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Cruising with Disney – 5 highlights for exhausted parents

When one hears the word ‘Disney’, they think of amusement parks, Mickey Mouse, or the collection of classic movies this brand has inspired. And once one has kids, a Disney vacation is almost considered a mandatory destination or a trip that parents aspire for their children to have. This, on the other hand, often conjures up different images in a parent’s mind: an hour’s wait for a 2-minute ride, character breakfasts that need reservations months in advance and, gulp, thousands of dollars spent after 5 days in a double-bedded room for a family of four. If you want to avoid coming back from your holiday exhausted and need an alternative to a traditional Disney vacation, consider cruising! Imagine this… two character breakfasts without research, advance planning, stress or disappointment – it’s all included! There is a reason that Disney Cruise Lines‘ fleet is growing and adding more destinations to their itineraries. They have been able to excel in the fine luxuries of cruising, such as high quality food and diverse menus, excellent wine lists, superior spa services, paramount entertainment and distinctive stateroom amenities. The family programs that are set up within a cruise ship allow families to play together or separately and as often or as little as they wish. The Disney Wonder is often compared to a small luxury liner, exemplifying fun and romance and Disney Cruise Lines’ spas are always rated in the top 5 of all cruise ships in recent years. Highlights when cruising with Disney 1. Family staterooms You can request this with or without a verandah and they are spacious — space is a rare trait on any cruise ship! The best part about family staterooms is the curtain parents can draw across the room after the kids are asleep, allowing them to order from the 24-hour room service or watch TV well after bedtime. All staterooms have a fridge and some have a bathtub and a standing shower, which is a key feature when traveling with tots that need to be bathed after a long day of play. 2. Youth clubs and childcare options For infants or toddlers under 3 years of age, a separate daycare-type facility is available at a reasonable hourly rate. Children ages 3 – 17 can enjoy the various, age appropriate youth clubs offered on-board, where story time, crafts and entertainment is available. Youth clubs are included in the price of your sail. Tip: Make arrangements with your server to have your children’s meals come out once seated for dinner. This way, you can enjoy your time with the kids before taking them to one of the child facilities to enjoy the 4-course dinner with the adults. These facilities can also be utilized during on-shore excursions that may not be age-appropriate. 3. Adults-only deck Need I say more? If you need some quiet time, this is the place to go and enjoy a cocktail by the pool or in the hot tub. 4. Spa, spa and spa As mentioned, the Disney Cruise Lines spas were rated in the Top 5 of all cruise ships by readers of Condé Nast Magazine. Tip: Disney Wonder offers an unbeatable deal for an unlimited pass to their steam rooms for the duration of the itinerary. The eucalyptus steam room is not to be overlooked! 5. Service and attention to detail The staff at Disney Cruise Lines knows who their VIPs are…the children! If a child has an allergy or food intolerance, do not fret; send your request in advance and it will be accommodated. If your son or daughter can only drink goat’s milk, they will find it at every port and bring it on-board to be offered to them at every meal (true story)!

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  1. I’ve been thinking of our family doing a relaxing trip of some kind and this sounds fabulous for both the kids and the adults in our family!! Awesome!

  2. The youth clubs sound amazing. It’s always challenging to find a vacation where you can balance the kids and find some time to relax.

  3. We are about to venture on a Disney land vacation in Hawaii, after reading your article I am convinced the cruise is next!

  4. My family and I went on a Disney Cruise a few years ago and we all had a fabulous time. My mother and I aren’t big on cruises so we weren’t too excited about it but everything was absolutely wonderful and we would do it again. The food was delicious (not your typical cruise food where you have tons of food but nothing you really want to eat). We took 4 kids of different ages and they all loved their clubs, often asking to leave us and go hang out with their new friends. I went to the adults only pool & was able to have my morning coffee in peace. If you haven’t taken a Disney cruise, you won’t be disappointed.

  5. What a great article! My wife and I just took our 3 year old on a 5 day cruise this past summer and he did great. We were planning on taking him to a Disney resort for his 5th birthday. But we will now definitely look into a Disney cruise!

  6. This is awesome! We are planning our next family reunion… I mean how does one plan a vacation for 5 generations?! Now, I’m leaning more and more towards a Disney Cruise!

  7. I worked on the Disney wonder, a beautiful ship. Parents and Adults its not like any other ship. If you want to avoid children or have a bit of time to yourself it couldn’t be easier and safer! I still have a number of friends working in the kids club. Happy to help with any questions :-)

  8. My family went on our first cruise on the Disney Fantasy in Feb for our daughter’s 3rd birthday with her 2 brothers..age 5 & 10. The service is amazing, at dinner I wasn’t allowed to tend to the kids our server did it all so I could enjoy my meal. Everywhere we went they made such fuss over the kids..calling my daughter princess to the store clerk playing pirates with my 5 yr old. The storage in the rooms is unreal. Anyone traveling with kids knows it’s impossible to travel light. We all loved it and can’t wait to go back. The cruise is the best way to start with Disney with small kids:)

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