Disney crusie line has amazing kids programming with character interactions
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Disney is the Best Cruise Line for Families

There are so many reasons why Disney is the best cruise line for families! From their top-notch service to their unbeatable entertainment options, creative ships and themed dining rooms, Disney truly knows how to make a vacation unforgettable. Let me share with you 11 reasons Disney is the best cruise line!

There are so many reasons why Disney is the best cruise line out there! From their top-notch service to their unbeatable entertainment options, Disney truly knows how to make a vacation unforgettable. Let me share with you 11 reasons Disney is the best cruise line!

best cruise lines for families

Disney Cruise Line is truly the best cruise line for so many reasons! From the moment you step onboard, you are transported to a world of magic and wonder that only Disney can create. The ships are beautifully designed and meticulously maintained, with attention to detail at every turn.  One of the main reasons why Disney Cruise Line stands out is their incredible entertainment options. From Broadway-caliber shows to character meet and greets, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Adults can relax at the adults-only pool or indulge in a spa treatment, while kids can have the time of their lives at the youth clubs and splash zones.

But the fun doesn’t stop there – Disney Cruise Line also offers amazing dining experiences. From gourmet restaurants to casual eateries, there is a wide variety of options to suit every taste. And don’t forget about the themed dining nights, where the whole family can dress up and enjoy a delicious meal together.  And let’s not forget about the destinations! Disney Cruise Line sails to some of the most beautiful and exotic locations in the world, allowing guests to explore new cultures and create unforgettable memories. So if you’re looking for a cruise line that offers top-notch entertainment, dining, and destinations, look no further than Disney Cruise Line.

Best Cruise Line

If your family is considering taking a cruise this year, there are lots of choices. When choosing a cruise line for vacation, consider factors such as destination, budget, onboard amenities, dining options, entertainment, and atmosphere.  But please don’t stop there when comparing cruises!

Some of the seemingly smaller differences are what are going to make the difference between a nice vacation and the most amazing, wonderful vacation you’ve ever had!

disney cruise tips

Disney Cruise Tips

The average cruise cabin is 175 sq feet. As a comparison, an average hotel room is 300 sq feet. Now you may be saying, I don’t plant to be in my room that much anyway. And that may be the case, but you still have to put away all your clothes, formal wear, and what-not plus live in this space with your family for an average of 7 days.

Our Family Oceanview with Large Porthole, pictured above, is a very comfortable 218 square feet. The Family Ocean view with Verandah we’ve stayed in many times is 304 sq feet including Verandah. HUGE by cruise standards!

Disney magic Verandah stateroom for 5
#1 Best Staterooms

Disney staterooms are larger, nicer, and with more thoughtful details than most cruiselines. Your room has lots of features you’ll appreciate:

  • Bathroom is a bath & a half (so someone can shower and someone else can use the restroom or shave at the same time!)
  • Bathroom has a tub – extremely helpful for families traveling with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers
  • We loved the spa grade toiletries provided  plus the very nice hair dryer
  • The parents part can be separated from the children’s sleeping area by a curtain – love the privacy
  • During the day there is ample seating not only on the parents bed, but on the 3 person couch, armchair, and two seats on the balcony
  • At night the beds will magically pop out of the wall to comfortably accommodate up to 5 guests
  • There is TONS of storage in the closet, in one of 3 drawer areas, and under the parents bed which is all open for suitcases (unlike most cruise lines that have the support of the bed underneath)
  • The main bed is not two beds pulled together – it is ONE bed! We really appreciated this in addition to the super comfy linens and duvet.
  • The large balcony made it a breeze for us to read books (along with our son) while our youngest two napped during the day (or at night with the balcony light)
disney pixar days at sea sarge says with toy soldier green army men interaction

#2 – Disney Cruise Line Characters

While Royal Caribbean use to offer DreamWorks characters and Carnival Cruise Line offers limited Dr Seuss character interactions, but there is no way that it compares to the popular, well-loved Disney characters! Or the sheer number of character meet and greet opportunities offered throughout your cruise. Whether you take a 3-day cruise to a 14 day cruise, or anything in between, you will have ample opportunities to meet your favorite character, get an autograph, watch them on stage, or enjoy some more personal interactions.

Disney crusie line has amazing kids programming with character interactions

Although characters vary cruise by cruise you can expect to see 4-5 princesses, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Donald, Daisy, Chip & Dale, Captain Hook & Mr.. Smee, Stitch, Peter Pan, and more. Some of the ships offere unique themed cruises where you can meet Pixar Pals, Marvel Characters, Star Wars favorites, and more. Plus I love the Tangled dining room on the Wish and the Arendelle dining room on the wish; these venues offer dinner and a show with unique character interactions from Oaken or the Ruffians.

Disney Cruise Line Characters

Not only are their a huge number of opportunities to meet and great characters all throughout the day and see them in some very unique costumes (varies by destination), but there are also a lot of unique opportunities to interact with characters.

character interactions like formal night with chip and dale in their tuxedos

Here are just some of the ways you will interact with the  characters:

  • Deck Parties (they come out and dance with guests)
  • Formal Night Dance Parties (they come and dance with guests in their formal wear)
  • Kids only Club Events (characters make frequent visits sporadically throughout the day to interact with guests)
  • At Castaway Keys (Disney Cruise Lines private island in the Bahamas)
  • Princess Tea Party
  • Wake up with Disney Junior
  • Open House Family times at Oceaneers Club like Mickey’s Puzzle Time, Story time with Belle, and more)
  • Wandering around the ship (we saw Goofy in his exercise clothes out taking a job on the track!)
  • During Dinnertime Shows (we saw Sorcerer Mickey, Flamingo Dancer Minnie, and Beauty and the Beast at dinnertime)

rapunzels dining room on the disney magic has dinner and a show plus a chance to meet rapunzel, flynn rider, and ruffians

#3 Inovative Rotational Dining

The very cool and innovative concept of rotational dining is unique to Disney. You will rotate through three different dining rooms for dinner. But don’t worry, your friendly wait staff will move with you to better serve you. The dining rooms vary by ship, but all offer a unique environment and menu to enhance your dining experience. Here are a few highlights!

Rapunzel Table

Step into a fairytale on the Rapunzel Table dining experience aboard the Disney Cruise Line Magic! Enjoy a magical evening surrounded by stunning decor that will transport you straight into your favorite movie. With live music setting the perfect ambiance, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped right into the kingdom of Corona.  But the real highlight of the evening is the chance to meet Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, and even the mischievous ruffians like Attila the Hun. Don’t miss the opportunity to interact with these beloved characters and make memories that will last a lifetime.  And let’s not forget about the food! Indulge in a delicious feast fit for royalty, and be sure to save room for the frying pan dessert – a whimsical treat that is sure to delight your taste buds.

disney fantasy animator's palate restaurant where your illustrations come alive

Animator’s Palate

This is one of my all-time favorites, in Animator’s Palate you will step to a world where animation comes to life! This magical dining experience immerses you in a colorful and creative atmosphere, surrounded by sketches, drawings, and artwork from beloved Disney films.  As you dine, you’ll be treated to a show where your favorite Disney characters come alive right before your eyes. Watch as the walls transform and the characters interact with you throughout your meal. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind dining experience that the whole family will love.


This elegant and upscale dining room offers a truly memorable culinary experience at sea. From the exquisite decor to the impeccable service, Palo sets the stage for an unforgettable evening.  Indulge in the delicious Northern Italian cuisine served here, from fresh seafood to delectable pasta dishes. The menu is carefully crafted to delight even the most discerning palates, and the wine selection is equally impressive. This restaurant is extra and is for 18+ only.

arendelle dining room on disney wish


Step into the enchanting world of Arendelle in the dining room on the Disney cruise Wish. With its magical decor inspired by the hit movie Frozen, you’ll feel like you’re dining in a royal castle. The elegant setting is perfect for families and fans of the beloved film, bringing the beloved characters to life in a whole new way.  As you indulge in delectable dishes and sip on delightful beverages, you’ll be transported to the wintery kingdom of Arendelle. The menu features a mix of classic favorites and unique creations inspired by the characters and themes of Frozen. From Anna’s favorite comfort food to Elsa’s frosty delights, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Plus you will enjoy live music, performance from favorite characters, and a chance to meet Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kistoff, and Oaken!

Enchanted Garden

Experience the magic of dining in an enchanted garden on the Disney Cruise Line Fantasy, where the colors change as you dine, creating a truly unforgettable atmosphere Step into a world where the surroundings come alive, adding an extra touch of whimsy to your meal.

disney cruise activities like family game shows

#4 Disney Cruise Activities

There are lots of options for families wanting to spend some quality time together! While many cruise ships assume you are sleeping or hanging out by the pool during the day and therefore limit the activities to mainly the evening. Disney Cruise Lines has lots of fun activities planned throughout the day! This is truly the ultimate family vacation!

Here are just some of the fun activities your family can enjoy:

  • Mickey Mania Game Show (pictured above)
  • Who Wants to be a Mouseketeer Game Show (like Who Want to be a Millionaire with Disney Trivia)
  • Disney Music Trivia
  • Family Dance Party (often times with characters)

villains game night is just one of the many family games shows and disney cruise line activities

  • Family Karaoke
  • Boat Building Bash
  • Story time with Belle
  • Wake up with Disney Junior (fun dancing with character visits from popular Disney Junior kids shows)
  • Mickey Puzzle Time (based on the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse your kids will solve clues and then color with Minnie, play bean bags with Goofy, march around with Mickey, and more)
  • Science Experiments (including eggs, flubber, and more)

onboard activities like anyone can cook cooking class for kids

  • Family Cooking Classes (make cookies and more in the Remy’s Anyone Can Cook Class)
  • Family Friendly Evening Shows (musicals like Villains Tonight and Twice Charmed, Illusion Shows, Ventriloquists, and our favorite String Fever)
  • Scavenger Hunts around the Ship
  • Officer Hide-and-Seek
  • Officer Pin Trading (plus lots of opportunities to trade Disney Pins with crew members throughout the ship and gift stores)

disney trivia with prices

  • Movies (lots of choices that change daily for the pool side funnel vision, stateroom television, and the movie theatre which features some movies in 3D)
  • Princess Tea Party
  • Disney Trivia (so many to choose from with the much coveted prizes!)
  • Oogie Boogie Villanous Bash
  • Character Meet and greets
  • and lots, lots more!
disney cruise line kids indoor playground onboard in kids club

#5 disney cruise kids club

Every cruise ship we’ve ever been on has a kids program. They all offer trained staff, secure check-in, and fun things for kids to do. But Disney Cruise Lines goes way above and beyond fun to outrageously OUT OF THIS WORLD!

There are four programs for kids:

  • Oceaneers Nursery (0-2 years old, for a fee)
  • Oceaneers Club (3+ who are potty trained, free)  Each space offers both free play opportunities, special programming, and about 2 hours a day where the club is open to families to use together. The check in-out is highly sophisticated with staff being able to tell you the exact room your child is playing in at all times. The trained staff do an excellent job of engaging with the kids. If for some reason your child wants to see you, they will just send you a text message on your ap.
  • Edge (for tweens) – various guided activities, video games, board games, and other activities. This is a self check-in/check-out program
  • Vibe (teens) – various guided activities, video games, board games, and other activities. This is a self check-in/check-out program

disney cruise line kids program preschool room

The Oceaneers Club

The kids area is a little different depending on the ship, but all have secure check-in, hand washing stations, amazing counselors, and innovative kids spaces. Plus, unlike any other cruise line, Disney’s kids spaces are open continuously during working hours. So drop them off from 9am – 11pm and leave them as long as they want. Trust me they are going to want to stay!

design your own roller coaster in disney kids club on the wish
design your own roller coaster in disney kids club on the wish

Andy’s room is fun for the preschool / Kindergarten crown, Pixie Hollow is a fun area where kids can enter the fairy world, Disney Junior room has all your preschoolers favorite characters, and so much more.  This room also featured some fun programs like Pluto’s Pajama Party (watched cartoons, interacted with Pluto, and made their own pillowcase), Story time with Belle, Fly to Neverland (with Peter Pan), Kings & Queens (with Disney Princesses and free crowns), and more.

marvel kids spaces with design your own super hero and more

Marvel’s Avengers Academy on select ships offers character experineces, design your own super hero suit, and be a super hero video games your older kids will love!

drive the milenium falcon on the disney dream in the kids club

The Disney Dream pioneered the Star wars area on the cruise ships. You can drive the millenium falcon (much like the ride at DIsney World), play chess, and more. The Disney Wish has a creature cargo bay where you can engage with unique creatures, do a scavenger hunt game, and interact with Star Wars characters like Rey and Chewbacca. These areas are so immersive and fun; they bring kids imaginations to life!

disney cruise movies on funnel vision, on demand for free in stateroom, in the movie theatres on board

#6 Disney Movies on Board

And just in case you think you will be bored or you just want to chill out and watch a favorite Disney movie, they’ve got lots to choose from. There were different movies in the:

  • On Board Theatre (various movies including some the same day they open in theatres in the US)
  • Stateroom (there is a massive library of on-demand movies including classic Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and more) – free!
  • Funnel Vision (this is the large screen by the main pool) We loved coming here early and watching an 8am movie while eating breakfast or watching it from the kids safe “hot” tub.

What our family loved most was that we felt like we could always go out by the main pool without being worried our kids would be exposed to a movie that was inappropriate for their age.

NOTE: There were more mature movies like Pirate of the Caribbean in the evening on deck.

disney exceptional service

#7 Disney Cruise Exceptional Customer Service

Yes, cruises in general are known for their service. So honestly, we weren’t expecting to see a big difference. Boy where we wrong!

Disney Cruise Line shines in their exceptional customer service from the guest relations desk to your wait staff to even maintenance workers you run into from time to time. They are all incredibly kind and helpful. We noticed especially how as you roamed the ship you were never more than 15 feet from a crew member who was ready and eager to help you with whatever.

Disney cruise line is one of the few that still stands out at dinner. Not only do they do a fabulous job with getting you your food and drinks, but they do magic tricks, tell you riddles, treat you like family, and more.

disney cruise pools aqua lab and waterlides

#8 Disney Cruise Pools and Waterslides

Sure there are other cruise lines with pools and even waterslides. But Disney does it all, and they do it really well!

The Aqua Lab, on select ships, has lots of spraying, tipping water buckets to interact and play in. This is a fun area for kids to play and get wet.

kiddie splash pool with cute theming sprayers and waterslides

Children under 48″ will especially enjoy splash pools that allows kids to feel comfortable and confident playing whil having fun with Disney characters. The themes change by ship from Finding Nemo to Huey Duey Luey to Toy Story.

disney magic cruise pool area with yellow slide and kids pool with gyro place and aqua lab behind it

Families who all wish to get in together will like the main pool. This central location on deck 9 allos you to swim, catch a movie on funnel vision, grab some pizza from Pinocchio’s Pizzeria, keep hydrated with free soda machines, or cool off with some free ice cream soft serve – my favorite is the mango ice cream! Each ships pools vary slightly on name or layout, but the set-up is the same.

Like every cruise ship, if you want to guarantee a lounge chair you will need to stake it out early with some of your stuff. But honestly,  I wish everyone would just use lockers and leave chairs open for those wanting to sit at that particular moment. Okay,  sermon over =)

Note: We really appreciated the free life vests by all the pools for kids to use and the fact that there was a lifeguard watching over the pools for added security.

aqua mouse aquaduck mickey slide and rexasaurus yellow twisting slide

We love the waterslides on the Disney ships. There are a variety of options including ones for preschoolers, yellow twisty slides for kids, and even a water coaster called the Aqua Duck on the Fantasty and Dream ships  and with upgraded movie scenes  on the Wish called the Aqua Mouse.

Then there was the adult’s only pool. This quieter area had extended hours, it’s own bar/snack area, comfy lounge chairs (some doubles) and was perfect for adults wanting a little more quiet.

disney cruise sailing away deck party
Sailing away deck party on Disney Cruise

#9 Disney Cruise Deck Parties

I’ve always avoided deck parties like the plague on all other cruise lines. They tend to be crowded with lots of adults showing off their moves with a drink in hand to Caribbean music. Disney’s Deck Parties were something our whole family looked forward to. Our big send off deck party included fun dancing (with cast members choreographing numbers), characters, hand held streamers for everyone, and a big shot of streamers in the air. It was really, really FUN!  The adults and kids enjoyed it alike.

HINT: Each of the four Disney cruise ships has a slightly different show!

pirates in the carribean deck party is such a fun event with a stage show, dancers, laughter, and fireworks
Mickey ziplining onto stage for Pirates in the Carribean deck party

Our favorite Deck party was the Pirates IN the Caribbean deck party (on all cruises 7 nights and longer). At dinner everyone has a pirate themed menu and receives a pirate mickey bandanna (everyone dressed up for the occasion!). Then the party starts – including an interactive game, dancing with cast members choreographing, lots of pirate dressed characters, zip lining Mickey! It was SO COOL!

Again, the party does vary based on ship. There really isn’t a bad spot to watch. Stick to deck 9 if you want to dance. Deck 10 is great for giving kids a front row spot to see the action.

disney cruise line fireworks at sea

Disney is the only cruiseline that offers fireworks at sea! The fireworks are on Pirates Night and are shot off on the right side of the ship. If you are on a ship with an aqua coaster, note the view will be partially blocked. You will want to be on deck 10 (right) to see them without obstruction. They do the fireworks to music and it is so much fun.

If you are on the Wish, the adults only area on deck 10 is fabulous and mostly uncrowded if you are there without kids!

HINT: If you get a balcony stateroom, ask for portside so you can see the firework show from the quiet and tranquility of your balcony!

pixar cruise deck party on disney cruise line

There are other deck parties for themed cruises like Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, Christmas, Halloween on the High Seas, and more! These cruises are so fun, you really should try one of these for special offerings in food and entertainment!

family with mickey and minnie on castaway cay beach with disney cruise ship behind them

#10 Castaway Key’s (Disney’s Private Island)

Many of Disney Cruise Lines cruises stop in their fabulous private island – Castaway Keys! I have so much to say about this wonderful island I’ll have to write a whole post about it. Something things you’ll love:

  • waterslides
  • shaded freshwater splash area for kids
  • free soda & soft serve ice cream on the beach
  • Beach BBQ lunch (in 2 convenient locations)

water slide at castaway cay beach

  • tram to take you from the boat to various beaches
  • clean restrooms
  • supervised kids play area
  • no tendering – walk right off the boat onto the island
  • chance for character Meet & Great
Disney cruise line terminal at Port Canaveral Orland FLorida as you enter the ship through a Mickey shaped doorway

#11 Special Disney Touches

It’s hard to put into words or in a picture all the special Disney touches that go in to Disney Cruises to make them truly special. From the Mickey shapped doorway when you enter the ship and they announce your families arrival to thunderous applause to the energetic pre show in the Walt Disney World Theatre;  you will find special attention to details at every turn.

disney star wars cruise with characters

These details come together to make a truly magical, and memorable family vacation!

baymax special towel animal on disney cruise ship pixar themed sailing

There is so much more to say about a Disney Cruise, I’ll have to write more posts that go into things in detail. For now see more disney trip planning, more about the best family cruises.

Plus here are some articles specifically on Disney Cruises:

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