If you want to take a Disney Cruise vacation but you just can’t decide where to go, here’s a few tips to help you find the Disney Cruise Line itinerary that is best for your family!
Disney Cruise Line vacations are hands down one of my all-time favorites! Every time my family and I hop on board one of those fabulous, beautiful ships, there is never a dull moment. There are so many fun things to do AND there’s so much time to relax and unwind as a family. It’s the best of both worlds! Disney truly puts so much thought into all of their vacation destinations, but Disney Cruise Line has something for the whole family to enjoy and they really make spending quality time together a breeze.
If you’ve been researching a Disney cruise and checking out all the amazing things that are included in the cruise fare, then I’m sure it’s a no-brainer that you want to go! Figuring out which itinerary you’d like to go on can be difficult considering there are SO many to options to choose from, and all of them are amazing! Do you want to head to the beach? See the glaciers in Alaska? Visit Europe? There are so many things to consider when choosing the best cruise destination for your family!
That’s why I’d like to give you a few tips that will help you decide which Disney Cruise Line itinerary fits your family the best!
If you still can’t decide which destination is right for your family, I would be more than happy to help you personally! I am a certified travel advisor for all Disney destinations with an award winning agency – Ears of Experience, LLC. My services are completely FREE and I have years of experience vacationing at Walt Disney World and with Disney Cruise Line. I do all of the planning so you can enjoy your vacation! Get your free quote today!
Here are some things to consider:
What time of year do you want to go?
There are some destinations that have better climate or activities when you visit in a certain season. Also, there might only be certain months that Disney sails to a certain destination, so it is very important to figure out when you would like to cruise. For example, Alaskan cruises are typically only available from April-September and their warmer months are through the summer, so if you’re interested in one of these cruises, you’re limited in the time of year you can go. BUT you get a better chance of getting the dates and staterooms you want when you book as SOON as itineraries come out for the next year! If you’d like to be notified year by year when cruise itineraries release, join our email list! It’s also a good idea to follow us on Facebook and Instagram!
Another thing to think about is going on a cruise during hurricane season. Cruise fares are much cheaper during this time, but there is a higher likelihood of your cruise being canceled due to severe weather or the itinerary changing. Even though you should ALWAYS get travel insurance with GOOD coverage (I can advise you on where to get that!), it can be very inconvenient to some families to have to reschedule their cruise or to change ports of call. My husband and I have cruised in hurricane season several times with no issues, but there is a risk so I always like to point that out!
How long do you want to cruise?
There are so many itineraries to choose from and many of them have varying lengths. Disney’s Cruise Line itinerary lengths range from 3 – 14 nights! There are tons of variations and plenty of different options. If you really want to spend more time on the boat in between ports, there are itineraries with extra days at sea so you can explore all that the ship has to offer. If you’d rather spend as much time as possible in your ports of call or you are on a time restraint, there are cruises with no days at sea as well.
Also, another thing to consider is your history with cruising. If you’ve never cruised before, I recommend doing either 3 or 4 nights on your first cruise. If you get sea-sick, you won’t have to be on the boat very long and it will give you a chance to see if cruising is really for you before you embark on a week long adventure! Because even though cruising is amazing for most people, there are some that it is just not for. And that’s okay! But you will never know until you give it a try.
Which port do you want to depart from and return to?
Disney has lots of different ports, so you’ll also need to determine where you’d like to depart from and return to. For the Caribbean and Bahamian cruises, the most popular are Port Canaveral, FL and Miami, FL. Alaskan cruises usually depart from Canada, and European cruises usually depart from places outside the US like Spain and Denmark. There are some cruises that are not round-trip, so keep that in mind when you are choosing your port. You might have to fly to a certain state or country to board the boat or return home from a cruise.
Choose your price point
There are many factors that determine the price of your cruise. So without knowing how many people are sailing, what kind of room you want, and what kind of excursions or extra activities you are looking to do, I can’t even give you a roundabout price. The price range also depends on how many nights you sail and the type of cruise it is. The cruise price does not include things like transfers to and from the pier, travel insurance, accommodations before and after your cruise, and Port Adventures, so you’ll need to consider those costs as well. If you’d like an exact price for your specific cruise, click here.
What kind of excursions (Port Adventures) do you want?
Port Adventures are the activities that you do at your cruise’s ports of call. This is important because it really sets the tone of your trip! Do you want to visit a beach? Swim with dolphins? Are you a history buff who wants to go explore ruins or mansions, or would you rather take in the breathtaking glaciers, whales, and mountains in Alaska? The Port Adventures you pick will help determine what kind of cruise you need to take, so it’s important to sit down and discuss what kind of activities your family is looking to get into on your cruise!
My husband and I had SO much fun on our excursion in Castaway Cay! We rode jet skis to a secluded island nearby and got to see a live conch shell. Super cool!
Do you want to go on a specific ship?
Disney currently has 4 ships – the Fantasy, Dream, Wonder, and Magic. They each go to different destinations, so if you have your heart set on a certain ship, you’ll also need to have your heart set on that ship’s destinations. Each ship has different restaurants, pools, and water slides, so it’s great to rotate ships each time you cruise just so you can see the different features of each. We have been on the Dream and the Fantasy, and we personally LOVE the Fantasy so we usually always pick that ship over others.
Do you want to go on a special themed cruise?
One of my favorite things about Disney Cruise Line is that they have special themed cruises. They have Halloween on the High Seas cruises, Very Merrytime Christmas cruises, Stars Wars cruises, and Marvel cruises. They also have cruises during Thanksgiving and New Years with special celebration activities. My husband and I have done both the Halloween and Christmas cruises and we highly recommend both! Our favorite is the Halloween cruise because you get to dress up in your Halloween costumes, get free candy, hear ghost stories on the deck, and check out all of their awesome shows and themed food. These special themed cruises only run during certain times of the year, so it’s important to book these early!