Mid-last year, we decided we were going to go on a Disney Cruise in February 2023. We finally went and I’m here to share all the details of our trip that made it a trip to remember. This is somewhat of a lengthy post because I didn’t want to leave out anything important. I have broken down the post into little categories like the cruise, room, activities, costs, and more.
Which specific cruise did we book?
We booked a 3-day trip on the new Disney Wish cruise.
Cruise Preparation Checklist:
Make sure your passports are up to date.
This is where you get to pick your check-in time. These check-in times go in 30-minute increments. Our choices were from the times 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM. We ended up checking in at 1:30 PM. You will enter your passport information, and kids club information, and upload a picture of yourself.
Disney will also send you your luggage tags for the cruise. You must bring these with you in order for your luggage to be checked in correctly.
Be sure to download the Disney cruise app. THIS IS A MUST! It has everything you’ve booked and scheduled, as well as where activities are. All this information is crucial for an organized, relaxing trip.
Before the Cruise:
The cruise we decided to book, takes off from the Orlando Disney Port. Meaning, there were additional costs for traveling. Personally (for our family of 4), the flight to Orlando was about $1,224 dollars. We left the night before the actual boarding date because we didn’t want to risk delays and extra rushing to ruin our trip. This also meant we had to stay at a hotel and get an uber from the hotel to the port. We ended up staying at the Holiday Inn Express, which cost $164 dollars in total.
Our hotel was 40 minutes away from the port. This was perfect because our flight ended up getting delayed. We had a check-in time of 1:30 PM. So, we ate lunch and quickly got on a uber. We ended up there at about 1:20 PM.
Once you arrive at the port, there is a luggage-drop off the area before entering. Adding the luggage tags to your suitcases prior to arriving will help drop-off go by way quicker.
When you enter the port, the line moves fairly quickly. There will be people waiting to check you in. During check-in, they will give you “kids-club” bracelets, which are about $12.95 per kid. But, if you return them back to the ship at the end of the trip, you will get a full refund. Here’s a tip: Go to guest services the night before disembarkment so lines are shorter.
Once you get through the check-in and security, you will wait in a waiting area with your assigned NUMBER, which they provide you in your confirmation email. Once your number is called, you can get in line to enter the ship.
Your luggage will not make it to your rooms right away. If you want to do any activities, or just have some things with you, make sure to keep these items separated. I suggest keeping bathing suits, medications, and any essential items with you in a separate bag.
IMPORTANT: Once you get on the ship, it can be overwhelming and a bit chaotic. Take a seat and take about 20 minutes or so and go through the Disney cruise app. Plan your activities and what you want to do on your cruise. This allows for a better schedule and less running around.
Room on Cruise
We ended up booking a stateroom with a verandah. It was WORTH IT! This room is super spacious and doesn’t feel closed off as normal cruises do. The room comes with lots of storage for the space given. Bedwise, the queen bed for adults was surprisingly comfy. There is also a pullout bed that can be turned into a kid-size made bunk bed by pulling an additional bunk from the ceiling. In between the beds was also a curtain, which can be pulled in between them for extra privacy. In terms of the bathroom, I would say it’s super spacious and clean. The total cost for this room totaled to being $4,111.34 dollars. Overall, I give this room a definite 10/10.
Food on the Cruise:
There are many options for food on the cruise that are included with the price you pay. However, if you like there are also adults-only restaurants and bars that you can enjoy at an added cost. The only thing we decided to do outside the included plan was to check out the Star Wars bar, which was nice.
During online booking, they ask for dietary restrictions. Keep in mind, if you did choose one, you MUST stay within that restriction. It will be a liability to them if you go out of the specific diet.
Breakfast/Lunches: We ended up going to a buffet-style market, which has a bit of everything. The kids and adults overall enjoyed the food here. It was so easy, as we can show up and automatically get the food. Keep in mind, this area can get a bit busy. Outside of the buffet-style market (on the upper deck), there was also Mexican, barbeque, an ice cream parlor, and many more options for food.
Dinner: Each night you are assigned to a specific dinner event. This information is also on the app. You either get the early dinner which is 5:45 PM or at 8:30 PM. We got the 5:45 PM, which we loved because the kids would be hungry and tired by that time. It’s also easier to get to the shows right after.
Night 1 Dinner: We went to the Walt Disney Restaurant, which was a bit more formal, and more of a historical-looking restaurant. The food was wonderful. I would rate it a 9/10.
Night 2 Dinner: We went to the Marvel Restaurant, which is for kids and adults. It was pretty cool! You have this huge interactive screen for the kids. The food here was also pretty good, as well as the service. I would give it a 9/10 as well.
Night 3 Dinner: We went to their Frozen Arendelle Restaurant, which has a live show with dinner. Although the show was fantastic, the food, as a vegetarian, wasn’t the best. They had options, the flavors were bland. Overall, I would say it’s a 7/10.
Breakfast on the day of disembarkment: It was also at the Arendelle restaurant and it was super early 7:30 AM so keep that in mind. But the breakfast here was good. They had the usual breakfast options and overall enjoyed our last meal before leaving. This was 8/10.
Overall, the food was great and the service was great. They really make sure they get everything right and will try to fix any mistakes if something is wrong. Can you tell, I’ve got a mean sweet tooth. 😉
Activities In/Out of Ship:
This is where it got a little bit boring for us. We got rained on most of our trip, so a lot of it was spent indoors, versus outside on the islands (both Nassau & Disney’s Island). On our last full day, we did get some sun for a couple of hours, so my husband and the kids, along with our other family members, went out to Disney’s Castaway Cay for a couple of hours, which was great.
The Kids Club: This is one of the BIG perks. As parents, you definitely need your breaks, so the kids club was a great option. It’s huge, and the KIDS loved it. It’s secure, so no other adults can come in and out. You have a secret word on file and pick-up can only be done if the adult know the secret word. The kids were definitely very happy. We sent them there on the first night, as well as the next morning for a couple of hours.
After-Dinner Shows: Both shows are broadway style, and they were done very nicely. . On our nights, we had The Little Mermaid and Aladdin.
Pools: There were many pools to have fun and relax in. Fortunately, although it was raining, we got 2 hours of solid pool time.
Meet & Greet with Disney Characters: This is one of the more time-consuming activities because of the long lines. You can keep track of meeting times on the app. There is also a “royal gathering,” which is something you have to pay for additionally. You get to see all the Disney princesses at once. I did not realize that activity was paid and it was unfortunately sold out. If you are willing to pay and book it on time, I suggest it’s worth it from a time perspective. On the last day, we had to go to different areas at different times to meet all the Disney princesses. I split the standing job with my husband to cut the time down.
Party: There was also a fun pirate-themed party on the upper deck with music, dancing, and fireworks. They ask you to come in pirate attire if you would like to. This was the time for your kids to come out and have fun in their Disney costumes!
Spa: There is a spa on deck that my sister-in-law and mother-in-law, and I went to for my mother-in-law’s birthday. Honestly, it wasn’t worth the price. Unless you really want to, skip this one and save the money. A 50-minute massage was upwards of $225 per person.
Bippity Boppity Salon: This is a salon for kids to dress up as princesses, pirates, or princes. It is at a STEEP price. My daughter really wanted to, so we spent about $200. The activity included an outfit, hair, crown, nail polish, eye shadow, and glitter. My daughter was happy with it, but it’s not something you have to do. They do offer different packages.
Cognac Tasting: My husband, my brother-in-law, and my father-in-law did this one night. They said it was one of the BEST activities they did on the ship for adults. It was $50 per person and lasted about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
It’s a Disney cruise, so it was pretty casual for all events and dinners. But if you want to dress up fancy, you can. We kept it casual for the entire weekend.
Make sure to bring 2-3 bathing suits so that while one dries- you have others!
Bring a light jacket on board because it can get cold during dinners or on the deck during fireworks.
Bring cash for tips. They are big on it at the end of the trip. They give you envelopes, so you can either add the tip to your room charges or you can pay them what you feel is right.
Alcoholic drinks are not included in any of the dinners so that is an additional cost.
Any adult-only lounges or bars are not included in the price.
You can bring in Disney magnets, etc. to post outside of your room so that you can easily identify your room. It’s not needed, but I did see a lot of families do this.
Overall, outside of the weather, the kids had an AMAZING time. As adults who aren’t big cruise people or Disney fanatics, we thought the cruise was fun but nothing over the top amazing. Again, it’s a personal choice and we realize that just for the kids alone- it was worth the trip. I do wish they offered a 4 night one so that you do have some additional time to check out the ship, but we had fun overall. Hope this helps with your Disney Cruise planning!