Thanks for your questions! It’s fun to hear them and share from my experience.
I want to begin with a disclaimer that I am posting from my own point of view. I have experienced 1 cruise in my life and it was a Disney cruise. Hannah and I are HUGE Disney fans which also influences my thoughts and opinions. That being said….let’s get on with the questions!
1. (From Lisa N) “I wanted to ask you if you thought the cruise was worth the extra expense as compared to a regular Disney vacation and/or other cruises?”
In one word, ‘YES!’
I will say that I agree with you, Disney cruises are pricey! Some may say they’re not but to the general public and in comparison to a regular WDW vacation or other cruise lines, the cost of a Disney cruise is more.
But, that being said, the extra cost is worth it to me. Personally I would choose to cruise less often and go with Disney than to pay less and choose a different cruise line. Hannah is 5. She loves Disney! She loves Disney characters and I love the way Disney treats people. I loved the fact that we could go to any show on the cruise and know that it would be good, clean fun and geared to family entertainment. I didn’t need to worry about inappropriate jokes or material being presented to my child. I am very cautious at home about what she watches on TV, etc. so our vacation is just an extension of this.
The ship was filled with children and adults. This was huge as it was a family atmosphere and children and families were celebrated! We say many family reunions onboard ship and it was precious to see so many families sailing together!
One thing Sharon and I both noticed during our trip was that onboard the ship neither of us heard any swearing. I’m not saying it wasn’t there, it just wasn’t prevalent and it was a nice treat. Also, Disney is very restrictive about smoking areas. They are available for those who need them but away from the general public and with so many children onboard, I appreciate this.
I also love the children’s programs offered. Hannah went to clubs 4 times (outside of the open house when the 3 of us went together) and she loved it each and every time. One night she went to Pluto’s pyjama party and had so much fun she didn’t want to leave even though it was after 10pm! The kids could choose to go in their pj’s and many chose to do this, including Hannah. when I dropped her off there were over 106 kids at the pyjama party (their magicbands can give stats in an area to cast members at any given moment) and they were having a blast! When the clubs are not in open house we can see a bit of what they’re doing from outside but are not allowed to enter nor to take any pictures. I desperately wanted to as they looked adorable and were having such fun but I respected the rules. Hannah said Pluto was there for the party and played games with them and more. I could hear them playing, ‘What Time is it Pluto?’ a version of ‘What Time is it Mr. Wolf?’ Pluto tapped his paw to tell them how many steps to take. Shrieks of delight could be heard from outside the club and it made me smile! She also coloured this sweet pillow case. Another wonderful keepsake of our trip!
One way we found to save money was we chose an inside cabin. I know that doesn’t suit everyone’s taste but for us we were in our room so little that I could not justify the cost for a room with either a port hole or a veranda. The virtual port hole also made such a difference as it gave a more open feeling to the room. If I could afford it I would love an exterior room but as with all our Disney trips, cutting back in small ways = more Disney travel which wins out for us every single time!
As for the cost of Disney Cruise Line vacation vs. a Walt Disney World vacation, that’s a good question. Many have asked me that since we got home and my answer normally is something like, ‘I like they both the same, they’re just so different from one another that they can’t be compared.’ We can enjoy more days in the park for the same price as a shorter cruise. For Hannah and I we really like them both so as we’re able, we’ll do both. If I had to choose only one right now it would be WDW for us. We tend to visit WDW during ‘off season’ which lowers the price of our room and I always go during a Free Dining offer which makes a big difference in the price of our trip. At WDW we stay at value resorts and for the amount of time we’re in the room this works perfectly for us.
2. (from Jenna) Do you know if there were any make a wish kids on your cruise?
Hi Jenna, Although I’ve seen many ‘Make a Wish’ kids at WDW, I was not aware of any on our cruise. What a wonderful wish that would be to receive!!
I wonder if the length of our cruise and/or distance to medical care makes any difference on the cruises awarded by Make a Wish? Just thinking out loud.
I’ll post this for now and answer more questions in my next post. Keep them coming! This is fun and helping me relive the memories one more time!!