The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Disney Cruise
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Finding activities that parents and kids love can be pretty challenging, but who doesn’t like Disney? No activity brings children more joy than seeing their favorite characters come alive, and a Disney Cruise Line lets them see and interact with characters like Goofy, Mickey, Cinderella, Elsa, and many others. At the same time, parents can enjoy a relaxing and entertaining cruise from a brand they can trust because most parents grew up with Disney. A vacation on a Disney Cruiser offers not only enjoyment but also an added sense of security.
Planning a Disney Cruise can be pretty intimidating given the numerous options and packages available. But after you’ve created a schedule of exactly what you want to do and when you want to do it, you’ll discover that planning a Disney Cruise is relatively easy!
Here we review everything you need about Disney cruises to make things more accessible. We cover what the boats are like, what you can expect in the way of experience, how to book, what to do, and what to eat. We also answer the most important question of all: “How much is a Disney cruise?”
The Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line is owned by The Walt Disney Company and founded in 1995. TIt was once known as Magical Cruise Company Limited before adopting the name Disney Cruise Line (DCL). Walt Disney World leased Premier Cruise Line from 1985 to 1993 before establishing its cruise line.
The company operates five magnificent ships:
- Disney Magic
- Disney Wonder
- Disney Dream
- Disney Fantasy
- Disney Wish
Let’s see what Disney cruises offer in detail:
Let’s see what Disney cruises offer in detail:
1. Disney Magic
The Disney Magic, which had its maiden voyage on July 1998, was the first ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet. Fincantieri constructed it. The ship was designed to entertain families, not just the little ones. It blends nostalgia and luxury.
The colors used to decorate the Disney Magic are reminiscent of Mickey Mouse:
- A pitch-black hull
- A pearl white superstructure
- Yellow trim
- Two enormous red funnels
The ship’s interior has an art deco-inspired aesthetic. It is 984 feet in length and weighs 84,000 gross tons. Also, the ship has a passenger capacity of 2,713.
Unique Features of Disney Magic
Disney Magic offers onboard passengers a magical Disney cruise experience with activities for individuals of all ages. The most popular features include:
- AquaDunk – a three-story high water slide
- Buena Vista Theatre – a luxurious theater
- Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique – a signature saloon of Disney Cruises
- Cove Café – an adults-only coffee bar offering luxury beverages
- Character Greetings – offering passengers a chance to meet some of the most adored Disney characters
- Duck-In Diner – a fast food venue inspired by Donald Duck
- Keys – a private lounge for adults modeled after old Hollywood’s renowned piano bars.
- Fathoms – a nightclub
- Frozen Deck Party
- Beverage Tasting
2. Disney Wonder
In the Disney Cruise Line fleet, the Disney Wonder launched just a year after her sister, Disney Magic. Fincantieri also built this ship. The Disney Wonder is famous for its charming design.
The Disney Wonder’s darker blue tint gives it the unique ability to shift color according to the weather, time of day, sunlight, and angle of observation. The color is known as Monica Blue. The decor is art nouveau but has a more playful, yet natural, feel.
The ship’s statistics are identical to its sibling, Disney Magic. Disney Wonder weighs 84,000 gross tons and has a length of 984 feet. It can also accommodate 2,713 passengers.
Unique Features of Disney Wonder
Disney Wonder has 11 decks packed with eateries, pools, entertainment, and many fun activities. The most popular features of this ship include the following:
- French Quarter Lounge – a bar with a New Orleans atmosphere
- Pixar Pals Party – offering meet and greets with many famous characters from Disney·Pixar films
- Tiana’s Place – a Princess and the Frog-themed restaurant
- Crown & Fin Pub – a bar that looks like a traditional British pub
- Wide World of Sports
3. Disney Dream
The third ship in the fleet of the Disney Cruise Line, the Disney Dream, made her inaugural voyage in 2011. Meyer Werft, a German shipyard, built the ship. The ship was specifically designed to capture and preserve special family moments.
The ship is painted black and blue like the other ships. However, the decor is art deco, similar to many ocean liners, including certain Disney cruises. It weighs 130,000 gross tons and has a length of 1,115 feet. The ship can carry 4000 guests and has 14 passenger decks.
The Disney Dream’s cabins were explicitly created with families in mind. The installation of artificial portholes was an intriguing new feature launched with this ship. Both children and adults enjoy the high-definition footage of tumbling waves and famous Disney figures swimming that these portholes showed.
Unique Features of Disney Dream
The ship combines a traditional look, luxury, and renowned Disney narratives to offer passengers the time of their lives. Some of the most popular features of this ship are:
- Beauty and the Beast musical – a live rendition of the classic tale
- Vanellope’s Sweets & Treats – a dessert shop
- Skyline – a stylish sky bar
4. Disney Fantasy
The Disney Fantasy was launched on March 31, 2012. Like the Disney dream, it was built by Meyer Werft. The Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy are somewhat identical to each other. The ship is, nevertheless, equipped with a few unique design features and passenger experiences to set her apart from other ships in the fleet.
The ship is again painted in identical black and blue tones as all the other Disney world-themed ships. In terms of size, the ship is similar to the Disney Dream. It also weighs 130,000 gross tons and has a length of 1,115 feet. Like the Disney Dream, the ship can accommodate 4,000 passengers and has 14 decks. But the decor features an elegant art nouveau style.
Unique Features of Disney Fantasy
Disney Fantasy mixes cutting-edge technology with the grandeur and magnificence of classic ocean liners. Some of the most notable features of this ship include:
- Pixar Day at Sea – offering many beloved Pixar characters to sing, dance, and play with
- Frozen – A Musical Spectacular, a musical drama
- Bvlgari – a jewelry shop
- Sweet on You – a dessert shop
- Palo Be Our Chef
5. Disney Wish
The newest ship from the Disney Cruise Line, Disney Wish, departed Port Canaveral on her inaugural voyage in July 2022. Meyer Werft also built this ship. The ship’s main highlight is that it will be propelled by liquified natural gas (LNG).
This ship is of the same shade of dark blue as the others. It is the biggest of the five ships owned by The Walt Disney Company, weighs around 144,000 gross tons, and has a length of 1,119 feet. Also, it can accommodate 4,000 passengers along with 1,555 personnel. Additionally, Disney Wish features a New Orleans-inspired aesthetic. The ship also has 15 passenger decks.
The ship is the dream destination where iconic Disney, Marvel, and Pixar characters come to life. Each stateroom on the ship features the unique Disney narrative tradition.
Unique Features of Disney Wish
Disney Wish offers new and exciting features that other cruise lines don’t. Some of the unique features of this ship include the following:
- Untangled Salon – a luxurious salon with Rapunzel-inspired decor
- Nightingale’s – an elegant bar
- Keg & Compass – a bar inspired by Viking romance and port adventures.
- The Rose – an adult-only bar inspired by Beauty and the Beast’s magical palace.
- Senses Spa – a spa with a natural theme offering beauty treatments
Disney cruise ships dock in some of the most spectacular port locations on the planet, from the Alaskan region to Western Europe. However, all Disney cruises leave Port Canaveral when the journey starts. Some of the most tranquil and lovely ports are the following:
- Ajaccio, France
- Galveston, Texas
- Nassau, Bahamas
- Falmouth, Jamaica
- Chania, Greece
- Belfast, Northern Ireland
- Manzanillo, Mexico
- Hobart, Australia
Things You’ll Love on a Disney Cruise Line
Unlike other cruise lines, Disney Cruise Line never ceases to wow individuals of all ages with its outstanding family programs, top-notch live shows, and distinctive dining options. You will undoubtedly like Disney Cruisers if you wish to have fun with your favorite Disney, Marvel, or Pixar characters and engage in family-oriented events.
A few of the exciting perks of Disney cruise vacation you’ll love:
- Kid-Friendly Hang-Outs
- Year-round heated pools
- Special dining experience
- State-of-the-art cozy staterooms
- Access to Disney’s private island is named Castaway Cay
What Might Bother You
Not everyone likes Disney, and not everyone will enjoy a cruise holiday. Take these factors into account before making a cruise reservation:
- The queues for meet and greets can be excruciatingly lengthy
- Off-shore excursions have a high price tag.
- The Disney Cruise cost of wireless connectivity is ridiculously high.
All About the Disney Cruise Line Fleet
If you’re still unsure which Disney cruise ship is ideal, peek over this informative table.
|Boat Name||Interior Style||Speed||Staterooms||Lobby Statue|
|Disney Magic||Art deco||Max 23.5 knots||875||Helmsman Mickey|
|Disney Wonder||Art nouveau||Max 23.5 knots||875||Ariel|
|Disney Dream||Art deco||Max 23.5 knots||1,250||Admiral Donald|
|Disney Fantasy||Art nouveau||Max 24.7 knots||1,250||Mademoiselle Minnie Mouse|
|Disney Wish||New Orleans-inspired||Max 24 knots||1,254||Cinderella|
Disney Cruise Planning Guide
When planning a Disney cruise, there are many things to remember, especially if it’s your first trip and you want to save money! What you should do when booking a Disney cruise ship is covered in detail in the sections below.
Before anything else, remember that Disney cruises mandate that all qualified passengers have all the required Covid-19 vaccines. Therefore, all attendees who are five years old or older must comply with this rule.
Booking a Disney Cruise Ship
It’s pretty straightforward to reserve one of the Disney cruises, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Before making a reservation, try to learn the cruise’s departure port, duration of the cruise, and ports of call. The first step in planning a Disney Cruise is deciding when and where you wish to travel.
You will need to be adaptable if you have a specific location, port, or ship in mind because not all Disney ships dock at every port.
Picking the Perfect Room
Choosing a Disney cruise ship room can be confusing due to its numerous categories. And your entire trip could be ruined if you don’t book the fitting room. So we’ll go through the types and categories of rooms below so you can choose one without worry.
There are four different categories of standard staterooms:
|Room type||Category||Occupancy||Size (square feet)|
|Inside||10, 11||3 to 4 people||169-204|
|Oceanview||8, 9||3 to 5 people||204-241|
|Oceanview with Verandah||4, 5, 6, 7||3 to 5 people||246-299|
|Concierge||V, T, S, R||5 to 7 people||306-1781|
Furthermore, currently, there are six different stateroom types:
|Standard||Inside: 11||Conventional bathroom|
Verandah: 5, 6, 7
|Deluxe Family||Oceanview: 8|
|Deluxe Family Concierge||Concierge: V||Concierge Service|
|1- or 2- Bedroom Suites||Concierge: S, T||Spacious balconies|
|Royal Suite||Concierge: R||Exclusive whirlpool tub|
Update Your Documents
Having your passport with you would be best since all passengers must show a current passport or another form of official identification to check-in. Many nations also demand a travel visa depending on your nationality and an updated passport. Additionally, the cruise passenger who made the reservation must show a copy of the online check-in port arrival document at check-in.
If you haven’t already, you must update your passport and visa. And don’t forget to bring your check-in port arrival form with you.
Reserving the Cruise
Booking a Disney cruise ship is relatively simple. You can visit their website for planning, Disney cruise prices, and to make reservations. You can also make bookings by contacting Disney Cruise Line at (800) 951-3532. Your travel agency is another option for making arrangements.
Install the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App
Disney Cruise Line uses the latest tech, unlike many other cruise lines. Disney Cruise Line Navigator is the latest addition of DCL that simplifies the process of booking and gathering information on the cruise line.
You should download and install this app if you plan your Walt Disney World vacation on a Disney Cruise. This app is free to download from all the major app stores, including Google Play Store and Apple App Store. You may finish reserving the cruise with this application.
Contact DCL for Any Special Dining Requests
If a reservation has been made, most meal options are usually free as part of the package you bought; however, specific unique alternatives have additional costs and even call for appointments. Making a dinner reservation is best if you wish to eat at the renowned Remy, Palo, or other iconic onboard eateries.
You can make special dining requests by calling (407) 939-3463, or you can use the Disney Cruise Line Navigator application to do so.
You’ve booked your dream vacation on a cruise, but there’s still much to do before you board. Divide the tasks into three sections based on the days till departure.
3-4 Months Before the Cruise
Below are the tasks that must be completed three to four months before the cruise.
Make Final Payment
Like many cruise lines, Disney Cruise Line allows passengers to postpone paying for their trip until as late as 60 days before departing.
However, it would be best if you tried to make the final payment as soon as possible. You can use the Disney Cruise Line Navigator application to make payments anywhere.
Activities to Book
Dinsey cruise lines provide a variety of exciting and enjoyable activities. But remember that you must make your final payment for the cruise to arrange any activities.
Visiting intriguing, unique ports of call is just one of the advantages of taking a cruise vacation. Disney offers various immersive shore excursions. Some of the popular shore excursions include the following:
- Alpine Zipline Adventure
- Butchart Gardens & Short City Drive
- Discover Atlantis Tour
- Visiting Kennedy Space Center
- A Ceilidh in Cape Breton
- Golfing at Cabo del Sol Golf
- Venturing at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay
- Touring Acadia National Park with a Park Ranger
Things to Do Onboard
Whether you choose to vacation with Disney Cruise Line or Walt Disney World, you can be sure that a memorable holiday is always in store for you. Excluding the port adventures, DCL also offers tons of activities to do onboard.
Some of the popular onboard activities include the following:
- Various Live Shows, such as Beauty and the Beast, Luna, Marvel Day at Sea, The Little Mermaid, and many more.
- Meet and greet programs with famous Marvel, Pixar, and Disney characters.
- Adult-Exclusive dining
- Many signature-onboard nightclubs include Keg & Compass, The Bayou, Crown & Fin Pub, and many more.
Make Onboard Reservations
Once the final payment has been made, you can make reservations online as soon as the booking session for your cruise activities starts. You can use the Disney Cruise Line website or the Disney Cruise Line Navigator application to reserve onboard activities.
The Castaway Club membership level determines your early booking slot, as shown below:
|Membership Level||Booking slot for onboard activities|
|First-time Passengers||75 days before the scheduled departure|
|Silver Castaway Club Member||90 days before the scheduled departure|
|Gold Castaway Club Member||105 days before the scheduled departure|
|Concierge Passenger and Platinum Castaway Club Member||120 days before the scheduled departure|
Compare Flights, Hotels, and Transportation
The most frequent departure point for Disney Cruise Line is Port Canaveral in Florida. Four hotels are within five miles of Cape Canaveral if you choose to stay the night there before your Disney Cruise:
- Homewood Suites by Hilton Cape Canaveral costs about $196 per night.
- Residence Inn Cape Canaveral Cocoa Beach costs about $188 per night.
- Country Inn & Suites Cape Canaveral costs around $148 per night.
- Radisson Resort costs around $137 per night.
The closest airports to Cape Canaveral are Melbourne Orlando International Airport, Titusville Cocoa Airport, and Orlando International Airport. The price of the flight will depend on where you are flying from. Disney Cruise Line will arrange flights to and from an airport close to your departure port if you contact them at (800) 951-3532.
2-3 Months before the Cruise
Below are the tasks you must complete two to three months before the Cruise.
Online Check-in Process
Passengers can begin the check-in procedure 30 days before boarding. However, remember it needs to be submitted by the day before your departure date. You can quickly finish your “My online check-in” with the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app.
Book Pre and Post-Cruise Travel
You may need to arrange for pre- and post-cruise travel if your departure port is far away from your place or if you are planning to stay at the port to call for a few days. You can contact Disney Cruise Line to make travel, hotel, and other arrangements. You can feel lost in the new surroundings if you don’t make arrangements.
1-2 Months before the Cruise
Below are the tasks that must be completed one to two months before boarding the ship.
Make a planner
It would help if you began creating a plan for each day now that the travel time is near. Remember that a Disney Cruise typically has four types of days: boarding, at sea, in port, and departing.
In addition, the ship hosts a variety of fun activities each day in different areas of the ship. Therefore, you can get the most out of each day with the help of a planner.
Disney Cruise Itinerary
Disney Cruise Line aims to take passengers on enchanting journeys filled with new experiences, fascinating cultures, and fascinating destinations. Several of the most popular itineraries include:
- Bahamas Cruises
- Caribbean Cruises
- European Cruises
- Alaska Cruises
- Bermuda Cruises
- Canada Cruises
- Mexico Cruises
- Hawai’i Cruises
Are you unsure about what to bring on a Disney Cruise? Here we will discuss what to bring and what not to bring.
Things you SHOULD bring on the voyage:
Things you SHOULD NOT bring on the voyage:
Additionally, look at the whole list of products that are not allowed on Disney cruise ships.
Enquire About the Dining Programs of DCL
The Disney Cruise Line ships provide intriguing “rotational dining options” and adult-exclusive fine-dining venues. Some of the most popular dining venues are:
In honor of the year of The Walt Disney Company’s establishment, the restaurant was named 1923. It offers a diverse cuisine exhibiting California’s distinctive fusion of South American, Asian, and European flavors.
Palo is an adult-exclusive dining venue. It serves various traditional Northern Italian cuisine with a contemporary touch. During dinner at Palo, customers can choose between ordering from the pre-fixed menu or ordering single dishes. The pre-fixed menu on the Disney cruise costs about $45 per person.
Remy is a classy French restaurant that only caters to adults. Remy’s pre-fixed dinner costs $125 per person. While its Champagne Brunch is $75 per person, the Champagne pairing adds an extra fee of $30 per person.
A Disney Cruise requires extensive planning, which may be pretty intimidating if you’re a first-timer, but it’s worth it. We hope this article has assisted you in making some decisions in planning your dream cruise vacation. Happy cruising!