Disney cruise ship docked with palm trees in front

When families are considering a cruise, I am often asked, “Is a Disney Cruise worth it?” Or, I am asked which is the best cruise line for kids.

Now, we have cruised other cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean and Carnival cruise lines, and all have their pros and cons, quite honestly. But when it comes to those other cruise lines, here’s the thing – they aren’t Disney!

We have been on many Disney cruises, including when our son was an infant, when they were toddlers and preschoolers and recently with preteens and teens. We have done a short Disney cruise on the Disney Wonder and a longer cruise on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, and all have been worth it. Disney Cruise Line is like none other and it’s worth it for any age.

From the kids club to the thematic rotational dining to the world-class entertainment to the Disney-themed decor and access to the Disney characters, Disney Cruise Line is so much fun and a top-notch family vacation. Even small children and teens and adults can have a great time on this cruise line vacation.

If you love Disney and are looking for the ultimate Disney vacation for your family, and if you want something different from the typical Walt Disney World trip, then a Disney Cruise vacation may be just what your family is looking for.

Here is everything you need to know about Disney Cruises, plus some Disney Cruise tips to help you decide if a Disney Cruise is worth it for your next vacation. Whether you choose the Disney Dream, Disney Wonder, or one of the other Disney cruise ships, here’s all you need to know to decide if a Disney Cruise Line is worth it for your next family vacation.

Spoiler alert: It’s so unique that these Disney Cruise Line vacations are definitely worth it. There is something for every age – including adults – with unique theming and attention to detail, it is hands down the best family cruise line out there. And, the happiness of my kids makes it worth every penny! Read on to find out why.

This “Is Disney Cruise Line Worth It” post may contain affiliate links which means I receive a small commission at no cost to you should you make a purchase using this link. See my disclosures. Cover photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Kids with Mickey Mouse on a Disney Cruise Ship
Captain Mickey and friends makes a Disney cruise worth it! Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Why Consider A Disney Cruise?

Now, Disney Cruise Line vacations are a bit more expensive than some of the other cruise companies. But, what makes it stand out? I am going to put it in one word: Disney. When it comes to fanatical attention to detail, top-notch service, and family-friendliness, no one does it like a Disney vacation.

But you may be trying to decide, is a Disney Cruise Line vacation worth it? After all, a Disney cruise can be a more expensive family vacation and more expensive than other cruise lines. And, you are not getting the full Disney theme park experience.

But, whether it’s Disney or other cruise lines, most of these cruises are all-inclusive. So, you will pay a bit more for that experience.

That said, a Disney Cruise offers a completely different type of vacation than the Disney theme parks and other cruises. And, what stands Disney cruise line part is that they immerse you in the Disney experience, there are unique experiences not found on other cruise ships, and it is made for kids.

In fact, we have gone on a Disney Cruise as adults without kids, with babies, toddlers, school aged kids, tweens, and teens. And Disney Cruises offer thoughtful and unique experiences for EACH of these age groups. On our most recent cruise, our teen son had the most fun he’s ever had!

Here’s why you should look into if a Disney Cruise is worth it for your family.

dad and kid in front of Disney cruise in Port Canaveral
All ages have fun on the Disney Cruises! Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

About Disney Cruise Line

When trying to decide, is a Disney Cruise Line vacation worth it, you probably want to know a little about this exclusive cruise line. So, now it’s time for a little Disney Cruise 101. When you sail with Disney Cruise Line, you’re in for a unique and unforgettable adventure. 

The Disney Cruise Line debuted with the cruise ship Disney Magic back in 1998. It was a raving success from the start, and now there are five ships – Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Fantasy, and Disney Dream. The Disney Wish and the Disney Treasure are the newest cruise ships. 

Each ship comes with the latest in comfort and technology. You’ll find plenty of things to do from kids clubs, Cast Member onboard activities, nightclubs to shops to state-of-the-art recreational facilities, to outstanding onboard shopping for that special Disney souvenir.

On a Disney Cruise, you sail to exotic places with unforgettable shore excursions (including Castaway Cay, Disney’s island, and my favorite shore excursion) and experience new things for an unforgettable vacation.  Recently, Disney added a second Disney-owned island stop on certain sailings called Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point in the Caribbean.

And, you can choose between a short Disney cruise or a longer cruise. There are many departure ports all around the world, with one of the most popular ones being in Port Canaveral, Florida.

family photo on castaway cay with Disney cruise ship in the background
We have been on multiple Disney cruises! Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Disney Cruise Line Lengths and Destinations

Disney Cruise lines offer a variety a range of lengths for you to choose for your next cruise vacation. There are options for short Disney cruises of a minimum three-night cruise or four-night cruise (often on the Disney Wonder) to longer cruises as many as 14 nights or more.

And the destinations really run the gamut. In fact, my parents took a 14-Day Panama Canal cruise, with many ports of call, that fulfilled a lifelong dream of theirs. So you really can enjoy a Disney Cruise to a variety of destinations.

If you are wondering how much is a Disney Cruise, that all depends on the length and destinations of the cruise. It also depends on the type of cabin you choose.

Castaway Cay water play area
The beaches of Castaway Cay have plenty of activities for families. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

A note about Disney Cruise Destinations

One of our last Disney Cruises was a 7 night Caribbean cruise that had stops in the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Bahamas, and Cozumel in Mexico. And there were a couple of days at sea. There was a range of shore excursions that ranged from a simple beach and shopping day to scuba diving in one of the incredible Cozumel dive sites.

More recently, we did a 5 night Caribbean Disney Cruise with one stop in Nassau, Bahamas, two stops at Disney’s private island Castaway Cay, and one day at sea.

Yes, other cruise lines also stop at similar or the same destinations. But the difference on the Disney Cruise Line is – it’s Disney. You get the Disney family experience on land on their islands and at sea.

While the destinations and shore excursions were excellent, it is the whole Disney Cruise experience, from embarkation to debarkation, that makes the vacation memorable. In other words, it is the JOURNEY, as much as the DESTINATIONS. Even on a short cruise on the Disney Wonder!

With Disney Cruise Line, you can sail to a range of places including the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, the Panama Canal, Hawaii, Transatlantic, and more. It really is a great way to see the world, with incredible shore excursions along the way. And, you may be able to enjoy an upgraded shore excursion curated by Adventures By Disney.

Mickey hand waterslide on Disney cruise ship
The pool and waterslide deck is so much fun for all ages on Disney Cruise ships. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

A note about Short Disney Cruises

Some people wonder, “Is a short Disney cruise worth it?” And, we have done those too – both the three-day and four-day short Disney cruises.

The answer: YES, even with the short Disney cruises, you can enjoy quite a lot of Disney magic!

Because, when it comes to cruising, the ship ITSELF is part of the destination. Especially on a Disney Cruise. When we have sailed the Disney Wonder for a short cruise, it feels like a long get away, even at three or four days.

We have sailed other cruise lines for a short cruise as well. And as I said before, the major difference is Disney.

From the thematic dining to the shows to the pools and activities to the Disney characters and even a one-day stop at Castaway Cay, you will still get to enjoy all of these even on a short Disney cruise. In my opinion, ANY Disney Cruise is worth it – it’s that special!

Cayman Islands Beach
There are so many shore excursions including beautiful beaches in the Caribbean! Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

We have done Disney short cruises a few times on the Disney Wonder and they are like any weekend getaway, only this one is at sea! When you ask ” are short Disney cruises worth it” I would say yes, a short Disney cruise IS WORTH IT, especially if you love Disney.

Plus, keep in mind you can book a three or four-night Disney cruise and pair it with a few nights at Walt Disney World Resort or Disney’s Vero Beach to get the best of both worlds.

All Disney ships offer similar amenities (though some differ slightly) but with a Disney-themed kids club and that added pixie dust other cruises don’t have, you can rest assured it is one of the best family vacations out there. Especially for small children.

Atlantis Hotel
There are many day excursions on Disney Cruise itineraries including day trips to places like Atlantis in the Bahamas. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Is a Disney Cruise Worth It?

In a word, YES! But are you wondering what Disney Cruises are like?

In a couple of words, they’re magical.

Disney Cast Members go out of their way to create the best vacation experience for the whole family. And, it differs from other mainstream cruise lines in that it is all Disney-themed, in every nook and cranny. But that doesn’t mean adults can’t enjoy it.

Whether you travel solo or take advantage of the kids club, there are adult-only areas too, including an adult-only restaurant. Plus, Disney cruises make wonderful multigenerational family vacations, as our family experienced celebrating my dad’s 70th birthday!

You’ll find so many things to do on a Disney Cruise that it’s hard to do it all in one vacation. But remember, the cruise ship IS the destination, even though it may stop for many shore excursions.

pool deck on Disney Dream
Disney Cruise ships have multiple pools and water play areas. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Disney fans love the daily activities, pools with water slides, musicals that rival those on Broadway, a movie theater (that plays Disney movies,) and much more. And, then there are the thematic restaurants and rotational dining (which means you move each night to a new thematic restaurant so you don’t miss a thing!) Most other cruise lines don’t have this.

And, there are the character “meet n greets” and themed events, like Pirates Night or Star Wars Day (you don’t find on some of the other cruises). The deck parties are so much fun for families.

Maybe you just want to relax on one of the pool decks of the adults-only pools. Well, there’s plenty of time to do that when the children are at the Kids Clubs onboard. And my kids had so much fun in the Kids Clubs, they ASKED to go back!

One of the best parts about Disney Cruises is, depending on your itinerary; you wake up in a different country every day or even Disney’s own gorgeous private island, Castaway Cay.

Bon Voyage With Kids Tip!

Want to know what is happening each day? Disney Cruise Line makes that easy with their Disney Navigator App, which you download before you board the ship. Much like their My Disney Experience app for Walt Disney World, the Disney Navigator App for Disney Cruise Line tells you everything you need to know. It was a MUST HAVE on our recent Disney Cruise! Even before you embark on your cruise, you can find what you need to bring, make payments, add payment details for charges during your cruise with Disney Cruise Line, and disembarking information. You can find out daily activities, book dining times and special events, provide dietary needs and more. This is your one-stop shop must-have for your Disney Cruise Line cruise.

What’s Included in a Disney Cruise?

Often I am asked what makes a Disney cruise worth it compared to other cruise lines. Here’s what’s included in the Disney Cruise Line cruise fare:

stage show on Disney Cruise Ships
Our family loves the professional stage shows on board the Disney Cruise ships. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Tons of Entertainment Options  

There are Broadway-style shows and live showings of Disney films like Frozen and Aladdin on Disney ships. Families can also partake in the many fun activities and games like dance parties and karaoke.

Stateroom cabin on Disney cruise that fits five people
Stateroom cabins have thoughtful space but bring extra items for organizing your belongings. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids


Disney Cruises have a variety of hotel accommodations, from luxurious suites to staterooms designed specifically for families. You can even choose a cozy stateroom retreat. 

The Disney Cruise Lines’ rooms are thoughtfully designed with families in mind and like a four-star hotel on a cruise ship. Personally, I think their state rooms are more geared toward families compared to other cruise lines, which does make it easier to plan your Disney Cruise packing list.

Enchanted Garden dining room on Disney Dream cruise ship
Bring nice clothes for Disney Cruise dining but you can also wear cruise casual to the main rotational dining rooms. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Meals and Snacks

Meals and soft drinks are included and available 24-hours a day on the Disney Cruise Ships. Everyone gets complimentary coffee, tea, bottled water, and unlimited soft drinks. There are even late-night snacks, and room service is free any time of day or night. You pay extra for alcohol or having bottled water delivered to your room. I recommend bringing a water bottle so you can refill your water or soft drinks at the fountains as needed. Or, you can buy a souvenir cup and refill soft drinks that way, because everything is more fun in a Disney-themed mug!

Princess themed dining room on Disney Dream.
Disney’s rotational dining gives you numerous thematic dining options onboard the ships. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Rotational Themed Dining

One great thing about meals on Disney cruises is the rotational dining rooms where you’re assigned to a different dining room every day. Most other cruise lines and cruise ships do not do this.

There are three main dining rooms so on longer cruises you’ll eat at some of them more than once. And the thematic dining is a show unto itself, with changing color, interactive experiences and if you hear the pixie dust sound, look around as you never know if a special character might be coming in for a visit! The dining experience is exceptional, just like every other part of the cruise.

Also, watch closely in the dining rooms on Disney Cruise Lines’ cruise ships as magic happens right before your very eyes. It is definitely one of the best parts of Disney Cruise Lines and one you won’t find on other cruise ships. Frankly, Disney Cruise Line is worth it for the rotational dining alone!

bon Voyage With Kids Tip

There are two rotational dining seating times – an earlier time at 5:30 p.m. and a later time at 8 p.m. You can then go see the evening show either after or before that time if you like. If you are unhappy with your assigned seating time, you can ask to change it on the first day on the ship and in my experience, they usually accommodate you. You can also ask for a private dining table for your family if you don’t want to dine with other Guests.

Easy Access to Disney Characters and Meet and Greets

You’ll find easier access to the characters and the meets and greets onboard. This access is even better than those at Disney Resorts and Parks. The characters are in many places for photo opportunities and autographs.

little girl with Belle on a Disney Cruise Ship
Kids can see their favorite characters and princesses on the Disney Cruise Line! Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Everything is Themed

You’ll see Disney’s legendary storytelling in everything you do, as everything has a theme. You’ll find activities onboard are themed, and there are even Days at Sea like Star War Day at Sea and Marvels Day at Sea

star wars area of the Oceaneer Club on Disney Cruise
Kids can even drive their own spaceship in the Oceaneer Club. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Disney’s Famous Customer Service

Disney’s known for its legendary customer service. Their amazing service sets them apart. You’ll have the same team of servers that travels with you, so they’ll get to know you and your family over the duration of the trip.

The legendary customer service is often one of the main reasons I say yes whenever anyone asks me, is a Disney Cruise worth it?

Disney Cruise Ship parked at Castaway Cay
Castaway Cay is one of my favorite stops on any Caribbean cruise itinerary. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Stop at Castaway Cay

If you’re on a Caribbean or Bahamas Cruise, the ship will stop at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, for one day. Enjoy some beach time, water sports, a BBQ lunch, refillable soft drinks, and other activities including the Kids Clubs on the island. You can even participate in the Castaway Cay 5K which is usually early in the morning once the Disney Cruise Ship arrives in the port. So if you are up for it, you can first run the island before coming spending the day relaxing on Disney’s private island.

Now other cruise lines have their own private island as well. But what makes Disney’s private island stand out is that you don’t have to tender to the island from the ship like you do on other cruise lines cruise ships. Disney Cruise Lines’ cruise ships park right at the dock, so you can disembark and immediately begin your day. This saves a lot of time and waiting, and it is another reason Disney Cruise is worth it in my opinion.

Oceaneer Club kids club on Disney cruise decorated like Andy's room
Kids can feel like life-size toys in Andy’s room in the Oceaneer Club on Disney Cruises. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Awesome Kids’ Clubs

The Kids’ Club makes Disney Cruise Line an attractive family vacation option.  They provide hours of entertainment with themes such as Marvel, Toy Story, Star Wars, Cars, and more. 

My kids had SO MUCH FUN in the kids clubs that they kept asking to go back! There is also the It’s A Small World nursery for the youngest Mouseketeers on board. The Cast Members take excellent care of the little ones, while you can enjoy a quiet moment on the pool deck.

it's a small world nursery on Disney cruise ship
The “it’s a small world nursery” is available for infant and toddler care on board the Disney Cruise ships. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

The kids’ clubs are separated by age, which makes it a better experience for all. For babies and toddlers, there is the It’s A Small World Nursery. For kids aged three or four to 10 years who are toilet trained, they can enjoy all of the unique features of the Oceaneer Club. Preteens can hang out with kids their age up to age 14 at The Edge and Teens have the cool Vibe hangout.

There are special activities for these ages too, which can be found on your Disney Navigator app. On Castaway Cay, kids can participate in the kids’ club activities areas specific to their ages as well (note this is mainly for kids aged 4 and up. There is not a nursery on Castaway Cay.)

baby splashing in splash area on Disney cruise
Even babies can have fun on Disney Cruises making them well worth it for a family vacation! Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Kids Splash Areas and Pools

A Disney Cruise is worth it for the kids’ splash pads and pools. One nice thing about Disney Cruises is there are splash plads for young kids and pools like Mickey’s Pool and Nemo’s Reef, and separate adults’ only pools.  The Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy have the AquaDuck waterslide and the Disney Magic has the AquaDunk waterslide. We rode the Disney Dream for a 7 night cruise and my oldest loved the AquaDuck – it’s a huge benefit of this cruise ship!

person on the Aqua Duck on Disney Cruise
The Aqua Duck waterslide is very popular with my kids. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Movies at the Movie Theater Onboard

First-run Star Wars, Disney, and Marvel movies are no additional cost. This activity is unique to the Disney Cruise Lines.

kid dressed a s a pirate on Disney Cruise Ship
Pirate Night is fun for everyone! Definitely pack your pirate gear for your Disney Cruise. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Pirate Night

Pirate Night is a family favorite offered on select cruises and includes themed-food, fireworks, Disney characters dressed as pirates, and more. It’s a favorite feature for many families.

kid and dad dressed like pirates on the Disney Cruise
There are so many family-friendly events and activities so be sure and download the Disney Navigator app for your Disney Cruise! Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Dance Parties

Disney Cruises also feature fun-themed dance parties for the whole family where you can dance with Mickey and other Disney Characters. 

disney characters celebrating at a dance party on Disney Cruise Ship
There are celebrations and dance parties with favorite Disney pals on Disney Cruise Ships! Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Miniature Golf

While you can play miniature golf is something you can play anywhere if it’s a family favorite, the Disney Fantasy ship has a 9-hole mini-golf course called Goofy Golf. There are also sports areas on the cruise ships as well.

golf course on Disney Cruise Ship
There is even a sports area and mini golf on the Disney Cruise ships. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

So, is a Disney Cruise worth it? Absolutely because you won’t find many vacations with all these things included in the price.

What is Not Included in a Disney Cruise?

Bingo game on Disney Cruise Ship
Disney Cruises have activities on board the ship all day long, including trivia and bingo. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

While Disney Cruises are all-inclusive, there are some things not included but available for an additional charge, such as:

  • Alcohol
  • Premium dining
  • Souvenirs
  • Premium Coffee
  • Some family activities like Family Bingo
  • Wi-Fi – You’ll need to purchase an internet package onboard internet access for use outside the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app.

Transportation to the port your cruise leaves from, and your port excursions are extra costs to factor in when planning your vacation. and gratuity is not included.

In-room babysitting is an extra cost, and renting the nursery for babies is an hourly charge. 

teens playing fusbol in the teen club Vibe on Disney Cruise Ship
The teen club Vibe is great fun for teenagers. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Disney Cruise Line vs. Other Cruise Lines

If you are going to spend money on a cruise vacation, you want to make sure you cruise smarter. There are so many things that set a Disney Cruise apart from other cruise vacations and make it a great option for families.

First of all, you can’t get the Disney experience on any other cruise. Here are some other reasons Disney Cruises are worth considering.

Disney Cruises are Tailored to Families

Many parts of a Disney Cruise Ship are designed with families in mind. Disney cartoons play on the TV all day and night. 

The convenience keeps families in mind too. They’ve thought of everything families need, like the water areas designated for children, and the chefs onboard will even puree food for toddlers.

There’s even a teen club called Vibe on the Disney Fantasy and Dream cruise ships

For families, you can’t beat this vacation.

Cayman Islands shore excursion during Disney Cruise
You can enjoy beach activities like snorkeling depending on the ports of call for your Disney Cruise. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Adult Only Activities

But if you’re looking for a Disney adventure without children, there are plenty of adult-only areas like spa treatments, pools, and the gym. There is even an adult-only restaurant and activities for adults in the evening. And, there’s even an adult area and kids’ club on Castaway Cay!

Adult only pool on Disney Cruise Ship
While kids are having fun in the kids club, parents and adults can enjoy time in the adult only pool area, at the coffee shop and juice bar, and even relax at the spa. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

A Cruise Is a Unique Way to Experience Disney

If you’re looking for a different way to get your fix, a cruise lets you experience the wonderful world of Disney in a way no other trip will.

kid with crab sign on Cast Away Cay
There are so many fun activities for kids on Cast Away Cay like Hermit Crab races and a Kids Club on the island! Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Disney Has Its Own Private Island: Castaway Cay

Disney’s private island Castaway Cay is more Disney magic on land and can only be experienced on a Caribbean or Bahamas Disney Cruise. Not only is this stop beautiful (and you don’t need a boat taxi to get to it from the ship), there are plenty of kids activities AND an onsite kids club right at Castaway Cay!

Scuttles Cove on Castaway Cay
There are even kids clubs on Disney’s Castaway Cay! Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

So your kids can keep having fun while you enjoy a nice nap on the beach. Some of the other cruise lines also have their own private island, but Castaway Cay is particularly beautiful. And did I mention they serve you a delicious BBQ lunch and provide unlimited soft drinks on the island too?

Disney Cruise Tips 

Now that you know what makes a Disney Cruise unique from other family trips, here are some helpful tips to help you get the most out of your vacation.

Don’t Overpack

When you are thinking about what to pack for your cruise, especially for a Caribbean, don’t overpack! As you plan your cruise wardrobe, for a Caribbean cruise or any Disney cruise destination, think about capsule clothing (clothing that can make multiple outfits.)

Cruise cabins are tight and while there is a surprising amount of space on the Disney cruise for hanging and storing your clothes, it is a cruise cabin afterall and space is limited. Plus, Disney ships have laundry rooms for a fee. So pack smartly for your Disney cruise, and you’ll have more room for your souvenirs!

Book A Pre-cruise Hotel


Because you have to board the ship within a certain window, I always recommend flying in a day early and booking at a pre-cruise hotel just in case there are any flight delays or arrival issues. Disney Cruise Line does offer a bus from the Orlando airport to Port Canaveral, so we often stay right at the Orlando airport and then take the Disney Cruise Line Bus to the port the next morning.

Download the Disney Navigator Disney Cruise Line Navigator App

image of Disney navigator app
Download the Disney Navigator app for your Disney Cruise vacation. Photo credit: Bon Voyage Wtih Kids

Download the app to find out everything that’s going on aboard the cruise ship. It’s similar to the My Disney Experience app for Walt Disney World and free to use. It provides all the information you need for activities, dining, and more. You can even message other family members no matter where they are on board.

One thing to note is that the app may not work in some ports of call, including Castaway Cay. But it is incredibly useful before and while onboard the Disney Cruise Line cruise ships!

Mom and daughter doing interactive game on Disney Cruise ship
There are even self-guided interactive games like the Midship Detective agency that bring the ship to life on the Disney Cruise ship. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

The Disney Cruise is the Main Event

Your Disney Cruise is the destination. While you go to other ports and you’ll want to explore some, the Cruise itself is the main event. When you do get off the ship, you are typically only in port for a short while (a few hours).

You can certainly experience the port and possibly an excursion or activity, in some ports you don’t see much beyond the port. Of course, this varies by port of call and the cruise you take.

But if you aren’t particularly excited about a port of call or don’t plan to book an excursion, staying on the cruise ship can be a great time to spend time at the pool or one of the indoor activities. And, on the “days at sea” on your itinerary, these are great times to enjoy the main event – the cruise ship and all of its offerings, especially if you love Disney!

Pack A “Ship Carry On” For Embarkation Day

When you board the Disney Cruise Ships, it may take some time before your luggage arrives to your stateroom. Be sure to pack a “ship carry on” for your embarkation day with a swimsuit (or better yet, wear them under your clothes) so you can hang out by the pool if you like until your bags arrive to your stateroom. Sometimes your suitcases don’t arrive until right before dinner, so having a day bag is helpful!

family in Disney port terminal getting ready to board Disney Cruise ship
Be sure and bring a day bag with all of your essential documents for embarkation day, as it may be awhile until you receive your checked luggage. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

After Embarkation, head straight to lunch

Once you embark onto the Disney Cruise Ship, head straight to lunch. The restaurants can get crowded on arrival day, so we like to head straight to lunch so we have time to hang out by the pool before it is time for our “muster drill” (a.k.a. the mandatory safety drill right before the ship leaves port.)

pool deck on Disney Cruise Ship
The pool deck area can get crowded on at sea days so get there early. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Stay on the Boat at Ports to Enjoy a Less-Crowded Pool

Staying on the ship when others get off at ports is a great way to spend quality time at the pool with fewer people. 

Choose the Best Time for Your Family to Dine

You can choose the best dining time for your family ahead, but if you need to change it, you can usually do it once you board the ship. If you have young kids, the earlier dining time is recommended. But if you require flexible dining, don’t worry. You can order room service or visit one of the quick service options on board.

Ask Your Steward if You Need Certain Amenities

If you need specific amenities for your cabin like milk, a Diaper Genie, a pack n play or something else, just ask your Cabin Steward. Since your serving team stays with you, they get to know your needs.

For dining, if you have any special requests or needs, you can request it. Your dining team also gets to know you and will set things up in advance for each meal.

kids with Captain Hook on a Disney cruise ship
Acess to the characters is one of the best parts of a Disney cruise that makes it worth it! Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Take Advantage of the Disney Character Meet and Greets

Be sure to take advantage of character meet and greets where your kids can spend time with some of their favorite characters and get pictures with them and their autographs. 

Some characters you may see include:

  • Mickey Mouse
  • Minnie Mouse
  • Donald Duck
  • Daisy Duck
  • Chip ‘n Dale
  • Goofy
  • Pluto
  • Belle
  • Captain Hook
  • Tiana
  • Cinderella
  • Jake
  • Doc McStuffins
  • Sofia the First
  • Queen Elsa*
  • Princess Anna*

Some photo opportunities require tickets like those with Queen Elsa and Princess Anna.

Family with Anna and Elsa on Disney Cruise
Pack your princess and favorite Disney-themed outfits for photo ops like this one! Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Get to Shows Early to Get the Best Seats

It pays to be a planner on Disney vacations because, like all things Disney, shows can get crowded. Getting to shows early ensures that you get a good seat.

Mickey visits table during meal on Disney cruise ship
If you hear the sound of pixie dust, be sure and look around as you never know who may be coming to visit during your meal on the Disney Cruise! Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Pay Attention When You Hear the Sound of Pixie Dust

Pay attention when you hear the sound of pixie dust in a restaurant because you can never be sure which one of your favorite characters is stopping in for a visit. It could be Mickey, Goofy, or any of the rest of the gang. 

Put Special Requests in Before You Board the Ship

Many families go on Disney Cruises to celebrate a special occasion. If you have any requests like a special dining location, celebration, or putting in an order for a birthday cake, be sure to do so before you leave. You can even have special surprises delivered to your stateroom. 

Disney Cruise Line door with decorations
Remember to pack your door magnets and decorations for your Disney Cruise Line stateroom. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Decorate Your Cabin Door

You’ve heard the famous saying, “When in Rome….,” Well, when on a Disney Cruise do as the biggest fans do. Many guests bring signs, magnets, and other Disney items to decorate their stateroom door.

girl in bippity boppity boutique on Disney cruise ship
You can access some of the favorite Disney activities on the Disney cruise ship including Bippity Boppity Boutique! Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Visit the Bibbidi Bobiddi Boutique

Make sure to visit the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique onboard the ship. This boutique is the enchanted salon where you can make an appointment to transform your child into a sea captain, knight, or princess.

Take Tons of Photos

This vacation certainly isn’t an ordinary one, so make sure you take plenty of pictures to document your trip (even when traveling with a baby). Your kids can relive the experience over and over again with photos of the great time you all had. 

Castaway Cay character anchors
Castaway Cay has elements of Disney magic even on the island. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids


Is a Disney Cruise Worth the Price?

It depends on your vacation plans and budget, but the Disney Cruise cost is totally worth it if it matches your goals. If you’re trying to decide whether you want to take a Disney Cruise or go to a Disney theme park, consider what activities you want to do.

If you have your heart set on a cruise, you may want to look at all your options. But if you want a vacation that immerses the whole family in everything Disney, then there’s nothing like a Disney Cruise experience.

Are Disney Cruises overpriced? Is Disney Cruise price worth it?

It really depends on the experience you’re looking for. Some other 7-day cruises are less expensive than a 3-night Disney Cruise. If you’re really on a tight budget, then it would save money to go on a short trip to Disney World vs a Disney Cruise, as Disney cruise fare can be expensive. 

There are plenty of Disney Cruise options for different budgets, so if you can afford it, the experience makes a Disney-themed cruise worth it.

kid in captains outfit on Disney Cruise Ship
Some staterooms have a veranda on the Disney cruise ships. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

What’s so special about a Disney Cruise? Are Disney Cruises the Best? Why are Disney Cruises so popular?

When considering is a Disney Cruise worth it – you may want to know what makes them so special. There are so many things that make a Disney Cruise worth it, but here are a few things that make them so special:

  • It’s Disney. Need I say more?
  • Amazing food and amazing service
  • Room service 24-hours a day
  • Childcare so mom and dads can have private time
  • Eating with your favorite Disney characters
  • Special events like Star Wars Day on select cruises
  • The cleanest rooms ever with Disney touches everywhere
  • Themed rotational dining
  • Disney magic in every nook and cranny
  • Incredible Disney entertainment
  • It’s Disney

I am often asked if short Disney cruises are worth it. And yes, they are. Short Disney cruises are great as stand alone vacations or to add on to a shorter Walt Disney World vacation. Short Disney cruises are worth it because you still get to enjoy the thematic dining, the Disney experience at sea, entertainment, activities, and often a stop at Castaway Cay on a Disney ship! It may seem short on paper, but trust me it is so full of Disney magic you will feell like you got a wonderful getaway. In my opinion, whether you choose the 3 or 4 day option, short Disney cruises are worth it!

Now, we have also sailed on Carnival cruises and Royal Caribbean cruises. But for families, in my opinion, Disney cruises are the best for all that they offer.

smoke stacks and horns on Disney cruise ship
Disney Cruises have Disney theming from bow to stern. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

How many Days Is Good For A Disney Cruise?

As this post suggests, even short Disney cruises are worth it. So depending on how much time you have and where you would like to go, you could do 3 and 4 day cruises and have a wonderful time. I do think a 7 night, 8 day cruise is good for a Disney cruise. It gives you enough time to stop in the port destinations, but likely you will also have days at sea where you can enjoy all the ameneities the ships have to offer. When you take cruise on Disney, the cruise ship is part of the destination!

What Age Is Best For A Disney Cruise?

Honestly, any age is best for a Disney cruise. We have gon on Disney cruises as adults with no kids, with a baby, with toddlers, and school aged kids and recently our preteens and teen. Our teen son had the most fun of all, because he met new friends in the teen club and enjoyed all of the trivia and shows together.

And each time we go, we understand why Disney cruises are so popular.

For adults who travel without kids, there are adult only pool areas, spa treatments, achoholic beverages for purchase, shows, dining that is exclusive for adults, and more.

Nemo's reef water splash area on Disney Cruise Ship
There’s a splash pad area for the littlest sailors. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

For babies, there is a nursery as well as high chairs, pack n’ plays, and diaper genies. But if you need food, the Disney Cruise chefs will puree your child food! There are also splash areas suitable for babies and toddlers.

And, for school aged kids, there is a kids club, plenty of fun activities, shows, characters, and more as this post shares.

Preteens and teens also have a great time as there are kids’ clubs dedicated to these age groups, as well as spaces on Castaway Cay they can hang out too. Our teen son had the most fun of all, because he met new friends in the teen club and enjoyed all of the trivia and shows together.

So truthfully, any age is best for a Disney Cruise!

teen club Vibe on disney cruise
The teen hang out room Vibe has fun activities even teens think are cool. Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

Is it cheaper to go to Disney World or on a Disney Cruise?

The answer is that it depends. That may not be the answer you want to hear. But it depends on how many days you are staying and whether you’re staying on the property or off it at budget-friendly hotels. It may also depend on when you travel or if you use a travel agent who can maximize value for your money.

A budget-friendly hotel at Walt Disney World may still be $350 a night for a family of four. But then you must factor in the cost of tickets at $130 a day, plus souvenirs and meals. And that doesn’t include Disney Genie +. With a trip to Disney World, there are many ways to save money, but because it is not all-inclusive, it is hard to give a fixed price on this vacation (much of it is variable.)

However, if you plan on staying in a deluxe hotel at Walt Dinsney World for 7 days, it could easily cost just as much as a 7-night Disney Cruise or more. Just remember, the nicest thing about cruises is they are all-inclusive minus the cost of alcoholic beverages, souvenirs, and other incidentals. So, if you take advantage of all the Disney Cruise has to offer, including many of the onboard activities, I think it is certainly worth the cost.

And, you can also look at other ways to save money. For example, if you are a member of Costco, you may be able to save money on your cruise fare by booking with them or through a travel agent. And if you take the cruise when it is repositioning from one port to another, you can often get a discount on your cruise fare.

Disney Dream parked at Castaway Cay
Disney Dream at Castaway Cay Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

How much should I expect to pay on a Disney Cruise? How to save money on a Disney Cruise?

So, this is hard to answer because there are a lot of variables. The length of the cruise, the dates of sailing, and the destination will all vary the price, as will the number of people in your party and the stateroom you choose. For example, a three night Disney Cruise with two people in an inside cabin will be very different than a seven night Disney Cruise for five people with a verandah room or a club suite.

We paid around $9,000 in total for a five night family suite stateroom for five people over New Years with a premium ocean view. That means it had a large window but no verandah. And while that may seem expensive compared to a Disney World vacation, keep in mind cruises are all inclusive except for a few premium extras. Plus, when you compare that price to an All-Inclusive Resort vacation on land, which can be double that price, it ends up being a pretty good deal.

But years ago, I was able to get an inside stateroom for two people for a three night cruise for well under $1,000.

Disney Cruises are priced based on the ages of your Guests, the length of the cruise, and per stateroom. The nicer the stateroom the more expensive the cruise. However, there are some things you can do to save money and in fact many of them are the same as saving money on a trip to Disney World. You can:

  • Use Disney Gift Cards to pay for your cruise (ask friends and family for these in lieu of gifts for birthdays and holidays or purchase them at Costco or Target with your Red Card to get the same value at a discount).
  • Book a package through Costco if it’s available.
  • Use Disney Vacation Club Points if you are a Member (you only have to use your Vacation Points to cover the cost of one person and then can pay cash for the rest if you don’t have enough to cover the whole cruise).
  • Check Disney Cruise Line website for any discounted cruise offers which they have from time to time.
  • Look at a REPUTABLE website for discounts like Undercover Tourist who is a known Disney partner who may have Disney Cruise deals.

Final Thoughts on Is a Disney Cruise Worth It?

Hopefully, this article helped you answer the question, is a Disney Cruise worth it? Whether it is your first time on a Disney cruise or any cruise, there are many factors to consider when deciding whether this type of vacation is right for your family.

Consider what activities you want to do, what your budget is, and how many people are going. You may even want to compare a Disney Cruise with the cost of a trip to Disney World. Check out the Disney Cruise itineraries to learn more.

But if you’re looking for the ultimate unique Disney experience, a fun family cruise is worth the cost and in my opinion one of the very best cruises for kids. After all, what else could be better than going on a Cruise with your favorite Disney characters?

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