If you’re a lover of anything Disney, including Walt Disney World, then undoubtedly a Disney Cruise is on your bucket list.
Voted Conde Nast’s No. 1 Large Cruise Line in the World for 10 consecutive years running, it is clear that you are in for a treat when sailing with Disney Cruise Line.
Disney Cruise Line (DCL) currently has 4 ships in operation: Disney Magic; Disney Wonder; Disney Dream; and Disney Fantasy. This year, they will be expanding their fleet, adding the highly anticipated Disney Wish to their cruise itineraries. Her maiden voyage is set to cruise this summer.
Disney Cruise Line sailings generally range, in length, from 2-nights to 2 weeks. They sail from popular ports such as Miami, Port Canaveral, San Diego, New Orleans, and Vancouver, to name but a few.
Itineraries typically include destinations in The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, and in and around Europe during the summer months.
Here at Disney Tips, we’ve been fortunate enough to experience a range of Disney Cruise itineraries. Each one offers something unique and special, where you disembark with lifelong memories, and a longing to embark on another Disney Cruise as soon as you can!
You may already be feeling inspired to book a Disney Cruise, but wait! Keep reading to find out why we recommend booking a 4-night Disney Cruise, especially if this is your first time sailing.
Longer Amongst the Disney Magic
Speaking from experience, whilst a 3-night Cruise will always have Disney magic, that extra night helps to make your trip feel like more of a break.
Who wouldn’t want more time onboard a beautiful Disney Cruise Line ship, providing you with more time to explore, meet Disney characters, take part in the many different activities on offer, or take some time on top deck to enjoy the sun or dip in the pool?
If the weather is not in your favor, a sea day is a great time to watch a movie in the Buena Vista Theatre – you may even get a chance to view a newly-released Disney movie, like Encanto (2021) or Pixar’s Turning Red (2022).
Alternatively, Guests can become a Midship Detective Agent and complete a scavenger hunt around the Ship (there’s usually at least 2 to choose from, so you may even decide to complete both!).
Also, look out for spa deals in Senses; time for relaxation is always a good idea!
Time to Enjoy a Fine Dining Experience
Each of the Disney Ships features the adult-only restaurant, Palo. Inspired by Italy, and named after the long poles used by the gondoliers in Venice, this restaurant offers Brunch and Dinner.
Dining here comes at an additional charge but is most definitely worth it. The food is delicious, the surroundings are beautiful and Cast Members help to make your dining experience truly special.
Aboard the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, there is also an additional fine-dining restaurant, Remy. This is a French-inspired restaurant, serving Gourmet dishes that have been specially crafted by Chef Scott Hunnel from Victoria & Albert’s at Walt Disney World. Remy offers Champagne Brunch, Dinner, a Dessert Experience and a Wine Pairing Experience. Like Palo, dining at Remy requires an additional charge.
A Sea Day provides a great opportunity to dine in Palo or Remy. We highly recommend Brunch, as this means that you do not miss out on dining at your dining rotation restaurant for that evening. Alternatively, a dinner reservation provides you with the opportunity to dress up in glamorous formal attire – it’s set to make the perfect date night!
We’d say this is the main reason why you need that extra night on board! Don your best pirate costume or nautical attire and enjoy a night where your favorite Disney characters also dress for the occasion. Be sure to get a spot up on deck to look high to the sky as you enjoy Fireworks at Sea.
We recommend getting a spot Portside, where you have Funnel Vision on your left, facing the Aqua Duck tunnel, for perfect viewing of the fireworks.
Another reason for not missing out on Pirate Night is the menu that is served in all of the dining rotation restaurants. The Pirate Night menu features some incredible dishes, not forgetting Johnny Cake, aka cornbread, in your breadbasket which is always a win!
A dish you will want to try (recommended by our Head Server on our last cruise) – Jack’s Treasure-of-the-Seas. This delicious pasta dish can be served with or without shrimp and scallops.
Alternative Menu for that Extra Night
If, by any chance, your Cruise doesn’t feature Pirate Night, expect your first night’s menu to be a ‘Welcome Dinner’ serving delicious dishes that are available for one night only. Don’t worry – you won’t miss out on the regular menu that is served in your first evening’s restaurant.
You are likely to dine in the same restaurant on your last night, where you will be able to enjoy the regular menu that is served up in that restaurant.
Visit Castaway Cay Twice
Most, if not all, Disney Cruise Line itineraries from Port Canaveral and Miami include a stop at Disney’s Castaway Cay. This is Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, featuring white-sanded beaches, crystal clear waters, bike rides, water activities such as snorkeling, paddleboarding, and kayaking, and hammocks to nap in, under the shade of beautiful palm trees.
Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it? And that it is! Very different from the craziness of a Disney Parks day at the Walt Disney World Resort.
If this sounds like your idea of heaven, then it’s worth looking for Cruises that include two stops at Castaway Cay. Itineraries offering this usually include a Sea Day between stops at Castaway Cay, providing time for you to enjoy the Ship between island days!
Happy cruising! You are in for a real treat, regardless of the itinerary you choose to book and the beautiful Disney Cruise Line Ship you will have the pleasure to cruise on!