September 25, 2012

Disney Cruise Line - A Great Alternative (or Addition) to a WDW vacation

I've heard the statement "A Disney Cruise is less expensive than a Disney World vacation."  I believe this to be true, and I also think it's a great alternative if you (or someone in your party) are "too Disney'd out."


While a Disney Cruise does seem like a large chunk of money to pay upfront, once you've paid for it - you're practically done shelling out money (except for tips and any souvenirs or excursions you choose to purchase - but those are all optional.)  The food and entertainment is all-inclusive... and those 2 items alone are enough to keep you occupied!

We sailed on the Disney Dream from Sept 13 to 16 and had a wonderful time!  Here are some of the activities we enjoyed:

Broadway-style, Disney-themed Live Shows.  These shows were great!  Entitled "The Golden Mickeys," "Villains Tonight!" and "Believe," each one was captivating - never a dull moment.  I was impressed that they used every feature on stage - from the trap-doors in the floor, to the flying harnesses above.  The performers were top-notch.  Each show definitely had that "attention to detail" that Disney never fails to give.  These shows are a definite must-see!

The Food!  Every evening we were served a 5 course meal in one of the three main dining rooms.  You are assigned a different dining room each night so you can experience all 3 restaurants, however, your serving staff follows you.  This is handy because they get to know you a little bit and figure out what you like in terms of food - how it's cooked, and what beverages you prefer.  This was an extra bonus in my case, because I require a gluten-free diet.  Once they knew I needed a special diet, they worked with me to pre-order every meal and ensure it was gluten-free.  The food was wonderful!  And to top it off, the Chef made me a surprise dessert every night.  To read more about my dining experience with a food intolerance, check out my article on Chip & Co [link coming soon].

Movies.  We actually only watched one movie in the Movie Theater - Finding Nemo in 3D.  The movie premiered in the States on Sept 15th, and because the Ship is Disney-owned, the ship had the rights to show it onboard as well (at no extra cost to us!)  The Movie Theater on-board played movies almost constantly - all included in the price of the cruise.

Castaway Cay.  Disney leases it's own private island in the Bahamas.  There are several beaches, water slides, 3 quick service restaurants (again, all free food).  The only items you had to pay for (and certainly your choice) were bike rentals, snorkel gear rentals, cabana rentals, parasailing, souvenirs or alcohol.  If swimming isn't your thing, there were plenty of other activities such as volleyball, crab races, Character greetings, and a 5K race to name a few.

Character Greetings.  There are plenty of Characters on-board each Disney Cruise ship!  The Characters we saw often were: Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, Chip and Dale.  These characters often had different outfits on - from beach wear to formal dress.  Other Characters that made daily appearances were: Ariel, Belle, Tiana, Snow White, Aurora, Capt. Jack Sparrow, Captain Hook and Mr. Smee.  They all posed for pictures and signed autographs just as they do at WDW.


Deck Parties and Fireworks!  Did you know Disney is the only Cruise Line allowed to shoot Fireworks off at sea?  On Pirate Night, they put on a great Deck Show that even includes Capt. Jack Sparrow!  It then transitions into fireworks over the sea set to music from "Pirates of the Caribbean."  Once that show is over, it immediately becomes a deck dance party.  There are several other deck parties throughout the cruise - all filled with a fun show and dancing.

So much more!  I haven't even mentioned the AquaDuck (the first ever water-coaster at sea) or the Mid-Ship Detective Agency game.  There's plenty more to do and see... more posts to come!

What have you enjoyed on your Disney Cruise?

2 comments:

  1. Sounds awesome. We have been wanting to go on a cruise. I'm not sure what we'll end up trying, but its nice to know that Disney wouldn't disappoint (not that I expected they would). I especially like the idea of a Disney cruise being a good filler or replacement when you want something non-WDW. Me personally, never - but for family members or friends it sounds like a great option. I had seen a tv special that the waiters follow you. I'm not sure if that happens on other cruises, but I think it's a great idea. I also love the idea of an "all you can watch" movie theater. Can't wait for future articles on the cruise.

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  2. we are going on our first disney cruise in Feb with our 2 teenagers. So excited, wish Feb was here.

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