Everything you need to know about planning a Disney Cruise holiday

Disney cruise holiday

Have you always dreamed of going on a Disney Cruise holiday? If so, you’re in the right place! Following on from our Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World guides, we have Travel Counsellor Tina Hopkins back in the hot seat to share everything you need to know about planning a Disney Cruise holiday.

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With destinations all over the world, award-winning musicals, full on-board rotational dining, and unlimited snacks, soft drinks and ice-cream, what’s there not to love about a Disney cruise holiday? The best bit? It’s all served up with the legendary Disney service, themed deck parties and fireworks at sea, you might even get to meet your favourite Disney character on-board too!

Where can I go on a Disney Cruise holiday?

Disney owns four cruise liners; Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy offering a choice of destinations and sailing dates.

Depart from Dover and sail to Northern Europe or (for any Frozen fan!) experience the Norwegian Fjords. Depart from Barcelona or Rome and explore the sights of the Mediterranean.

Fancy traveling further afield? Depart from Port Canaveral, Florida and choose between the Eastern or Western Caribbean, which also calls at Cozumel, Mexico. There’s also a three- or four-night cruise around the Bahamas.

If you’re really looking for adventure depart from Vancouver, Canada and explore stunning Alaska.

With a Disney cruise it really is “a small world after all!”

Top Tip: For the best value holiday, travel during school term time.

Staterooms

There’s a huge range of staterooms aboard the four ships with plenty to suit everyone’s taste and budget. They’re also big on space! All rooms accommodate at least three people, there are even Deluxe Family Staterooms that can sleep up to five guests. The staterooms have been designed with families in mind and sleeping areas are separated from sitting areas with heavy curtains and most rooms offer a split bathroom.

Top Tip:  For a more practical tip, Disney cruises have laundry facilities, either visit the laundry room with washing machines, tumble dryers, washing powder, and ironing equipment. Or have your laundry and/or dry cleaning collected from your cabin.  Fees apply.

Castaway Cay

Did you know Disney owns its own private island? All the cruises taking in the Caribbean or the Bahamas also include a stop at Castaway Cay. It’s home to a sports beach, snorkeling lagoon and you might even bump into a few of your favourite Disney characters on the island.

There are areas just for adults to enjoy, try Serenity Bay, and plenty to keep children and teens entertained; such as Pelican Plunge with its two water slides. They even have an exclusive teen area called ‘Teen Hideout’.

Top Tip: Castaway Cay has a post office with an exclusive Castaway Cay postmark. Buy stamps on board the ship and send a postcard, letter or a message in a bottle to a friend, relative or even back to yourself.

Disney Cruise holiday Castaway Cay

What’s onboard?

Each of the four ships has their own cinema as well as a theatre for West End standard shows. The ships boast a range of pools and water slides for those lazy days at sea. They also have a range of shops and retail, including a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique where little princes and princesses can be transformed by Fairy Godmothers in training and a Pirates League where children who fancy joining Captain Jack Sparrow can get their pirate make-over.

Top Tip:  There’s a charge for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, but the character experiences are free.  Try and book them for days at sea.

Great! How do I entertain the kids on a Disney cruise holiday?

Have a small travel companion? They will love the bright and colourful “It’s a Small World” nursery, specifically for children aged six months to three years.

There’s also loads for children aged 3-12 years with Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab. Each ship has an “Andy’s Room” from Disney Pixar’s Toy Story and onboard the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy you’ll also find Star Wars attractions.

Teens and Tweens haven’t been forgotten, with dedicated lounges on each ship, as well as a Chill Spa for those aged 13-17 years. 

Top Tip:  Plan ahead for the Pirate Night Deck Party.  The characters all dress up and guests are invited to do the same but buy your costumes and makeup before you travel.

Disney cruise holiday

What’s there for adults to do on a Disney cruise holiday?

There’s a Senses Spa and Salon and adult-only dining onboard each of the ships. In addition, there’s also Quiet Cove, the adult-only pool area.  When it’s time to eat enjoy adult company at Palo or Remy followed by cocktails in Cove Café.

Top Tip:  Each adult can bring one bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer per person onto the ship.  This MUST be carried in hand baggage.

The Ultimate Disney Holiday

Want to combine a cruise around the Caribbean or Bahamas with a stay at Walt Disney World? Well, it’s easy! You can tailor your cruise and stay package however it works best for you; cruise then play at Walt Disney World, or visit the six theme parks then take a few days to relax. There are even transfers to pick you up from the port and take you to your Disney Resort Hotel, or vice versa.

Top Tip: I suggest you visit Walt Disney World before joining your cruise.  Theme parks are great fun, but they can be tiring, enjoy the cruise catching up on rest and relaxation, whilst still enjoying the Disney Magic.

I have to say I absolutely love to cruise and the idea of a Disney cruise holiday fills me with so much excitement. How about you?

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Photo credits: Peter E. Lee Minniemalism via photopin (license), Castaway Cay with Disney Fantasy via photopin (license), Fantasy Pirate Mickey via photopin (license)

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