Despite today’s age of the mega-ship, the Disney vessels are still among the most spacious ships afloat. Staterooms are 25% larger on average than those found on non-Disney ships. Other unique aspects of the Disney Cruise Line include split bathrooms (in most stateroom categories 10 and up), a cruiser-friendly dining system (different dining rooms, same servers), half a deck designed just for kids (with programs for specific age groups), areas reserved just for adults (pool, restaurant, Cove Café, spa, beach on Castaway Cay, and an entertainment district that’s reserved just for adults after 9:00 pm), a visit to Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island), Disney’s famous characters, and that Disney magic!
Experienced cruisers may miss having a casino or a library aboard. The sentiment of some cruisers seems to be that the Disney Cruise Line offers the best family cruise afloat, but that it lacks enough activities for adults without children. We disagree (especially after several “drydock” upgrades)—we’ve sailed without kids and never lack adult activities. The generous adults-only areas deliver welcome isolation and surpass other “family” cruise lines. Some cruisers have also reported that the Disney Cruise Line is too, well, “Disney.” Let’s face it: If you don’t like Disney, you may not like this cruise either. But these aren’t theme parks. The quality service and elegant surroundings could easily outweigh any negative associations you have with Mickey Mouse. If it helps convince you or a family member to try Disney, Conde-Nast named Disney Cruise Line the Top Large-Ship Line in its 2017 Readers Choice Awards, beating out Cunard, Princess, and Holland America. Cruise Critic named Disney Cruise Line best in 2017 for families and best entertainment. And the Disney Wonder was named the best mid-size ship for entertainment in Cruise Critic's 2018 awards. DCL also received an Editor's Pick award from Parents Magazine in 2018. And Castaway Cay was named the Best Cruise Line Private Island by Cruise Critics for its third consecutive year in 2018.
Safety and cleanliness are a big deal on cruise ships, and all international ships are inspected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on a regular basis. The Disney ships were most recently inspected between July and November 2017. The Magic earned a score of 100%, the Fantasy got a 99, the Wonder got a 96, and the Magic got a 95! To view the latest results, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/vsp.
If you’ve been to the Walt Disney World Resort and wonder how a Disney cruise compares to a Disney resort vacation, it is really quite different. The cruise feels more laid-back yet elegant at the same time. The excitement (and stress) of dashing from attraction to attraction is gone, and you may feel like you’re missing “something” that you can’t identify. On the upside, everything is within walking distance, the food is “free,” and rain isn’t the same party-pooper it is at the theme parks. You’ll take things a bit slower on the cruise (although there’s still plenty to do), all the while feeling pampered by the gorgeous setting and excellent service. Walt Disney World and the Disney cruise do share many perks, however: single key-card access for rooms and purchases, Disney character greetings, and that “red carpet” guest service. Don’t expect to find “Walt Disney World on water.” You’ll discover the Disney Cruise Line has its own unique charm.