By Allergy Mom Diva
I love Disney. I love cruises. And if you have read any of my previous articles, you know I LOVE food. So, how is it possible that I have never been on a Disney Cruise? I’m not sure how I allowed this travesty to last for so long, but it’s time to rectify this situation!
Next month, my family is sailing away on our first Disney Cruise Line voyage! Even though I have many cruises under my belt, I have never been on a Disney Cruise, and the detailed, over-achiever planner in me had a long list of questions. Which itinerary is best for my family? How do we select a stateroom? Can I really eat unlimited ice cream? (Thank goodness, the answer is YES!).
Thankfully, I remembered that the Unofficial Guide publishes a yearly guide to Disney Cruises! It includes everything you need to know about booking a cruise, what to do once it’s booked, and how to enjoy your vacation after embarkation. It is a great resource for anyone interested in taking a Disney Cruise, especially first time Disney cruisers and those who want to explore the different ships and itineraries.
With my highlighter in hand, I joyfully read through the Unofficial Guide, Disney Cruise Line 2020 to answer all of my Disney Cruise Line questions (and it even answered many questions that I didn’t know I had!). The entire book is filled with helpful information, but below are four topics within the book that helped me set sail towards a path of Disney Cruise bliss!
Selecting a Cruise Line
If you spend any time researching different cruise lines, you will quickly see that the Disney Cruise Line is usually more expensive than other cruise lines with similar destinations. The authors provide honest feedback to help the reader decide if the extra expense is worth it to them.
Factors such as food quality, kid-friendliness, and entertainment are important to consider when selecting a cruise. The atmosphere also significantly varies among the different cruise lines. When I was younger and child-free, I cruised multiple times on a budget-friendly cruise line where many of the guests stayed up wayyyyy past my current bedtime. It was certainly fun then, but it isn’t the experience that I would choose at this point in my life, especially with kids.
Given my love of Disney and the information I gathered from the Unofficial Guide, I’m will go ahead and say yes, of course, it’s worth the additional cost to sail on the Disney Cruise Line (although, my husband may have a different opinion!). Just because I haven’t been on a Disney Cruise yet shouldn’t factor into my opinion…um, right?
Sail Away… to Where?
Once you select a cruise line, you have to figure out which cruise itinerary is the best fit for your family. Not only does the Disney Cruise Line travel to the traditional Caribbean destinations, but they also visit Hawaii, Alaska, and Europe, as well as many other locations.
I like how the Unofficial Guide discusses the pros and cons of each itinerary. For example, one “pro” for any Caribbean cruise is that it will most likely visit Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. Visiting Castaway Cay was a priority when we booked our cruise. However, these cruises are also very touristy, and there will most likely be other ships in the ports.
With so many options, it can be overwhelming to choose a sailing. This is why I appreciate the book’s helpful feedback on each itinerary.
Ports, Ports, and More Ports
After booking a cruise, now we need to decide what to do at each port! The Unofficial Guide, Disney Cruise Line 2020 provides details about each port that Disney Cruise Line will visit in 2020. However, this isn’t your average tour book – it is so much more!
When I travel, I like to take a detour from some of the typical tourist attractions as much as possible. I prefer to be immersed in the local culture and cuisine. We can learn so much about the world, and ourselves, from engaging with people with backgrounds and experiences that differ from our own.
This is another reason why I love the Unofficial Guide, Disney Cruise Line 2020! It provides a brief history on each port, as well as languages spoke, tourist highlights, unique gifts to purchase, and my favorite, local food that must be sampled! My mouth was savoring when I read about the cuisine at each port. Bring on the rappie pie! And conch fritters! The list is endless! I can see there are more Disney Cruises in our future…
Each Port also has Port Adventures, known as shore excursions on other cruise lines, which can be booked through Disney Cruise Line. The Guide has a section devoted to Port Adventures, including 20 questions to ask yourself when choosing a Port Adventure, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of booking these excursions through Disney Cruise Line compared to an independent company.
Now that I am a mom of two young kids with food allergies (whose diet revolves around pasta and burgers), my tendency to explore new places without a fairly detailed plan is somewhat limited. The Unofficial Guide has been instrumental in teaching me about each port so I can create a plan that will keep my entire family entertained (and fed, which is the key to successfully traveling with kids).
Eating is Half of the Fun
As you may know, cruising is synonymous with eating (again, with my love of food and Disney, why have I not sailed on a Disney Cruise yet?? It’s like I don’t even know myself). With so much food and so little time, what is a girl to do? Start with this Guide!
In the Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line 2020, the authors provide a star rating for each restaurant, as well as information on house specialties, general food offerings, and the setting/atmosphere of the restaurants. They even provide the hours of operations, so if you want to plan your hourly meals ahead of time, you certainly can do that. After all, your belly will need extra food to fuel your kayaking Port Adventure…or your beach day. Both are completely justifiable on a cruise.
Additionally, Disney Cruises include “rotational dining,” which is a unique opportunity to explore different restaurants on the ship. It may be an unfamiliar concept to new cruisers or those who have sailed on most other cruise lines, so be sure to read all about it in the Guide.
Lastly, if you want to avoid the coffee where you will question your will to live, or if you simply want to find the best snacks, then this Guide is for you! Although I don’t drink coffee, I certainly wouldn’t want to expose my husband (or our dear readers) to anything so life-altering.
These were just a few of the highlights from the Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line 2020. Whether it is selecting a stateroom, choosing entertainment options onboard, or discovering which ships have the AquaDuck, the Guide covers it all!
If you are thinking about booking your own Disney Cruise, or if you already booked your cruise and need help choosing activities and Port Adventures, then this Guide is for you! Enter our giveaway to win your very own the Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line 2020!
Would you like to win a copy of this Unofficial Guide for yourself?? Great news, we’ve partnered with the Unofficial Guides to offer one lucky Tips from the Disney Divas and Devos reader a copy of their own Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line 2020.
First, you will need to sign up for the Unofficial Guide newsletter here.
Second, you will need to like Tips from the Disney Diva on Facebook
You will use the Rafflecopter link below to confirm your entries – additional entries are available, but the two mentioned above are mandatory to enter.
You will need to “LIKE” each of the Facebook entries for those to count. All entries will be verified. The winner will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond. The contest ends on January 22. GOOD LUCK!
You must follow the rules to be entered to win if you do not sign up for the Unofficial Guide newsletter or like our Facebook page you will not be eligible to win.
Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? You’ll want to look into The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World or The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids 2020.
Disclaimer: Liliane Opsomer from The Unofficial Guide series provided me with a complimentary copy of The Unofficial Guide Disney Cruise Line 2020 to review. She also generously has allowed Tips from the Disney Divas and Devos to give away a copy of another Unofficial Guide book to our readers. I received no other compensation for my review, and my opinions are completely my own. *Copyrights for the photographs used in this article belong to Liliane Opsomer as noted and are being used with her permission. Want even more help planning your vacation? Email Trish at All For Dreams Travel for a FREE quote and help to make all your travel plans.