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What is Disney cruise line like??


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The good news:


- All sorts of Disney imagery everywhere.

- The staff is up to general Disney CM standards (albeit, the trend in buzz on most Disney-related boards over the last few years is that the latter aren't quite what they used to be).

- Nice bathroom setup in cabins.

- Good "crowd control" (one generally gets on and off the ship fast).

- Dining options are still above the industry average (albeit the competition is catching up here, and fast).

- Shows are generally entertaining.

- Facilities for children are among the better on any ship.


The not-so-good news:


- Itineraries are very generic (line in general is not aimed at experienced cruises looking for the "off the beaten path" experiences and/or ports).

- Food in dining rooms is O.K., but for the price should be a lot better.

- On the latter tangent, you pay extra for the Disney name - not necessarily a better overall cruise experience. Or stated differently, this isn't a value line.

- Given the high price, some annoying evidence of cheapening of the wares exists, as example, unlike all other major cruise lines, there is no live orchestra in the main showroom (you are treated to blasting recordings of rather generic Broadway stuff).

- Crowd on board is generally made up of travel neophytes. That's O.K. - unless you are more comfortable around veterans.

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We have taken our only 2 cruises with Disney so we have nothing to compare it to however my husband, myself & our son found it worth the money. The food was great & very very plentiful. If you leave this cruise being hungry it's your fault! We found there was alot to do for everyone on board. There is plenty of choices for shore excursions. If you read this board and some of the others you can find different things to do at each port outside the shore choices. There are places for the kids & they do lots of things without the folks hanging around too. You are paying for the disney name but you get the Disney touch.

Again we absolutly love the Disney Magic! (7 day cruises) and feel that it's worth it!




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I agree with all that Mickeymars has to say. I would add the following:


No casino


Larger than typical cabins - they are designed for families rather than couples


Higher than typical crew to passenger ratio and public space to passenger ratios than typical. This is mostly attributable to size of the children's programs and the need to have additional space for childrens' activities.

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I totally agree with Mikeymars as well, with a couple of additions. We are young cruise veterans with 12 under our belt. The last of the 12 being the Disney Magic March 04.


A few additions to Mikeymars:


Food in the buffet (Topsiders) was subpar other lines. The buffet was bland and very repetitive! On the otherhand the chicken strips and pizza offered poolside was a nice touch. The food in the restaraunts was very average and well below portion size of NCL, CCL, RCCL and others. We were not impressedd with the food at all. There were no "super" buffets (chocolate, midnight, etc.) that put out huge decorative spreads of food. There were some measly little snack buffets, but nothing like other lines.


The ship itself was gorgeous. Well kept and beautifully decorated with gorgeous public areas. Many people say that the staterooms are larger than most cruiselines. I found it to be exactly the same in the same category on other ships. The split bathrooms are very nice though.


The pools were a little bit of a sore spot with me. There are three pool areas/pools. Childrens (very crowded, but well set up for kids), there was not nearly enough room for all the parents watching. Family pool (Goofy pool, smallest pool it appeared). This pool was absolutly packed with kids on sea days, so crowded that all the kids could do was kind of find their own 6" of space and hang on for dear life. It was soooooo murky by the end of the first day at sea, you couldn't see Goofy on the bottom of the 4' deep pool.

The adult pool was glorious....with one exception, the music was horrible. It was new age MUZAK the entire time. You'd think they could play a little calypso or island music, even a little pop or country, I don't care, just get that awful sleepy "Spa" music out of that area. They had the excellent calypso band playing at the "Family" pool, where kids were running and screaming and fighting, and no one listened to the great music. We WISHED that they would have played at the adult pool at least 1 day of the cruise so that we could have danced and enjoyed!


The main point is the cost. This cruise is no better than any I have been on.....and it cost at least 2 times as much. We paid the exact same amount of money for a category 10 (low category, inside cabin) on DCL as we did on NCL for a penthouse suite with balcony(veranda), concierge service, and priority everything on the uppermost deck. BIG BIG difference if you ask me! I would choose 2 great cruises on some other line in a higher level cabin over 1 cruise on DCL in a little inside.....ANYDAY!!!!


Don't get me wrong. IT was fine, we had a great time. Our company was excellent and we chose superb shore excursions (non-DCL), weather was terrific and we always love to be on the ocean. But is it worth the money???? Definitely not.



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I would agree with most of the above -- the price is very high, the food was good but not worth the extra cost, the portions were much smaller than on other cruise lines, the cabins were a good size. My DH was very disappointed about no casino on board --- major drawback and probably the main reason (along w/price) we won't sail them again. The staff was wonderful. The kids area was of course the best! The evening shows are all Disney. If you are not into PeterPan and all the Disney classics, you would definitely be bored. I liked the rotating dinner restaurants --nice change of scenery with the same waiters! The best thing was disembarking -- it was a dream to just walk off the ship - no crowds, no pushing,no lines. A huge thumbs up compared to RCL and Carnival! Castaway Cay was also a big highlight! A private beach for adults only, beach side massages and a great BBQ. A big plus was the beach daycare area. Although an hour later, we went to get our son because we really wanted to be with him on this great island. Overall, I would say the Disney cruise is very, very nice but maybe not worth the money. :)

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I have taken 38 Disney cruises with my husband (no children), so as you can imagine, I LOVE Disney. If you want details, I have trip reports for most of them on my website. Personally, I think Disney is the best for childless adults as well as for families. But then again, I am a Disney fanatic.


Visit the Platinum Castaway Club at: http://www.castawayclub.com

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Novice cruiser here. My first was on DCL last year, just a 3 day jaunt. My next is also for DCL, 7 day Western in Sept. Husband and I are in our mid-30s with no children.


My comments/impressions:

1. I liked the general classic style of the ship. Not hugely impressive or glitzy, but simple, understated, and elegant.

2. We had a nav verandah cabin. Cabins are spacious. Love the split bathroom.

3. Steward service was good - unobtrusive and efficient. Only semi-bad experience was with dry cleaning (clothes came back much later than promised, which we needed in time for dinner).

4. Spa/salon people are very aggressive to sell services and products. We bought a lot of stuff we didn't need or really want and spent wayyyy too much money. Know exactly what you want and stick to your guns.

5. We missed Castaway Cay due to high winds and ended up sailing around at a slower cruising speed than normal. Motion was enough to make me queasy, even with a patch.

6. Dining service and quality were decent. Nothing spectacular though. Other onboard food services are pretty much family fare (hot dogs, pizza, ice cream).

7. Unlimited sodas and souvenir mugs weren't worth it. I think we had one soda total and ended up buying cans through room service for the cabin.

8. Wish there was more to do in terms of onboard activities, like educational classes or round-the-clock movies in the theater, but that was probably more a function of the length of the cruise than anything else.

9. Hurry to get your alternate restaurant reservations. We checked into our cabin, found out where we had to go for reservations, and booked down there to beat the rush. However, even then there wasn't much left. Make sure you bring appropriate dress; a couple at our regular dining table also made reservations and were turned away when they showed up in jeans (and hadn't brought other clothes).

10. Would like more choice of in-cabin movies (especially if a port is missed due to weather). Even on a short trip, we were tired of seeing "Bruce Almighty" for the hundredth time.

11. The land/sea package is great. Loved having the same key the whole time and being able to check in at the hotel. Disembarkation was also really smooth; you can even check your bags at the harbor.


Generally it was a great experience - I can't wait for September, when I'll have a longer time to relax, see more sights, and enjoy some real shore excursions.


EDIT: To answer your question about the money, I think it's worthwhile up to a point. I felt we got a pretty good deal for the cabin type. However, there's a huge differential between regular balcony cabins and suites with separate bedrooms. I simply couldn't justify to pay twice as much for a 1 bdrm, vs a nav verandah cabin. Nor was it worth an extra $1000 to upgrade to a family cabin with verandah. Ultimately you're paying for the Disney name and all that goes with that.

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We just returned from a 4 night Wonder cruise last Thursday. This was our first cruise, so personally cannot compare it to others. However, my parents have been on a few, and they were very impressed with Disney. Just a few comments to add (strictly my opinions):


We were planning a 50th anniversary celebration, so we had to ensure we pleased ages 5 to 75, which is why we went with Disney. For us, it was worth the extra money for the piece of mind of dealing with Disney. When I researched cruises before I decided which cruiseline, I had read about really bad experiences on other cruise lines, but not very much negative about Disney.


The shore excursions we did were not bad, but probably not worth the money. But again, being inexperienced, we played it safe rather than try to figure things out on our own. We'd definitely go on our own next time.


The Kids Clubs experience for us was neutral. However, I chalk that up more to my kids' ages and personalities rather than Disney. There were other kids there having a blast...and three of the kids with us (out of 7) had a great time with the activities they did in the kids' clubs. We have a just turned 13 year old, reserved, and the teen club (13-17) was more oriented to older teens...many activities started 10 PM or later... and we simply were not comfortable with him wandering the ship by himself late at night to get back to the cabin. He did participate in a couple early activities and really liked one of them.


The negative for younger age groups is that if your child does not want to participate in an organized activity for his/her age group, he/she cannot just stay back and continue to play in the club area, unless a parent is there. This would probably be my only real complaint, and we didn't even want to use the kids clubs that much anyways, as we were busy with family things.


The stateroom was more spacious than I expected. We had a cat. 8. The bed was a king, the couch became a single bed, and the fourth was a pull down from above to create a bunk bed type situation. The port hole was about three feet in diameter. (I thought it would be about the size of a dinner dish.)


The shows were GREAT! (And I am an experienced theater-goer.) We did couple other planned activities (culinary demo, Bingo [my father's idea]) and they were fun. Definitely do not miss the shows, unless you don't like Disney. My ten year old wanted to skip dinner and see the shows again.


The buffet food was average or below, but every one of my meals at the resaturants was very good. One of the previous replies stated small portions, which is true, i guess, but they weren't that small, and I liked it because it allowed me to try more dishes without feeling like I was wasting food. Besides, they will bring you as much as you want, so if you are still hungry, you can simply ask for another serving. Also, children can order from the adult menu and/or the children's menu.


I hope this helps. My best advice would be to research before you decide. Many of the complaints I've read (about any cruiseline) seem to be things that people could have found out in advance if they had bothered to do a bit of research first...such as appropriate dress for restaurants.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree with most of what has been said. Disney is much higher priced than what you can get elsewhere....but if you want to take children on a cruise..I firmly believe they should be on Disney!! The activites and entertainment is second to NONE for children!!

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Having cruised almost every major line out there with kids and without I'd have to say that for OUR family NO the Disney cruise was NOT worth the extra $$$$$$$$$$$ it cost to go!


I have to agree with mrsfuzzmo and mikey mars! We too felt the food was subpar and a few of the lunches in topsiders we laughed at and called it hospital cafeteria food! It was blah! Dinner was gross most nights and this is the first time we've actually dreaded going to eat on a cruise! We've had the best food ever on Carnival and Celebrity.


We've had MUCH better pizza on deck on Carnival than on anyone and we thought Disney's was awful! The chicken strips were ok but how many of those can a person eat (unless you are a kid that is).


At the time we cruised Disney hadn't started their comp soda program on deck so we spent a fortune on soda stickers for the kids and us since we LOVE Diet Coke.


There is NO nightlife on that ship once the show is done!


If your kids don't like the kids club (mine had TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE experiences in there)then there is not much for them to do! They have a movie theater but on our 5-1 cruise they were showing movies we already owned like Finding Nemo and Pirates of the Caribbean!


The pools are a joke! A complete and utter joke! I can't believe that a family line that KNOWS kids will be on their ship didn't design their pools to be better! The fresh water is nice but that is it! With 977 kids on our sailing it was standing room only and then if they have to close one of the pools good luck getting any room in the one that is open. It's great in theory to have the adults only pool but that thing rarely has anyone in it while the kids are all crammed in 2 small pools. Usually kids like to swim MUCH more than adults! It was wasted on our cruise as at any given time there might have been 2-3 people in it. Also the mickey ear that only non-trained children are supposed to use is stupid as there are a million kids going in and out of it that ARE potty trained and then going back to the mickey pool.


The characters are great IF you get in line early enough to take advantage of it! If you don't you are out of luck. They send a CM to cut the line off and they get mean let me tell ya! We asked a simple question and the guy was SO rude my husband and I were appalled! People were waiting 2 hours in line to get the Princess autographs...I mean 2 hours??? Come on!!


They do have an awesome disembarkation and it's better than any other line we've been on!!!


They do have an awesome alcohol policy for carrying it on board!


That's about all the good I can say for it however! We sailed them twice and won't be paying to go back! Our kids have had much better times on Carnival and Royal Caribbean than any other line! You pay for the name that's for sure! As for getting treated better...I think that's false! We've received the same or better treatment on other lines for half the cost and a fraction of kids on board!




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I truly hope you enjoy the voices of many hyperactive children. This cruise is impressive in the way of activities but the noise pollution reaches dangerous levels at certain times. I have also noticed that the captain apparently likes the sound of his voice on the intercome and will often interupte the hip and happening music that will be a playing. He has a problem about accidentally leaving the intercom on, during my cruise people where panicked when the captain pulled out his toy boat and iceberg and prosseded to shout where sinking were sinking were all gonna die!:eek:

from, 1cruisewonder


P.S. get a room closest to the life boats

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  • 1 month later...

Just returned from the 9/27 Wonder cruise and see that the consensus seems to be that other ships offer much more for less money.


I liked the cruise ok, but there were a number of things that we were not happy about. I did expect a lot more for the price that we paid.


I have been pricing other cruiselines (Carnival and RCCL in particular) and finding that their prices are higher, but not to the extent that we can get a penthouse suite on Carnival for the cost of an inside stateroom on DCL.


Can anyone let me know details about that?


Thanks! Kris

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Just returned from the 9/27 Wonder cruise and see that the consensus seems to be that other ships offer much more for less money.


I liked the cruise ok, but there were a number of things that we were not happy about. I did expect a lot more for the price that we paid.


I have been pricing other cruiselines (Carnival and RCCL in particular) and finding that their prices are higher, but not to the extent that we can get a penthouse suite on Carnival for the cost of an inside stateroom on DCL.


Can anyone let me know details about that?


Thanks! Kris

Have you been on any other line? I have been on 5 lines Carnival, RCCL, HAL,Princess and now Disney.


I loved Disney- felt there was plenty of choices of entertainment. We have no small children and believe me there were TONS on this cruise but this was never a problem for us as we had the adult only pool and hot tubs (and YES this is ENFORCED unlike Carnival's adult only pool and hot tubs) There were lounges that were adult only also all the time and others that were adult only after 9. The movie theather showed an adult only movie around 10 p.m. every night. Most of the movies there were first run although they would show some of their favs for the kiddies at the 11 a.m. show (example: Finding Nemo- which as we know is now on videotape) In your room there was a couple of channels that did nothing but the Disney classic cartoons and other channels that showed fairly recent movies that came out within the last year but are no longer at the movies. (EX.: Shrek II, Jersey Girl, Stepford Wives)


The ship itself is tons nicer I thought. I loved all the marble floors etc. The only other ship I have been that was as nice as this ship was HAL Statendam but I found HAL much too sedate with very little entertainment offered. The only plus I found on that cruise is hubby and I could have the hot tub to ourselves after 10 p.m. since no one else bothered to use it at night.


Carnival has great entertainment over all. Her food is so-so as a rule though I did find everything was much better on the Miracle then the usual Carnival ship. One thing though Miracle had DINKY bathrooms and we had an extended balcony. Also sounds carried on Miracle's balconys-I heard almost nothing on our Disney catagory 6 veranda.


Disney's bathrooms are a DEFINITE plus. We loved having 2 sinks and two bathrooms-one with the toilet the other with a tub. I have not seen this on any other line. Although on HAL we did have a tub. WE also liked the privacy curtain. Great for hubby and daughter-neither had to dress in the bathroom which especially on RCCL ships is very tricky-the bathrooms are so small.


Now on RCCL we have only done their bargain "mini" cruises both times Sovereign. Now I know her voyager class ships are much more expensive then Sovereign or even Grandeur or Splendour-we are planning a Mariner cruise next year so I guess I will find out if it is worth the extra. I am not sure if I will feel so as I don't rock climb or inline skate but I would love I am sure the ice skating show and the miniture golf. I hope too the food will be better. I found the food on Sovereign okay nothing special but I am hoping RCCL will be like Carnival-when you go on a nicer more expensive ship that everything improves.


I loved my one Princess cruise. It was the old Pacific Princess so the ship was not great but she had an excellent Italian chef and the shows were superb. the lounges had plenty of live music. I want to do another Princess cruise and if she offered as many choices as other lines I would have already done another Princess. I just hate that to go on a Princess cruise I have to fly when these other lines offer choices close enough for me to drive to.


As far as you doing another line in my opinion I would say stick to their newer ships. You will be disapointed I am afraid if you did like Fanasty, Sovereign or like Celebration(Jacksonsville port.) If you don't want alot of entertainment you may be happy with HAL, HAL's food and broadway style shows were suberb. If you do Carnival try Miracle out of Tampa as she is a new ship so you would be happier. I have a feeling Inspiration would be too much of a letdown after Disney.


Another thing I feel too if you do go on an older ship (like Celebaration)-just get the cheapest stateroom-why bother with a suite? You are still on an old cr&^py ship-but if you only pay $300 a person instead of $1500 a person you don't mind. Lets face it the guy in the cheapest cabin still gets the same food and entertainment as the guy in the suite. The only difference is the guy in the suite gets a bigger room, possibally a balcony and a butler.


I do love the balcony rooms on newer ships but I would never book a suite on an older ship just so I could have a balcony. For the price of a suite you can do a cruise on a newer ship with a balcony room and book an oceanview on the older ship. I would much rather do 2 cruises then one on an old ship in a suite. For just a little extra you can do 2 cruises on the new ship.


Personally we loved Disney and felt Disney was so much nicer that we will gladly do Disney again-even though chances are it will be an inside cabin as Disney is more expensive but I don't mind skipping the balcony for the Disney experience.


Botton line is-try another line-but lower your expectations-you will have a good time but it won't be the Disney experience.

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Sailed Disney for the first time on the 9/23 Wonder cruise. This was my 7th cruise and 4th cruise line (Carnival, RCL, Princess, Disney). Our cruise cost $1000 for 3 of us for 3 days. I felt this price was outstanding.


I would rate the Wonder 2nd out of my 7 cruises - Grand Princess was #1. Disney was a very close #2. Some of the things mentioned above were what we loved about this ship.


No casino - a quieter, gentler cruise.

Yes, the children could be loud, but there were plenty of non-children places to go.

Lots and lots of deck space with lots of chairs.

Palo was superb and cheap ($10).

Entertainment was terrific - typical of what you find in the parks.

Food was very good in all areas. Very plentiful. Lots of variety.

Ship is stunning.

Cabin (inside) was very large and well appointed. Very comfortable for 3.

Movie theater with first run movies was great.

Photos were of a high quality - the photographers actually took time to pose everyone!

Characters were a huge plus!

Staff was friendly.

Plenty of activites - games, lessons, galley tour, musical entertainment, tropical deck party, shows, etc. My 19-yr-old loved the napkin folding demonstration!

Funniest thing we did was the quest game - I haven't laughed so hard in years!


We were on the hurricane extended cruise and enjoyed Cozumel with an extra day at sea. Ship sails very smoothly and quietly.


We love Disney World and we loved cruising with Mickey. We're already planning out next Wonder voyage!

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We were on a scheduled 3-day cruise (which turned into 4 due to the hurricane). The quest game was held on the 2nd night around 9:45-10:15. After 9 PM the forward section of the 3rd deck is just for adults. The disco is there and the quest game was held there. You needed a team and were given a number. You had to get the items required (probably did about 20 required items) and up to the host before time elapsed. One item was 4 left shoes. One item was a man wearing red lipstick. One item was a tattoo. We don't have any, but a woman sitting next to us did, so we took her up to the host for our credit. One item was a picture of the white house (money). One item was a picture of Abraham Lincoln ($5 bill). The finale was a man wearing a woman's bra, high heels and carrying a purse. It was hysterical! Definitely for adults and definitely fun! Points were totalled for the winner. Definitely do not miss this game!!!

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We were on a scheduled 3-day cruise (which turned into 4 due to the hurricane). The quest game was held on the 2nd night around 9:45-10:15. After 9 PM the forward section of the 3rd deck is just for adults. The disco is there and the quest game was held there. You needed a team and were given a number. You had to get the items required (probably did about 20 required items) and up to the host before time elapsed. One item was 4 left shoes. One item was a man wearing red lipstick. One item was a tattoo. We don't have any, but a woman sitting next to us did, so we took her up to the host for our credit. One item was a picture of the white house (money). One item was a picture of Abraham Lincoln ($5 bill). The finale was a man wearing a woman's bra, high heels and carrying a purse. It was hysterical! Definitely for adults and definitely fun! Points were totalled for the winner. Definitely do not miss this game!!!
Did you attend the Quest on RCCL too? It sounds like Disney stole the quest from Royal Caribbean...


Since you have been on the RCCL NOS and the DCL Wonder, can you tell me what you see as the main differences (pros and cons) between the two?

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My husband and I just returned from Disney Cruise #6. We can not praise Disney enough. We are afraid to try another cruise line, but some day we will just to have something to compare. Our friends who finally did try another cruise line said they found the other cruise line lacked the friendliness of Disney both the staff and fellow cruisers. We love the dining rotation. You get to know the people you are dining with and the dining staff is just the best. They rotate with you except for dining at Palo which is a must do experience. This time we booked the Romantic Escape At Sea package which allows you to book Palo in advance for High Tea, Champage Brunch, and dinner as well as a couples massage at the Vista Spa. We found this to be a very worth while package. The stage shows are spectacular and there is always so much going on during the day that you need to take along a highlighter to mark your daily navigator (the publication you receive each night of the next day's activities) so you won't miss anything. You can be as active or as laid back as you want to be. We always have a room with a veranda. The cabins are larger than other cruise lines and offer a bath and a half which makes it nice when you are getting ready for the evening. I just don't think you can go wrong with this choice for a vacation. We have two more cruises booked with Disney and are already on countdown for the next one---only 258 days!

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We love the dining rotation.
I have a question on the dining rotation. Do you know where you are dining the first night before you leave for the cruise? The reason I ask is that I always take my dinner clothes for the 1st evening in my carry-on. That way I am not stressing about when my luggage arrives - I don't need it until much later. If I don't know where the 1st evening's dinner is I won't know what to pack where. This sounds like such a pain to me - I like to have my dinner clothes for every evening all planned out ahead of time.


How do you veteran Disney cruisers handle this?

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No, you won't know until you check into your cabin. There will be tickets in your cabin telling you which restaurant to report to. We had the formal restaurant the first night, but lots of folks were dressed casually because they didn't have time to change. No need to worry!

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