The Disney brand has quite the loyal fan base, and Disney cruises are no exception. Not surprisingly, tons of passengers become repeat customers; but why? What exactly is Disney’s special sauce when it comes to sailing the open seas?
Kids’ clubs, babysitting, adult areas, and endless food options are a given, so surely there’s something beyond that. But wonder no more; here are the reasons why people love the Disney Cruise Line.
1. Impeccable service and rotating waitstaff
Service aboard Disney cruises is unmatched. | Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images
It’s no surprise that Disney Cruise Line offers top-notch hospitality, seeing as the brand built its entire mission around providing magical experiences for adults and children alike. And when it comes to sailing the high seas, Disney meets those same service standards. Just take a look at their dining model, for instance. While you might expect a different waitstaff with each new restaurant you visit, the service aboard Disney cruise ships is unique; your servers actually stay with you from night to night, regardless of where you’ll be dining.
Exceptional service, engaging cast members, and a crew that actually cares about making sure every passenger has the best vacation ever are top priority for Disney cruises. And the great service doesn’t stop with a polite staff.
2. Magical moments
Cast members seek out opportunities to provide guests with magical moments. | Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images
A “Magical Moment,” as described by one Disney Cruise super-fan, is an act of kindness between a cast member and guests. More importantly, these special little moments aren’t of the manufactured variety. According to Picture the Magic, these “Magical Moments” are a big part of what makes Disney cruises so special. Still hesitant? Just take a look at a couple of the site’s testimonials.
One passenger wrote, “My husband commented to our room steward on how much he looked forward to seeing what towel animal would be on the bed. We came in to find an entire zoo in the room that night!”
And another said, “I dropped some room service dishes. I offered to help clean up but my room host took care of it. When we came back after dinner I had rice krispie Mickeys on my bed with a note wishing me a better day tomorrow.”
We’d have to agree; you can’t find that type of service, let alone kindness, on just any cruise ship.
3. Its own private island
You (and your fellow passengers) will have the island to yourself at Castaway Cay. | iStock.com
Castaway Cay is a name that resonates with Disney cruise fanatics everywhere. Well, at least those who’ve sailed on Bahamian and Caribbean cruises, that is. Disney reserves its private island exclusively for Disney guests, and according to Disney Cruise Line, “Castaway Cay was the first private island in the cruise industry where the ship docks alongside so guests do not have to tender to land.”
Furthermore, there’s no need for guests to worry about feeling like they don’t belong on this private island, as the entire place is up to Disney standards. Some Disney crew members are actually permanent residents of Castaway Cay, ensuring this little slice of private island heaven stays just the way it’s meant to be.
4. Free room service
Room service is offered at no additional charge on board Disney Cruise Line Ships. | iStock.com/NAN104
Some cruises offer room service at an additional charge, but not Disney. And seeing as so many families are traveling with young children and babies who are on strict nap schedules, having the convenience of in-room dining without spending more money is invaluable. While some meals, alcohol, and certain snacks aren’t included, having any menu at all available at your doorstep is truly a gift.
5. Spacious family-friendly cabins
Most cabins have plenty of space for the whole family. | iStock.com/DragonImages
Although Disney isn’t the only cruise line to offer a variety of lodging options, it arguably does it best. After all, Disney does have a bit of a monopoly on family-friendly vacation destinations. In fact, Disney’s stateroom design, which features a split bath and a half bath, was a cruise industry first. With this level of thoughtful planning, families are able to room together in style with comfort, ease, and convenience.
6. Holiday and theme cruises
Marvel super fans can celebrate their favorite comic heroes at sea. | Marvel Comics
Disney knows how to celebrate regardless of the time of year, so it would stand to reason that it really puts on a show during the holiday season. Passengers on Disney cruises, depending on their preferred style of celebration, can get into the holiday spirit during one of Disney’s holiday cruises or theme days.
If you find yourself in the super-fan camp, you might enjoy one of these cruises. Specialty cruises include Halloween on the High Seas, Thanksgiving at Sea, and Very Merrytime Cruises. And if you’re a true fan, you can book a cabin on a ship that offers special days, which include a Marvel Day at Sea and Star Wars Day at Sea.
7. Wave phones
Cruise ships are huge, but you and your kids can stay connected with Disney’s Wave Phones. | iStock.com/cassinga
While it’s nice to totally disconnect from the outside world while on vacation, this point may resonate with families who are traveling together. Because Disney Cruise Line sees a lot of groups with young children, being able to stay in touch, even while on the same ship, is crucial. Wave Phones, which are a Disney Cruise Line signature service, allow passengers to call and text while on board without using their personal cell phones. And the best part is, this service comes at no extra cost. There are two Wave Phones in each stateroom.
Fireworks at sea are truly an awesome sight. | iStock.com/JimVallee
Who doesn’t love a good show? And when it comes to Disney, most performances are of next-level caliber. According to the Disney Cruise Line Blog, Disney is the only cruise line to offer fireworks at sea as of 2015. Some — but not all — cruises offer displays. During Pirate Night, for instance, guests can take a front row seat on the deck, sit back, and watch in amazement as the show sparkles over the glistening sea.
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