Is a Disney Cruise worth it?

Is A Disney Cruise worth it? 9 Reasons Why I Love It

Is A Disney cruise worth it? Yes!

Embark on a magical journey with our family travel blog as we set sail into the enchanting world of Disney Cruises! Discover the perfect blend of luxury, entertainment, and family fun as we share our firsthand experiences navigating the high seas with Mickey and their friends. See why we believe a Disney cruise is worth it based on our recent experience.

We’ve always wanted to try a Disney cruise but were weary due to the cost, as I’m sure many of you are. I am excited to share our personal experience with you!

From whimsical character encounters to Broadway-caliber shows, Disney Cruises offers an unparalleled vacation for families seeking relaxation and adventure. Our blog will delve into the diverse array of onboard activities, delectable dining options, and picturesque destinations that make Disney Cruises an unforgettable experience. We share our favorite memories from our recent trip with family and friends to the Caribbean. 

Whether you’re a seasoned cruiser or a first-timer, join us as we explore why these voyages are worth every penny, creating lasting memories for every family member. Get ready to set sail on a sea of dreams with Disney magic guiding the way!

The crew creates towel animals every night for the kids

Cruise Supplies

9 Reasons Why I Love a Disney Cruise 

We recently embarked on our first experience with the Disney Cruise Line. We have friends who swear by it, so we decided to give it a try during our winter break with the kids, my mom and several friends. Our trip was a 5 night journey on the Dream with stops at Castaway Cay, Grand Caymans and two days at sea. It was the perfect trip for our first time. Now, I can’t wait to try a seven night trip in the Caribbean and an Alaskan cruise.

Considering why our family loves Disney cruises isn’t tough, so here are a handful of our favorite things.

Disney Dream

1. Disney Character Meet

I always love meeting the characters at Disney parks with my kids, but sometimes it can be very time-intensive. Either you are waiting in long lines, booking an expensive character meal, or trekking across the park to meet Elsa or Daisy at a specific spot. My older boys are getting past the age where they enjoy this, so we would have split as a family since my daughter still loves the Disney characters. 

On a cruise, the characters rotate throughout the day and make several appearances throughout the trip. So, if you miss them in one day, there’s a high likelihood of another opportunity to see Mickey Mouse or Minnie.

meeting characters easily makes a Disney Cruise worth it

You have limited time to soak up everything at the parks, so you may miss out on a favorite ride to see a specific character. On a cruise, you don’t feel the same pressure to see your favorite characters because it may be your only chance to do it. Also, many characters are available before meals when your kids are dressed for the night instead of a wet bathing suit. 

2. Live Performances 

I don’t know about you, but I grew up watching Disney movies. As a mom of three, I’ve made sure my kids have watched the classics and some of the newer movies. I inherited my love for Disney movies from my mom, who accompanied us on the cruise. We made sure to watch as many live performances as possible. 

The shows vary in topic, so there’s truly something for everyone. We loved the Golden Mickey’s show, as it highlighted some of our all-time favorites. My daughter loves Beauty and the Beast, so we made sure to see that show- it was outstanding.

Golden Mickey's show on a Disney cruise

One night, the show branched out from traditional Disney classics with a comedian. The kids loved him and were in fits of laughter throughout the show. The comedian also hosted an adult-only show later in the night that was hilarious. 

The live shows increase the value of the Disney cruise as they would cost a lot if you saw them back home on the stage of a local theater. Live entertainment is one of the many reasons a cruise with the mouse is worth the cost. 

3. Disney’s Private Island 

Disney's Castaway Cay

One of my favorite memories was our day at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas. With a full day to explore the island, there’s plenty to do for all ages, and the kids club is available, too!

The island is full of that classic Disney magic with character sightings and great customer service from the cast. If you don’t want to walk, a tram runs through the island. There’s a delicious meal of BBQ, sides, and dessert for all the enjoy and specialty cocktails to purchase. 

Castaway Cay

On the beach, there’s an abundance of free beach chaise lounge chairs and plenty of life jackets in all sizes. The beach water is that beautiful turquoise blue. Kids play in the sand, swim, or enjoy free activities such as a water slide or playset in the middle of the water. It is a little kid’s dream day on the water. 

We purchased a package that included a raft, snorkel equipment, and a bike rental for each family member. All, especially the adults, enjoyed the rafts as we watched the kids play on the playset in the water.  

With our older kids, we rode bikes around the island. All of the kids enjoyed snorkeling, even my five-year-old. She strapped on her life jacket and followed the big kids, trying to find all the sunken treasures. I am glad we purchased the package, but I would probably skip on the bikes in the future as there’s so much to do in the water. 

biking on Castway Cay

We loved our time on the island so much we didn’t want to leave. We were one of the last groups to board the ship at the end of the day! My kids would love a cruise option with two days on the private island. 

Disney recently opened a second private island,  Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point, highlighting the Bahamas’ natural beauty. 

4. Kids Club

Kid clubs are a unique feature of cruises. You can check your kids in and have some quiet, relaxing time alone with your significant other or friends.  The security at Disney’s clubs is top-notch. You have to register your child before they can even set foot in the club, and there are tight measures to check your kids out. They have pictures of all adults who can check in and check out your young children. 

If your child is having trouble or is ready to go, you will receive a message through your Disney messaging service that your little one wants to be checked out or needs a new pair of clothes. 

Disney Dream

There are several different types of youth clubs. There’s a small world nursery for little ones (babies-toddler). The line for the nursery was always packed when we walked by, so it is frequently used. The Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab are for children ages 3-12. 

Edge is for tweens, and your middle schoolers can check themselves out and in. Our oldest wasn’t quite old enough, but he wanted to try it, so we were able to sign a waiver that let him in. He honestly loved it more than the younger two did in Oceaneer Lab.

water slide for older kids

5. Meals

There are several dining options for guests during your trip. You can have room service at any point, which was helpful for our youngest two. Typically, we ate breakfast and lunch at the buffet because there were so many offerings, so everyone in the family could easily find something we loved. I also appreciated all the fresh fruit and salads for lunch too.

Sometimes, we grab snacks or meals from the quick service line, which mainly offers sandwiches, burgers, pizza, pre-made salads, and fries. This was ideal on the day we embarked, as the kids were eager to start swimming and enjoying the water slide. We ate a quick meal before they took off. 

one of the rotational restaurants for dinner on the cruise

The quick service was also ideal on the afternoon of Grand Cayman excursions. We were starving when we returned to the boat, so quick service was a lifesaver. We had meals within a matter of minutes. There are also unlimited soft drinks for guests if you love Diet Coke like I do. 

As for dinner, we always opted for the sit-down rotational dinner. We went with the late seating. This is the best for several reasons. The 5:45 pm dinner service cuts your day on the boat early. We found 4-5:30 to be the golden hour for the pool and water slides since so many families ate. We took advantage of the short water slide lines before preparing for dinner.

dinner makes a Disney Cruise worth it

The 8 pm dinner was a little late for my five-year-old, so we found ways to make it work. Once we ordered room service while we go ready. However, our waiters were amazing, and once they learned her order, it came in minutes. She always had her food first to avoid a meltdown. Once she ate, she curled up in my lap and fell asleep. I couldn’t believe our luck!

The nightly dinner operates as rotational dining so that you can experience several restaurants with the same servers and tables each night. Each meal comes with an appetizer, main dish, and dessert. If you are unsure, they let you try several items! We really experimented with all the delicious appetizers each night as you can see below.

appetizers on the cruise

The cruise also offers premium meals for an additional cost. We didn’t opt in for these meals, but I have had friends enjoy that experience. 

Traveling with young kids, especially picky ones, can be difficult. Disney Cruises takes all the stress out of it by offering delicious, quick, and easy food. Plus, you can eat a Mickey Mouse ice cream bar every day!

Mickey Mouse Ice cream bar

Need some help determining the best seating for your family? Check out my guide on the pros and cons of early & late seating.

6. Unlimited Ice Cream

Yes, you read that correctly. On Disney cruise ships, there is unlimited soft-service ice cream. Guests of all ages can grab a cone, fill it as high as they would like, and then return for another one. My younger two kids thought this was the best part of the cruise!

unlimited ice cream for all guests

7. Pirate Night

Pirate Night was an unexpected joy of the cruise. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I bought the outfits and supplies so we would be ready. I’m so glad we decided to participate!

We had late dining, so we headed over to the pool deck for a festive celebration before dinner. The crew made an exciting show enjoyable for all ages, and most guests were in costumes, participating in the festivities. After dinner, there was a fantastic fireworks show for all to enjoy. It is truly a unique Disney experience at no additional cost. 

Pirate night makes a Disney cruise worth it

FYI- our cruise didn’t initially plan a pirate night; it was added later. Check to make sure before you leave so you are ready for the celebration.

Here are the supplies and outfits we purchased for Pirate Night.

8. Water Slides & Pools

Disney pool deck

The cruise line offers several pools and water slides depending on age. There are several adult-only pools with bar service. These pools are tranquil and relaxing. We sent the kids to the kid’s clubs for a few hours and enjoyed adult time with cocktails. 

There’s something on the main pool deck for every kid’s age range. Also, there’s splash pads for toddlers and young children and a water slide geared at younger ones. There are two pools on the main deck under the watchful supervision of lifeguards. There’s also an abundance of life jackets if needed. 

Nemo's Reef is the toddler splash pad

For older kids, there are small hot tubs and an exciting water slide. Even younger kids can go on it if accompanied by a teenager or adult. All three of my kids and the adults in the group loved the water slide. 

On the pool deck, chairs are abundant for the adults, and access to the quick service food, ice cream counter, and soft drink machines. All day, they play movies, so you can relax at the pool deck and watch a classic Disney movie. Our kids had so much fun on the pool deck, which made the Disney cruise worth it for our family.

Water slide for toddlers

9. Customer Service

I won’t lie- Disney Cruises are pricer than Carnival or Royal Caribbean. However, I do believe you get what you pay for. On our cruise, we had exceptional service from the moment we set foot on the ship from the crew members. We had a small issue with my mom’s account, which was quickly resolved. She also had some trouble with her door jamming. The crew assigned to her hallway went out of their way to help her and checked on her throughout the trip. 

Our server quickly learned our favorite drink orders at dinner and had the kids’ drinks on the table before we sat down or within a few minutes of sitting. They entertained the kids and gave parting gifts on the last night. The Disney Way is exceptional and makes a Disney cruise worth it. We can’t wait to book our next trip- it’s all my kids talk about, especially my youngest.

General Tips

easy to meet characters make a Disney cruise worth it
  • If you are on Facebook, check to see if there’s a page for your specific cruise. A devoted Disney fan with lots of experience made a page for all guests to join. I found it to be so helpful in learning the ins & outs of cruising with the mouse.
  • The gift shops are pricey, so I have two suggestions. Either bring gift cards ahead of time or pack Disney-themed gifts to give your kids each day. Our cruise was in February, so my kids received a gift card for Christmas from their grandparents. It was perfect because they could pick something out without breaking the bank. 
  • Pack small laundry pods to watch dirty clothes if needed. My mom purchased a few from the dollar store before we left, and it came in handy when traveling with 6 people.
  • Book early to ensure the room you want! The same is true of excursions and activities. We waited awhile to book activities since it was our first time, and when we finally went to book excursions, all the popular ones were gone.
  • Look on Viator for excursions that are generally cheaper than Disney. We booked a tour on Viator in the Grand Cayman and had a terrific time with friendly guides. Our tour included snorkeling, a stop at Stingray City, and a stop at Starfish Point. I highly recommend this tour and would book it again.

Book a 3-stop excursion in Grand Cayman NOW by clicking HERE!

Grand Cayman excurison

FAQ: Cruising with Disney

What’s the best age for a Disney Cruise?

Any age! We seriously saw kids of all ages, including couples with no children. As a fair warning, kids must be pottery trained to go into the pools. Little ones can still use the splash pad. I’m glad we waited until our youngest was five, personally.

What is so special about a Disney Cruise?

A Cruise captures the magic of Disney at a slower pace. You enjoy a magical experience without the rat race of the Disney Theme parks, where you are constantly hustling to get to the next ride or book your next ride.

Adult areas make a Disney cruise worth it

What is free or included in the price of the cruise?

All meals, soft drinks, nightly shows, room service, ice cream, kids clubs, pool deck activities like basketball and putt-putt golf, and pirate night are included. 

What is not included in the price of the cruise?

Alcoholic beverages, shore excursions, and specialty treats are not included in the gift shop. In addition, the cruise offers classes and experiences such as Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique that come at an additional class. For example, my friend and I participated in a cocktail mixing course that cost $40. We had a great time and made numerous drinks, which was worth the extra cost. 

What are the Disney Cruise ships?

Disney Magic, Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Wonder and Disney Wish

Our cruise was five days on the Disney Dream. 

In Conclusion: Is A Disney Cruise worth it?

In conclusion, the Disney Cruise experience isn’t just a vacation; it’s a journey into a realm of unparalleled joy and togetherness. As our family fondly remembers our trip, our daughter asks when are we going back on the Disney cruise ship, and the countless magical moments linger in our hearts. So, if you wonder, is a Disney Cruise worth it? Our family resoundingly says yes!

 If you’re contemplating the perfect family getaway, let the waves of excitement and the enchantment of Disney Cruises carry you to a world where dreams come true. Embark on a voyage of a lifetime and discover why the Disney Cruise experience is truly priceless.

⭐Disney Resources⭐
Is a Disney Cruise worth it?
Best Ages for a Disney Cruise
My Guide On Disney’s Rotational Dining
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on a Disney Cruise
Best Shoes for Disney for Families
Best Disney Shoes for Women

Picture credits: M.Huie and M. Mattson