Disney Cruise Tips, Activities, and Overview
Who goes on Disney cruise ships?
Most of your fellow passengers will be families and multigenerational groups, but you'll also find a sprinkling of honeymooners and couples without children (especially on Alaska itineraries) who appreciate the oversized staterooms and underutilized adults-only areas.
It's important to know that Disney's load factor is the highest in the industry (remember: lots of kids), so a 2,500-passenger ship may, in fact, be carrying 4,000.
Do I have to dress up on a Disney cruise?
Most of the time, no, but there are optional formal and semiformal nights when most people do go dressier. Also, expect the kids to want to dress up -- as pirates, princesses and other Disney characters. During the day, the dress code is always casual; at night it's usually the same, though you can't wear swimwear and tank tops in the dining rooms, but you can wear jeans or shorts. On the optional formal and semiformal night, you'll find many people glitzing it up.
Is everything free on Disney cruises?
No. Cruise fares cover meals in the main dining rooms and buffet, soft drinks served at meals and at each ship's beverage station in the buffet and on the pool deck, character meet and greets, and Youth Club activities, big stage production shows and showings of first-run as well as classic Disney movies.
Additional costs include: shore excursions, Wi-Fi, laundry, spa and salon services, babysitting in the ships' nurseries, onboard photography service, alcoholic beverages and specialty dining venues: Palo (on all ships) and Remy (on Dream and Fantasy).
What are Disney’s most popular activities?
The most popular activities on a Disney cruise ship vary by age. Kids (and their parents) love being able to interact with Disney characters in a much smaller environment than the theme parks; characters may call kids by name during the cruise and there are scheduled meet-and-greet sessions on the ship and the private island. On two ships, kids and adults alike flock to the AquaDuck, the first-ever water coaster on a cruise ship, and cruisers of all ages love hanging out poolside, as well as the festive deck parties and once-per-cruise fireworks found on all ships.
Adults like the adults-only spaces, including pools, sun decks and bars (varies by ship).
Why go with Disney?
- Family-friendly cruises with roomier-than-average staterooms
- Nostalgic ships offer elegance with subtle nods to Disney
- Most Caribbean itineraries stop at the line's private island Castaway Cay
Best for: Disney fanatics, both with and without kids, who love the pixie dust and entertainment options -- and will pay a premium for it
Not for: Adults looking for a kid-free getaway, families looking for a budget vacation or anyone who can't stomach constant Disney branding