So you think you want to go on a Disney cruise – well CONGRATS on making a really great decision. I was lucky enough to be invited on a ship tour of the Disney Magic. It’s one of the smaller ships, but it was an amazing experience and has me ready to head out on the open seas with Disney!
What makes Disney cruises different?
All sorts of magic!
- Each family is announced as they come on the ship and you may even get lucky and see one of your best Disney pals on the way in.
- Family friendly fun! There are activities for kids of all ages. There are kids clubs split for 3 different age brackets. More about these in a bit.
- Meals included, all you can eat ice cream, and 24 hour room service
- Fun for adults
- Family oriented state rooms focused around the family experience and comfort
- Live, Broadway style shows during your stay
- Disney movies and events (and special sneak peeks at times!)
- Lofted beds to give you more space for luggage – unlike any other cruise ship
- Character meet and greet experiences in a smaller setting than some of the crazy theme park lines!
Disney has 3 kids clubs geared toward ages 3-12, 11-14, 14-17. You’ll notice those age brackets overlap. It gives your kids some flexibility to play with younger or older siblings and the tweens choices of active games and activities or a more “chill” lounge area. ALL of the kids club areas are kids only (sorry parents – let it go and enjoy your alone time!) Your children are well taken care of and supervised no matter what the age. There are some flexibility on those age brackets as well. For example – your family has 2 children age 10 and 14 and your younger is very shy and wants to spend time with your 14 year old who wants to go Edge, the tween lounge. This can be assessed by Disney’s staff.
You’ll have Wave phones to communicate with your kids and others while on the ship. They don’t make external calls but are great for on board communication!
For those traveling with kids under 3, there is a paid nursery with ample staff available. For me, it’s worth waiting until they kiddos are at least 3 (and potty trained) so you can enjoy everything the ship has to offer!
Adults only areas
All 4 Disney cruise ships have an adult district and nightclubs. This can be done at the same time while your kids are enjoying kids club, so take the time an enjoy. There’s also an adults only pool (with a quiet area) to relax, read a book, or just let all of your stress away on vacation!
There’s also adult only dining options, a beautiful spa area (some of which can be fairly inexpensive), and a fitness center.
I’m sold, now when and where should we go?
Look at the time of year you’re interested in traveling. Be aware of hurricane and rainy seasons. Avoid peak crowd times (SUMMER, HOLIDAYS) if at all possible – these increase prices just as they do at the theme park resorts.
Where is up to you. If it’s your first cruise, start with 7 nights or less. If you’re on a budget, think about one of the 3-5 night Bahamanian cruises.If you’re worried about sea sickness or not enjoy your time on the open water, start with something short. You can ALWAYS go back and there are benefits to booking another cruise!
If you’re comfortable on boats, the 7 night Eastern Caribbean Cruise is a great one for families with kids. Lots of time on the boat, getting the lay of the land and enjoying EVERYTHING the ship has to offer. There are more benefits and dining experiences on longer cruises, so it’s worth the extra cash if you have it!
Choosing a deck…what do all these letters and numbers mean?!
The decision of choosing your stateroom, your home for several nights is a big choice, so how do you decode all of those letters and numbers? Like Disney World, there are all sorts of lingo you should know!
1. Don’t choose an inside stateroom if at all possible. It’s worth downgrading your trip for a night for an outside view and more square footage!
2. Consider a deluxe stateroom. It gives you a split bath – a shower and toilet in two separate areas to help maximize your time and giving a little bit more space! In the same breath, consider a verandah room. This gives you some extra space outside of your room!
3. The letter and number associated with your booking category category is associated with a location on the ship map. Know what you’re choosing. Know how close or far away you are to an elevator.
4. Choosing a deck. This may be more important than choosing a category for your trip! Elevators are slow (especially on the day you embark). There are several sets of stairs around the ship (shallow stairs, so an easy trip up and down). If kids clubs are most important, a lower deck might be better. If 24 fountain drinks or pool time are important, an upper deck is better. If both are important, pick somewhere in the middle. Another important thing to mention – does anyone get seasick or motion sick? A lower deck in the middle of the ship is the way to go!
The process of booking a Disney cruise can be VERY confusing, so let a professional help you! Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation! Plus you won’t have to watch for any possible rate drops, research everything there is to offer, or keep track of milestone dates for any “extras” you want during your voyage. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!) If you already have your cruise planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!