The first time I started looking at going on a Disney cruise, I had some doubts – I had visited Walt Disney World many times and enjoyed it so much, and I wondered if going on a cruise (even with Disney) would measure up to what I loved about visiting the theme parks. Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line are two different experiences, but both are infused with wonderful Disney details and service. After experiencing Disney Cruise Line, I was surprised to find that there are actually several things I liked better about Disney Cruise Line than Walt Disney World.
First of all, you can truly set your own pace on a Disney cruise. While Walt Disney World can be done at a more relaxed pace with good planning, many experiences can still hinge on getting to the theme parks well before they open. There are definitely a few things you still want to be early, or at least on time for, on a Disney cruise, but you don’t have to worry about getting to rope drop every day. Instead, you can choose how busy you want to be. If you want plenty of time to relax by the pool, have leisurely lunches, or find a nice spot with a beautiful view and a good book, then you can definitely have that.
On the other hand, if you prefer more activity, you don’t have to worry about getting bored. There are tons of daily activities from crafts and trivia, to character meets, to evening entertainment, to fun on the sports deck, to pool deck dance parties. The pace is up to you.
Speaking of onboard activities, something else I loved about being on a Disney cruise was how easy it was to meet most characters. All of their times are listed on the Personal Navigator schedule that all guests receive, and for most characters I arrived early and didn’t wait more than 10-15 minutes. Many of the meets were relaxed and easygoing, giving characters plenty of time to interact. There are also a few characters that are harder to meet in the theme parks, such as Captain Jack Sparrow, and lots of different and fun outfits for Mickey and friends throughout the cruise.
Last but not least, you don’t have to deal with planning a food budget like you often would for a land vacation. Everything from buffet breakfasts, to three-course dinners, to ice cream on the pool deck are included with your cruise fare. There are a few exceptions, such as alcoholic drinks and adult specialty dining, but in general you can relax knowing that you don’t have to worry about prices when ordering dinner.
If you love the theme parks but are on the fence about a Disney cruise, I can tell you that I was in the same place but ended up loving it – and I think you will, too. Check out more information on Disney Cruise Line.
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