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  • Starr Wlodarski

Is a Disney Cruise Worth the Price?

For most families who look into planning a Disney Cruise vacation, there is an element of "sticker shock" when they initially hear the price… especially for travel during the busiest seasons. One of the questions I am asked most often is "are Disney Cruises really worth the cost?"

Short answer… for most families, YES.

It's true that Disney cruises come with premium pricing, but they live up to the premium expectations that come with the price tag. I could go on and on listing the reasons why Disney Cruise Line stands out in the family cruise marketplace, but here are the things that make them shine…

No better kids’ programs at sea!

I'm sure it will come as no surprise that Disney has placed a huge emphasis on their kids' programs. While other cruise lines have huge casinos in the middle of their ships, Disney has forgone the casino in favor of more space for kids’ clubs.

The kids' clubs are available each day, typically from 9 am until midnight, and you may find it challenging to get your children to come out of the clubs to spend time with the family! These highly themed kids-only spaces offer age-appropriate activities and kid-friendly spaces to explore and make new friends. The Disney characters have even been known to make special appearances in the kids' clubs.

The kids' clubs are complimentary for kids age 3-17. Kids age 3-12 can join in the fun in the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lounge (there are separate areas for younger and older kids), while tweens age 11-14 are welcome in the Edge club, and teens age 14-17 have their own space in the Vibe club.

The "It's a Small World Nursery" is available for children age six months – 3 years for a nominal fee.

Staterooms designed for families.

"Spacious" is a word not often used to describe cruise staterooms, but Disney has done an outstanding job of making use of every available inch of space… and they've made sure to keep the needs of families top of mind.

From split bathrooms that allow the sink and toilet to remain available even when someone else is in the shower, to more connecting staterooms and some rooms with small bathtubs, families will appreciate the conveniences a Disney cruise line stateroom offers.

Moms, in particular, will appreciate the fact that your stateroom attendant will visit and clean your room twice per day. In such a small space, you'll enjoy coming back from a day exploring one of the ports – or coming back from dinner and a show - to find your room neat and organized.

Stress-free dining.

Sure, all cruise lines include food… but Disney has added a few perks and conveniences that make a difference.

With character dining and unique dining experiences such as the Animator's Palate dining room that comes alive changing from black and white to full color during the course of your meal, your kids will enjoy mealtime as much as you do.

If you are traveling with little ones who may have a hard time sitting through a three course meal each night, don't worry… they've got you covered! Kids club counselors come to the dining room about midway through the late seating to pick up kids who want to head to the clubs and let Mom and Dad finish dinner in peace!

Families will also appreciate benefits such as complimentary soda and beverages available 24/7 and free room service. Most cruise lines require you to purchase a soda package or pay for drinks outside of the dining rooms, but Disney Cruise Line offers complimentary sodas from drink stations near the pool.

Stellar entertainment.

If there is one thing you know you can expect from Disney, it's outstanding entertainment, and Disney Cruise Line definitely does not disappoint!

You've probably heard about Disney's Broadway shows that are introducing a whole new generation to live theater, but did you know you can take in similar Broadway-caliber performances on your Disney Cruise?

Each evening the Walt Disney Theater will feature an impressive, family-friendly performance. Expect to be wowed by these hour-long productions. They are the perfect length to keep kids entertained without exceeding the limits of their attention span.

But the entertainment doesn't stop there… your cruise director and cast members have a lot more fun in store for you!

There are ticketed (but complimentary!) character meet and greets where you'll have the opportunity to meet groups of your favorite characters with a minimal wait and lots of time to spend interacting. Characters are often found wandering the ship and interacting with guests at random times as well.

And we can't forget the parties!

No one does a deck party quite like Disney!

These nighttime dance parties have themes like "Pirates IN the Caribbean" or the Frozen themed "Freezing the Night Away." You can interact and dance alongside some of your favorite characters or hang back and enjoy the themed food and drinks available at the party

The night ends with a spectacular fireworks display… an event that is unique to Disney Cruise Line.

Castaway Cay

One of the highlights of any Bahamian or Caribbean cruise with Disney Cruise Line is sure to be a day spent at their private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.

Your Castaway Cay visit is likely to be everything you dream of when you think of an idyllic beach day in the Caribbean! With its soft white sand, crystal blue water, and relaxing atmosphere, you may never want to get back on the ship!

Castaway Cay is widely considered to be the top cruise line private island experience, and it's no surprise why. There are plenty of activities for the whole family from snorkeling, swimming, biking, and more… or you can just relax in a hammock with a frozen beverage if that's more your style!

Since Disney owns the island, there is no need to bring your wallet… food and most activities are included in your cruise fare and any adult beverages, souvenirs or excursions can be charged to your stateroom account.

These are just a few of the reasons why a Disney Cruise is worth every penny. I could go on for hours explaining even more… and I'd be happy to talk with you about just that if your family is ready to start planning your cruise vacation!

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