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????