I always get asked, “Why is a Disney Cruise so much money compared to other cruise lines?” My answer is “It doesn’t cost more, when you break it down.” When you are planning a cruise vacation, a lot more goes into it than just the final cost. With some cruise lines, the amount due on final payment day isn’t always your final total. The grass might look greener at first glance, but when your credit card statement comes the next month it’s almost the same amount as if you had taken that Disney ship.
I started cruising at the age of 12. My first cruise was onboard a Royal Caribbean ship. I was blown away. I couldn’t believe how nice everything was presented; the staff was so friendly, and the food was amazing. After that trip, I sailed two more times. Once on a Carnival ship, and then on another Royal Caribbean. It wasn’t until my 3rd wedding anniversary that my husband and I decided to try Disney. We didn’t have kids yet, and we wanted to see what the big deal was before we had kids to take on a cruise. The morning we got off the ship and we were headed home, my husband looked at me and said, “I don’t care how much it costs, we are never cruising with any other cruise line.” I’ve come up with a short list of reasons why he and I feel Disney Cruise Line is the only way to travel.
1. Unlimited Soda Included
When I had cruised in the past, I learned it was a standard practice to purchase a soda cup. You buy the cup before you leave port on the first day and you carry it around with you onboard the ship. However with Disney, you don’t need to purchase a soda cup. Up at the pool, there are soda fountains. They are open all day long. It’s so nice to grab a slice of pizza and fill up a cup with Coca Cola and go. No lines and no money needed.
2. All Your Food is Included in the Price
Cruise food is the best. It’s one of the main reasons I cruise. However, some cruise lines have restaurants onboard that you have to pay extra or they have an upgraded menu. On a Disney ship, they want you to taste all their wonderful dishes they have created. No upcharge menu and all the main family friendly restaurants are included. Note: there are adult only areas and restaurants that are extra.
3. The Best Way to See the Characters
We are a Disney family. My boys love seeing their favorite characters like Donald Duck and Pluto. I figured out rather quickly that the best way to see the characters was on the ships. It’s so easy! There is a character schedule for everyday, and it tells who, where, and when they will be out and about the ship. Simply leave your stateroom 10 minutes before the character is scheduled to appear, and a few minutes later you are done. You are in the air conditioning, the line moves fast, you have a cute new picture, and your autograph book is signed. Everyone is happy.
4. Split Bathrooms
Before we started cruising with Disney, I always told people the story of how I would have to sit on the toilet to shave my legs in the shower in the bathroom on a Carnival cruise; you could put soap on the walls and turn around to get clean. Disney designed their bathrooms and staterooms with families in mind. They designed a split bath set up. There are two rooms: a sink and a toilet in one and a sink and the shower / tub in the other. It’s great to not be on top of each other. The best part is the tub is usually a full tub. It’s so nice to have the space. Note: some categories of staterooms do not have the split bath option.
5. Better Stateroom Layout
The stateroom layout ties in with the split bath idea. When I was a teenager on my first cruise, my sister’s and my beds were high up on the wall and they would fold down and hover over my parents bed. It was a real challenge to get up and down. Disney started by giving everyone an elevated queen size bed and then you have a sofa that turns into a twin and another twin that comes from the ceiling. The best part is the curtain that divides the room from the queen bed and the twin beds. Everyone has their space. No one has to step on someone else’s bed to get to theirs.
There you have it. These are just a few of the reasons why my family and I love cruising with Disney. Yes it can seem like a lot, but when you think about what all you are getting when you go on a Disney cruise vacation it is totally worth it. After 8 cruises, the Disney ships are starting to feel like a second home to us. It’s truly the most magical place at sea.