13 Tips for Planning Your Perfect Disney Cruise
So you’ve decided that you want to go on a Disney Cruise!? Knowing where to start can be a pretty daunting task! Here at MickeyBlog, we are confident that you’ll find a Disney Cruise to be the ultimate adventure for families but to ensure that your dream vacation is all “smooth-sailing” we’ve come up with a baker’s dozen of quick and easy pointers to help you get the most out of your time at sea.
Narrow In On Dates
Disney Cruise Line allows visitors to book their cruises well in advance! As a matter of fact, sailings can currently be booked through until the Spring of 2021! This means that you have plenty of time to find dates that will work perfectly for your family. For some, cruising during school vacations or public holidays is an absolute necessity. In these cases, the earlier you book the better as the rates go up as the ships start to fill up. However, if dates are flexible, try going off-peak for the best rates. Sailings in January, May, September and early December can offer some pretty great rates.
Quick Tip: Unlike other cruise lines, Disney rarely offers last-minute discounts so waiting to bag yourself a bargain may prove disappointing. Rather, book as early as you can for the most affordable rates.
Schedule In Plenty of Time for Travel Hiccups
When you’re planning a Disney World getaway, showing up late isn’t that much of an issue, the fun is waiting for you whenever you arrive. However, you can’t go on your cruise if your ship has already left the port! Make sure you pick sailings and travel options that give you a wide berth (pardon our pun) when it comes to getting to and from the cruise terminal! If travelling during months where the weather’s a bit iffy then consider arriving a day early and staying nearby. For those looking to fly in on the day- the earlier the better! For example, those looking to sail out of Port Canaveral (Disney Cruise Line’s most popular sailing port) make sure to get to the Orlando airport no later than 1pm. Flying back out, you shouldn’t book flights before noon!
Pick Your Perfect Cruising Destination
One of our favorite things about planning a Disney Cruise is decided where to go. With ever-expanding itineraries, there are Disney Cruises bound for the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Bermuda, Canada, Northern Europe, the Mediterranean and more! There’s also a wide range of sailing lengths from 2 night Baja Sailings to 14-day transatlantic crossings!
To find the sailing perfect for your family, reach out to MickeyTravels by filling out our form below to get your FREE, no-obligation quotes!
Pick Your Favorite Port
Though Port Canaveral in Florida is Disney’s most popular port, Disney Cruise Line also offers sailings from ports across the United States, Europe and more!
Some options include:
- Barcelona, Spain
- Dover, England
- Galveston, Texas
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Miami, Florida
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- New York, New York
- Port Canaveral, Florida
- San Diego, California
- San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Vancouver, Canada
For those opting to sail out of Port Canaveral why not combine your cruise with a visit to Walt Disney World? The theme parks are only 90 minutes away from the Port and Disney seamless transportation links are in place to take your from the Resort to your sailing.
For more information on booking a Land & Sea Sailing check out this article.
Locate Your Perfect Stateroom
At the time you book your cruise, you’ll be asked to select a particular stateroom category. Disney Cruise Line offer an incredible assortment of rooms at varying price points. This includes inside staterooms (without a view), outside staterooms (with porthole windows but no balcony) and verandah rooms with private balconies! Each ship also has a small amount of Concierge Level rooms as well as suite options!
Finding a stateroom ideally suited to your family’s needs can be tricky especially since Disney offers categories within categories! That’s why we recommend working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner that is familiar with the ship and can help you find a room that is perfect for your travelling party! You can get the ball rolling by filling out our form below to get your FREE, no-obligation quote from MickeyTravels!
Research Disney’s Incredible Fleet
Here at MickeyBlog, we’re firm believers that you can’t go wrong with any of Disney Cruise Line’s incredible ships! There are currently four ships in the fleet. The original two – The Disney Magic and Disney Wonder first set sail in 1998 and 1999. Both these ships have a capacity of 2,400. Two more ships were launched in 2011 and 2012 – The Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy which are larger and can hold up to 4000 guests. Disney also has three more ships on the way with the Disney Wish slated to set sail in 2022!
Though most of the ships have nearly identical amenities, the Magic and Wonder do have a more classic, intimate feel compared to the Dream and Fantasy’s larger layouts. However, the new ships do come with some added bells and whistles so are ideally suited for those that like state-of-the-art technology and neat amenities!
Definitely Use the Kids’ Clubs
If you’re heading out to sea with small kids in tow, the Kids Clubs will be your best friends! Each ship has almost an entire floor dedicated to these incredible indoor playgrounds! From science labs and slumber parties to storytime with some of your favorite Disney characters, these really and truly are ships designed with kids in mind. Best of all, Kids Clubs are kids-only areas which means that you can leave your kids to explore while you hit the adult’s only pools or head to the spa!
Know When To Opt For the Dream or the Fantasy
As we mentioned above, we personally think you can’t go wrong with any of the stunning ships in Disney’s fleets. However, there are a few reasons why the newer ships might be the best option for your family. First of all, these ships were created with larger families in mind and offer more adjoining staterooms than the Magic or Wonder. If you opt to go for an inside stateroom the Dream and Fantasy also have magical portholes offering sea views (with a few surprises) to make you feel like you have windows even when you don’t! Both of these ships are also a nice option for adults with more Adults-Only spaces than the other ships. This includes quiet pools, pubs, nightclubs and more! Both ships also offer slightly more amenities from larger waterslides to miniature golf courses!
The Dream and Fantasy also offer two special dining experiences. The first is Palo with an emphasis on delicious Italian cuisine) which you’ll find on all four ships but also with Remy offering adults-only French fine dining. It does cost extra to dine at both eateries but both provide the perfect intimate celebrate your special night out!
Find Your Perfect Ports of Call
If destinations are more important to your family then onboard experiences and amenities, you’ll definitely want to do some research as to where each ship stops.
Here are just a few of the destinations you can explore:
- British Isles
- Eastern, Western, or Southern Caribbean
- Mexican Riviera
- Northern Europe
- Norwegian Fjords
- Pacific Coast
- Panama Canal
Consider Castaway Cay
One of the highlights of a Disney Cruise is the opportunity to stop at Disney’s private island Castaway Cay. This Bahamian paradise has it all from white sandy beaches to lots of fun onshore activities. All meals on the island are included and guests also have the option of renting private cabanas where you can sit back, relax and even arrange for a private message! Disney Cruise Line typically features Castaway Cay stops on most Caribbean and Bahamian sailings!
Find Your Perfect Port Adventures
Each of the incredible ports of call on your Disney Cruise will feature fun activities for kids of all ages and all activity levels. Whether you are manning a dog sled in Alaska or learning pasta-making skills in Italy, these are experiences that will last a lifetime! After booking your cruise, start researching, and setting aside money in your budget to book in a few Port Adventures to enhance your family’s cruise experience. You’ll want to book them as soon as your booking window opens as most adventures sell out quickly!
Quick Tip: NEW! Guests now have the option to enhance your sailing with an Adventures By Disney Touring Package. This provides a luxury VIP sailing experience where two adventure guides will take you on amazing experiences at each port. Booked as a special package, the Adventures by Disney touring experience includes meals, admission to all activities and access to special experiences not available to other cruisers!
Add Some Extra Magic To Your Cruise With Disney’s Themed Sailings
Throughout the year, Disney Cruise Line will offer special seasonal sailings and themed days at sea that offer a whole new element of magic to your getaway. For instance, travel in September or October and you can take advantage of one of Disney’s Halloween on the High Seas Sailings. These special itineraries feature trick-or-treating, Halloween decor, costume parties special seasonal entertainment and so much more!
Sailings during November and December often offer Very Merrytime cruises. These sailings are a celebration of all things Christmas with delicious wintry eats, holiday music, parties, presents and even a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus!
Throughout the year, Disney also offers special nights at Sea bringing some of your favorite characters to life! There are both Marvel and Star Wars offerings allowing guests to dress up and mingle with some of your much-loved heroes!
Definitely, Add Travel Insurance
There’s not a lot of flexibility when it comes to boarding a Disney Cruise. Either you’re there when the ship leaves the port or there isn’t! That’s why we here at MickeyBlog think it’s important to add an extra layer of protection when it comes to going on a Disney Cruise! Ask about adding Travel Protection to your cruise package. At 8% of the per person voyage fare, it gives you the flexibility to re-coup on your vacation should the unthinkable happen and you need to make a last-minute cancellation.
Thinking about a Disney Cruise? Planning your getaway at sea couldn’t be easier! Simply fill out our form below to get your FREE, no-obligation quote from MickeyTravels.
Find articles like this helpful? Then why not consider working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I’ll be on hand to assist you with everything from finding your perfect sailing and stateroom to helping you plan lots of special touches to make your visit truly magical. Best of all my services are absolutely FREE. Get in touch at 1.800.801.4025 via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow along on Facebook