If you have been thinking about a Disney vacation, here are 5 REASONS to go on a Disney cruise for your next trip!

Did you hear the news? 2023 will be the biggest year for Disney Cruise Line you have ever seen. There will be new announcements, itineraries, onboard entertainment, and so much more to celebrate! And now, without any cruising restrictions, it is time to get back to sea! Disney has just announced that to commemorate Disney Cruise Line’s 25th anniversary, a new wave of special “Silver Anniversary at Sea” entertainment, merchandise, and celebratory experiences will be featured during summer 2023 sailings onboard all five ships! New family entertainment and activities will culminate in shimmering evening experiences created exclusively for the anniversary celebration.

#5: FIVE Great Ships + and a new one coming soon…

Currently, five beautiful ships make up the Disney Cruise Line fleet. The Disney Fantasy, Disney Dream, Disney Wonder, Disney Magic, and the new Disney Wish set sail from different ports offering a variety of itineraries. Each ship includes outstanding amenities, including dining, kids’ clubs, and more for guests to experience a magical Disney vacation.

And the brand new ship, The Disney Wish, offers one-of-a-kind experiences not seen before as the worlds of Marvel, Star Wars, and Frozen are brought to life!

On select sailings from May through September of 2023, below are four spectacular ways to partake in Disney Cruise Line’s magical festivities.

  • New Looks for Captain Mickey and Captain Minnie: Strike a pose with this iconic duo in their dazzling new ensembles. Their coordinated looks will feature swirling designs reminiscent of ocean waves and multi-toned fabric in the signature color of the celebration: Shimmering Seas.
  • Brand-New Signature Song: Sing and dance along to a brand-new melody with the debut of a signature song created especially for the “Silver Anniversary at Sea.”
    Culinary Creations: Eat and drink your way through themed culinary delights, from fanciful desserts to inspired craft cocktails and beyond.
  • Memories That Shimmer: Take a piece of the magic home with you with the new Shimmering Seas Collection, a special line of dedicated merchandise featuring our new signature color. Inspired by the magical glow of sunshine reflecting upon turquoise waters, the collection will include an assortment of apparel, accessories, drinkware, and more.

But let’s get into some of the fun you’ll have while cruising with Disney Cruise Line in 2023 and 2024!

#4: Onshore Adventures Await!

When choosing your cruise itinerary, check what ports you will visit during your vacation. There are many different ways to experience the destinations that you visit. As cruising continues to return, longer and different itineraries have been added. You can enjoy port adventures, including a dolphin swim at Atlantis in the Bahamas, zipline and Adventure Falls in Jamaica, explore the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza in Cozumel, and countless other options for different interests, ages, and activity levels!

You will receive quality service with a Disney vacation regardless of your excursion. Any tickets will be waiting for you if you reserve online. If you decide to add something once onboard, this is subject to availability, but your cruise staff can assist with this as well. Plus, all port adventures are coordinated with the ship’s arrival. If the arrival is late, the tour times are adjusted. If an excursion runs late, the ship waits, or complimentary transportation is arranged for the next port of call. In addition, if the ship’s itinerary needs to change, all excursions are fully refundable.

#3 Castaway Cay is Waiting

Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island in the Bahamas. Recently, several cruise itineraries have offered a “double-dip” at Castaway Cay. That means guests have two days to experience all that this island has to offer. There are places to snorkel, excursions from the island, including glass-bottom boats and fishing, and equipment rentals, including bikes, floats and tubes, aqua trike rentals, and more. In addition, there are shops and dining options available, including unlimited ice cream!

You can learn all about Castaway Cay HERE: Complete Guide to Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay - Pelican Plunge

There are dedicated family beaches with beautiful views and a waterslide called Pelican Plunge. This is fun for all ages! The kids enjoy swimming up and then taking the “plunge” into the warm water below.

Serenity Bay - Castaway Cay

If you are looking for some quiet time, Castaway Cay has a breathtaking area called Serenity Bay. This part of the island is for adults only (18+) and offers everything you need to enjoy your time there. It’s accessible by tram or walking. Here, adults can enjoy the beach, food, and drink options. Cabanas are available to rent, and spa options can also be booked.

Disney Cruise Line employees take your drink order and allow you to sit back, relax, and have a kid-free day on the soft white sand.

Disney Cruise Line returns to Alaska! The Disney Wonder has departed from the port of Vancouver, Canada, for a return ports of call in Alaska

Photo Courtesy Disney

#2: Countless Destinations All Over the World

Disney Cruise Line’s ports of call include places in Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, Alaska, and Disney’s private Bahamian island, Castaway Cay. And depending on when you cruise, you may be able to pick from themed itineraries for Halloween and Christmas.

Bahamas Cruises

For several reasons, the Bahamian cruise is one of the most popular Disney Cruise itineraries.  First, most of these sailings depart from ports in Florida, making it easy to add a cruise onto an existing Disney World Vacation.  They also tend to be shorter cruises — usually three or four nights — making them ideal for those wanting to extend their land vacation or needing a shorter trip due to not having much time off of work.  These cruises are popular enough that Disney has dedicated its newest ship, the Disney Wish, exclusively to these itineraries so far.

Ports on a Bahamian Disney cruise might include:

  • Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island in the Bahamas)
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Galveston, TX
  • Nassau, Bahamas
  • Miami, FL
  • Port Canaveral, FL (closest port to Walt Disney World)

Caribbean Cruises

Caribbean Cruises are usually divided into regional itineraries, such as Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean, or southern Caribbean cruises.  They’re usually a bit longer than a Bahamian cruise, often around 7 nights.

Ports on a Caribbean Cruise by Disney could include:

  • Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island in the Bahamas)
  • Basseterre, St. Kitts
  • Bridgetown, Barbados
  • Castries, St. Lucia
  • Costa Maya, Mexico
  • Cozumel, Mexico
  • Falmouth, Jamaica
  • Fort-de-France, Martinique
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Galveston, TX
  • George Town, Grand Cayman
  • Kralendijk, Bonaire
  • Miami, FL
  • New York, NY
  • Oranjestad, Aruba
  • Philpsburg, St. Maarten
  • Port Canaveral, FL (closest port to Walt Disney World)
  • Progreso, Mexico
  • Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
  • Roseau, Dominica
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • St. John’s, Antigua
  • St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
  • Tortola, British Virgin Islands
  • Willemstad, Curaçao

Bermuda Cruises

Bermuda cruises offer a taste of the Caribbean, plus a stop in Bermuda; an island escapes much further north in the Atlantic Ocean. Most of these cruises depart from New York.

Ports on a Disney Bermuda Cruise could include:

  • Kings Wharf, Bermuda
  • New York, NY
  • Port Canaveral, FL
  • Select ports also offered on Disney’s Caribbean or Bahamian cruises

Alaska Cruises

One of the more-stunning Disney Cruises is the Alaska itinerary.  While the cruises stay far enough south along the Alaska Panhandle that Northern Lights sightings are exceedingly rare, you’ll still enjoy outstanding natural scenery and wildlife. Alaska’s cruise season is in the summer, so you shouldn’t encounter frigid temperatures unless you’re close to a glacier.  These cruises depart from Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada.

Ports on Disney’s Alaska cruises may include:

  • Dawe’s Glacier / Endicott Arm Fjord, AK (sail-through without disembarking)
  • Hubbard Glacier, AK (sail-through without disembarking)
  • Icy Strait Point, AK
  • Juneau, AK
  • Ketchikan
  • Sitka, AK
  • Skagway, AK
  • Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada

Europe Cruises

European Cruises offer a great way to sample the best of the continent quickly—Disney cruises to more ports in Europe than any other location on the planet.  Disney’s European cruises include specialty itineraries such as the British Isles, the Mediterranean, and others, offering a diverse list of ports of call.

Each cruise has its regional itinerary, but in general, ports on a European Disney Cruise could include some of the following:

  • Akureyri, Iceland
  • Ajaccio (Corsica), France
  • Alesund, Norway
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Bergen, Norway
  • Brest, France
  • Cádiz, Spain
  • Cannes (Monaco, Monte Carlo, Nice), France
  • Cartagena, Spain
  • Chania, Greece
  • Cherbourg,France
  • Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
  • Cobh (Cork), Ireland
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Dover, England
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Eidfjord, Ireland
  • Frederica, Denmark
  • Gdynia (Gdańsk), Poland
  • Genoa (Milan), Italy
  • Geiranger, Norway
  • Gibraltar, United Kingdom
  • Gothenberg, Sweden
  • Greenock, Scotland
  • Hebrides, Scotland
  • Helsinki, Finland
  • Heraklion (Crete), Greece
  • Ibiza, Spain
  • Invergordon, Scotland
  • Ísafjörður, Iceland
  • Katakolon, Greece
  • Kefalonia, Greece
  • Kiel, Germany
  • Kirkwall (Orkney), Scotland
  • Kotka, Finland
  • Kristiansand, Norway
  • La Rochelle, France
  • La Spezia (Florence, Pisa), Italy
  • Le Havre (Paris), France
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Liverpool, England
  • Livorno (Florence, Pisa), Italy
  • Maloy, Norway
  • Málaga, Spain
  • Marseilles, France
  • Messina (Sicily), Italy
  • Molde, Norway
  • Mykonos, Greece
  • Naples (Pompeii), Italy
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, England
  • Nordfjordeid, Norway
  • Nynäshamn (Stockholm), Sweden
  • Olbia (Sardinia), Italy
  • Olden, Norway
  • Oslo, Norway
  • Palermo (Sicily), Italy
  • Palma de Mallorca, Spain
  • Peter Port, Guernsey
  • Piraeus (Athens), Greece
  • Plymouth, England
  • Portland (Stonehenge), England
  • Porto, Portugal
  • Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Riga, Latvia
  • Ringaskiddy (Cork), Ireland
  • Rostock, Germany
  • Salerno, Italy
  • Sandnes, Norway
  • Santorini, Greece
  • Skagen, Denmark
  • Skjolden, Norway
  • Stavenger, Norway
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • Tallinn, Estonia
  • Toulon (Provence), France
  • Vigo, Spain
  • Villefranche (Monte Carlo, Nice), France
  • Visby, Sweden
  • Warnemünde (Berlin), Germany
  • Zeebrugge (Brussels), Belgium

Mexico Cruises

Disney’s Mexico cruises depart from San Diego, California, for trips along the Baja Peninsula and Mexican Riviera.

Ports on a Disney Mexico cruise may include:

  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • Catalina Island, CA
  • Ensenada, Mexico
  • Mazatlán, Mexico
  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • San Diego, CA

Canada Cruises

While Disney’s Alaska cruises depart from Canada’s west coast, they don’t visit any Canadian ports during the cruise.  To find a cruise with a Canadian port of call during the cruise, you’ll need to head east.  Departures from New York offer stops at several Canadian ports and a picturesque stop in the northeastern US.

Ports on a Disney Canadian Cruise may include:

  • Baie-Comeau (Québec), Canada
  • Bar Harbor, Maine
  • Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island), Canada
  • Halifax (Nova Scotia), Canada
  • New York, NY
  • Québec City (Québec), Canada
  • Saguenay (Québec), Canada
  • Saint John (New Brunswick), Canada
  • St. John’s (Newfoundland), Canada
  • Sydney (Nova Scotia), Canada

Hawaii Cruises

A Hawaiian Cruise with Disney Cruise Line offers stops at gorgeous, lush ports where mountains, beaches, and waterfalls meet.  Ironically, you’ll have to head to Canada to visit most Hawaiian ports of call via Disney Cruise Line — thanks to maritime rules requiring visits to a “distant foreign port,” these cruises depart only from outside the US.

Ports on a Hawaiian Cruise with Disney may include:

  • Hilo (Hawaii / Big Island), HI
  • Honolulu (Oahu), HI
  • Kahului (Maui), HI
  • Nawiliwili (Kauai), HI
  • Vancouver, Canada

Pacific Coast Cruises

Disney’s pacific coast cruises begin in San Diego, California, or Vancouver, Canada, and make their way up the west coast for stunning scenery and maybe a passing whale or two.

Potential ports on a Disney Pacific Coast cruise include:

  • Astoria, OR
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada
  • Victoria (British Columbia), Canada

Panama Canal Cruises

These are one-way cruises — you’ll end your cruise in a different port than you started.  But along the way, you’ll sail through an architectural marvel (and see a few other neat ports).  Typically, only two of these are offered each year — one westbound and one eastbound. Just be sure to bank your vacation time; it’s a 14-night sailing.

Ports on Disney’s Panama Canal cruises include:

  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • Cartagena, Colombia
  • Cozumel, Mexico
  • Galveston, TX
  • George Town, Grand Cayman
  • Miami, FL
  • Panama Canal
  • Port Canaveral, FL
  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • Puntarenas, Costa Rica
  • San Diego, CA

Transatlantic Cruises

Much like a Panama Canal cruise, a transatlantic cruise is primarily a repositioning cruise to allow the ship to move from US-based sailings to European sailings.  For those who have plenty of vacation time to burn (typically 11 to 13 nights) and who don’t mind ending their cruise on a different continent than they started on.  Because you’re transiting across the entire Atlantic Ocean, don’t be surprised if upwards of half the cruise is spent as “days at sea” (meaning the ship is simply in motion without stopping at a port); if you love spending time enjoying a ship’s onboard amenities, this is the itinerary for you!

Potential ports on a transatlantic cruise include:

  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Bilbao, Spain
  • Dover, England
  • Halifax (Nova Scotia), Canada
  • La Coruña, Spain
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Miami, FL
  • New York, NY
  • Ponta Delgada, Portugal
  • Portland (Stonehenge), England
  • Ringaskiddy (Cork), Ireland
  • St. John’s (Newfoundland), Canada
  • Sydney (Nova Scotia), Canada
  • Plymouth, England

South Pacific / Transpacific Cruises

Similar to the transatlantic cruise, a South Pacific / transpacific cruise is primarily a repositioning cruise; sailings are typically 10-15 nights in duration and will end in a completely different hemisphere than they started in.  Expect extensive days at sea where the cruise sails without stopping at a port.

Potential ports on a transpacific cruise may include:

  • Honolulu (Oahu), HI
  • Kahului (Maui), HI
  • Lautoka, Fiji
  • Noumea, New Caledonia
  • Pago Pago, American Samoa
  • Sydney, Australia

Australia / New Zealand “Disney Magic at Sea” Cruises

It was announced at the 2022 D23 Expo that Disney Cruise Line would be adding cruises in Australia and New Zealand. These sailings are onboard the Disney Wonder cruise ship.

Ports on an Australia / New Zealand Disney Magic at Sea cruise may include:

  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Sydney, Australia

 

Disney Cruise Line Fantasy Dream Frozen show

#1 Endless Fun Onboard (For All Ages)

Disney is known for its ability to entertain kids, and cruise ships are no exception! There are countless ways to enjoy your time with kids of any age. That’s not all, though. There is plenty for the big kids too! There are areas on the ships that entertain adults only. We are going to show you some of the fun things you can do while aboard a Disney Cruise. But there are so many new options, and each ship offers something different depending on your sailing!

Explore all there is to do onboard:

  • Character experiences
  • Deck parties
  • Dining
  • Entertainment
  • Nightclub & lounges
  • Pools
  • Spa & Salon
  • Fitness Center
  • Youth clubs

Kids’ Clubs

The Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab are spaces for kids ages 3 to 12. The Oceaneer Club offers character interactions, storytime, larger-than-life play areas, and more. In the Oceaneer Lab, kids learn while they play with highly interactive activities. Kids can move between the two spaces to maximize the fun! The activities in these areas are designed to engage kids based on their interests and maturity. While there are recommended age-based activities, siblings and friends can also play together. Kids must be at least three years old and fully potty trained to join the kids’ clubs.

The best part of the kid’s clubs is that they never want to leave! That gives the adults more time to relax or find some fun of their own! Who knows… maybe get a little nap in without the kids bothering you!

Character Interactions

You can find characters all over the ship and at Castaway Cay. There will be a times guide on the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app that shows you when characters are meeting and where you can find them. Sometimes they are walking about, and others are in specific locations allowing you to take photos and get some hugs! Each sailing is a little different, but one thing remains the same… If you want to meet and greet characters, a Disney Cruise is the BEST way to do that. There are so many opportunities to meet your favorite friend!

We have had some of the unique character interactions ever! One time Rapunzel came and joined us for a drink in the lounge on the Disney Wish! Check out our Instagram for the video!

Shows

The broadway-style shows aboard each ship are just amazing! Be sure to prepare your tissues as you watch shows such as “Disney’s Believe” or “Frozen, A Musical Spectacular” in the Walt Disney Theatre. The show choices vary depending on the ship. There are two showings each night, based on the mealtime you select. On every Disney cruise, you can see cruise ship entertainment reach new heights with the most elaborate productions at sea.

The shows are performed twice in the evening on three nights during your cruise.  The first show is usually at 6:15, and the second one is usually at 8:30.  So, you would go to the later show if you have early dining or the early show if you have late dining.

Disney Cruise Line Fantasy Dream d lounge trivia

Trivia and More

There is always something to do on the ship throughout the day and into the evening. The Disney Cruiseline Navigator app will list everything available each day. Activities range from movies, trivia, family games, and more.

Trivia levels vary on time of day and location within the ship.  In the family lounges, or lounges that allow those under the age of 21 to enter – anyone can partake in Trivia challenges!  You’ll find these challenges to encompass more family-friendly topics (Disney parks or movies trivia, Pixar trivia, ‘do you know your family’ game show type trivia).  All have a fast-paced honor system and tie-breaking trivia fun. Trivia found in 21+ lounges host challenges covering more movie/quote trivia outside of Disney, or very obscure Disney trivia – covering more Walt Disney himself era trivia that the adult audience may have a better chance of knowing.  We did 90’s music trivia, and my group won. (thanks to yours truly).

First-run movies are often offered on the ship! We could watch the new Black Panther movie on the ship, just released in the theater!

Disney Cruise Line Fantasy Dream Pool

Adults-Only Fun

If you think a Disney cruise is just for kids, you’re wrong!! I have personally been on 6 Disney cruises in the last 2 years. NONE of them included my kids and I had a fantastic time(don’t tell them I said this). Disney cruise line offers guests of all ages a wonderful vacation experience, including adults. Whether you want something to do while the kids are in the kids’ club or you are not even traveling with kids, you will find plenty to do!

There are areas on all of the ships designed for adults only. If you want to grab a bite to eat or a drink, head over to Currents or the Cove Cafe. There is a different drink of the day offered each day and then you can sit poolside or hang out in the glass bottom hot tub.

Disney Cruise Line Fantasy Dream ooh la la

In the evenings, head to one of the adult-only lounges or pubs. There are designated areas on each ship that feature unique lounges and bars. My favorite is Ooh-La-La Lounge on the Disney Fantasy or Pink: Wine and Champagne Bar on the Disney Dream. Available throughout the day and evening, there are also beverage tastings. Learn about and taste different whiskey, champagne, chocolate, and liquor pairings!

Disney Cruise Line Fantasy Dream Palo

Disney Cruise Line Fantasy Dream Palo

Disney Cruise Line Fantasy Dream Palo

In addition, there are adult dining opportunities for adults only. Palo is found on all five Disney cruise ships. It features Italian cuisine for brunch or dinner in a quiet setting with breathtaking ocean views. At Remy, guests choose from a French-inspired menu for brunch or dinner. This restaurant is available on The Disney Fantasy or the Disney Dream. Both restaurants require reservations and there is a dress code.

On the new Disney Wish, there is another option! In addition to Palo, you can dine at Enchanté by Chef Arnaud Lallement! But Palo is slightly different on the Wish! It is called Palo Steakhouse… Palo Steakhouse is an evolution of the Palo restaurant combining the relaxed sophistication of authentic Italian dining with the classic refinement of a modern steakhouse in a genteel setting inspired by Cogsworth, the tale’s majordomo-turned- enchanted-clock. At Palo Steakhouse, guests will choose from a selection of exquisite Italian dishes and the world’s best steaks, from the most elite American prime cuts to melt-in-your-mouth Australian wagyu to succulent Japanese Kobe and Miyazaki beefs. The show-stopping menu will be paired with the finest Italian wines and bold craft beers – and for dessert, a fan-favorite indulgence: signature Palo chocolate souffle, prepared fresh-to-order and served piping hot with luscious vanilla bean and chocolate sauces.

Enchanté will offer the most luxurious dining experience on board, featuring a gourmet menu crafted by three-Michelin-starred Chef Arnaud Lallement — of L’Assiette Champenoise, near Reims, France — one of the culinary masterminds behind the French-inspired fine dining experience at Remy aboard the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. This romantic and intimate venue will evoke the dazzling candlelight and lavish hospitality of the film’s candelabra maitre d’, Lumiere, with shimmering light fixtures and illuminations that will give life to the two intimate dining areas and private 10-seat dining room. With an elegant infusion of soft blues and metallic embellishments, stunning ocean views will complete the enchanting atmosphere. The menu will feature superior products and seasonal ingredients sourced from around the world to create an exceptional ensemble of international dishes, masterfully developed with the passion, philosophy and expertise of Chef Lallement. From the moment they enter the glittering champagne room, guests will be swept up in a sumptuous journey marked by consummate cuisine, superlative wines and first-class service.

Spa

The Senses Spa and Salon offers various options, from massages to facials. Choose from visiting on the ship or heading to a cabana at Serenity Bay. Plus, there are options for couples if you are traveling with your significant other and want to relax together.

Senses is a full-service spa with 17 treatment rooms and a full menu of luxurious spa treatments and services available. Indulge in massages, body wraps, manicures, pedicures, and facials. Want to try something a little different? The Rainforest Room is a state-of-the-art sauna combining steam, heat, hydrotherapy, and aromatherapy. Heated mosaic tile lounge chairs overlook the ocean for the most relaxing nap, while two whirlpool hot tubs are on the private teak deck.

Day Care Offered

If you have an infant but want some alone time on the ship, they have that covered too! For a small fee you can bring your little one to the “it’s a small world nursery” onboard any of  Disney Cruise Line ships.

The Small World nursery is available for children aged six months – 3 years old. You can reserve the nursery for an additional fee, and reservations can be made on the same day (if available). Keep checking during your cruise if you see times booked up in advance. We noticed many people canceled or changed their plans the day of their reservation.

There isn’t an in-room babysitting option on the ship, so this is the best bet for a little baby-free time! And it is safe. If you’re nervous, visit the nursery when you arrive on the ship and check it out yourself. You can cancel your reservation with at least 4 hours’ notice to avoid a penalty.

That’s a wrap!

That’s a wrap! We have given you so many reasons to set sail on the high seas in 2023! If you’re looking to book a cruise, a promotion may be offered right now to get you there even easier! Just fill out the form below and a travel advisor will contact you today!

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