Guest Author: Lisa Settle
20. Itineraries! Disney Cruise Line has some of the best itineraries out there: Alaska, Bahamas, Caribbean, Europe, Australia, Panama Canal and Mexico, to name a few, not to mention their own private island, Castaway Cay!
19. Free Soda! Disney Cruise Line supplies their guests with free soda and coffee all day, every day.
18. Activities! Activities aboard the ship include mounds of trivia, both Disney-related and not, shopping in their amazing gift shops, art auctions, modeling, lectures, alcoholtasting, wine pairing dinners and much, much more. Check your personal Navigator which is delivered to your stateroom each evening.
17. The Pools! Well, the larger ships have The Aquaduck which I haven’t experienced yet, but it’s a giant water-slide/raft ride which goes through a clear tube exposing the rider to all sorts of beautiful views of the ocean! The smaller ships have a water slide and a wading pool for the kiddos, as well as, an adults-only pool and an Adults/kids/tweens pool. There are plenty of lounge chairs awaiting your relaxed bod.
16. Disney Cruise Line prices are comparable with mid-priced lines. When you do a search for cruises, the price of a Disney Cruise always reflects TWO guests and isn’t priced per person, like most cruises…so instead of saying $599 for a 7-nt cruise, it’ll say $1198.
15. Fireworks at sea!* They are the first cruise line to offer it and although I am just a big kid and LOVE fireworks, I know your your kids will go nuts over it!
14. Entertainment! You hear Disney songs and a million memories flood your mind. You know the words, the shows are absolutely amazing! The TV’s in the rooms also show Disney movies and TV 24/7, there are great documentaries that you can’t find anywhere else. There seems to be no end to the entertainment options.
13. Behind the Scenes series! There is also a behind the scenes series each cruise where Disney employees speak on their jobs (imagineers/choreographers, etc.). Not only are these lectures extremely interesting, but they give out prizes for Disney Trivia at the end.
12. Pirate Night! Easily better than formal night or any other night. You can dress in costume and most of the ship will share in your piracy. The restaurants will strive to pirate the evening meal for you. There is a Pirate Party and buffet on the pool’s deck or the atrium depending upon weather and itinerary. The Pirate Party is the same night as fireworks..arghhhhh!
11. Wavephones! Wavephones are like walkie-talkies, except you can also use them to text! They get great reception all over the ship, and you can text or call other rooms from them, as well.
10. Staterooms! Most of the staterooms have split bathrooms. One has a bath/shower and a sink and the other has a toilet and a sink. There is a cooler (not a fridge-it’s a fridge on Fantasy/Dream). After many cruises, I felt that the rooms were quite a bit more open and larger than other lines.
9. Food! I feel DCL’s food is exceptional. If you make friends with your waitstaff, you can try to get special orders and such. DCL has a revolving dining system, so you rotate your dinner schedule nightly through three different restaurants, but your dining mates and servers follow you to each one. Animator’s Palate is the one that you don’t want to miss on the first night you are scheduled there. It is so entertaining!!! Triton’s is a bit more fancy, and the food is excellent. Parrot Cay is fun and where we have always had our character breakfast. The food on the “Lido” deck is cool, too. There is a gourmet pizza stand, a healthy food area, an ice-cream stand with ice-cream 24/7, and fast-food with amazing chicken fingers, burgers, fries and dogs.
8. Palo is an Italian-themed, kid-free restaurant choice and an extra $20 per person, but the food is nothing short of amazing. We generally go to two dinners and one brunch per cruise. Totally worth it. I can’t say enough about the service, the food, and the ambience.
7. Crew! They totally LOVE their jobs, and although you will always get the odd grump, most are very outgoing and just want to make your cruise fun, fun, fun!!!
6. Characters! There is a character breakfast, a character tea for the kids and tons of chances to take pics with the various characters around the ship.
5. Photos! When the photographers are taking their pics of you and characters, all you have to do is ask and they will take a photo using YOUR camera!!! Also, IF you decide you want to buy professional pics, you can get ALL or SOME of your pics in a package where they give them to you on a CD with the rights so you can just get them printed off once you get home!
4. Movies! Disney owns an awful lot of films, even films they distribute like “Lincoln.” They show these movies around the ship. Some are 3D, but they are all free (u just pay for snacks if you want them).
3.BYOB If you can bring it in your carry-on luggage, though, you can bring it aboard. My husband is a home-brewer and loves to bring his own beer.
2. Adult time! Yes, Disney is certainly kid-friendly, but adults have a blast too (Ken and I have no kids). There is an adults-only pool area, the spa is adults only, there are a few empty deck areas 7 and 8 Aft on Wonder and Magic (different on Fantasy and Dream). If you go to Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island), there are adults-only beaches with private cabanas.
1. Kid Time! Kids get their own clubs (check out Disney Cruise Line’s websites for the details), but they get to be in activities all day and evening and it’s totally free (except for nursery care). They even have a counselor take the kids after they eat so you can enjoy the rest of the meal in peace. They can bring a pillow-case, take it to guest services the first day and all the characters will sign it for them.
* Fireworks are not available on Alaska Sailings.