Cruises

Guide to the Disney Cruise Line

For many families, there’s just no topping a Disney cruise for entertainment value: The shows are top-notch, and the character breakfasts can’t be beat. Best of all, the ships are designed for the whole family, with unbeatable amenities like split bathrooms and extra spacious cabins, as well as loaner cribs and babysitting services galore. There are kids’ playrooms for every age group. And parents can also order everything from diapers to wipes, baby food and formula (including organic and eco-friendly products) to be delivered to their stateroom before they arrive.

While Disney ships first started off sailing just from Florida to the Caribbean, now you can book a Disney cruise to a variety of far-flung destinations that the whole family will love to see and explore. Set sail with our guide to Disney cruise lines.

Matt Stroshane, Disney Cruise Line
Disney Magic
Disney’s first ship, the 2,700-passenger Disney Magic, set sail in 1998. It introduced many of Disney’s signature features, from split bathrooms to extra-spacious guest rooms, as well as big kids’ clubs and all-ages evening stage performances. In addition, those who love the amusement parks and resorts will thrill to see the mouse-head pattern just as discreetly woven into patterns on the ship, on items such as soap stamps, silverware and curtain patterns, as it is on Disney’s properties onshore.

Where to Go: The Disney Magic offers everything from 3-night introductory sailings (perfect for first-time cruisers) to the Bahamas to 12-night Mediterranean itineraries that take you from Spain to France, Monte Carlo, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Malta.
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Wonder
Disney Magic’s intimate, 2,700-passenger sister ship debuted in 1999, with new features that improved upon the Magic, such as an adults-only pool and an adults-only area on the line’s private island, with cabanas and massages to boot.

Where to Go: The Disney Wonder sails the Caribbean in the wintertime (and then crosses the Panama Canal), and travels up the West Coast of the United States to offer summer sailings around Alaska.
Disney Dream
After 12 years of waiting, Disney fans celebrated when this 4,000-passenger ship launched in January 2011. First in its class, and a whopping 40% larger than its predecessors, the ship also has plenty of fun features that make it newsworthy. Perhaps the biggest is its AquaDuck roller coaster, the first at sea. While many family-friendly ships have elaborate waterslides, this ride shoots you through clear tubing off the side of the ship as part of the fun.

Of course, the Disney Dream line also upped the ante with its onboard entertainment, offering first-run films and 3-D movies, as well as fun touches such as “animated” port holes and “enchanted” LCD artwork that show your favorite characters traveling along with you. Another highlight: Remy, an adults-only restaurant themed after the 2007 animated comedy Ratatouille, complete with champagne for toasting, a cheese trolley piled high with imported choices, a formal dress code, and (of course) a surcharge.

Where to Go: The Disney Dream offers 3-, 4-, and 5-night sailings from Florida to Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island) and the Bahamas year-round.
Matt Stroshane, Disney Cruise Line
Disney Fantasy
Launched in March 2012, the Fantasy cruise ship is nearly identical to the Magic -- only better. The improvements include more entertainment options, including an impressive arcade, a ship-wide Muppets-led scavenger hunt, and 2 new stage shows, one of which is a 45-minute Broadway-style musical based on Aladdin. There’s also a new adults-only lounge, Satellite Falls, on the top deck that’s complete with a splash pool for parents and plenty of adult beverages.

Meanwhile, the kids are living it up. The new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is more of a salon for kids than a shop, with “magical” makeovers that can turn them into princesses, fairies or pirates. And for kids at heart, you can dress up for “pirate night,” too!

Where to Go: The ship offers 7-night eastern and western Mediterranean sailings year-round out of Port Canaveral, Florida, Miami and Galveston, TX.

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