Summer is in full swing and summer vacations are already being taken, perhaps even by you!
I, unfortunately, already took my summer vacation a few months ago when my family and I took our first Disney cruise to Alaska. While Alaska had a lot to offer us, Disney also had a lot to offer while we were aboard the ship.
In my last post, I focused on things you’d experience before and while first stepping foot aboard one of Disney’s ships – service, atmosphere + design, and the staterooms. This final post will focus on the things that you’ll experience once you set sail and journey onward to your magical destination.
It’s the question that’s usually on everyone’s mind when they think of cruising – what is there to do aboard? Disney was thinking the same thing when they were planning the first Disney cruises and came up with a simple solution – constant entertainment.
That meant filling a 24-hour day with entertainment offerings for everyone who would be on board. That meant creating play areas for toddlers, activities for teens, dancing and (friendly) drinking for adults, and something that the whole family could do together. It was no simple task, but Disney successfully did all these things and more.
I didn’t get to do any of the kids-only things aboard, but I did enjoy a lot of the family entertainment offerings with my parents. One of my favorite offerings was the nightly Broadway-style stage show that was presented right after dinner. The shows’ production value felt really high, like something you’d see on Broadway or at a Disney Park ashore. All the shows were exclusive to Disney Cruise Line too, and included a lot of Disney characters singing and dancing.
Those characters didn’t disappear after the shows either. Entertainment for me also included a lot of photo ops with my favorite Disney friends that happened throughout the day, ensuring that I wouldn’t miss a friend during the sailing.
Talk to any veteran cruiser and they’d tell you the best part of any cruise is the food. That was certainly the case for my family and I, though I don’t think it was the best. Still, it was very much a highlight of the entire voyage.
Disney Cruise Line wanted to break the mold when it came to food while cruising. First, they started an industry-first where your party would be served by the same wait staff as you dined for dinner. That same wait staff would travel with you through each of the ships restaurants. Our ship had 3 restaurants, each one with its own unique theme. And each night, we had a different menu that was themed to something Disney.
One of the more memorable dinner nights aboard was the “Frozen” themed night. Dinner consisted of Norwegian themed items like sausages, onions, and potatoes (and yes, there was chocolate). After a sing-a-long moment on the top deck, we were then invited to a dinner buffet that included more of the same and a few new items like dessert crepes with unlimited toppings.
These dinner experiences are on top of the already free room service, drinks, snacks, and full-on meals that are available aboard 24/7. There will not be a shortage of food for anyone including those with allergies (at which chefs will tailor a meal for). There won’t be a shortage of money in your pocket either, as all the food and drinks (excluding alcohol) are already included in the price of your ticket.
With all that extra money you have, you can spend on the various shops aboard. They mainly carried souvenirs. On our ship, the Disney Dream, there are 2 souvenir shops and 1 photo shop. The souvenir shops had Disney Cruise Line-branded merchandise, where the photo shop carried the photos that you took and that were scanned into the ships database so that you could then order prints and digital copies of them.
Everything was fully stocked, and we never had to worry about them losing stock either. They were relatively small stores too, allowing you to not worry about getting “everything” to remember your journey, but have you experience that journey taking place outside those shops.
Guests could also buy certain supplies just in case they forgot them before coming aboard like toothpaste, tissues, etc.
While you’re not brushing your teeth or sleeping in your stateroom, there were many more things that made our Disney cruise all the more enjoyable.
* * *
So overall, what did we think of our first Disney cruise? Like everything else, it was memorable.
Disney Cruise Line serves Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ purpose well, which started with Walt and Disneyland. They serve as places where memories can begin and flourish. The show that the cast members put on help nurture that, and so do the unforgettable attractions, entertainment, and now even food!
The fact that Disney was able to recreate the same level and quality they give guests on their land-based theme parks and resorts on a floating boat is nothing short of magical.
If you’re looking for a magical cruising experience, no matter if it’s your first time or 100th time, you can take it from us that you’ll get that experience while sailing the Disney way on the Disney seas.