If there’s anything I love more than Walt Disney World, it’s Disney Cruise Line. Whenever I get the chance to brag about these fantastic ships, I do. The Disney Cruise Line fleet is made up of four ships (for now!): the Magic, Wonder, Dream, and Fantasy. There’s so much to love about these vessels. But a lot of it can be wrapped up in one word: Luxury. So here’s my list of eight luxurious favorites on board the Disney Cruise Line:
Many people fear that cruising Disney will be cliché and cartoony. This is just not true. One of the best things about the DCL fleet is its class. Disney imagineers went to extreme lengths to make sure you enjoyed your vacation from a luxury cruise ship. Mickey does not, in fact, pop up everywhere with a “Golly gee!” Rather, his silhouette is tastefully placed around the ship in a staircase, or a cocktail lounge. When you cruise Disney, you cruise elegance. Every minute onboard feels like luxury and it’s absolutely wonderful.
2. Quiet Cove
I didn’t understand the appeal of Quiet Cove when I was a kid, but boy do I now, let me tell you. The pool deck on a cruise ship can be a bit of dicey place. But, obviously Disney has a brilliant strategy to make it okay. The pool deck flows from the buffet, to the kids’ pools, to Quiet Cove. And once you cross that “Over 18 Only” threshold, it’s like walking into an oasis. I swear time slows down here. Quiet Cove has comfy, padded seating, loveseats, hot tubs (some that look straight down into the ocean!), and its own pool – and on the newer ships a bar right in it. And don’t forget the Cove Café and the Vista Spa, or as I like to call them: heaven.
3. Adult Only Dining
For a lot of adults, the dining options just for them are highlights. With a reservation, the over 18 crowd can either have brunch or dinner in one of these specially designed restaurants. On all ships, there’s Palo, an upscale Italian-style restaurant with the best brunch you will ever have. On the newer ships, there’s Remy, based on the movie Ratatouille’s main set: Gusteau’s Restaurant. Dining at either of these places is truly a culinary experience. While the food and service on board DCL is always great, in the adult restaurants, it’s exquisite. High class, top quality, insanely beautiful.
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4. Serenity Bay
Did someone say sand bar? Or just bar? Well, you get both on Serenity Bay. Everybody loves Castaway Cay, but sometimes the family beach can be a bit overwhelming. Serenity Bay gives you just that: serenity. This beach is an adult only space that is on the opposite side of the island from the kids’ areas. The cool thing is that there really isn’t a lot to it: there’s seating and hammocks, a bar, and a buffet. But really, that’s all you need here. The beach itself is long and beautiful, and when its low tide you can walk out into the ocean for what seems like miles. If you’re lucky you’ll even see some starfish or rays come to visit you. It’s basically magic.
5. Split Bathroom
This may seem silly, but we didn’t know we needed this until Disney Cruise Line introduced it. On a family vacation where everyone is living in the same space for a week, having two bathrooms makes all the difference. It’s perfect for kids: the shower room is a Godsend with a spacious tub and clothesline. It’s perfect for adult families, too. When it’s time to get ready for dinner it’s so nice to have two places to change, do makeup, freshen up, etc. It saves so much space and grumbling. Some luxuries are the simple things.
6. Rotational Dining
Disney was the first company to introduce this brilliant dining concept. There are three main restaurants on board every Disney Cruise Line ship and your family rotates through each of them. The really cool thing is that while you change restaurants, your dining staff does too. So you’ll see the same servers and assistant servers every night. There’s something incredibly comforting about knowing where you’re going to be and who you’re going to be with at meals. This means that the servers know you and your habits and will do pretty much anything to make things perfect.
7. Showtime Tonight
The shows are my favorite. Every night the incredibly talented Walt Disney Theater cast puts on a production worthy of Broadway itself – always Disney themed. These shows are award winning and it’s easy to see why. They’re brilliantly crafted and feel so luxurious. There’s something incredibly lavish about going to the theater, especially to do so every night. And what I really love about it is that it’s the normal, expected thing to do. You get dressed for dinner, and see a fantastic piece of art before or after your meal. Top of the line entertainment is extremely luxurious, and Disney does it best.
8. The Feeling
When you add up all of these things from this list, you get a pretty luxurious experience. But really, what you get is the ease and magic of Disney. Disney ensures that your vacation is as perfect and luxurious as can be so that you feel like you’ve always meant to belong here. There is a feeling of effortlessness onboard a Disney ship. There’s the feeling that you are royalty for that week and there are a ton of people who want to make sure that stays true. Everything feels like magic, from the design to the service to the actual magic that I can’t explain. True, great, memorable luxury sure seems like magic to me.