A Disney Cruise is a wonderful vacation option for several reasons:
- Amazing Broadway style shows
- Excellent food (included) in your booking fee
- High quality standards you expect from Disney service
- Characters! Details! Disney Magic!
- Awesome destinations including their private island in the Bahamas
… and most of all: EASY to plan! If you want to take a cruise with Disney you can log on, book, and be set in minutes! Of course we are more planning obsessed (it’s our hobby!) here so we dive in deep with the details. In this post we’ll chat about how we pick an ideal cruise, and a few basics you want to know getting started. We filmed a short YouTube video (here) in addition to writing our getting started basics down here.
Step #1: Get to know the basics. Disney has 4 ships at the time of this article. They cruise to their private island in the Bahamas year-round and it is included on many itineraries, but trips to Europe, Alaska, and other destinations are seasonal. Cruise their website for info on the ships, dining, details, and more.
Step #2: Where do you want to sail, and about how long? View current offerings for an idea of when they offer sailings, as well as what times of year it is offered. For example we LOVE their Mediterranean itineraries and have been keeping an eye on them for a few years now waiting to save up and have it be the right time to book. We’ll set sail in 2018!
Step #3: When? When we did the sailing these photos are from we did a 3-night trip that had a sea day and a day at Castaway Cay Disney’s Private Island in November. The weather was great (80 degrees at most), it was after the storm season, the waters still warm, and it was a wonderful way to kick off a trip to Disney World.
Step #4: What kind of room? We found the verandah mid ship on a deck with only rooms both above and below us to be quiet, centrally located, and ideal all around. Depending on your own preferences (near restaurants or pool, concierge service, least expensive possible, adjoining, handicap accessible, etc) you can quickly find room(s) that will suit your needs. We enjoyed having the private space to be outside with our verandah, but there are plenty of public spaces to enjoy on decks as well.
Step #5: Price it out, and book it early. In most cases Disney cruises sell well, and prices only go up from the day they are released. Example: the Mediterranean cruise we booked is already 20% more expensive for the same room type/deck than it was when we booked a few months ago!
Tip: Price the cruise out on your own even if you’re going with a travel agent to book. Know the pricing! Some places the price is more than direct, other times you gain stateroom credit or other bonus feature and it is a better deal with a reputable agent.
There are a few other things to consider of course – here are a few tips to end today’s post:
- If flying, arrive at least one day early and don’t risk a delayed flight!
- Book the dining time (main or late) based on when you normally like to eat. We would be MISERABLE sitting down to a late meal, as we eat early at home. For others the opposite is true!
- Make note of your online check-in date and be ready! You can book excursions, character meets, and more and you’ll want to get first dibs right when it opens.
- Get an early check-in at the port time. Not only were we among first to check in and get on the ship – we enjoyed a nearly empty ship! We had a buffet lunch and the kids rode the water ride/slide a dozen times with no lines, we put all our belongings away in our room, and toured the ship all before the mandatory drills/info prior to sailing. We got a real full day in, and more value for our dollar.
We’ve got so much more to share, as well as looking forward to sharing future trip reports. We are counting down the months left until we sail away in Barcelona, Spain…