10 Reasons Why Disney Cruise Line is the Perfect Family Vacation
Updated: Aug 25
Full confession. When this blog posts I will be living it up with my family at Disney World. (I’m sure I’m having a fabulous time.)
But by being there I’m cheating on my true love: Disney Cruise Line.
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Disney World. So much so that I’m visiting it no less than three times this year.
But Disney Cruise Line is hands down my favorite way to travel. My family and I have been on multiple Disney Cruises and each one did not disappoint. We came off that ship rested, recharged, and reconnected as a family.
(As much as you love Disney World, can you honestly say you come home rested from one of those trips??)
It’s the perfect family vacation destination for so many reasons, but here are my top 10:
It’s a Low Stress Vacation
No FastPasses or rope dropping necessary, everyone can enjoy all the Disney Magic and what the ships have to offer without setting your alarm. You can roll out of bed when you feel like it, eat when you feel like it, relax by the pool, hit a show or a movie, whatever you want.
No need to worry about beating the crowds to ride your favorite attraction or planning your dining reservations 6 months in advance. It’s all taken care of for you already.
Now, there are some important pre-planning involved. Mainly reserving port excursions, specialty dining, spa, and other activities. But the great thing is, if you don’t want to do any of that, you don’t have to! There is so much to do and see already included in your cruise fare and that doesn’t require a reservation or getting up early that you could skip all that extra stuff and still have a fabulous time.
You Only Have to Unpack Once
A great way to think of the ship is a fabulous hotel on the water. You only need to unpack once, and you are set for the trip. Your room is the same the whole time, but the view outside your window changes by the day, or even the minute.
You Can See the World!
A cruise is an easy, and low-stress way to see the world with your kids. And Disney Cruise Line goes to some fantastic places. The Caribbean, Canada, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Hawaii, Mexico, Alaska and more. It’s a great way to expose kids to different cultures around the world.
My favorite place, hands down, is Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. It’s a gorgeous island in the Bahamas and they did a fantastic job of making it special. There are tons of incredible activities to do, a gorgeous sandy beach to explore, amazing snorkeling, and so much more. There is even a private adult-only oasis on the island!
Hungry? Grab a bite whenever from one of the many restaurants and food counters available to you without worrying about the cost. Except for the two adult-only dining restaurants, food is included in your cruise fare and reservations are unnecessary.
(Most drinks are included too. Just not alcohol, smoothies, specialty drinks, etc.)
Can’t decide between the different appetizers or entrees offered that evening? Order both! Your waistline might expand, but your credit card bill won’t. It costs you nothing extra.
Oh, and room service is included too. Gratuities are not, but how awesome is it that you could order breakfast in bed every day if you wanted and you don’t pay a dime more in food.
Of course, everyone has different tastes, but I find that the Disney Cruise Line food is pretty yummy. They have something for most every diet and taste.
They are also great at dealing with different allergies. My son has a peanut allergy and they were very careful and attentive to his needs each night. We were even given the kids menu the night before so we could plan accordingly. They are fabulous with allergies.
Everyone Is Entertained, No Matter Their Age
Disney Cruise Line caters to families, so there is something to do for every age. From the littlest cruiser to the oldest, everyone will be able to find something fun and entertaining to do at any moment.
There are themed youth clubs for kids from 6 months to 17, shows you can watch together as a family, movies, games, the pool, spa, trivia, and so much more. Too much to even list! Check out this previous post on why you should take your toddler or baby on a Disney Cruise.
And that’s just on the ship itself. Don’t forget about all the exciting activities and places to explore when you are at port.
Let’s just say if you find yourself bored on a Disney Cruise ship, you aren’t looking that hard.
You Can Travel in a Large Group or with a Multi-Generational Family with Ease
Because of all the ship has to offer for humans of any age, it is the perfect vacation to take with multiple generations of your family. Grandma and Grandpa can have just as much fun as the kids and feel like they were supported, entertained, and cared for.
It’s also easy for everyone to do what they want to do during the day and still feel like they were able to connect with everyone on the trip.
You automatically have a dinner reservation together every night. You can all come together for a nice meal, share details from the different adventures you had that day, and connect in a meaningful way.
You Can Have some Adults Only Time
Want to have a date night on a family vacation? It’s entirely possible and easy to do on a Disney Cruise! Get that alone time with your spouse. Or even yourself.
Drop them off at the kids’ club and head to the spa, one of the nightclubs or bars, a romantic meal at Palo or Remy, or even the pool. There is an adult only section of the ship that has its own bar, pool, and hot tubs. A parent’s oasis!
You are Taken Care of by High Quality Staff
As you would expect from anything Disney, the staff and crew on the ship are impeccably trained, attentive, and just a joy to be around. They really know how to take care of you and go above and beyond to make sure you have everything you need.
Some of them even have hidden talents. On our first cruise our dining room servers did magic tricks and drew amazing pieces of art to help keep our kids entertained during dinner. We still have the picture of my oldest that one of them drew as a souvenir from the trip.
They are amazing!
Make sure you show your gratitude for the awesome staff appropriately. Click here to read my previous post for ideas.
You Can Get Pampered, Daily if You Wish
There is a full-service spa and salon on board. Feel like a couple’s massage? Mani/Pedi? Facial? All of the above? All of that and tons more is available to you in the Senses Spa, which is on each Disney Cruise ship.
I have gotten a massage and facial on board my cruises. My husband says my skin was literally glowing after my facial, and I have to say it did feel amazing.
Oh, and if pampering isn’t your deal but sweating it out is, there is a full gym on board as well. There are even personal trainers and gym classes you can take if you feel so inclined.
(I’d rather have a relaxing steam, but to each their own.)
You Get to Visit Up Close and Personal with Your Favorite Disney Characters
Most of your favorite Disney characters are most likely on the ship. Mickey, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, Minnie, and Pluto of course are there. But so are some princesses, Disney Junior characters, Peter Pan, Hook, Smee, Tinkerbelle, Stitch, Anna, Elsa, Captain Jack Sparrow, and more.
Take a special themed cruise, like Marvel Day at Sea and Star Wars Day at Sea cruises, and your favorites from those franchises will be there too.
Yes, you can see all those people on land too. But not like this. There are waaaaay less people on the ship than you’ll find on any given day at the parks. Which means the characters have more time to spend with you and shorter lines for you to wait in. It’s glorious!
You also get to spend some unique time with them. For example, the characters make visits into the kids’ clubs and dance and interact with them informally. Sleepwalking Goofy also makes an appearance occasionally, unannounced and in wacky ways.
They also have character dance parties where you can dance with your favorite characters RIGHT NEXT TO YOU. The characters aren’t just dancing up on stage while you are down on the floor dancing on your own. No. They are on the floor WITH you and you can dance with them face to face.
I mean, check out this snippet of one of the dance parties we've done. So fun!
Do you have more reasons why Disney Cruise Line is the perfect family vacation? If so, share in the comments!
When it comes time to disembark at the end of the cruise the Disney hangover hits us HARD.
On the last day of our first Disney Cruise on the Disney Fantasy, we were all standing in the ship lobby with our carry-on bags, waiting for our turn to disembark. My then four-year-old son, standing there with his Lightning McQueen roller bag, looked up at me with sad eyes and said “I’m sad. I don’t want to get off the boat.”
Same buddy, same.
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