Is a Disney Cruise worth it for your next family vacation? Today we are sharing the pros and cons of a Disney cruise.
Disney vacations are some of our favorites but deciding to do a Disney Cruise is not a one size fits all answer.
The magic of Disney can be found aboard all of the Disney Cruise ships but deciding on a Disney cruise vacation does have some pros and cons.
People often ask “What’s so great about a Disney Cruise? My answer is it depends on who you ask! Each family has a different set of expectations on vacation and a Disney Cruise is no different.
I’ll go into details below on the most common questions but lets start with an overview of the Disney Cruise Line.
Disney Treasure is the next ship to set sail. Sailings start December 2024 and will included a Haunted Mansion Bar.
They cruise all over the world from the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Alaska, Hawaii, Europe, the Pacific Coast, and Canada. The length of the cruise varies from short cruises that are 3-5 nights up to long cruises that are 7-11 nights.
Guests wanting to have a Disney experience that include Walt Disney World and a Disney cruise will want to port out of Port Canaveral.
Disney Cruise also has special themed and holiday cruises like Marvel Day at Sea, Star Wars Day at Sea, Halloween and Holiday Cruises. They also have a pirate night on select Disney ships itineraries.
We have done the 3 Night Bahama cruise twice now and pirate night is always so much fun, but we really love Disney.
For some families the additional cost of a Disney cruise might not be worth it. Let’s break down the pros and cons to help you decided if a Disney cruise is worth it for you.
Is a Disney Cruise Worth It?
To decide if a Disney Cruise is worth it for your family you need to consider the following:
What is your budget? This will determine whether a Disney cruise is a good fit.
What is included in a Disney Cruise? When looking at your budget and the cost of the cruise be sure to include all the meals you would pay out of pocket on a typical vacation.
Most are included in the cost of the cruise but the fine dining and shoe excursions come at an extra cost.
What age is best for a Disney Cruise? You should consider the age of your kids and if you feel comfortable taking them on a cruise.
What does a perfect vacation look like for you? Do you like to stay active? Sit by the pool? Have child care for your kids?
How Much Is a Disney Cruise?
When planning Disney vacations it often comes down to budget to help guide you on what works best for your family. So…How expensive is a Disney Cruise?
It is different for everyone depending on how many people are in your party and what upgrades you like, and how many days you cruise.
The below table looks at a family of 4 and 5 and compares the prices. (updated for 2024)
|Party Size/ Room Size||3 Night Bahama Cruise |
|5 Night Bahama Cruise |
|Family of 4/Inside Cabin||$3,583||$7,449|
|Family of 4/Verandah||$4,015||$8,449|
|Family of 5/Oceanview||$4,607||$10,070|
|Family of 5/Verandah||$4,916||$10,820|
All prices are total for your trip including taxes and fees. Prices are accurate as of writing this but are subject to change. A family of 5 does not fit in an inside cabin so the least expensive option was used.
Is a Disney Cruise All Inclusive? (What’s Included in a Disney Cruise)
Disney Cruise lines are mostly inclusive. There are a few restaurants and experiences that require reservations and added fees but you do not have to do these to enjoy your cruise.
You could easily pay for your cruise and not spend any extra money to experience the best of the cruise. If you would like to splurge you can add on special activities and dinners to your trip.
Gratuities are not included and should always be considered in your budget, the cast members on the ship work very hard to make sure you have an incredible experience.
The question I get a lot is: Is Ice Cream Free on a Disney Cruise? And the answer is…YES!!! There are soft-serve ice cream machines on the ship that guests can use as they choose. My kids loved this!!
Getting back to basics, three meals a day are included. This includes access to a buffet style restaurant as well as a sit-down restaurant that you do not need reservations for.
Disney Dining is rotational dining which means you will rotate through the on-ship restaurants during your vacation.
Also unlimited coffee, tea, and soft drinks are included.
Besides food, a Disney Cruise also includes amazing top-notch entertainment and shows. We loved the Beauty and the Beast show on the Disney Dream.
Also included in your vacation are daily activities and the Disney Oceaneer Club. This is the on-site kids clubs. I go in depth on what to expect in this post: Disney Dream Kids Club: What Parents Need to Know for a Disney Cruise.
All three of my kids loved the kids club. There is one for small children, school age children, tweens, and teens.
I felt very comfortable sending my young kids to the kids club, and they had a great time.
There are also pools, adult only and family friendly ones, some cruise ships have a water slides and splash pads.
There is mini-golf, a movie theater, movies by the pool, and daily activities throughout the ship. If you are at a port for the day you can also go on a shore excursion.
There are also many character meet and greets on the ship and at Disney’s Private island Castaway Cay.
Disney Cruise Line has endless amount of activities for your family. Learn more in this post: Awesome Disney Dream Activities with Kids To Do On Your Disney Cruise Vacation.
What age is best for a Disney Cruise?
This brings me to what is the best age for a Disney Cruise. The kids club starts at ages 3 and up. There is an option for children 6 months-3 but you need to make reservations and pay the hourly fee.
You also should consider how comfortable your kids are going to a day care like setting, on a cruise ship, with people they don’t know. Some kids love it, some kids do not!
My kids were in the 3-12 range when we first did a Disney Cruise and they liked it a lot. They had each other to support each other when we were not there and the cast member/counselors are amazing.
Honestly, the kids never want to leave the kids club because there is so much to do!
Disney Cruise Pros and Cons
Let’s look at a few of the pros and cons of the Disney cruise to help you decide if a Disney Cruise vacation is right for you.
Disney Cruise Pros:
If you love Disney you will be happy to know it is Disney all the time. Disney characters and themes are weaved into everything aboard the ship.
You will receive top of the line service and attention. Disney cast members offer some of the best customer service in all of hospitality and it shows.
Guests have access to Broadway style shows and movies that are currently in theaters.
Disney has their own private island, Castaway Cay that allows guests to enjoy during a Caribbean cruise. This has all the amenities you would expect including lunch, activities, and soft serve ice cream.
The Kid’s clubs are awesome. The activities will keep your kids entertained all day.
One of the biggest Disney cruise line perks is that they have many rooms that fit a family of five. Some ships require you to book connecting rooms.
With a Disney Cruise there are bunk beds and sleeping space for 5 available on all of the ships.
Disney Cruise Cons:
It is Disney all the time. There are characters walking around. The dining is Disney themed. The rooms have subtle nods to Mickey Mouse.
Everywhere you turn is Disney. If you are not a big Disney fan this may be overkill.
The Disney Cruise Line is pricey. The cost is often higher than the cost of other cruise lines. You are paying for the amazing service and Disney magical touches, but if the price is too high you may want to look at other cruise lines.
At times your family may be split up. If the kids go to the kids club you will be on your own for the day.
This may sound like a pro but if you were looking for all day family time this might not be a good fit.
We were never disappointed when we sailed with Disney Cruise line but it will cost you more than other comparable family-friendly cruise options.
I suggest looking at your vacation budget and weighing the pros and cons to decide if a Disney Cruise is worth it for you.