Why I’m Dying to Cruise With Disney
It’s universally accepted that Disney Cruise Line is the best of the best. For years, we’ve heard about their delicious food, top-notch entertainment, and (of course) their beautiful ships. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t sail before the pandemic (with Disney or any other cruise line).
For the past couple of years, cruising wasn’t an option for many. Several sailings were delayed because of the global health crisis. And when they resumed, the health protocols (while understandable) were a little overwhelming.
Now that the world is mostly reopened and boarding restrictions have relaxed, I’m very eager to book my first cruise. Speaking of, here are just a few reasons why I can’t stop daydreaming about a DCL voyage.
Cruises are known for nightly, sit-down dinners, but DCL exceeds expectations. While I can’t speak to the food on other cruisers, I’ve heard nothing but praise for DCL cuisine.
On a more unique note, DCL is better known for its themed restaurants. The pictures of these restaurants are so amazing, it looks like diners are eating inside classic Disney dark rides. When I think of Disney ships I’d like to board, I always take the immersive restaurants into account.
My current wish list contains Rapunzel’s Royal Table (The Disney Magic), Tiana’s Place (The Disney Wonder), Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure (The Disney Wish), The Royal Palace (The Disney Dream), and Animator’s Palate (found on all DCL ships).
I’m also eyeing exclusive, adult-only Signature Dining-style restaurants like Remy’s and Palos for date night. (I know these aren’t easy reservations to snag though.)
Regardless, I’m looking forward to wonderful meals and theatrical Disney flourishes.
Magical Happy Hours
While DCL is family-friendly, there are plenty of adult-only areas, including pools, lounges, spas, and of course – bars/nightclubs. Wild nightlife isn’t my scene, but many of these DCL bars look like must-visits to me. (And let’s be honest, most of us enjoy a cocktail or two on vacation.)
Specifically, I want to sip a martini at the Skyline Lounge (with virtual changing cityscapes), toast with a glass of champagne at the aptly named Pink bar, or sit at the carousel-themed counter of the La Piazza. Similar to restaurants, bar options vary from ship to ship with occasional overlap.
Either way, I know tantalizing nightcaps await me.
Entertainment at Sea
Overall, cruises seem to have a reputation for underwhelming magicians, mediocre comedians, and forgettable musical acts. On a Disney cruise though, the entertainment options are much more enchanting.
Many themed restaurants include dinner shows, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
DCL ships also have sail-away parties, Pirate-themed deck soirees, fireworks at sea, several Broadway-style theaters, and movie theaters showing first-run flicks. (This means you can see the newest Marvel or Pixar film while it’s still in theaters!)
To me, this sounds like all the best park entertainment relocated to a ship. Honestly, the only thing they’re missing is a nighttime parade.
The Happiest Private Island
DCL cruises all over the globe, but my heart is set on a trip to the Bahamas or the Carribean. Mostly, that’s because these cruises visit Disney’s exclusive, private island. Named Castaway Cay (key), this oasis is a Cruise Critic Award Recipient and is beloved among the Disney community.
Bahamian and Carribean stop for at least one day at this tropical paradise. Only available for DCL guests, this island includes beach access, free food, entertainment, and snorkeling.
Also, the island has exclusive character appearances and an optional 5K to run (specialty medal included).
For vacationers who are sick of crowded and seedy tropical beaches, Castaway Cay (much like Disney World) exists in its own bubble. As someone who likes a break from crowds, this island marries the best aspects of vacation: true relaxation and fun.
Disney’s Pixie Dust
I know there’s a great big world to see, but it’s hard to resist a Disney-related vacation.
I return faithfully because I am still in love with Disney’s spin on everything. From the way they train their staff to the atmospheric music to the perfectly themed light fixtures, the magic is truly in the details.
This is why I’m so excited to see their version of cruising and tropical paradise. All too often bad food, nickel and diming, and overpriced excursions personify cruising. With Disney however, I know that won’t be the case.
Like the park experience, I know Disney fans have to experience a DCL vacation at least once. I want to experience their considerate guest service, notice charming details in my stateroom, and drink in the grandeur of ships I’ve admired from afar. I want to understand why many fans are just as loyal to DCL as they are to Disney World itself.
Honestly, I don’t think I’ll be disappointed.
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Feature Photo Credit: Disney