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Exploring the Difference — What Sets Disney Cruises Apart

by Mommy Frog on October 16, 2023

Disney Cruises - Pinterest Image

Great news! Your next family vacation is all set to be a tropical cruise getaway — congratulations! We are so hoppy for you. Now, let's dive into the exciting part — researching the perfect cruise line for your family. With countless options out there, it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to start.

Our family has a deep love for both Disney Parks and cruises, and we think Disney cruises offer the best of both worlds. There's something special about Disney Cruises that sets them apart. In this post, we'll share all the frogtastic reasons why Disney Cruises stand out from the rest.

And before we get carried away with all the Disney Cruise perks, we are so thrilled to share that Undercover Tourist now offers exclusive Disney Cruise Line savings! That's right — now you can save some green sailing the high seas. Let's jump into why you may want to do just that! For a limited time, book a Disney Cruise Line cruise with Undercover Tourist for a free in-room decor set (must book by April 30, 2024)!

What Makes the Disney Cruises So Special?

Quality, Quality, Quality

If you've ever had the pleasure of visiting Walt Disney World or Disneyland, then you're already familiar with Disney's commitment to top-notch quality and exceptional customer service. It probably comes as no surprise that Disney Cruise Line lives up to these high standards.

Each of Disney's ships is meticulously maintained, and the crew is genuinely friendly and always ready to assist. When you embark on a Disney cruise, you're in for an experience that truly lives up to the word "magical."

Disney Magic - Disney Magic pool deck and Funnel Vision Screen

You'll find this dedication to detail everywhere you look, from the captivating themes and decor to the delightful dining experiences. To put things in perspective, the Disney Magic, the inaugural ship in the Disney Cruise Line's fleet, has been setting sail since 1998. While 25 years might sound like quite the age for a cruise ship, you'd be hard-pressed to find any signs of wear and tear. These vessels are kept in pristine, or should I say, top-knot, condition.

Infinite Culinary Delights

One word and one word only ... FOOD! Oh, the glorious FOOD! One of the biggest highlights of any cruise experience is, no doubt, the dining experience. Not only are there an enormous amount of dining options, but the food is absolutely delicious.

Disney has something that the other cruise lines don't: a unique rotational dining system. We are HUGE fans! While most cruise ships feature one large formal dining room where you'll eat your dinner each night, Disney has THREE! Yes, three, and each is uniquely themed with different menus and most even offer live entertainment. The best part is that you'll have the opportunity to rotate to each dining location throughout your cruise and you'll have a dedicated team of servers who follow along with you. This allows you to really get to know your servers, but most importantly they really get to know YOU! That means they'll learn what your family likes and dislikes, your food preferences or allergy concerns.

In addition to fine dining, you'll find quick-service options in several areas of the ship. On the Disney Magic, Wonder, Dream and Fantasy there's Cabanas Buffet. The Marceline Market is the buffet on the Disney Wish. The breakfast spread includes made-to-order omelets, scrambled eggs, hash browns, ham, steak, sausages, donuts, and, of course, Mickey Waffles just to name a few. For lunch, you'll find options such as soups, salads, sandwiches, pizza, burgers, chicken, seafood and steak, and a plethora of cookies, cake, and fruit for dessert.

Disney Cruises - Mickey Waffles

If that wasn't enough, there's also the grab-and-go yummies found on the upper deck of the ships. This is where you can grab those oh-so-amazing chicken tenders, a burger and fries and even a slice of pizza in between splashing around on the pool decks. (P.S., the salsa bar at Donald's Cantina is chef's kiss.)

Disney Cruises - Palo Ravioli

When it comes to adults-only dining experiences on Disney Cruise ships, prepare your taste buds for a culinary journey that goes beyond your expectations. Four standout restaurants, Palo and Palo Steakhouse, as well as Remy and Enchanté, cater to both food enthusiasts and those seeking an elegant dining affair. These upscale eateries are a true treat for the senses. While they may subtly incorporate Disney touches into their decor and menus, their primary focus is on delivering a first-class dining experience. You'll have the opportunity to indulge in premium steaks, delectable seafood, savory pasta dishes and rich desserts. It would take a lifetime for me to list out all of the earth-shattering options. It goes without saying, but we can't help but mention it again ... the service is impeccable, and the atmosphere is nothing short of stunning.

Tantalizing Treats

I know I could have talked up the treats in the dining information I shared above. But the treat options aboard the Disney cruises deserve a section all to their own — Disney has your cravings covered from bow to stern.

From the moment you step aboard, you'll find a treasure trove of treats to savor. First up, there's complimentary soft-serve ice cream available whenever you fancy a cool and creamy refreshment. But the sweetness doesn't stop there. Each night, as you conclude your rotational dining experience, you'll be treated to a mouthwatering dessert selection that's nothing short of divine. And psst! You can order as many as you like. Want to try all of the dessert options? Go for it! It's your vacation and you've already paid for it.

Disney Cruises - Cheesecake

Buffets offer an array of sweet options, from cookies, cakes, pies, tarts, to fresh and juicy fruits. If you ever find yourself craving a treat while lounging in your stateroom, Disney covers your bases here too! 24-hour room service is available to satisfy your cravings, delivering goodies straight to your door. Ribbit!

Are you a fan of the Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars that you can find in the theme parks? (My hand is raised!) While they may not appear on the menu, you can order them as part of room service or even in the dining rooms. The Disney magic doesn't end there; servers often present these iconic treats on a bed of Mickey sprinkles, making them extra special.

Disney Cruises - Ice Cream Sundae from Joyful Sweets

Sweet On You (Disney Fantasy), Vanellope's Sweets & Treats (Disney Dream) and Joyful Sweets (Disney Wish) bring a world of sweetness and whimsy to your seafaring adventure. Imagine a candy wonderland where everything is made out of sugar and treats. These candy and ice cream shops are the places to stop when looking to find candies, chocolates, ice cream and gelato. These treats do come at an additional cost.

For those who appreciate a good cup of joe, Disney Cruise ships feature coffee bars and lounges throughout, offering delicious coffee lattes and espressos to perk you up and keep you fueled for more adventures. Plus, soft drinks are included in your Disney cruise package, a perk that sets Disney apart from many other cruise lines where soft drinks usually come at an additional cost. Ya know we frogs are all about saving some green where we can!

Disney Cruises - Latte with Captain Minnie Image in the Foam

 Endless Entertainment

Another aspect that makes Disney cruises a notch above the rest is the massive variety of entertainment and activities available onboard. There is so much to do on any of the Disney ships, that unless you have a longer cruise itinerary, you just won't have enough time to see and do it all.

There are Broadway-style shows that are available each day. The level of talent in these performances is unfrogbelievable! There are also special character meet-and-greets found throughout the ship, sometimes with very little wait time compared to a day at the Disney parks. In addition, each ship has a movie theater that features the latest Disney flicks — sometimes even new movies that haven't been released yet.

Disney Magic - AquaLab

The pool areas on each ship our some of our frog favorites. They are gorgeous and pristine, clean and meticulously maintained. Disney considers the many different types of travelers that board their ships, and as such, there are pool areas for families, splash pads for little ones and quiet pool areas for adults. An extra level of fun is both the AquaDuck and the AquaMouse! These thrilling water attractions are not your average waterslides; they're both a water ride but an amazing way to take in the sights of the big blue and the ship rolled into one. The viewpoint is INCREDIBLE!

The AquaDuck is a winding water coaster that propels you on a high-speed adventure, even extending over the side of the ship. And for something truly special, the AquaMouse is a groundbreaking addition — it's the very first Disney attraction at sea! This immersive water ride combines storytelling, music and Disney Short animations.

When it comes to lighting up the night sky at sea, Disney Cruise Line takes the cake with their spectacular firework displays. These jaw-dropping displays typically follow the deck parties, such as the famous Pirate Night. Can you envision it now: fireworks bursting over the ocean while Disney characters join in on the fun. And here's a fun tidbit — Disney's fireworks are specially made with fish food. They're not only visually stunning but also environmentally friendly.

Disney Cruise Tips - On Deck Pirate Party

But wait, there's more! Besides the exciting highlights mentioned above, here's a quick rundown of the other activities you can sea while aboard:

  • Character Meet-and-Greets
  • Themed Deck Parties (such as Pirate Night)
  • Movies Under the Stars
  • Live Music Performances
  • Karaoke Nights
  • Trivia and Game Shows
  • Educational Workshops and Classes
  • Fitness Centers and Sports Courts
  • Shopping Boutiques
  • Portrait Studio
  • Port Excursions
  • Art Galleries and Auctions

Memorable Disney Character Meet-and-Greets

Disney Cruises - Captain Minnie Meet-and-Greet

One major highlight that sets Disney Cruises apart is the opportunity to meet and interact with Disney characters. This is a really fun experience that appeals to kids of all ages and is a true hallmark of the Disney cruise experience. You can expect to meet classic characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, but these meets also include Disney princesses and even rarer characters like Marvel superheroes and Star Wars icons.

What makes these character interactions so special is that they're often more intimate than you might find at the theme parks, with shorter lines, allowing for meaningful one-on-one moments. You might even spot some of them casually strolling the ship. Rubbing elbows Mickey in the hallway, dining with Spiderman or wishing on a lantern with Rapunzel — wow, I get goosebumps just thinking about it!

These characters aren't just here to wave and snap a quick photo; they're eager to "chat" with you and strike a pose for both family and individual photos. And they're not limited to meet and greets alone; you'll find them taking part in stage and deck shows, and they'll even don themed outfits for special events like Pirate Night or holiday parties such as Halloween on the High Seas and the Very Merrytime cruises.

Out-of-This-World Kids Clubs

Disney Cruises - View of two boys testing the roller coaster simulator on the Disney Wish

The kids clubs aboard Disney cruises are truly in a league of their own. Imagine your children stepping into the enchanting worlds of Star Wars, Disney princesses, Toy Story and even Marvel. Activities include but are certainly not limited to: having a pajama party with Pluto, teaming up with their favorite Marvel superhero to save the day or diving into enchanted storybooks with Belle herself.

For those curious minds and hands-on explorers, the Imagineering Lab is an absolute must. Designed for kids ages 3 to 12, this creative hub allows them to think and create just like the Disney Imagineers. Activities range from designing and testing their own roller coasters (yes, we're a tad jealous too!) to engaging in technology projects, games and arts and crafts.

Disney Cruises - View of Vibe seating TV area

Tween and teen travelers aren't left out either. There are dedicated spaces and activities tailored to their age group, ensuring they have a blast while making new friends. And for the tiniest tadpoles, the "it's a small world" nursery offers a safe, clean and nurturing environment where specially trained staff provide plenty of playtime, stories and snuggles. Your little one will be doted over and well taken care of, allowing you to enjoy some adult time worry-free.

Relaxing and Exclusive Adults-Only Activities

Disney Cruises - Quiet Cove Pool on the Fantasy

You might initially think that a Disney cruise is primarily for families with kids, but let us set the record straight — it's not just for the little ones! In fact, did you know that at least one-third of each Disney ship is dedicated solely to adult-only areas? Now that's got your attention, right? These serene spaces include stylish bars, cozy lounges, upscale restaurants, a rejuvenating spa, a state-of-the-art fitness center, inviting pools and even a lively nightclub. There are plenty of spots onboard where we adult frogs can unwind and escape.

Disney Cruises - Bayou Lounge on the Disney Wish

What's particularly impressive is that these adult-only areas are beautifully themed, yet they don't scream "Disney" in your face. While you might discover subtle Disney touches cleverly woven into the decor, they're so seamlessly integrated that you might not even notice them unless you're actively searching for them. Just like the ships themselves, these adult-only spaces embody the essence of luxury and sophistication. For example, the above photo is of the Bayou lounge aboard the Disney Wish, complete with twinkling lights to emulate fireflies and magnolias to bring you straight into "The Princess and the Frog" in a subtle, beautiful way.

Spacious and Luxurious Staterooms

When it comes to accommodations at sea, Disney Cruise Line has set a gold standard that's hard to beat. In a Disney Cruise Line stateroom, you'll find the perfect balance of comfort, luxury and Disney magic. It's not just a place to rest your head; it's an integral part of the cruise experience that sets Disney apart in the industry.

Disney Cruises - Princess & the Frog Stateroom

Spacious Layout: One thing you'll immediately notice about Disney Cruise Line staterooms is their generous size. Whether you choose an Inside, Oceanview or Verandah stateroom, you'll find ample space to relax and make yourself at home.

Split Bathroom Design: Disney's innovative split bathroom design is a game-changer. It separates the shower and sink from the toilet and another sink, allowing multiple family members to get ready simultaneously. Particularly ideal for families with small children, Disney Cruise Line staterooms are equipped with bathtubs, making bath time a breeze and adding an extra layer of convenience.

Disney Cruises - Disney Wish Split Bathroom

Disney Artwork and Touches: Disney's attention to detail is evident in every aspect of their staterooms. You'll find subtle Disney artwork and touches that add to the overall atmosphere of your room, reminding you that you're on a magical Disney adventure, lest you froget.

Rooms with a View: Most staterooms aboard Disney cruises include a private verandah. Imagine waking up to breathtaking ocean views, enjoying your morning coffee or stargazing in the evening from your own personal outdoor space.

Disney Cruises - Ocean Views from the Stateroom Verandah

Superior Stateroom Services: Disney Cruise Line goes above and beyond to make your stay extraordinary. Each day, your room is cleaned and tidied by the exceptional cast members. But the real magic happens during the nightly turndown service. They make the children's beds, draw the curtains and leave charming towel animals and chocolates on the pillows. We were thrilled to return to a beautifully cleaned cabin after our day out exploring the ship.

Ample Storage: Say goodbye to cluttered suitcases. Disney staterooms offer plenty of storage space, including room under the beds for suitcase storage, so you can keep your living space neat and organized.

Vanity Area, Beverage Cooler and Charging Ports: The staterooms are thoughtfully designed with a vanity area, beverage cooler and plenty of charging and USB ports, ensuring you have everything you need at your fingertips.

Paradise Found: Disney Castaway Cay

Disney Cruises - Ship Docked at Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay is a private island paradise reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests during their Bahamian and Caribbean cruise vacations. Castaway Cay is always a highlight on our Disney Cruise trips — it's all about good vibes and relaxation. The beaches are powdery white, the water is crystal clear and there's never a shortage of recreation and entertainment. When visiting the island, you'll have the opportunity to snorkel with colorful fish, float in the turquoise lagoon or just relax on the beach with a tropical drink in hand. Plus, there's a whole island barbecue going on — we're talking burgers, hot dogs and all the summery salads and desserts you could ever want. And for the tadpoles, there's a whole water park with slides and splash zones too!

Magic and Pixie Dust Found on the Disney Cruises

You can't help but feel the difference when you're on a Disney cruise ship. And for some, that's what is referred to as the "Disney magic." Disney magic isn't just a catchphrase; it's something you'll truly feel from the moment you step on board. From the impeccable and attentive service to the high level of cleanliness that ensures your comfort, every detail is thoughtfully crafted to make your voyage unfrogettable.

Disney Cruises - Palo Dessert Plate

There you have it — everything that sets Disney cruises apart, or the Disney Cruise Line difference.  So, are you ready to take the plunge and embark on your Disney cruise adventure? Join us aboard and don't forget to save by booking with Undercover Tourist's exclusive discounted pricing

Related: Everything You Need to Know About the Disney Cruise Line

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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