We had always wanted to take a Disney cruise and now that we have, just like with any Disney vacation, we are ready to take another one. The food, entertainment, shopping and sun make a Disney cruise the perfect vacation for families of all sizes. There are so many things to love about taking a Disney cruise that making a list was difficult, but here are our top things to love about cruising with Disney.
Being trapped on a cruise ship with 4,000 strangers made me very nervous. One of the first things you will notice about the ship is how many hand sanitizing stations are around. Before entering any food service area, we were met with cast members handing out sanitizer wipes. When you leave the ship for any port excursions, you are also given warm towels to wipe down hands and faces before boarding the ship and you pass a sanitizer dispenser. Lastly, if you have kids who spend time in the children’s area, they have a hand washing station as soon as they are checked in and out. I know you can’t prevent everything, but it’s nice to see that Disney is trying.
6. On-Board Entertainment
If you love being busy every minute of the day, then there will be plenty to keep you busy while on the ship. Disney has some great Broadway style shows every night that appeal to almost anyone. They also have current movies showing on board, some even in 3D. You won’t even have to go without the popcorn because Disney has that covered too. For just the adults in your party you can take a wine-tasting class or dance lesson, along with other over 21 activities. The ships also have an arcade, dance clubs (some that even have family dance times), and putt-putt. Of course, what everyone loves about Disney cruises are the pools and deck parties. We immediately got to the pool and in line to ride “Aqua Duck”, the waterslide that curves out over the edge of the ship. It was a lot of fun! Disney has some great deck parties also including the very popular pirate night themed party and fireworks shows. You probably won’t be able to do everything, so plan your days around what’s most important.
5. Kid’s Club
Most people don’t plan a family vacation to spend time apart, at least we don’t. So I hadn’t even looked into the kid’s only options on the ship. Once we got there and a welcome house was offered to look at the kid’s area, my kids were ready to dump us. Disney has all kids covered from infant to teenager. The clubs are divided by ages and the activities in each area are planned accordingly. They even get visits from characters!! What we loved about it was that the Disney cruise ships are also equipped with on board cell phones. They are in your room upon check in and can be used for free while on the boat or on shore at Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island). We gave it to our pre-teen and while he was with his group, he could reach us anytime. We found that anytime we had down-time, our boys were begging to go back to the kid’s club. We loved how much thought Disney had put into planning those activities for the kids.
4. Cast Members
While I think most cast members at Disney do a great job, we really felt like the ones on the ship were in a class of their own. We had the same waiters and room attendants every day of our cruise. The waiters moved with us each night to the different restaurants and always knew what my kids wanted to drink, gave them puzzles to solve and kept them laughing. They were so attentive to what we needed and how we liked things, that it was almost like dining with friends. Our room attendant always greeted us by name, including the kids, left surprises in our rooms and were so respectful. The cast members we encountered on other parts of the ship and on Castaway Cay were as equally friendly. It made the cruise enjoyable to have such great, personal service.
Whenever we were telling the boys about the cruise, it seemed what excited them the most was the thought of 24 hour pizza and ice cream. That really was just the tip of the iceberg (no Titanic-iceberg-cruise ship pun intended). The Disney cruise ships have food for any mood that may strike. They also have a variety of dining types too. If you want a casual meal or a formal dinner or an adult only outing, you can find all of that aboard. After you think you couldn’t possibly want anything else, they bring out a late-night buffet. If you are exhausted from the excursion on shore, order room service. It’s all included in your cost, so eat up.
One thing I was excited about when going on the cruise was the chance we would have to see characters. Disney didn’t disappoint. Now if you think you will walk up to see a character and not wait in line, please change those expectations. There are still lines, but they move pretty fast and there are multiple characters out in different parts of the boat, so there are many chances to catch them. Most of the characters will dress according a theme or holiday. They have princesses, pirates and all the classics. We also were able to snap some pics with characters on shore at Castaway Cay. Only on a Disney cruise can you pose with Donald Duck in the Bahamas.
1. Castaway Cay
I know not every Disney cruise makes a stop here, but if you can, try to make this stop at least once. It is amazing! We would have been content to just stay at this island for days. The water is so clear and calm. The ship is able to dock right on the island and the food is delish. There are different activities on shore you can take part in at an additional cost, like snorkeling or paddle boat rentals. You can also rent floats for the day. We were content to find some chairs (which there is plenty of), an umbrella and watch our boys enjoy the warm water. Lunch is served in a few different places and is an all you can eat buffet. The cookies and ice cream are especially yummy on a warm day. They have plenty of lifeguards in and around the beach; as well as the water slides and water obstacle courses. They also have shuttles to take you back to the boat after your day in the sun. Castaway Cay was the highlight of our trip and I’m sure if you make a stop there, you will love it too.
Disney cruising is a must for any Disney loving family. Once you get aboard, sit back and enjoy. We loved our cruise so much we are already looking forward to our next one. Happy Sailing!