The Disney Cruise Line Difference

What is the “Disney difference” when it comes to cruising?

My family and I took an 8-day Southern Caribbean cruise visiting Aruba, Curacao & Grand Turk back in 2018. We did not cruise with Disney but joined our neighbors on a cruise they had already planned and had the GREATEST time!

We sailed with another cruise line, “OTHER”, as it will be known going forward and it was an amazing time had by all! This was our very first cruise and I have to say – I’m hooked!

However, being a Travel Designer with most of my work associating with Disney, I had to compare based on what I know, to the experience I had with “OTHER” cruise line.

The most common statement I hear when talking about a Disney cruise is – “it’s SO expensive!”  While cruising, I planned to research and try and find out “why is Disney priced higher than other cruise lines, what makes them different?”

During my research, I spoke with another couple on the ship who were avid cruisers with many different cruise lines. I asked “what is your favorite cruise line that you have sailed on and why?”  They did not know what I did for a living, so it was just a few people talking.   Their response “Hands down, Disney, no other line beats them, you pay a higher price, but you get what you pay for, their service is absolutely amazing.”

So, what makes Disney different from the cruise lines that offer better pricing? Here are my observations sailing with “OTHER” cruise line and how they compare to Disney.

STATEROOMS
OTHER – We stayed in a room with a verandah – 1 bathroom – 185 sq ft
• DISNEY– Room w/ verandah – split bathrooms (2 toilets) – 268 sq ft (BIGGER)

DINING – Do you like options when dining?
• OTHER – You have other options but they were an additional cost and you have different servers 
• DISNEY – Rotational Dining w/ the same servers – 3 different restaurants

ATMOSPHERE
• OTHER – Towel creatures appeared out of nowhere overnight – pretty cool!
• DISNEY – Characters appear during special moments on the ship – even cooler!

BEVERAGES – Thirsty for soda? 
• OTHER – Soda was an additional cost
• DISNEY – Soda is FREE

ENTERTAINMENT
• OTHER – Comedy shows, musical groups, dance parties

DISNEY– Broadway-style Disney musicals found only on board

CINEMA
• OTHER – we had theme nights with movies that had already been released
• DISNEY – 1st run movies at sea – some even in 3D

FIREWORKS
• OTHER – None
• DISNEY – Yes!! 

SERVICE
• OTHER – Everyone was so friendly, always a “hello” no matter where we were, and always willing to help
• DISNEY – Stated by my friend on the ship “They really go above and beyond, it is great for the kids as well as the adults. Whatever you need, they’re on it and catering to your every need, we absolutely love it!”

In conclusion, you are going to pay more to cruise with Disney. But Disney is different, it is their job to make things magical for you. Did I feel magic with “OTHER” cruise lines? No, but I guess I’m going to need to experience a cruise with Disney to feel that “difference”. Who’s coming with me????

When is the best time to go on an Alaskan cruise?

Let’s take into consideration the weather, wildlife, costs, and crowds.  There is never a bad time to cruise to Alaska, but these can make your decision easier for the best time to select your travel dates.  Alaskan cruises are scheduled from May through September.

Weather

  • May is cooler but sunny and beautiful and less rainy than the summer months. We went the end of May and it was wonderful.
  • June and July are warmer.
  • August and September are cooler and wet.
  • For the longest days and most sunlight visit 2-3 weeks before or after the Summer Solstice which is June 21st

Wildlife

  • Late May early June but can be unpredictable.
  • Prime bear season is late June early July.
  • Want to avoid the mosquitos? They have not hatched yet by end of May and they die off by September.

Costs/Crowds

  • June and July are when schools are out and peak for family travel.
  • May and September are the best pricing and less crowded.

Another sight most people have on their bucket list is the aurora borealis. The best time to see this phenomenon is during the cooler months September through March.  The cruise season ends after September. You will have to take a land vacation to Alaska to see the aurora borealis and I can assist you with that too!

I am excited about your dreams of visiting Alaska and would love to help you plan that awesome trip. Let’s plan your wonderful memories with your family and friends today! We have many fond memories of our Alaskan cruise roundtrip from Seattle.

Till next time!  Y’all have a safe and happy time on all your travels,

Chris

Chris Shepherd
Chris Shepherd

ALASKAN CRUISE

We had the best time with our group of friends on our Alaska cruise in May of 2017!  We went to Seattle for three days before our cruise and saw highlights of the city.  It was so interesting to learn about the underground city that was there before and its history. The Pikes Place Market was really great. We viewed the city from atop the Space Needle, which was outstanding!  We rode on the Seattle Great Wheel and it was wonderful. 

After our Seattle visit, we boarded our ship, the Carnival Legend and embarked on our roundtrip cruise to Alaska.  We all had balcony cabins so we could see the beautiful scenery.  It was odd seeing daylight at 10pm, but the drapes blocked out the sun so we could sleep.  We went to Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Victoria, BC.  We saw so many things of splendor and it was unbelievably amazing!  We went whale watching in Juneau and ate at Tracy’s King Crab Shack. The food was amazing and so was the whale watching. We rode on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway while in the port city of Skagway. This is a must do and I highly recommend it! Ketchikan quickly became my favorite port city because the little town had an old timey feel and everyone was super sweet.

The glaciers were breathtaking and I will always remember their beauty! We took a helicopter ride which I definitely recommend and flew over such gorgeous mountain ranges and then landed on the Chillkat Glacier.  Our pilot, Luke, was amazing and I will remember him because my son’s name is Luke also. We walked on the glacier and got a drink of glacier water out of a tiny stream, which was superb!  Tip:  take a small collapsible cup that you can put in your pocket, so you don’t have to take off your gloves and cup your hands to get the drink of water.  We saw the most beautiful blue colored ice in the crevices of the glacier and was blown away! 

I also want to tell you a somewhat funny story.  When I cruise, I like to have a spa day and have my hair washed, dried and straightened.  This is one of my splurges. Well, our itinerary said we were going to be in Glacier Bay that day, so I thought I had plenty of time.  I am sharing this with you so you do not make the same mistake I did on my first Alaskan cruise. This is why I travel and explore so I can share my insider tips with my clients. I viewed the glacier, took pictures and videos, and heard the awesome sound it made while calving. I left the amazing view and went to my hair appointment.  After leaving the salon with such pretty, straight hair, I discovered there were no glaciers to see!  What?  Where are all the other glaciers?  Unbeknownst to me Glacier Bay is not all day just about 4 hours.  Here is my tip for you, do not plan anything when you are scheduled to be at  be in Glacier Bay. It is an awe inspiring site to behold, and you will want to take in every moment!

Till next time, Y’all have a safe and happy time on all your travels!

Chris

Disney Vacations

As a Disney travel expert, I want to help you plan the most Magical experience for your family.  Walt Disney World is among the most sought out destination among families of all time.  There isn’t a time of year that is off limits to the Magic that Disney can offer.  The busiest times of year are during the holiday periods, school breaks, summer breaks, and weekends year-round.  The least crowded times are during the winter months.  These are the best pricing months as well!

Did you know that Disney vacations are more than just Walt Disney World and Disney Land Theme Parks?  Disney offers so much more!

  • Disney Cruise Line
    • Caribbean
    • Mediterranean
    • Northern Europe
    • Alaska
    • London
    • New York
    • Southern California
    • Barcelona
    • Copenhagen
    • Rome
  • Adventures by Disney    
    • Asia, Africa & Australia
    • Central & South America
    • Europe
    • North America
    • River Cruises
  • Resorts
    • Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa – Hawaii
    • Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort – South Carolina
    • Disney’s Vero Beach Resort – Florida

There is one thing that is for sure, you won’t have a Disney vacation without it being Magical!  If you are ready to book your next Disney adventure, call me.  I am ready to help you create memories that will stay with your family for a lifetime!