The Pros and Cons of a Disney Cruise
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We recently returned from a 3-night cruise aboard the Disney Dream. Our family had a blast, and it is a trip we will remember for a long time! Coming back though, I was reflecting on my Disney cruise experience and wondered, are Disney Cruises really worth the price? Let’s not kid ourselves, these trips are expensive! Easily 2-3x the cost of other cruises! At the end of the day, I think we might wait until our kids are older until we splurge on Disney again! Every family is different though and every family values different things on vacation. When I was researching Disney dream cruise reviews I read a lot of blogs and I hope this review will be helpful to others. Here is my list of the pros and cons of a Disney Cruise:
My Disney Cruise Experience
Your Kids Will Have a Good Time
The kids will have a blast. ESPECIALLY if they like Disney Characters. My two sons were 10 months and 3 years old when we went on our cruise. My eldest son does like Star Wars and Mickey but he wasn’t very interested in Princesses or other characters. R2D2 in the kids club was the highlight for him. Pirate night was also great fun! Don’t forget to bring a pirate costume!! I don’t think it’s possible for a kid to have a bad time on the Disney cruise. Unlimited ice cream = guaranteed a good time.
Childminding under age 3
They have child minding for children under 3. This one is HUGE. This is basically the entire reason I booked the cruise and it is something we took advantage of. Of note, this service does cost extra, but given the price of the cruise, it was small in comparison. The ladies at the Small World Nursery were experienced with babies and infants. I never worried at all when I dropped off my son. My older son who was 3 was also allowed to attend the small world nursery and I much preferred the individualized attention he got there. We left our infant at the nursery when we went to Castaway Cay and enjoyed the stay with our other son. We also booked one night at Remy and it was great to leave the kids then.
The staff love kids!
The staff are wonderful and cater to children. Every single staff on the Disney cruise, right down to the housekeepers are good with kids. The servers in the restaurants go out of their way to win over your little ones. This extra mile service was definitely appreciated when my son was a bit grumpy and the servers worked hard to cheer him up.
Remy is the best!
The adults-only restaurants are amazing. We booked one night at Remy and it was literally the best meal I have ever had in my entire life. We eat out a lot too! The service was exceptional, the food delicious and the wine pairings were great as well. Again, this was another added cost, and although it was worth every penny again added to the overall cost of the trip.
They aren’t cheap!
This is obviously the biggest drawback to the cruise. I spent more on this 3-night vacation than I would normally spend on 7 nights at an all-inclusive resort. I have only been on one other cruise line, NCL, and I went on it without kids, so I don’t have a great comparison to other cruises. It’s worth saying that I found my NCL cruise to be of similar quality in terms of service, food, and amenities. The only thing missing was the “Disney-ness”
There are lines everywhere.
If you want to meet a character on a Disney cruise expect to get in line. This drove me CRAZY. I do not understand why they don’t have at least one meal where the characters walk around freely and come to your table. I am sure that the reason is so that you can pay more $$ later to buy the professional photos with the character.
The food at the main restaurants is ok.
I really wasn’t that impressed with the food in the main restaurants. The breakfast buffet was really good, but I found the dinners at the sit-down restaurants to be only ok. The food felt a bit like cafeteria food to me. That being said I have many friends who found the food amazing so it may just be a matter of preference. I think I prefer a nice buffet at an all inclusive where I have more options to choose from.
The pool is RIDICULOUSLY crowded.
There are two small Mickey Shaped pools on the main deck. The kids are crammed into these pools like sardines. Kids who could normally swim had to wear lifejackets in the deep pool because there was no room to hold onto the edge. Of course, the kids really didn’t seem to care. It’s less pleasant for the adults trying to watch their little ones though.
Disney Cruises: Are they worth it?
Overall, Disney Cruises are a great splurge, especially if your kids (and you) LOVE Disney. When my kids are older, and will really enjoy the kids club more I may book again and take advantage of the R&R for me and my hubby. For now, I think that Disney doesn’t offer quite enough to make me convinced it’s worth the $$$ again.
What do you think? What did you love about your cruise? Do you have a Disney Dream review? I welcome all your comments below!