Ever wished you could explore the high seas in comfort and style, with Mickey and friends by your side? If you have, you should really try a Disney cruise! This is one way to make every vacation a Disney vacation, no matter where you travel. With more ships joining the Disney Cruise Line over the next few years, it’s the perfect time to start (or continue!) thinking about a Disney cruise. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the Disney Cruise Line ships – including everything we know about its newest addition.
1. What Are They?
There are currently four ships – more like floating cities, really – that make up the fleet of Disney Cruise Line ships. The fleet is still fairly new (the oldest ship is just over 20 years old), and growing! The ship names all begin with “Disney”, but even without this prefix, each ship name is pretty recognizably Disney. They are the Disney Magic, the Disney Dream, the Disney Wonder and the Disney Fantasy.
2. Where Do They Sail?
The Disney Magic typically sails to the Caribbean, but it also sometimes sets off for the Bahamas, Canada, New York and even Europe. The Disney Dream is perfect for guests who are looking for a short escape; it sails to the Bahamas on 3 or 4-day cruises that include a stop at Disney’s private Bahamian island, Castaway Cay. If you’re looking for a more adventurous vacation, you can explore all the magic of Alaska on the Disney Wonder. The Disney Fantasy offers itineraries to Castaway Cay and the Caribbean. Starting in 2020, you’ll be able to take a Disney cruise to Hawaii, and Disney Cruise Line will have a new home port in New Orleans, where guests can sail off to the Bahamas and the Caribbean.
3. The Disney Difference
What’s the difference between a Disney cruise and a cruise with a different cruise line? This is one of the most common questions I’m asked about cruising with Disney. I’ve sailed aboard the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder, as well as with other cruise lines, and I honestly say there IS a difference.
No other cruise line can compare with the service you’ll get on a Disney ship. With approximately one crew member for every three guests, plus that legendary Disney customer service, you’ll be in excellent hands! But the main draw for many guests is that you’re surrounded by Disney magic throughout the cruise. You’ll eat in magnificent Disney-themed restaurants (the food is top-notch, by the way), enjoy meet-and-greets with your favorite Disney characters, be spell-bound by Broadway-quality Disney entertainment (The Frozen musical on the Disney Wonder is stunning in every way), and bring home exclusive Disney Cruise Line merchandise that you can’t find anywhere else.
Of course, you will pay for the privilege of enjoying these Disney perks aboard a cruise ship. Most of the time, you’ll pay substantially more for a Disney cruise than you will for a comparable cruise with another cruise line. Is it worth it? That depends on your budget, and your family’s cruise style and goals. You can always keep your eyes peeled for discounts and deals so you can enjoy all of the perks of Disney Cruise Lines without the sticker shock.
4. Future Ships
The Walt Disney Company is set to unveil three new ships as part of the Disney Cruise line, in 2021, 2022 and 2023. These new ships will by far and away the biggest ships in Disney’s fleet, weighing around 140,000 gross tons each (currently, the largest Disney Cruise Line ships weigh 10,000 gross tons less than this), with 1250 staterooms. They’ll also be equipped with the newest and best technologies, entertainment and characters available. Liquefied natural gas will power each new ship.
We don’t know too much about these newest additions, but it seems that they’ll keep the same Mickey Mouse colors as the rest of the fleet (black, white and red, with life boats in a sunny yellow). While you won’t be able to set sail on these shiny new vessels quite yet, we do know a bit about the first of the new ships – including its name!
Thanks to D23 Expo 2019, we know that the fifth Disney Cruise Line ship will be called the Disney Wish, in keeping with the very Disney-esque fleet names. Each Disney ship features a Disney character at the ship’s stern, to symbolize the ship’s overall theme. And Rapunzel will try out her sea legs on the Disney Wish! She’ll appear (with Pascal, of course) at the back of the ship, in the process of decorating it.
5. The Disney Wish
We love the concept art that’s been released for the three-storey atrium of the Disney Wish. Appropriately fairytale-inspired, this beautiful, bright area is fit for royalty – and for wishing on a star. And, for some special guests, a vacation on board the Disney Wish might actually be a wish come true! It’s been announced that this new ship will have a partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which is a first for any cruise line. Disney has been granting wishes for kids with terminal illnesses for decades, and we can’t wait to hear more details about this partnership once they’re announced as part of Make-A-Wish’s 40th anniversary!
Slated to be completed late in 2021, the Disney Wish will welcome its first guests in early 2022, setting sail from Port Canaveral.