15 Ways Disney Cruises Are Better Than the Rest, According to a Cruise Critic

Embark on a voyage like no other as we unveil why Disney Cruises are the ultimate escape.
Updated May 8, 2024
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If you’re looking for ways to step up your travel game, booking a Disney cruise may just be the perfect way to do it.

There are many perks, financially and otherwise, to booking cruises in general, including affordable all-inclusive deals and all-you-can-eat dining options. 

However, in many ways, a Disney Cruise might just give you the most bang for your buck. Here are 15 reasons Disney cruises are better than the rest, according to our cruise expert.

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They have a private island

Josh/Adobe island in bahamas on cloudy day

Disney cruises are like two vacations in one. The onboard vacation and the vacation you get to enjoy when you get to your destination.

If you're on a cruise to somewhere like the Caribbean, that may include a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

Disney excursions make it simple to package all of your vacation spending into one purchase and stop wasting money on things like dining, drinks, and detours while traveling since these can all be included.

Access to awesome childcare

Krakenimages.com/Adobe female kindergarten teacher interacting with toddlers

Families on Disney cruises often come back with stories about the incredible childcare options.

Noting their kids are often ecstatic to hang out in the decked-out kid-sitting areas and happy to give their parents some kid-free time. Our on-staff cruise expert also noted that the childcare staff are top-notch:

“We took our son for the first time when he was 11 months old, and one of the added benefits was the ‘It’s a Small World’ nursery,” she explained. “...the counselors were incredible with babies, and he was able to go down to bed while we spent time with adults.”

A rotating dining experience

VisualProduction/Adobe happy friends eating dinner in restaurant

Disney cruises are known for their incredible food (more on that later), but the rotating dining experience sets it apart from other cruise lines.

To ensure each guest gets to enjoy all the delicious dining the cruise has to offer, your party will be rotated to a different restaurant on board each night.

The best part is your servers, who will learn all your preferences and then rotate with you throughout the cruise!

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Incredible entertainment options

Kozlik_mozlik/Adobe audience enjoying theatre show

This one should be obvious — as most other cruise lines don’t also happen to be world-class entertainment companies.

Disney owns Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, and many more companies, in addition to having a massive cast of beloved characters of its own.

So, guests can expect a huge array of entertainment options, from Broadway-style shows to movie screenings to character dinners.

Adults-only areas/events

Salsabila Ariadina/Adobe attractive women toasting champagne glasses

Disney cruises are not just for families with children; guests can expect plenty of adults-only areas where they can grab a cocktail, mingle, and more.

“They know how to cater to adults,” our cruise expert said. “There are sectioned-off portions of the cruise ships for adults 21 and up. They have fantastic food, drinks, and entertainment.”

Top-notch food

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe serving margherita pizza on table

Circling back to the food, many cruise ships pride themselves on having great dining options, but it isn’t easy to outdo Disney.

From character cafes and steakhouses to pizzerias and juice bars, you can find food to please even the pickiest of eaters on a Disney cruise.

The ‘luxury’ experience

PixieMe/Adobe extravagant disney cruise ship lobby

Anyone who's ever stayed at a Disney hotel knows that hospitality is something the company does right. Cruisers can expect the same luxuries when they’re on board.

From spacious staterooms, which are designed with families in mind and include extra storage, to top-notch customer service. Guests can expect to live in luxury for their days and nights on board.

Stacked itineraries

tsuguliev/Adobe couples on dance floor at club

Disney is constantly changing their onboard itineraries so guests (and return visitors) can do something new every day.

From holiday-themed parties to an evolving line-up of amazing shows, cruisers can expect plenty to do both on board and when they dock at their destination.

Dining with characters

russell102/Adobe mickey mouse character at disney kingdom

You’re not likely to score a dinner with Cinderella on your typical Carnival cruise ship (unless a fellow passenger is very into cosplaying) — but you can on a Disney cruise.

Many families shell out big bucks to get character meals at Disney parks, but on one of the cruises, you can sign up for these meals as part of your package.

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So many desserts

Landon/Adobe delicious desserts at bakery

Trying to sample all the sweets during a visit to a Disney park may put you out a few hundred bucks (and give you quite the stomach ache).

There are so many great sweets on Disney cruises, from their nightly dessert specials to onboard cafes and sweet shops.

To keep your stomach happy, you can spread your sweet eating throughout the trip.

Room service 24/7

fotoinfot/Adobe woman enjoying breakfast in bed

You may be out of luck on a typical cruise if you miss dinner. 

But, on Disney cruises, you can get fresh, made-to-order dishes delivered to your stateroom 24 hours a day. There’s no shame in midnight snacking on a Disney cruise.

Disney films on rotation

Mr. Music/Adobe audience enjoying movie at cinema

Disney cruise lines know their audience, so they screen Disney favorites and more recent releases throughout the days in their onboard Buena Vista Theatre.

If you’re lucky, you may even get to catch a new film premiere while you’re out at sea.

Incredible Port Adventures

Tropical studio/Adobe couple snorkeling in coral reef sea

Most cruises have activities guests can participate in once they dock at their destination, but in typical Disney fashion, the list of activities and add-ons feels almost endless.

Most Port Adventures cost extra, but many of these thrills are well worth the splurge.

For example, on the Bahamas cruises, Port Adventures includes everything from bike and snorkel rentals and Adventure Jeep rides to wildlife conservation visits and swimming with dolphins.

Travel agents come for free

Dragana Gordic/Adobe couple receiving tickets by traveling agent

Many people opt for cruise vacations because paying for an all-inclusive package makes the booking process simple — and doing it with the help of a travel agent makes it even simpler.

You may think working with a travel agent is a luxury beyond your means, but if you’re going to Disney or on a Disney cruise, you can use one for free.

Disney pays agents a commission, so you, the customer, don’t have to pay a thing to get an expert’s help.

Onboard parties

bernardbodo/Adobe friends enjoying fire crackers on terrace

Disney parks host some epic parties throughout the year, but planning vacations around them can be quite expensive.

If you want to experience a Disney party and keep more money in your wallet, a Disney cruise is the perfect way to do it.

Guests can expect character-packed parties on board throughout the year as well as incredible holiday-themed soirées around Halloween, Christmas, and more.

Bottom line

icholakov/Adobe disney cruise ship at night

While many cruise ships have their charms, there’s something, dare we say, magical about a Disney cruise.

Aside from going everywhere — from the Mediterranean to the Panama Canal — Disney goes above and beyond to make these vacations shine.

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Author Details

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore is a seasoned freelance writer who also teaches writing courses at Rutgers University. She's based in Jersey City and enjoys travel, live music and, of course, spending quality time with her pup.

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