In our latest ‘Which Cruise Liner is For Me’ series we looked at Disney Cruise Line. Want to find out more? Read our previous review of the Disney Magic.
Are you planning a Disney Cruise? Here are some items you may like.
Disney is unique to other cruise liners with a small fleet of just four ships.
The Magic Class
The Disney Wonder and Magic are the smallest ships in the fleet holding around 1700 people. These were built in the late 90’s but have been refreshed in the previous few years.
They are small intimate ships with an Art Deco theme on the Disney Magic and an Art Nouveau theme aboard the Disney Wonder.
Both ships are packed with features such as large outdoor screens, indoor cinemas, water slides and impeccably themed dining rooms and an abundance of entertainment.
The Walt Disney Theater showcases exclusive Broadway style Disney shows with ’Tangled: The Musical’ on the Disney Magic and ‘Frozen: The Musical’ on the Disney Wonder.
The Disney Magic has the high intensity “Aqua Dunk” water slide retrofitted in 2013 and both the ships feature more traditional water slides for younger travelers.
It’s not all about the kids however. There is an adult only area at the front of the ships. During the day, the adult’s area features live acoustic music to help you relax under the sun.
It’s easy to experience everything on-board these smaller ships along with getting to know the crew and other passengers.
Both ships have only one specialty extra charge restaurant on board ‘Palo’ offering delicious Italian style brunches and Dinners. Palo is adults only.
The Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy are the newer and larger ships in the fleet holding up to 4000 passengers. They were built in 2011 and 2012.
They both feature the Aqua Duct “water coaster” which wraps around the ships and smaller slides for younger kids.
The adults only areas are extensive with waterfalls and hot tubs away from the chaos of the family pool.
These ships are filled with digital art and unique touches such as a digital “porthole” screen in inside cabins offering and outside view with a Disney twist!
These ships also offer the ‘Remy’ Specialty dining restaurant along specialising in French cuisine alongside ‘Palo’. Both restaurants are for adults only.
The two larger ships the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream are frequently on shorter Caribbean itineraries.
The Disney Magic and Disney Wonder offer more unique itineraries. During the summer months, The Disney Magic sails to Europe while the Disney Wonder sails to Alaska, the Panama Canal and the West Coast of the USA.
Disney own their own island in the Bahamas – Castaway Cay – an idyllic island with lush surroundings and crystal blue beaches.
The island has plenty of facilities including pristine beaches, an Adults only beach, an at sea jungle gym and if you are feeling fit a 5K run.
Other activities available for an extra charge include snorkeling, bike rentals, cabana Rentals and spa treatments.
Food on the island includes delicious BBQ which is included in the price of your cruise.
Disney offers set dining times. Each ship has 3 main dining rooms which you rotate through every evening but keep your same servers – it’s a nice touch.
You begin to bond with your servers and by the end of the cruise they feel like friends. The servers will learn what you like and what you don’t like quickly.
The quality of food is outstanding. The best we have experienced in a main dining room. Menus are packed with themed foods and a varied selection. Each plate is like a performance!
The dining rooms themselves are themed with shows and activities taking place while you eat. Each ship has the amazing “Animator’s Palate” where your drawings come to life plus two other uniquely themed restaurants.
During your meals, you can expect to have live performances and appearances by Disney characters and even the servers sometimes get in on the action!
There is usually one formal and one semi-formal night per each 7-day cruise and this is usually adhered too.
The buffet on-board offers breakfast and lunch plus there are several snack venues around the ships.
You can also choose to dine in the buffet on an evening for a sit-down meal without any reservations or extra charge.
There are at least one adults only specialty dining restaurant on each of the ships for a high-quality cannery experience.
Entertainment & Kids Clubs
There’s lots of entertainment on offer from pub quizzes, game shows, cooking demonstrations, on-board cinema and Disney themed shows in the Walt Disney Theater. There’s also live music around the ship a disco or karaoke happening in the nightclub on an evening!
Families have a dedicated venue offering family friendly entertainment while adults have the After Hours area offering adults only nightclubs, bars and entertainment.
There is an extensive spa and gym on board the ships.
For adults, there are wine, whiskey and cocktail tasting sessions available for an extra fee.
Occasionally depending on your cruise, you can also attend free cooking demonstrations and ship tours.
There’s a large outdoor screen showing movies and Disney programming throughout the day and into the night where you can cosy up under a blanket provided by the crew.
The the indoor 3D “Buena Vista Theatre” Cinema shows the latest releases and some movies yet to be released on land all included in the price.
The Walt Disney Theater hosts nightly Broadway Style shows as well as visiting acts. The shows are award winning and you can expect three different shows on each ship.
There is always something going on, you will not be bored, a lot of thought and effort is put into the entertainment.
The children’s clubs, as expected, are the industry leader with something for children of all ages.
The younger children are entertained all day in the incredibly themed and interactive children’s clubs while teenagers have their own lounges to hang in.
There’s a themed Pirate Night on each cruise with a large outdoor party, show and fireworks taking place on deck. Everyone dresses up and you end the night with a desert party in the buffet.
Throughout the year Disney also offer themed sailings such as Star Wars and Halloween sailings.
Disney offer everything from inside cabins, sea view cabins, cabins with a veranda and suites. Concierge service cabins are also available.
The staterooms are very tastefully decorated and designed with family’s in mind. They are well appointed with ample storage, split bathroom and toilets and comfortable beds. All the staterooms are family sized.
The little touches of Disney theming are lovely and not over the top.
What’s included/not included
The main dining rooms, room service, the buffet and snack locations are all included in the price. We do suggest a dollar tip for each plate ordered for room service.
Fountain soda, soft serve ice cream and coffee from the buffet is also included in the price.
Soda purchased from the bars is an extra cost and coffee from the Cove Café is also an extra cost.
The ‘Palo’ and ‘Ramie’ restaurants cost from around $30-$55 for brunch to $30-$85 for dinner.
Alcohol is also an extra cost with a 15 percent gratuity added to the bill. There are no Drinks packages available. The drinks prices are in line with other cruise lines.
Entertainment and kid’s clubs are included in the price of your cruise.
There is an on-board nursery that is an extra charge per hour.
Excursions and gratuities are extra too. Gratuities at the time of filming cost around $12 per person per night.
Use of the spa is also extra but the Gym and Saunas are free to use.
Some actives such as drinks tasting are also an extra cost.
Who is on-board.
Most passengers are families which is unsurprising.
You will find plenty of couples without children and solo travelers particularly those who are fans of Disney. They enjoy the underused adult areas and the enhanced food offerings on-board.
Longer sailings such as the Transatlantic have significantly less family’s and are mainly adult groups, couples and solo travelers.
Disney Cruise Line is popular with Honeymooners and offers ceremonies at sea.
If you or anyone in your family is a Disney fan, this is for you.
Have you cruised on Disney Cruise Line?
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