often be found in Facebook groups), hang a multi-pocketed “fish extender” by their door, and have a blast delivering gifts to others’ fish extenders while receiving gifts in their own. That said, these exchanges are not run by Disney officially, so every experience will be different.
7. Included Soda
Generally speaking, in order to have soda while cruising other lines, you must purchase a soda package or pay for each beverage individually. This added cost is a huge hassle and can be frustrating. On DCL, soda is included, meaning you don’t have to think about soda packages or the à la carte cost. Instead, you can enjoy the occasional sweet drink without worry.
8. Fireworks at Sea
As we all know, Disney knows how to do entertainment right. That’s why it should come as no surprise that DCL is the only cruise line that has fireworks shows at sea. Seeing the fireworks against the dark sky as they reflect off the ocean is an incredible experience, and one you won’t soon forget.
9. Castaway Cay
Perhaps the biggest benefit to sailing with Disney is Castaway Cay (pronounced “Key”). This private island simply couldn’t be any better. Crystal-clear waters, soft white sand, water slides, and bike rentals all make this the perfect vacation day. Tours and other special paid activities add to the fun. Of course, the included (and delicious) food on the island certainly helps as well.
10. Incredible Customer Service
Finally, we must mention the incredible customer service found on the Disney ships. You see, Disney is the best in the business when it comes to taking care of their customers. The service they offer each guest individually is absolutely wonderful. Ever wondered what it would be like to be royalty? Go on a Disney cruise to find out!