What is Included in a Disney Cruise?
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What Is Included in a Disney Cruise?: The Ultimate Guide

Last Updated on December 7, 2021

Disney cruises are expensive. Like kidney on the black market expensive. I know you only need the one and all, but how can these steep prices possibly be worth it? What is included in a Disney Cruise?

The answer is (probably) more than you think, but certainly not everything. While other cruise lines offer cheaper fares, they also nickel and dime you to death. Disney Cruise Line prices are easier to swallow when you realize it cuts back on that more than most.

What’s Included in Your Disney Cruise Line Fare?

1. Staterooms on Disney Cruises

2. Disney Cruise Housekeeping

3. Taxes and Disney Cruise Port Fees

4. Most Disney Cruise Ship Food

5. Most Disney Cruise Soft Drinks

6. Most Disney Cruise Line Room Service

7. Character Meet and Greets

8. Theatrical Productions

9. Disney Cruise Ship Movies

10. Organized Disney Cruise Line Activities

11. Youth Disney Cruise Clubs

12. Lounges and Nightclubs

13. Disney Cruise Swimming Pools and Water Areas

14. Disney Cruise Fitness Center

15. Sports Decks

16. Deck Parties

17. Disney Cruise Castaway Cay

18. Midship Detective Agency

What Is Included Disney Cruise Pelican

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What is Included in a Disney Cruise Line Fare?

1. Staterooms

There are several Disney Cruise stateroom types from which to pick. Disney Cruise stateroom prices range from the equivalent of a small car to a small house. You can get anything from Disney Cruise inside staterooms without even a window to a massive suite. The Disney Cruise suites only sleep a few people, so you can’t cram your extended family in there all 19 Kids and Counting.

I highly recommend a Disney Cruise Verandah room if you can swing it. You don’t want to compete for a deck chair Jon Snow style if you don’t have to. It is also nice to have the option to get fresh air from your room if you feel seasick.

Size of Disney Cruise Staterooms

The staterooms are larger than those found on most other lines. Don’t get me wrong, they are still rooms designed with the ultimate goal of cramming as many middle-aged women sporting Minnie Ears into a confined, floating space as humanly possible. This is no Waldorf Astoria, but by ship standards, Disney Cruise stateroom sizes are reasonable.

Disney Cruise Family Staterooms Design

The designs vary by the Disney Cruise room types, but they are consistently family friendly throughout. Space is definitely maximized.

There are also little touches that make the room more fun. My son discovered a painting of the night sky above his bunk bed.

What's Included is Disney Cruise Price Stateroom

Disney Cruise Bedrooms

There is not a separate bedroom in most staterooms, but there is a curtain you can use to divide the room when you Just. Can’t. Take it anymore.

The bedding arrangements vary by the room, but you will often find a berth or sofa bed that your stateroom attendant puts away during the day, making the room feel larger.

Disney Cruise Stateroom Split Layout Bathroom

The Disney Cruise ship staterooms are more functional than those of most other lines. They have a split design with a separate toilet and shower so two people can take care of business at the same time.

A lot of the Disney Cruise stateroom bathrooms have bathtubs instead of just a shower, a relatively rare find on a ship.

Disney Cruise Connecting Staterooms

You can book adjoining rooms and leave the interior door open if you need or want more space than one stateroom will allow. These Disney Cruise stateroom options have the added benefit of allowing Mom and Dad to go get their groove on 2002 style while grandma sleeps and listens for the kids in the next room.

Disney Cruise Line Stateroom Television

Some of the ships offer movies on demand at no extra charge. All ships have family friendly programming.

Disney Cruise Stateroom Amenities and Toiletries

The rooms include shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and soap that are restocked. There is also a Disney Cruise Line stateroom hair dryer to use during your trip.

2. Housekeeping

The same stateroom attendant comes twice per day to clean and adjust your bedding. The attendant is great about coming when you are out of the stateroom, so it does not inconvenience you.

As someone who recently experienced an entire hotel stay with no housekeeping, which ultimately led to the formation of Garbage Mountain, I truly appreciate this.

3. Taxes and Port Fees

While taxes are obvious, Disney Cruise ports of call charge fees for people to enter. These fees are included in your fare, so you will not have to pay admission to enter when the boat docks.

What's Included Disney Cruise Dream

4. Most Food

What food is included on Disney Cruise Line? Almost all of it. There are a lot of Disney Cruise dining options included in your fare.

Disney Cruise Gluten Free Dietary Restrictions

The staff accommodates food allergies and dietary restrictions like no other. I have to eat gluten free, and it isn’t really that big of a pain (which is unusual). There are tons of gluten free options on Disney Cruise Line and plenty of employees who know how to prevent cross contamination.

Some with more mild allergies (me) would argue they go a tad overboard. I had a manager called to take my order or hand me a cup of yogurt on several occasions when a regular employee would have been more than capable. I’m sure those with severe allergies appreciate the attention to detail. Disney World is just as paranoid thorough.

At dinner, servers show you menus for the following evening. You can often pre-order something to meet your needs that would not in its natural state.

Main Dining Rooms on Disney Cruise Line

Are meals included in Disney Cruise prices? The majority of them are.

This experience is like your first year of college squished into one week. Food flows freely, and people embrace their inner Chris Farley.

The themes of the main Disney Cruise ship dining rooms vary by the ship. They are all immaculate and heavily themed.

As of the time of this writing, the main Disney Cruise included restaurants are:

Dream

1. Animator’s Palate

2. Enchanted Garden

3. Royal Palace

Fantasy

1. Animator’s Palate

2. Enchanted Garden

3. Royal Court Disney Cruise

Disney Cruise Magic Restaurants

1. Animator’s Palate

2. Lumiere’s

3. Rapunzel’s Roal Table

Disney Cruise Wonder Restaurants

1. Animator’s Palate

2. Tiana’s Place

3. Triton’s

There are two dinner seating times each night. The earlier time fills up fast. Dinner takes awhile, so book early if you have kids who need to go to bed early.

Disney Cruise First Time Tips: If you don’t want to make small talk about the weather and how fat you’re getting because you are at a table experiencing Disney Cruise dining with strangers all week, request a private table BEFORE you board.

Disney Cruise Include Food Ice Cream

Dinner

Serving Team

There is a Disney Cruise dining rotation between the three dining rooms each night with the same serving team. Your servers learn about your preferences and dietary restrictions early to make sure you have a good experience. On our last trip, I had gluten free rolls and a Diet Coke at the table each night before I even arrived.

It became apparent after the first night that our kids were not cut out for the stupid long relaxing dining experience. We asked our server to bring out their meals with our appetizers so we could deposit them at the kids’ club and enjoy our meals in peace. He happily obliged.

Food

You can order as much as you want off the Disney Cruise menus. If you want to order every entree on the Disney Cruise restaurants’ menu, you technically can. Kids can order off adult menus (unlike with the theme park dining plan). Some people who I would venture to call high maintenance order things that aren’t on the menu at all.

The food is much better than that of the theme parks.

Breakfast and Lunch

Breakfast and lunch are served in at least one of the main dining rooms. Other than the morning of debarkation, you will not have your dinner serving team. They can still work with your dietary restrictions and you can order as much as you want.

Disney Cruise Food Buffets

There are buffets served at Cabanas during breakfast and lunch. At night, Cabanas switches to a sit down meal (also included) for those who missed their assigned seating time in the main dining rooms.

The buffets are actually quite good, and I am generally pretty repulsed by buffets. The area is clean, there is a lot of variety, and the Disney Cruise food quality is high.

The buffets are generally not crowded except when people first board the ship. The first meal is basically a scene from War of the Worlds. Things improve after the first couple of hours.

Dietary Restrictions

If you have dietary restrictions, a manager can walk you around and point out what is safe. They will also bring you food from the back to ensure it is free from cross contamination.

Quick Service

Are snacks included on Disney Cruise Line? Yes.

Some of the best places to get snacks are the quick service locations. The restaurants vary by the ship, but there is an option on the pool deck on each ship where you can order things like pizzas and burgers.

As of the time of this writing, the following are offered:

Disney Dream Cruise Dining Options

1. Flo’s Cafe which includes:

A. Luigi’s Pizza

B. Tow Mater’s Grill

C. Fillmore’s Favorites

Disney Fantasy Cruise Food

1. Flo’s Cafe which includes:

A. Luigi’s Pizza

B. Tow Mater’s Grill

C. Fillmore’s Favorites

Disney Cruise Dining Magic

1. Duck-In Diner

2. Pinocchio’s Pizzeria

Disney Cruise Wonder Dining

1. Pinocchio’s Pizzeria

2. Pete’s Boiler Bites

3. Daisy’s De-Lites

These restaurants can also accommodate dietary restrictions. Eating gluten free on Disney Cruise Line is pretty easy.

Self Serve Ice Cream

The self serve ice cream machines at Eye Scream Treats are basically Walmart on Black Friday. They are like magnets that suck you in every time you pass them on the Disney Cruise Ship pool deck. The masses swarm. These are a major highlight for kids.

Food Included Disney Cruise Eye Scream

5. Most Soft Drinks

Are drinks included on Disney Cruises? Yes, and they are not included in your fare with most other lines.

I am not going to pretend like a couple of Diet Cokes make up for the difference in price, but this is an example of how the extra charges are minimized.

Soft drinks included in Disney cruises are served in the dining rooms. There are also soft drink stations on the Disney Cruise Line pool deck and at the buffets.

6. Most Room Service

Room service is available 24 hours per day. If your kid is too tired to make it to dinner, this is a great option. The majority of the Disney Cruise Room Service menu is included in your fare. You should tip the person who delivers the food, but other than that, it won’t cost you anything.

Mickey Mouse ice cream bars from room service are big hits with the kids.

7. Character Meet and Greets

What's Included In My Disney Cruise Chip

These trips are Disney World on crack. The human to character ratio is roughly 3:1. You find them roaming the halls on the regular. There is also a schedule posted on the Disney Cruise Line app.

Wait Times

We rarely waited more than a few minutes to meet a character. The lines are definitely shorter than those of the theme parks. We did wait behind several adults sans children who still don’t understand how that real duck got dressed in a sailor suit all by himself.

Character Personalities

The characters on Disney Cruise Line are in it to win it. Peter Pan scolded my children for hugging Captain Hook, Woody got stressed out when my kids high fived him too fast, and Goofy told them about his beach swimming through sign language. They clearly attended high school theater camp with that lady from Universal.

If you have small children who are not terrified of Disney Cruise characters on board, you really cannot beat these experiences.

Disney Cruise What Included in Price Woody

8. Disney Cruise Broadway Shows

There are live shows on Disney Cruise ships. Not unlike my feelings about buffets, I am not a big fan of jazz hands and sparkles. However, these Disney Cruise Line shows are pretty good. This is not typical theme park theater. They are for kids (and the women trying to crack that duck code), but they are more tolerable than the average show. Disney Cruise show casts are talented.

There are two Disney Cruise show times per night, so you can either see the show before or after dinner depending upon your Disney Cruise Line dining time. We never had an issue getting seats.

As of the time of this writing, you can see:

Disney Dream Cruise Shows

1. Beauty and the Beast

2. Believe

3. The Golden Mickeys

Disney Fantasy Cruise Shows

1. Disney Cruise Aladdin Show

2. Disney Cruise Believe Show

3. Disney Cruise Frozen Show

Disney Magic Cruise Ship Shows

1. Disney Dreams – An Enchanted Classic

2. Tangled

3. Twice Charmed

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship Shows

1. Disney Dreams – An Enchanted Classic

2. Disney Cruise Line Frozen Show

3. The Golden Mickeys

9. Movies

The ships run first run movies they own onboard. If there is a movie in the theater at home, it will be on the ship. If you planned to see the movie anyway, this will save you from that expense. The Disney Cruise movie schedule is in the app.

10. Organized Disney Cruise Ship Activities

There are organized Disney Cruise daily activities offered throughout the cruise. The schedule can be found on the Disney Cruise app. If you are a joiner, there are plenty of trivia competitions replete with dad jokes and Disney Cruise game shows to occupy your time.

11. Kids’ Clubs

The Disney Cruise Line youth clubs (i.e. childcare) for potty trained kids ages three and up are included in the fare. This is the single biggest perk for families in my opinion. Adults can get some sanity saving time with a fruity cocktail and kids hopped up on sugar from Eye Scream Treats are someone else’s problem. Parenting for the win.

If your kids do not qualify for these clubs, I would seriously consider waiting a couple of years or sailing on another, much cheaper, cruise line.

As of the time of this writing, the kids’ clubs are as follows:

1. Oceaneer Club: Ages 3-12

2. Oceaneer Lab: Ages 3-12

3. Edge: Ages 11-14

4. Vibe: Ages 14-17

Disney Cruise Line Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab Background

Kids’ clubs are the highlight of the cruise for our entire family. Our kids love every minute, and we get some adult time without guilt. Adults are only allowed during Disney Oceaneer Club open houses, so even if you want to stay, you can’t.

The club is connected to Oceaneer Lab, so your children can move between the two. Disney Cruise Line youth activities counselors can help them move if needed.

Disney Cruise Youth Club Ages

Before we sailed, the wide age range in this club freaked me out. I had a three year old at that time. I didn’t want him to have an O’Doyle Rules moment with a twelve year old when I wasn’t around. Turns out, he went from nervous when I dropped him off to disappointed that I picked him up, all in the span of two hours.

The space is huge, so kids tend to hang out with kids their own age and ignore the others without stepping on each other’s toes. There are also a ton of counselors who would not allow anything crazy to happen on their watch.

The upside to this arrangement is siblings a few years apart can stay together who may not have been able to do so on other cruise lines.

Activities in Disney Cruises

Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab offer organized activities throughout the day, as well as free play. The Oceaneer Club schedule of activities can be found in the app. Characters often make appearances. Arts and crafts, dress up, and screens playing crack movies on repeat abound.

Disney Cruise Kids Club Ages Playmation

Dining

Food is served at Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab. You can request your children eat there free of charge. The staff can accommodate food allergies and special needs.

Dine and Play Program

If you have Disney Cruise late dining time for dinner, you can enroll your children in this program. The kids are fed early then retrieved by the counselors from the main dining rooms so adults can eat in peace. This is free of charge.

We have never had Disney Cruise dining second seating, so we have not participated in this program. If you have the Disney Cruise early dining time, you can still ask for your children to eat early then walk them to Oceaneer Club to have the same child-free Disney Cruise experience.

Disney Oceaneer Club Potty Trained Requirement

Kids have to be potty trained to be dropped off at Oceaneer Club. I am not suggesting you should try to get around this rule. However….

My three year old was potty trained in the loosest sense of the term on the Dream. He was definitely in the “too busy to pee” phase. I dropped him off and crossed my fingers he would not get himself banned from the club for the remainder of the trip.

Within an hour, I got a call that he had an accident. I mentally prepared my pitch to allow him to return, but when I arrived to pick him up, they told me to change his shorts and bring him back. He didn’t have a second accident during the trip, so I’m not sure how long this goodwill would have lasted, but they definitely forgave us once.

If you are nervous about this, you can walk your kids to the bathroom when you drop them off then check back often. If your kid truly isn’t ready, I would postpone your trip for a year. Missing out on the benefit of the Oceaneer Club would be a shame and would make your fare much harder to justify.

Checking In and Out

How does Disney Oceaneer Club work? Kids check in and out by scanning Disney Cruise Line youth activities wristbands, similar to Magic Bands at Disney World. The counselors can tell you exactly where your children are within the club at any given time because they have essentially micro chipped them. Older kids can check themselves in and out without a parent.

Kids must use the Disney Cruise hand washers every time they enter.

Disney Cruise Line Oceaneer Club Hours

Oceaneer Lab and Disney Cruise Oceaneer Club hours usually run from 9:00 a.m. to midnight. Your kids can stay there all day if you want (and they keep their pants dry). You do not need to make Disney Cruise reservations with the clubs to visit.

What's Included with Disney Fare Floor

Themes of Oceaneer Club Disney Cruise by Ship

Each ship has different theming. As of the time of this writing, you will find:

Oceaneer Club Disney Dream Highlights

1. Andy’s Room – Toy Story Play Area

2. Infinity Game Room – Featuring Archery, Racing, and Art

3. Pixie Hollow – Dress up, Crafts, Tablets, and Stories

4. Star Wars: Millennium Falcon – Crafts and Star Wars

5. Magic PlayFloor – Interactive Games

6. Turtle Talk with Crush (Basically)

Disney Cruise Fantasy Highlights

1. Andy’s Room – Toy Story Play Area

2. MARVEL Super Hero Academy – Interactive Gaming and Portals

3. Pixie Hollow – Dress up, Crafts, Tablets, and Stories

4. Disney Fantasy Oceaneer Club Star Wars: Command Post – Star Wars Area

5. Magic PlayFloor – Interactive Games

6. Turtle Talk with Crush (Basically)

Oceaneer Club Disney Magic Highlights

1. Andy’s Room – Toy Story Play Area

2. MARVEL Super Hero Academy – Interactive Gaming and Portals

3. Pixie Hollow – Dress up, Crafts, Tablets, and Stories

4. Disney Junior – Games and Characters

Oceaneer Club Disney Wonder Highlights

1. Andy’s Room – Toy Story Play Area

2. Disney Cruise MARVEL Super Hero Academy – Interactive Gaming and Portals

3. Frozen Adventures – Frozen Games and Activities

4. Disney Junior – Games and Characters

Andy's Room

Disney’s Oceaneer Lab

The themes of Oceaneer Lab vary by the ship. As of the time of this writing, you will find:

Dream Highlights

1. Magic PlayFloor – Interactive Games

2. Plasma Screen with Interactions with Disney Characters on the Cruise

3. Animator’s Studio – Art Area

4. Craft Studio – Craft Area

5. Media Room – Movies and Video Games (AKA Boy Zone)

6. Playmation – Superhero Area

7. The Wheelhouse – Screens Involving Pirates (Boy Zone 2)

Fantasy Highlights

1. Magic PlayFloor – Interactive Games

2. Plasma Screen with Interactions with Disney Cruise Ship Characters

3. Animator’s Studio – Art Area

4. Craft Studio – Craft Area

5. Media Room – Movies and Video Games (AKA Boy Zone)

6. Playmation – Superhero Area

7. The Wheelhouse – Screens Involving Pirates (Boy Zone 2)

Disney Cruise Magic Highlights

1. Animator’s Studio – Art Area

2. Craft Studio – Craft Area

3. Captain’s Workshop – Movies and Video Games

4. The Wheelhouse – Screens Involving Pirates

Disney Cruise Ship Wonder Highlights

1. Animator’s Studio – Art Area

2. Craft Studio – Craft Area

3. Captain’s Workshop – Movies and Video Games

4. The Wheelhouse – Screens Involving Pirates

Peter Pan

Disney Cruise Club Edge

Edge is the Disney Cruise tween club. This is not as much of a perk as Oceaneer Lab and Club because tweens don’t require as much childcare, but Edge is a great way for kids to meet others their own age so they don’t have to hang out with their lame parents the whole week.

Edge has guided Disney Cruise teenager activities, like something called “That’s Hilarious”. Mainly though, it has a lot of screens. The schedule of guided Disney Cruise Edge activities is posted in the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app.

Edge Disney Cruise Youth Club Hours

Disney Cruise Line Edge Club is typically open from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Things get a little wild at Edge in that the kids check themselves in and out. If a counselor interrupts the game of Suck and Blow, they can move it elsewhere.

Dream and Fantasy Highlights

1. Interactive Dance Floor

2. Karaoke Machine

3. Tons of Screens Including a Video Wall

4. Gaming Consoles and Tablets

5. Photo Booths

Magic and Wonder Highlights

1. Dance Floor

2. Karaoke Machine

3. Tons of Screens

4. Video Game Stations

5. Arts and Crafts

Disney Cruise Vibe Club

Disney Cruise Line Vibe Club features a coffee and juice bar to enjoy while they are “just kickin’ it” (lame phrase cred to the Disney Cruise website). It also offers Disney Cruise Vibe activities like dance parties and Disney Cruise karaoke.

Dream and Fantasy Highlights

1. Outdoor Deck Space

2. Screens, Screens, Screens

3. Deck Games Including Foosball and Ping Pong

Magic and Wonder Highlights

1. Lots of Screens

2. Board Games

Disney Cruise 1820 Society

1820 Society is not a dedicated space. This Disney Cruise 18-20 Club has organized Disney Cruise activities for 18 years olds through age 20. This group allows people who have aged out of kids’ clubs but are too young for bars to meet people their own age.

Goofy

12. Disney Cruise Nightclubs and Disney Cruise Lounges

I don’t know how the average thirty-something rolls these days, but I know I don’t spend much time at ‘da club. In case you do, alcohol is not included in the trip, but you can enter nightclubs and lounges on Disney cruises without paying an additional admission. There always seems to be plenty of room to dance (because no one else is there).

These lounges sometimes feature Disney Cruise night shows like comedians and live music, so there is some entertainment on a Disney Cruise for adults.

As of the time of this writing, the cruises have:

Dream

1. Bon Voyage

2. Cove Cafe

3. Currents

4. D Lounge

5. District Lounge

6. Evolution

7. Meridian

8. Pink: Wine and Champagne Bar

9. Pub 687

10. Skyline

11. Vista Cafe

Fantasy

1. Bon Voyage

2. Cove Cafe

3. Currents

4. D Lounge

5. La Piazza

6. Meridian

7. O’Gill’s Pub

8. Ooh La La

9. Skyline

10. The Tube

11. Vista Cafe

Magic

1. Cove Cafe

2. D Lounge

3. Fathoms

4. Keys

5. O’Gill’s Pub

6. Promenade Lounge

7. Signals

Wonder

1. Azure

2. Cadillac Lounge

3. Cove Cafe

4. Crown & Fin Pub

5. D Lounge

6. French Quarter Lounge

7. Signals

13. Pools and Water Areas

The ships are well themed, and the water areas are no exception. Some areas are better (read: less crowded) than others, so be flexible. Disney Cruise Line swimming pools tend to have the same vibe as Times Square on New Year’s Eve, while the splash pads feel more like a weekday at a trampoline park.

There are lifeguards on duty. There are also life jackets to borrow if you need them.

Swim diapers are not allowed in pools on any line, but they are allowed in splash pads.

Nemo's Reef

The water areas vary by the ship. As of the time of this writing, the following are offered:

Disney Cruise Pool Dream

1. Aquaduck – An awesome Disney Cruise Line water slide that runs around the top of the ship

2. Donald’s Pool – Basic pool with a view of a large screen that plays movies

3. Funnel Puddle – Wading pool

4. Disney Cruise Mickey Pool – Pool with a small Disney Cruise pool slide

5. Nemo’s Reef Disney Dream – Splash pad

6. Quiet Cove Pool – Adult only pool

7. Satellite Falls – Adult only wading pool

Fantasy

1. Aquaduck – An awesome Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship water slide that runs around the top of the ship

2. AquaLab – Disney Fantasy Cruise water slide and splash pad

3. Donald’s Pool – Basic pool with a view of a large screen that plays movies

4. Funnel Puddle – Wading pool

5. Mickey’s Pool – Pool with a small water slide

6. Nemo’s Reef Disney Fantasy – Disney Fantasy Cruise splash pad

7. Quiet Cove Pool – Adult only pool

8. Satellite Falls – Adult only wading pool

Disney Magic Cruise Ship Pools

1. Aquadunk – A Disney Cruise Magic water slide that begins when the floor drops out

2. AquaLab – Disney Magic Cruise Ship water slide and splash pad

3. Disney Cruise Goofy Pool – Pool and two whirlpools

4. Disney Cruise Line Quiet Cove Pool – Adult only pool

Disney Wonder Cruise Pools

1. AquaLab – Disney Cruise Ship water slide and splash pad

2. Goofy’s Pool – Pool and two whirlpools

3. Disney Cruise Quiet Cove Pool – Adult only pool

14. Disney Cruise Line Fitness Centers

Guests ages 14 and up have access to the fitness centers which includes cardio equipment, weights, and classes. You can use the showers even if you don’t work out in case things get too crowded in your stateroom. Guests between ages 14 and 17 must be accompanied by an adult.

15. Sports Decks

Outdoor sports decks on the ships offer several Disney Cruise free activities for which you do not need a reservation. They are generally not crowded and have great views of the ocean.

Miniature Golf

Goofy’s Sports Deck Highlights – Dream and Fantasy Disney Cruise

1. Miniature Golf

2. Basketball Court

3. Ping Pong

4. Foosball

5. Shuffleboard

6. Track

Wide World of Sports Highlights – Magic and Wonder

1. Basketball Court

2. Ping Pong

3. Disney Cruise Shuffleboard

4. Track

16. Deck Parties

Deck parties are elaborately themed events that vary by the ship. They are a highlight of the cruise. As of the time of this writing, the main deck parties offered are:

Pirate Night on Disney Cruise

Pirate Night begins with a special pirate Disney Cruise dining menu at dinner. The vast majority of the guests dress like pirates.

Dinner is followed by an elaborate stage show with pirates swinging around the pool deck. Fireworks are shot off of the side of the Disney Cruise boat. The night ends with a Disney Cruise Pirate Deck Party with loud techno (I think?) music at which point just about everyone goes to bed.

Pirate Night Disney Cruise

Disney Cruise Frozen Deck Party

The Frozen deck party is only offered on select sailings on the Magic and Wonder. Frozen Disney Cruise family activities are offered throughout the day. A special Frozen Disney Cruise Line food menu is offered at dinner. The night ends with a show and dancing.

17. Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay is a private Bahamian island. Most Caribbean cruises stop here. This island is beyond amazing. It is beautiful, clean, uncrowded, and full of things to do that are included in your fare.

Disney Cruise Line Characters

Characters appear on the Disney Cruise island in beach gear. Goofy hosts dance parties. The Disney Cruise pictures cannot be beat.

Castaway Cay Captain Hook

Castaway Cay Location

The ships dock directly next to the island so you do not need to tender to reach it. Getting on and off is super easy, so you can run back to the ship during the day as needed. There is a tram to transport you around the island, but it can also be walked pretty easily.

Beaches

Castaway Cay has Castaway Family Beach and Serenity Bay, an adult only beach. There is plenty of room to spread out and no shortage of beach chairs. Life jackets are available free of charge.

There is even a Sports Beach for those who have had enough swimming.

Bahamas Disney Cruise Castaway Cay Beach

Disney Cruise Activities Castaway Cay in Water Play Areas

Spring-a-Leak

Spring-a-Leak is a Disney Cruise splash pad for smaller children. It is modeled after a storm-ravaged beach dwelling, which is an interesting choice, but fun just the same.

Splash Pad

Pelican Plunge

There are Disney Cruise water slides at Pelican Plunge that toss you into the ocean and remind you what a lot of salt water in your nose feels like (not the greatest). In case you didn’t get enough there, you can get a bucket of water dropped on your head.

Teen Hideout

Teen hideout is a dedicated section for kids ages 14 through 17 only.

Scuttle’s Cove

Scuttle’s Cove is manned by the Disney Cruise youth activities counselors from the youth clubs. There is a play area, whale-bone excavation site, and organized Disney Cruise Line kid activities.

In Da Shade Game Pavilion

In Da Shade Game Pavilion is a shaded area with games like basketball, ping pong, and foosball.

Castaway Cay Disney Cruise 5k Run

There is a Disney Cruise 5k on Castaway Cay. It is free to participate, but you need to register ahead of time. Everyone is given a medal. Runners must be at least 10 years of age.

Disney Cruise Ship Restaurants

The food served at the restaurants is included in your fare. Dietary restrictions can be accommodated. There are also self serve ice cream machines. As of the time of this writing, the restaurants are:

1. Cookie’s BBQ

2. Cookie’s Too

3. Serenity Bay BBQ

18. Midship Detective Agency

Midship Detective Agency is a game offered on the Dream and Fantasy that does its part to combat childhood obesity. This game consists of stations throughout the ship that give you clues to solve a mystery. This results in a ton of walking.

There are multiple mysteries offered, so you can play more than once without repeating.

Midship Detective Agency

Disney Cruise – What’s Not Included (and Should You Care)?

Disney has been in business long enough to know how to upsell. Never one to miss an opportunity, it has plenty of ways for you to spend more money onboard. What is not included in Disney Cruise fare, and how how big of a deal is it to pay extra for these items?

1. Select Fitness Classes

2. Disney Cruise Line Royal Court Tea

3. Specialty Dining

4. Alcohol and Liquor Tastings

5. Concessions at the Disney Cruise Movie Theater

6. Soft Drinks on Disney Cruise at Bars

7. Disney Cruise Port Adventures

8. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

9. Disney Cruise Photography

10. Disney Cruise Line Sports Simulators

11. Gratuities on Disney Cruise

12. Salon and Spa Services

13. It’s a Small World Nursery

14. Internet

15. Phone Calls

16. Select Room Service

17. Some Activities Like Bingo

18. Some Treats and Smoothies

19. Transportation

20. Castaway Cay Rentals

What is Not Included Disney Cruise Line?

1. Select Disney Cruise Fitness Classes

Namely, personal training and Body Sculpt Boot Camp.

Should you care?: I’m going on record as saying who cares on this one. Use the included equipment and take the complimentary Disney Cruise Line fitness classes. The trip only lasts a few days. It’s not like you’re moving in permanently.

2. Disney Cruise Royal Court Tea Party

This is very expensive Disney Cruise character dining with princesses. How much is Royal Court Tea on Disney Cruise line, you ask? As of the time of this writing, Royal Court Tea Disney Cruise costs $220 per child and $69 per adult. Each child leaves with several Disney Cruise gifts. I have heard good things about this tea, so the added expense may be worth it to you.

Should you care?: Maybe. I certainly don’t, but I only have boys who don’t care about princesses. There are plenty of other free opportunities to meet princesses, so I don’t think skipping this will make or break your child’s Disney Cruise vacation.

3. Disney Cruise Specialty Dining

Disney Cruise Line specialty dining is served at two restaurants that are adult only, Palo and Remy. These both come with an additional cost.

Disney Cruise Line Palo

All four ships have Palo, an Italian restaurant that serves brunch on sea days and dinner nightly. It has a buffet with cheese, meats, seafood, and Disney Cruise Palo desserts, among other things. You also order off of a Disney Cruise Palo menu.

They can accommodate dietary restrictions. There were tons of Disney Cruise Palo gluten free options. I was offered gluten free rolls, pizza, pasta, and desserts.

The service is great and the restaurant is calm. I didn’t see one person cry or throw a sippy cup the entire time we were there.

As of the time of this writing, the Disney Cruise Palo cost is $40 per person.

What's Not Included on Disney Cruise Palo

Remy

Remy is available on the Dream and Fantasy only. It is a French restaurant with Disney Cruise fine dining that screams fancy pants. It serves dinner, brunch, and a Disney Cruise Remy dessert experience.

How much is Remy on Disney Cruise Line? As of the time of this writing, it will set you back $125 per adult.

Should you care?: Maybe, but you can definitely get through your cruise without incurring this cost. The free Disney Cruise Line food is perfectly fine. I personally think Disney Cruise Palo brunch is worth a stop, but certainly not necessary.

4. Alcohol and Liquor Tastings

Is alcohol included on Disney Cruise Line? No, alcohol is not included in your cruise fare. Some might expect that it would be because of the fare, but this certainly is not a spring break atmosphere.

You can buy drinks individually. You can also buy beer and wine Disney Cruise packages, but they are not unlimited and generally not a good deal. There is no Disney Cruise unlimited alcohol package. There is a Drink of the Day offered at a discount. Disney Cruise drink prices for cocktails are generally pretty reasonable.

Liquor tastings can also be booked.

Should you care?: I don’t think so. Disney Cruise alcohol prices are pretty reasonable. It would be nice if the cruise was all inclusive, but it shouldn’t be a deal breaker.

You can bring two bottles of wine or champagne or 6 beers per guest age 21 and over onboard. This alcohol can be restocked at each port, so you can bring new alcohol on at every stop. If you want to bring the wine to dinner, be sure to open it in your room to avoid the ridiculous Disney Cruise corkage fee of $25 per bottle (more than the bottle costs at my house).

5. Concessions at the Movie Theater

There is a concession stand reminiscent of what you see at your home movie theater. Concession items are examples of Disney Cruise food not included in your fare.

Should you care?: No. While I find it annoying that they don’t include these items which are intentionally placed for children to view as they walk into the Disney Cruise Line movie theater, there is nothing stopping you from taking free food from anywhere else on the ship into the theater. Make a quick stop at the buffet and grab a treat before you head in.

Disney Characters on Cruise Ship Donald

6. Disney Cruise Line Soft Drinks at Bars

Is soda included on Disney Cruise Line? Yes, soda is included on the pool deck and in the Disney Cruise dining rooms, but if you order a soft drink from a bartender, there will be a charge.

Should you care?: No. Again, it is annoying that they have this policy, but you can easily get free soft drinks elsewhere. You can probably use the walk by this point in your cruise anyway.

7. Disney Cruise Port Excursions

Are excursions included on Disney Cruises? No, activities off the ship are not included. Disney Cruise excursion prices vary wildly depending upon your selection.

You can book these Disney Cruise port activities directly, although, don’t. Even if they are booked directly, the vast majority of them are run by independent companies that are just giving the mouse a cut.

You don’t really need to do Disney Cruise shore activities at all. A Disney Cruise without excursions can be just as enjoyable. In fact, we do them less than half the time. If you’re feeling adventurous and don’t have a car seat issue, get off the ship, find a cab, and tell the driver to show you his or her hometown.

Should you care?: No. It would be nice if port excursions were included, but since these are not operated directly, I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect them to be.

Blue Lagoon

8. Disney Cruise Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique dresses kids up like royalty for a small fortune. There are also pirate packages for a slightly smaller fortune. You can find these boutiques in the theme parks as well. Prices for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique packages vary based upon the services you choose.

Should you care?: Maybe. I don’t, because my boys don’t care. It would be nice if it was included, but it would probably be impossible to squeeze everyone in for free.

9. Photography

There are photography packages through Shutters Photography Disney Cruises. Disney Cruise photo prices are not cheap. I have seen a lot of these photos over the last few years and the majority of them have been mediocre at best.

Should you care?: No. When you pose with characters, you can smile for the camera, then ask the Disney Cruise Line photographer to take the same Disney Cruise characters picture on your cell phone. They will do it. Get your own photos and avoid the Disney Cruise Shutters prices.

10. Virtual Sports Disney Cruise Ship Simulators

You can book Disney Cruise simulators that range from $13 to $49 per session as of the time of this writing.

Should you care?: Maybe. Given all the other screens they manage to make available, it seems they could make these available free of charge. Regardless, there are plenty of other things to do. You can definitely skip the Disney Cruise sports simulators.

11. Disney Cruise Line Tips

How much are tips on Disney Cruise Line? Disney Cruise suggested tips are $13.50 per person per night as of the time of this writing. This amount is automatically charged to your onboard account. You can ask them to remove the Disney Cruise gratuities from your bill, but given that the employees work hard, I would not recommend that.

There is nothing stopping you from leaving extra as well if you choose to do so. These tips can be left in Disney Cruise Line gratuity envelopes.

The Disney Cruise tips per day are broken down as follows:

1. Dining Room Server – $4.50

2. Dining Room Assistant Server – $3.50

3. Dining Room Head Server – $1.00

4. Disney Cruise Stateroom Host – $4.50

You also need to tip people who deliver room service and bartenders.

Should you care?: I’m going with yes on this one. The Disney Cruise employees certainly deserve their tips, but it would be nice if they were included like at all inclusive resorts.

Disney Cruise Pro tips: Consider a Disney Cruise travel agent who offers a Disney Cruise onboard credit to book with them to cover this cost.

12. Disney Cruise Line Spa and Salon Services

Disney Cruise Senses Spa and Salon offers services like massages and facials. The Disney Cruise spa prices and Disney Cruise salon prices vary by the service. You can find the most updated options on the Disney Cruise Spa menu onboard. There are sometimes Disney Cruise spa discounts if appointments don’t fill up.

You can also purchase a Disney Cruise Rainforest spa pass that gives you access to saunas, steam rooms, aromatherapy showers, and stone loungers. As of the time of this writing, Disney Cruise Rainforest Pass cost is $16 per day.

Should you care?: No. I love a spa as much as the next guy, but I expect to pay extra for these services.

13. It’s a Small World Nursery

One of the best things about these trips is the childcare. Unless you have a child under three or not yet potty trained. Then it’s a racket.

The Disney Cruise nursery is available for children ages six months through three years (except on Panama Canal and transatlantic trips, during which the minimum age is one year). Counselors will feed and change your children, but you need to provide the supplies.

It is typically open from 9:00 a.m. through 11:00 p.m. Unlike the other youth clubs, you need a reservation. As of the time of this writing, the cost is $4.50 per half hour for the first child and $4.00 per half hour for each additional child.

Should you care?: Yes. I care so much I would recommend you don’t come at all if your kids can’t get into the other clubs. The cost of a Disney Cruise is hard to justify without the benefit of included childcare.

What is Included in a Disney Cruise Mickey

14. Disney Cruise Internet

Is Wifi included on Disney Cruise Line? No, internet is not included in Disney Cruise fares, but unplugging for a few days isn’t the worst thing in the world. If you need it, Disney Cruise Wifi prices vary by the package.

You do not need internet to access the app. You can text family members onboard through the app, so you will still be able to locate your kids.

If you need to talk to others, you can purchase an internet package at Connect@Sea.

Should you care?: Maybe. Do you need to work? If so, you might care. I personally enjoyed shutting down for a few days.

15. Phone Calls

You will be able to use your own cell phone at your Disney Cruise port of call without extra charge, but at sea, you have to use the Cellular at Sea program which most definitely costs money.

Should you care?: Again, maybe, but probably not. You can usually access your own cell phone service at least a little throughout your trip. If not, checking out on life for a few days is great.

16. Select Room Service

Room service is free, but there are some items that come with an extra charge.

Should you care?: No. I agree this is annoying, but you can avoid this charge by ordering something that is included instead.

17. Some Activities Like Bingo

Some Disney Cruise onboard activities, like bingo, come with an extra charge. Bingo comes with prizes, so this is not overly surprising. Disney Cruise activity prices and Disney Cruise bingo prices vary depending upon the option you choose.

Should you care?: Probably not. Unless you are dying to do extra Disney Cruise activities for adults, skip them and do something else instead.

18. Some Treats and Smoothies

There are smoothies at Frozone Treats on all ships except the Wonder, as well as bakery items at Sweet on You on the Fantasy and Vanellope’s Sweets & Treats on the Dream, that come with an extra charge. The items are very reasonably priced and clearly marked.

Should you care?: Maybe. It would be nice if these items were included, but the Disney Cruise pricing is very affordable. You can also easily get through your trip without purchasing these extras.

19. Disney Cruise Ground Transportation

Disney World offers Magical Express, free transportation from the airport to your on property hotel. The ship does not.

How much is Disney Cruise transportation? As of the time of this writing, Disney Cruise transportation costs $78 round trip or $39 one way per person to and from Orlando International Airport and the theme park resorts. There are several Disney Cruise bus options to other ports as well.

Should you care?: Yes. This seems like a basic service they could easily include. They offer a paid Disney Cruise Line bus, but not a complimentary one. Before you purchase this, do some research to determine if the cost for the Disney Cruise bus transportation is the best deal for you. It is often cheaper to get private ground transportation to Disney Cruise Line ships.

20. Castaway Cay Rentals

Castaway Cay rents things like tubes and snorkeling equipment to guests for an extra charge. These Disney Cruise onshore activities are completely optional.

Should you care?: Yes. I think they could easily supply these in addition to the other things they offer free of charge.

What Is Included In A Disney Cruise? – Final Thoughts

There are ways to save, but even on your best day, you’re down a semester of college. These trips are steep. While Disney Cruise Line prices are hard to stomach, it is easier when you consider what is included.

When you visit Disney World, you pay for tickets, food, accommodations, and everything else separately. The cost adds up quickly. You can theoretically go through an entire cruise sailing without spending a dime (although this is highly unlikely). Some of the upcharges annoy me, but overall, I think they offer a solid product for the price.

Do the math, consider prices for Disney Cruises offered when you want to travel, and decide what works best for your family. Make sure your children are at an age where they can take advantage of the majority of what the ship has to offer. Once they are, try it. You will not regret it.

What is Included in Disney Cruise Pin

Related Articles:

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What is Included in a Disney Cruise?


27 thoughts on “What Is Included in a Disney Cruise?: The Ultimate Guide

  1. Definitely a hefty price tag but it comes with so much! And the pictures are adorable, clearly lots of wonderful memories were made 🙂

  2. Wow! This is such an extensive guide! My son just turned 3 and I was planning on taking him on a Disney cruise until everything happened with COVID. Hopefully, we will be able to go next year!

  3. ow. I feel like I am in the cruise with you.
    so beautifully depicted every thing. and loved the pictures of ur boys.they are very adorable.

  4. Great information! I went on a Disney cruise over 15 years ago but it looks like a lot has changed. We are hoping to go on another Disney cruise in the next few years so this gives me some great ideas!

  5. Wow. So thorough. I love a Disney Cruise, but my kids grew out of it before I did. How do you feel about going on another cruise these days? I’m not so sure. And that makes me sad.

  6. Wow! I definitely fancy a trip now! Love your honesty…can definitely relate to keeping them fingers crossed a time or two 🤣

  7. I’ve always wanted to go to Disney Land, I had no idea they even did cruises! I think it’s definitely about time I actually put some money aside and went, with my niece and nephew. With this post, I definitely feel informed enough to get my money worth! Thanks for the Info!

  8. As a big kid considering a Disney cruise, this is the most detailed and informative blog I’ve read on the topic. I especially liked the cabin details since I’m pretty loyal to Carnival.

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