I had heard a lot about Disney Cruises before we booked ours and all of it was good. Friends raved about how much fun everyone in their family had and how amazing the ships were. But it took my friend Jessica from Mommy University telling my husband how great the cruise was for us to finally book one. This year we took our first Disney Cruise, a 3-night cruise on the Disney Dream out of Port Canaveral, over my sons 8th birthday.
Our only complaint? 3 days just wasn’t long enough.
Why You Should Take a Disney Cruise
Every Disney Cruise has a kids club for kids ages 3-17. There is the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab for kids ages 3-12, Edge for kids ages 11- 14 and Vibe for kids ages 14-17. Jackson went to the Oceaneer Club and the Oceaneer Lab every day of the cruise. The first night the ship was rough (which we were told was really unusual) and he still powered through and went to the kids club for 3 hours. One day when I went to pick him up he told me to “get lost”. The kids club allowed for my husband and I to have some time to relax without the kids.
It’s a Small World Nursery
You may be worried well, what about my kids under 3. For kids under 3 Disney Cruises have It’s a Small World Nursery which is available for an additional charge of $8/hour. The nursey was amazing and Grace loved it so much that she kept asking to go back. It was her favorite part of the cruise.
So what to do on a Disney Cruise while your kids are in kids club? During the day there are adults only pools on deck 11 and 12. On deck 11 there is a large bar and pool along with a hot tub and large comfortable chairs facing the water. One minute I was sitting at the main pool watching Frozen surrounded by children and the next I was in the adults-only area of the ship sipping a Caipirinha without a child in site. The adults-only areas are quieter with less Disney theming and lots of places for relaxing. I could have easily forgotten it was a Disney cruise. There are also several nightclubs and bars on board with different themes, we didn’t end up going to any of these but we would definitely check them out for a longer cruise.
Broadway Style Shows
Having been on cruises before I was really hesitant about the shows. On most cruises, they tend to be cheesy or poorly done but that was not at all the case on the Disney Cruise. While we missed the Golden Mickey’s show on the first night due to the ship rocking, I took myself to the Beauty and the Beast show on the second night. The songs were great and the set was impressive. On the last night, I took Jack to see Believe! and I was nervous that he would be bored. The show lasted approximately one hour and featured about a dozen Disney songs sung by varying characters. It was amazing, I might have been a little teary-eyed at the end. Jack said it was his favorite part of the cruise and that the show was really good.
I was looking forward to the fireworks on the Disney Cruise because Disney is the only cruise line allowed to do fireworks at sea. On Pirate Night (our 2nd night of the cruise) we enjoyed Pirates in the Caribbean, a fun pirates show on the pool deck that ended with a fireworks display. There was something magical about watching the fireworks out at sea and it helped that our awesome dinner server Onika told us the best spot for viewing the fireworks.
Disney is known for their service and the Disney Cruise line is no exception. Your dinner servers stay with you threw out your cruise and get to know what you like. Which means each night when you sit down your kid already has their lemonade or their cup of milk. They will cut up your kid’s food and do their best to keep them happy. At breakfast one morning a waiter made napkin animals for kids and made them laugh. Our stateroom attendant was so friendly and welcoming. She managed to do what I couldn’t, keep our room clean. On Castaway Cay our lunch trays were removed the moment we were done so that bugs wouldn’t swarm the food.
Disney knows families and you can see it in their staterooms which are some of the biggest in the industry. Yes, they are still cruise ship staterooms so don’t be expecting a huge space but they are much more spacious than most. There is a pull-down bunk and a couch that turns into a bed. We were able to fit a pack n play next to the couch. There is a thick curtain that separates the two sleeping spaces allowing for some privacy and for you not to have to turn off the lights on your side when the kids go to bed. There is also a library of Disney movies available on demand from animated movies to Marvel movies there is something for everyone. I loved to put on a Disney movie while we got ready for our day, it kept the kids occupied so that I could get myself dressed. Our room had an extended veranda and it was wonderful. Our only regret was that we didn’t spend more time on it.
The Disney-ness of it all
We are a Disney loving family and I must say I enjoyed the constant stream of Disney movies playing on the Funnel Vision at the main pool. We loved seeing our favorite characters throughout the cruise and on Castaway Cay. Meet and greets on board are similar to those in the parks though the lines are generally shorter. On the last night of the cruise, the characters come out to say goodbye and do a quick song and then greet guests for 20 minutes. It’s the perfect time for last minute pictures and those meet and greets were some of the quickest we did. We felt the Disney decor on the ship was tastefully done and not too over-the-top or childish.
We loved our time on the Disney Dream. From the fireworks to the shows to the wonderful kid’s clubs to riding the Aquaduck as much as we could our Disney Cruise was incredible and we will definitely be booking another one.