Whenever we tell people we paid $3500 for our family of three to take an 7 night Disney Merrytime Cruise, we are met with the DEER IN HEADLIGHTS look of shock, followed by four words:
You paid how much?
My husband’s coworker paid less than $900 for his family of two to take a cruise on a non-Disney ship for the same length of time. He, like most seasoned cruisers who’ve never experienced Disney, couldn’t fathom why we had no problem shelling out what appeared to be three times as much for our cruise.
Outside of the fact that he doesn’t have kids, we couldn’t understand why he didn’t want to go Disney. When you compare a Disney Cruise to any other experience on the seas, you’ll quickly learn there is no comparison. But like most things in life, you’ll also learn, you get what you pay for.
So, if you find yourself asking the question…
“I’ve been researching cruises on various cruise lines, and I want to know if a Disney Cruise is really worth the price?”
…the six reasons listed below might help you make your decision.
1. Disney Character Experience
Having been to both Disneyland and Disney World with kids in tow, I know how much fun it is to snap photos with Disney Characters. We always do a Character Breakfast at one of the theme parks to optimize our interactions with the characters. But juggling all the rides, walking, and character experience times with kiddos can be cumbersome.
On a Disney Cruise, character experiences are optimized for you. In fact, it is almost impossible for your kids not to meet every character they want to see. As a first time cruiser, 75 days before you set sail, you can reserve tickets to various character events, including a Character Breakfast.
Several of our friends who love Disney and have older kids have told us their kids preferred the Cruise to the parks because they had more interaction with their favorite characters.
We booked our first Disney Cruise for this very reason. With a three year old who lives for Pluto, Mickey, and Minnie…we felt less walking with more characters was worth the price of our Disney Cruise adventure.
2. Castaway Cay
There are islands anyone in the world can visit, and then there are islands you can only visit if invited by a close friend. Castaway Cay is regularly voted one of the best beach experiences in the world. As Disney’s private island, the only way to access it is via an invitation from your close friends on a Disney Cruise.
Since everything Disney does is designed around providing an amazing guest experience, you won’t be disappointed by the visit to this remarkable island. If you’re traveling as a family, they’ve even worked in a child’s daycare on the beach. So you’re little ones can have some fun with new cruise ship friends, while you and your significant other rekindle your flame on their adult only beach.
Castaway Cay was on my bucket list of places to visit, so it is the second reason we didn’t mind paying more for the Disney Cruise experience. There are some things in life worth paying a bit extra to see. Castaway Cay is one of those things.
3. Heated Pools in Winter
Olaf may be a snowman who dreams of living in summer, but I’m a human who dreams of living in summer during the winter.
Disney has found a way to make both of our dreams come true. Elsa made Olaf a snow flurry umbrella, and Disney made heated pools on their cruise ships for people like me in the winter months. Other cruise ships don’t offer this luxury.
If you’re considering a winter cruise, and the idea of swimming in warm water entices you, then you may find extra value in this heated pool experience.
4. Restaurant Experience
Disney has pulled out all the stops to ensure your dining experience aboard their ships is second to none. From themed restaurants to food prepared by some amazing chefs, most online reviewers consistently rank Disney’s dining experience higher than any other cruise line.
Plus, no other cruise line has a dining experience that allows you to become part of an animated world. You won’t want to miss the dining experience at Animator’s Palate, where you’ll watch your own artwork come to life.
5. Networking & Gift Exchange
After we booked our first Disney Cruise and really started researching things to do on the ship, we learned about a uniquely Disney cruise ship experience called “Fish Extenders”.
Totally organized by Disney Guests, and not an officially part of the cruise, Fish Extenders is a tradition your entire family can get involved with that allows you to give and receive gifts from complete strangers onboard the ship.
Since learning about the unique opportunity, my craft room and Pinterest boards have been transformed into their own Wonderful World of Disney. It has made the excitement of the cruise countdown extra special, as our family works together to create unique gifts to exchange with other families on the cruise.
6. Pre-Trip Excitement & Friendships…
After learning about the Fish Extenders program, we also learned that every Disney Cruise has a Facebook Group, organized by an experienced cruise guest. Since joining the Facebook Group for our cruise, we have already met the family who will be living in the stateroom next to ours, and we have started building friendships with people in our home state who will be joining us on our cruise.
Friendships…something you can’t put a price on. And they’re included at no extra cost when you decide to take advantage of this unique Disney Cruise experience, too.
Still unsure if a Disney Cruise offers the value its price tag claims it should? Click here to read how you can save money on your cruise, including getting onboard credit, with little effort. Then you’ll find yourself on board asking others the “You paid how much?” question, but for a totally different reason.