The best and worst of a Disney cruise?

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This topic contains 25 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  jamiedawn27 1 month ago.

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  • #109883

    Disneydana
    6 XP

    I’ve recently gone on my first cruise which has already led to going on 3 in the last 8 months lol. I’ve only tried Carnival and Norwegian so far. I’m hoping to do Royal Caribbean one day and then the Mack Daddy….DISNEY! My problem is that I don’t have kids, nor do I really care to be around other people’s. I’m better than I used to be with the arrival of my niece, but still not my ideal situation. Carnival had a fair amount of kids and Norwegian was a booze cruise apparently and had only a handful, but I KNOW Disney will be loaded. Is it the same or worse than the theme parks? Will it be like being trapped in a zoo? What are the pros and cons of a Disney cruise. For me, I’m having a really hard time justifying the price tag. I could go on 3 cruises for the price of one interior room on a Disney ship. What cruise line is your go to? Ready, Set, Discuss!!!

    #109900

    85glht
    13 XP

    Disney is our “Go to”. We have been on 18 cruises total with 8 of them on Disney. Princess cruise line is our second choice… food is the best that we have experienced with Princess a close 2nd.
    We don’t have kids and this is no problem for us. There are adult only areas on board and an adult only beach at Castaway Cay. We don’t even go to the adult only beach cause it is a little too quite. We don’t mind a little hustle and bustle and “camp out” just within earshot of the beach DJ. The kids on the ship have their own areas also. They are so busy there that most kids aren’t just running amok around the ship, they are busy doing activities with their respective councilors.

    I get the cost concerns and it has deterred many people from sailing Disney. Is it worth it?…. it’s all in how you look at it. For us, if the food sucked, we would not sail with Disney. Oh and the service is as one would expect from Disney… with princess a very close 2nd.

    #109902

    tkeon200
    5 XP

    IT IS WORTH THE PRICE!!!

    I have been on three Disney cruises with my wife and we were without kids each time. Each time we traveled, though, we were with friends/family that did have little kids. There are A TON of kids on board the ship, but my wife and I love children so it did not bother us at all.

    I have not personally been on another cruise line, but my friends/family have all said that the service on board DCL is unparalleled. They say that Royal Caribbean is the only one that comes close to matching their experience. On DCL, you make connections with the cast members on board the ship as you see them every single day without fail. Your dinner servers travel with you each night to a different restaurant, so they get to know your preferences. My friend who has special dietary needs said the chef would come to his table every night and personally take his order (on or off menu). The bartenders/servers at each outlet are always the same, too, so they know what you like to drink and have it ready for you the same way every time. I loved going to the Skyline lounge every night before dinner for a drink and chatting with the bartender.

    There will be a ton of children on board the ship…just like the parks. There is no way to COMPLETELY escape kids, but there are plenty of options to avoid feeling completely surrounded by children every second of the day. DCL has done a good job of creating adult-only sections. With the exception of the night-club area (get to that in a second), I found them to have surprisingly a good amount of people there, especially the upper deck area during the day. Kids love going to the kids-only clubs which allows the parents to enjoy their alone time in the adult-only areas. On Castaway Cay, there is an adult-only section as well, but I have never been to that area. I suggest choosing the 8PM dinner seating because most families with little kids will likely want the 5PM dinner seating. You can also pay for a fine dining restaurant experience which is exclusive for adults. You also have the spa area as a place to escape.

    As for the night-life, do not expect anything crazy and exciting. I would say 95% of the adults on board are in bed with their kids by 10:00pm. I can’t remember a true night club experience on the ship.

    Regarding the price tag, I understand that the difference gets a little evened-out in the end since all your food (with the exception of the per person charge for a fine-dining dinner) are included with your trip. Non-alcoholic beverages at fountain machines are available at no additional cost, as well. There is no per diem cost for certain dining packages like I’ve heard other cruise lines offer. I was able to bring a couple bottles of wine on board, but their policy may have changed on that.

    We have done the 3-Day, 4-Day and 7-Day cruises aboard Wonder, Magic and Fantasy respectively. The 3 & 4-Day cruises were WAY too short to experience everything the ships have to offer. There are just a ton of activities throughout each day in order to experience everything you want to enjoy. From Karaoke, Trivia, BINGO, Game shows, Magic shows, Movies at the pool, etc. There will always be overlapping events, coupled with the fact that you just want to relax with a margarita at the pool for a few hours. The evening stage shows (before or after your dinner depending on your seating time) are really well-done, as well.

    My wife and I now have two little girls and I am desperately trying to find a way to afford a Disney cruise vacation with them. I just know they will have the time of their lives. I am sure you will, as well. I am very jealous. I hope this helps.

    #109909

    starbee
    329 XP
    SUPPORTER
    MOD

    One thing that may help is the time of year. If you were to cruise during Spring Break, Christmas or summer vacation, expect there to be a lot more kids. An off-peak time when kids are in school would help. I know September is such a time and the prices are generally lower or they offer specials because a lot of people don’t want to travel in September due to the risk of hurricanes.

    #109914

    Disneydana
    6 XP

    Oh my gosh you guys are making me excited! What awesome descriptions! You’ve got me wanting to make it happen now! I guess my main concern was feeling like I was sailing on the S.S. Hollywood & Vine LOL I pictured all of the restaurants having corn and french fries all over the carpet. :D I’m all about the food on a cruise as well, and it sounds like Disney has that covered. Carnival had pretty bad food, and Norwegian was a big step above. I like the idea of your servers following you around. I hate how the other cruise lines add your gratuities per person onto your bill and you have no idea who they are going to. The only person we ever see twice is our cabin steward so we tend to want to leave him cash so that it doesn’t get split up with a bunch of people we may have only ever saw once. What does Disney do about tipping? Can you bring cash or does it all have to go on your card and they TELL you how much you HAVE to leave? I’m going to add Princess to my list of lines to try as well. I’m not a night owl in the least and typically I am back in my room by 8 or 9 when I’m on a cruise. I don’t know why exactly, but it seems like I’m exhausted by then and can’t wait to lay down. Oh yeah, how are the staterooms on Disney? And most importantly, the sound in between the cabins? I’ve never had any problems with noise on a ship but with so many kids I wonder if it’s really easy to hear through the walls? Sorry for all the questions but I just like to have conversations in the threads. lol I’m a discusser and a debater an opinionated to a fault. A lot of times people misunderstand my enjoyment of conversation and differing opinions as “troublemaking” but I promise, my tone is always one of us sitting on a couch with coffee, never angry lol. I just get excited haha.

    #109926

    tkeon200
    5 XP

    The staterooms are very comfortable and my understanding is they offer some of the largest staterooms at sea. I don’t recall noise being a problem at all. I’ve been in inside, veranda and concierge suite. I like veranda best – especially for a week long cruise. It gives you yet another quiet kid-free space and in-room dining is free so it’s nice to have a meal or drink on patio. That said, they do a nice job of keeping inside staterooms from feeling claustrophobic with digital windows.
    As for tipping, on the last day of the cruise they leave the names of your regular cast members (I believe 3: stateroom host, server and server assistant) and suggested amounts but you can write the amount you want and drop it off in lobby (this may have changed).
    Dining rooms (and entire ship) are very clean. No fries or beach towels strewn about. Staff are constantly cleaning up.


    #109943

    Disneydana
    6 XP

    The staterooms are very comfortable and my understanding is they offer some of the largest staterooms at sea. I don’t recall noise being a problem at all. I’ve been in inside, veranda and concierge suite. I like veranda best – especially for a week long cruise. It gives you yet another quiet kid-free space and in-room dining is free so it’s nice to have a meal or drink on patio. That said, they do a nice job of keeping inside staterooms from feeling claustrophobic with digital windows.
    As for tipping, on the last day of the cruise they leave the names of your regular cast members (I believe 3: stateroom host, server and server assistant) and suggested amounts but you can write the amount you want and drop it off in lobby (this may have changed).
    Dining rooms (and entire ship) are very clean. No fries or beach towels strewn about. Staff are constantly cleaning up.

    I like how they do the tips and let you know who is who. I have hated that you have no clue where your money is going on the ships that I’ve been on. I don’t think my cabin steward should have to share with the bartender that I saw once. I’d want to tip accordingly to each area if possible. They don’t make it easy on the regular ships. It’s funny the image you get in your head about something. There was a lone french fry laying on the stairs heading towards our room on this last ship for a couple of days so we dubbed it French Fry Alley.

    All that being said, I’m not so sure about another cruise at all. I just got back last Monday, and here I sit with what feels like Bronchitis….again! My first cruise I was already suffering with the tail end of a hacking cough, the second one I came down with the flu that turned into bronchitis on day 3 out of 5 and have never in my life been so sick! Now I get back and 3 days later I’m coughing my head off and wheezing with the same crackle in my chest as before. I tell ya, because of how sick I got last time, I was like a mad woman with the hand sanitizer and letting them squirt my hands at every turn! My hands were peeling by the time we got back. We clorox wiped down the cabin when we arrived. I don’t think I could’ve been any more vigilant. :angry: I’m starting to get paranoid about travel because of this. I’m going back to Paris in November and I seriously would die if I got sick on the plane going over. I know they have those doctors masks but can you imagine trying to breath through that for a 9 hour flight? ugh It’s weird because I don’t feel like being on a ship with sick people would be any different than staying in a hotel or going to the mall with them? Why does it seem like ships breed sickness? There’s so much open space. I go to buffets all the time here at home and don’t end up sick all the time. It’s strange.

    #109961

    dngnb8
    62 XP
    SUPPORTER
    CONTRIBUTOR

    Disney Cruises far outweigh others. Food it without equal. Cabins are comfortable. The two bathrooms were huge for us. The ship is sectional so you can minimize kids impact if this is a problem. Theater, Movies, Nightclubs, Special Events. Castaway Cay is like the ship. You can be in adult only area, or mixed.

    I believe minimum, 4 days. If you can at all afford the time and money, I suggest 6 days at WDW followed by a 4-7 day cruise. The parks exhaust you, the cruise rejuvenates you.

    #109978

    kcboston
    156 XP
    SUPPORTER

    I just went on a 7 night cruise at the end of February. There are lots of activities and things you can do if you don’t want to be swarmed with kids. My daughter and I went with another family we know, and the kids were either busy in the rooms or the kids clubs the whole time. That allowed us to spend a lot of time doing adults only activities like bar trivia, crafts, walking or running on the track, and drink/mixology classes. We also spent some time at the adults only pool (by spent time I mean I went in the water for a few minutes, had a drink, and took a nap on a lounge chair).

    I’m a little bit of an early bird, so my favorite part of the day was waking up early (usually around 6), I’d go for a run on the track, and then head up to the outdoor area at Cabanas. Most mornings they weren’t serving food yet, so I’d grab a coffee at the drink station near the pool, and find a table outside. Most of the days I was the only person out there, or with one other person. I’d sip coffee and watch the sunrise until they opened up some of the food. Once the rest of the boat started to wake up and fill in around me, I’d head back to my room and shower and start my day.

    #109998

    85glht
    13 XP

    Disney Cruises far outweigh others. Food it without equal. Cabins are comfortable. The two bathrooms were huge for us. The ship is sectional so you can minimize kids impact if this is a problem. Theater, Movies, Nightclubs, Special Events. Castaway Cay is like the ship. You can be in adult only area, or mixed.
    I believe minimum, 4 days. If you can at all afford the time and money, I suggest 6 days at WDW followed by a 4-7 day cruise. The parks exhaust you, the cruise rejuvenates you.

    I have to disagree with you on cruising last and here is why… disembarkation day… although Disney has this down pretty good, it is still stressful. My wife and I prefer to do the parks after a cruise. As everyone is going home, we are tagging our bags to go to the resorts. To each his/her own :)

    #110004

    cdolan1990
    458 XP
    SUPPORTER

    I was really into the idea of going on a Disney cruise for our Honeymoon (after a stop at WDW ofcourse) but i’d currently been looking at a 7-10 day cruise around the Caribbean for £1000-1200 ($1300 – 1550)each with Royal Caribbean (a CL i’ve been with lots before around the Mediterranean), but when i priced up the Disney cruised they where around £3000 ($3900) each for just 5-7 days, a premium i just can not afford unfortunately. I understand that as soon as you stick mickey mouse ears on it, the price will be higher but the difference is just something that just seems crazy! Am i missing something here or are they normally that high?

    #110016

    starbee
    329 XP
    SUPPORTER
    MOD

    I was really into the idea of going on a Disney cruise for our Honeymoon (after a stop at WDW ofcourse) but i’d currently been looking at a 7-10 day cruise around the Caribbean for £1000-1200 ($1300 – 1550)each with Royal Caribbean (a CL i’ve been with lots before around the Mediterranean), but when i priced up the Disney cruised they where around £3000 ($3900) each for just 5-7 days, a premium i just can not afford unfortunately. I understand that as soon as you stick mickey mouse ears on it, the price will be higher but the difference is just something that just seems crazy! Am i missing something here or are they normally that high?

    Disney is a lot more from what I’ve seen. We looked at a Disney Cruise around Norway and it was about twice the price of Celebrity. I have sailed on only two cruise lines: DCL and P&O in that order. I can say P&O was a huge disappointment after Disney. We did that because it was cheap but it showed. We were bored out of our minds on our sea days. So all that to say, yes Disney is typically a lot more expensive than other liners, but from my experience the reason for the price difference was obvious. I have friends who’ve traveled with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity and they’ve said those are a pretty decent substitute for DCL if you’re trying to save some money.

    #110024

    RIDisneyPinGuy
    174 XP
    SUPPORTER

    We cruised w/o the little ones in 2017 and it was absolutely magical.
    Yes, there will be kids. It is unavoidable. However, there are so many adult activities and adult areas, that you will have that separation. Plus, the kids want to stay around other kids, and will be occupied in their clubs and activity areas.
    The main dining was never impaired by the family atmosphere, but if you so wish, the signature dining experiences are totally worth the up-charge.

    Disney was my first and only cruising experience, and I’m almost afraid to try another cruise line. The service, amenities, and cleanliness of the ships was amazing. And all of the ‘Disney’ accents are so smartly and tastefully done. It is incredible, and so worth the money.

    #110025

    starbee
    329 XP
    SUPPORTER
    MOD

    Disney was my first and only cruising experience, and I’m almost afraid to try another cruise line.

    That’s a legitimate concern. It didn’t even cross my mind when we tried another cruise line but I was disappointed with the cruise experience. We had an incredible time in port and it was a great means to an end to see a lot of new places, but the cruise itself was very meh and I wouldn’t do it again.

    #110046

    cdolan1990
    458 XP
    SUPPORTER

    Disney was my first and only cruising experience, and I’m almost afraid to try another cruise line.

    That’s a legitimate concern. It didn’t even cross my mind when we tried another cruise line but I was disappointed with the cruise experience. We had an incredible time in port and it was a great means to an end to see a lot of new places, but the cruise itself was very meh and I wouldn’t do it again.

    Don’t be afraid of other liners, i’ve sailed with P&O, Celebrity, Costa, Norwegian & Thompsons. with a couple of rare exceptions it was all good :D


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