I love Disney Cruise Line. How much more simplistic can you get? I do, I love it. I have a countdown on my phone for my next cruise: 153 days! But why? How can DCL be THAT much better than any other cruise line? Well, there are about a million reasons, but we all have other things to do. So here are just eight reasons that DCL is my favorite, and these are just the fun things:
All day. Every day. Constant food. I just love the food on Disney Cruise Line. It sounds kind of silly when I write it out, but it’s true. At every step of your day on board ship you are given the option to eat something. It’s a beautiful thing. On a typical day at sea, my eating habits look something like this: a chocolate croissant and coffee on my veranda, second breakfast at Cabanas (don’t judge), chicken fingers at Pete’s, a perusal of the lunch buffet at Cabanas, afternoon ice cream, dinner in a main restaurant, and an after show ice cream. Pro tip: bring your stretch pants.
2. Kids’ Spaces
This part of Disney Cruise Line is the part of which everyone over 17 is jealous. The amount of care and detail Disney put into their kids’ spaces is unreal. On a Disney Cruise, an entire deck is dedicated to children. The programs are split by different age groups and given their own space: ‘it’s a small world!” Nursery, the Oceaneer Club, Oceaneer Lab, Edge, and Vibe. Every day is jam packed with fun activities for all ages. Here, kids just get to be kids. They get to play, create, explore, and do it all Disney style!
Seems pretty obvious, right? Maybe not so much. In the Parks, you see characters all the time and know which ones you want to spend time waiting in line to see. You even get FastPasses to see them. And it’s great. But things are a little different on board ship. While there are still character greetings where you can get pictures and autographs, the characters on board have a lot more freedom. It is not uncommon to just happen upon Belle walking the corridors by herself and stop for a long chat about books. Or to share an elevator with Goofy. Or see Peter Pan running at full speed down five flights of stairs shouting for Tinkerbell. It’s awesome.
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4. Cast Members
Disney is famous for its outstanding cast members. They are world renown for excellence. But believe it or not, Disney Cruise Line crew members are even better. Since cruising is unique in that you’re with the same people for a week, you get to know each other – this includes the crew. You build up a rapport, you have jokes, you become friends. When I was 12 I cruised with my family and absolutely fell in love with our assistant server. When I revisited DCL ten years later, I saw him in Cabanas. He looked over at me and honestly said: “Molly!” He remembered me. This is Disney at its best.
5. Daily Navigator Activities
Every night, your room steward puts a Daily Navigator on your bed (or you can get it on the app). This is the map to a great next day. Disney lists out each and every activity taking place for that particular day. The point is, Disney takes fun seriously. The Navigator ensures you get the most out of your cruise by pointing out the insane amount of activities Disney plans for you. Regardless of the time of day there’s something you could be doing. Whether it’s a cooking demonstration, art tour, a movie, or even baby racing, you’re going to have fun doing it.
6. Castaway Cay
How many people can say they have their own private island – I mean, really? Disney’s private island Castaway Cay is my favorite. Castaway Cay is basically just a tropical extension of the ship. Unlike other cruise lines, DCL can pull right into port to dock: no tendering necessary! And everything works exactly the same way it does on board. Your Key to the World Card still accesses payments and all the food (delicious buffets, by the way) is unlimited and free. And there’s so much to do on the island, like bike riding, parasailing, snorkeling, feeding rays, going down Pelican Plunge, or just soaking in the sun!
7. Themed Parties
One word: fireworks. Come on, how cool is that?! Disney loves a good party. And on a Disney Cruise, you’re bound to run into two or three. On the first night there’s the Sail Away Party where everyone counts down to the ship shoving off. Tip: there’s lots of confetti and loud music, be warned. On certain cruises there’s the Pirates IN the Caribbean party which involves late night dancing, a midnight buffet, Captain Jack, and fireworks from the ship! On some European cruises there’s the Frozen Deck Party, where you party with Anna and Elsa! And on the Wonder to Alaska you can see all your Pixar Pals in their party! Bring on the fun.
8. Interactive Aspects
Disney wants to ensure that its guests do more than just watch a good story: they want their guests to BE the story. The Cruise Line is a great place for this concept to come alive. There are so many little things to do and explore on a Disney Cruise. Some of it is really simple: like knocking on Pepe’s cabin or finding a bunch of Hidden Mickey’s. But some of it is really complex and state of the art: like the magical paintings and the Midship Detective Agency. When you take part in these, you are no longer just on vacation; you’re in the story! And it’s a story you’ll remember forever.