We have just returned from our 10 Night Southern Caribbean Disney Cruise. This was the inaugural Southern Caribbean sailing for Disney, visiting 3 of the 5 ports for the first time ever (St. Lucia, Barbados and Antigua).
In the past, I have had some doubts about sailing on a Disney cruise, but not any more.
This was, by far, our most enjoyable cruise EVER (we are in our mid-50's)!!
We stayed at Hampton Inn, Cocoa Beach the night before departure because they allowed us to park our car there FREE for the duration (10 days) of the cruise. Breakfast was included, as was the round trip shuttle to / from the ship.
Embarkation was fast and efficient.
Disney ships are for EVERYONE! Families could not ask for a better vacation. The kids were occupied all day long with activities. Adults have their own pool, lounges, and adults only areas, while the teens have the same!
Our balcony cabin was extra spacious. The split bathroom (sink & toilet in one; and another sink and bathtub / shower in the other) made for easy mornings. This must be the BEST feature for families of 4! The elevators were the fastest that I have ever found on ANY ship! Activities galore and 1st run movies were available every day, ALL DAY LONG.
Disney's private island Castaway Cay is the ONLY private island where the ship actually docks....(no tendering on this cruise line)! I have visited CocoCay and Half Moon Cay, and while they were nice private islands, Castaway Cay is the best (Captain Jack....in character.... and his pirate ship from Pirates of the Caribbean movie fame- were there too). Arrrrrr!
And ALL non-alcoholic beverages were FREE! That's right, Disney does not nickel and dime you to death with charges for drinks. There is a self-service fountain area on Deck 9 open 24 hour a day! Soda, fruit punch, coffee, tea, milk, lemonade, etc.... Other cruise lines charge at least $1.50 for every soda, or offer a beverage package for a set price for your cruise. This could set back a family of 4 an additional $150.00+....just in beverage purchases! Not on Disney!
EVERYTHING was virtually PERFECT! The service and food was extraordinary. The rotating schedule of 3 main dining rooms worked perfectly for all meals. The (breakfast, lunch or dinner) buffet was always offered at 2 separate locations.....on Deck 9, or in one of the main dining rooms.
And the Disney shows were fabulous! Abundant Disney character appearances throughout the ship daily. A picture moment around every turn.
Everything and every area had the Disney quality about it. The attention to detail is unsurpassed.
I was really worried about all of the kids, but I must say that half of our enjoyment was watching the expressions on their faces when meeting Mickey, or while experiencing the Disney Magic throughout the ship.
We have sailed Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Holland America many times, but this cruise line tops them all! ....Even for adults!
We dined with a family (2 kids) who where sailing on their 6th Disney cruise and met another couple who were on the 52nd Disney sailing!
As they say, you get what you pay for, and while Disney cruises can be priced higher than other 3, 4 or 7 night sailings ....if you consider the free drinks, as well as the overall Disney experience, this is BY FAR, the best cruise value available!
If asked to find something that I did not like, I would say that there were times when I felt crowded in some of the public areas. Events (character appearances, photography services, the Art Gallery and the picture gallery) always drew a crowd.
This brief review does not do justice to the overall experience, so please email me if you desire more detailed descriptions of what you can expect on your Disney cruise! Email: Jeffirstname.lastname@example.org
Disney offers 2 ships sailing from Port Canaveral. Magic sails alternating Eastern / Western 7 Night Caribbean sailings; while Wonder sails 3 & 4 nights to the Bahamas. Combine your Bahamas sailing with a 4 or 3 night stay at Disney World for a full 7 Night Land & Sea Vacation. Next summer, Disney introduces 10 or 11 night Mediterranean Cruises.