Universal Cabana Bay Beach Resort Review

Universal Cabana Bay Beach Resort Review

Are you thinking of staying at Universal Cabana Bay Beach Resort? We have been lucky enough to stay here a number of times and Cabana Bay Beach Resort is one of our favorite hotels in Orlando.

Universal Cabana Bay Beach Resort has a really fun retro 50s and 60s theme. If you ever wanted to go back to nostalgic Americana you are going to love Cabana Bay Beach Resort.

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There are few hotels where you arrive as a grown up and are just really excited by the theme. Cabana Bay puts a smile on your face from the moment that you arrive in the lobby. The theme is upbeat, fun and really well done.

Here is our video which shows the really funky room design of a Cabana Bay Resort Family Suite

We think Cabana Bay is an excellent choice for those who want great features, value for money and a fun theme. It is a particularly good choice for families as the majority of the rooms are Family Suites which sleep up to six guests.

Here is our Universal Cabana Bay Beach Resort Review.

Universal Cabana Bay Beach Resort Hotel Location

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You really can’t get a much better location than Cabana Bay Resort if you are visiting Universal Studios Florida.

Cabana Bay is part of the growing family of Universal Studios Resort Hotels. The other options are Lowes Portofino Bay Hotel, The Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort and Lowes Sapphire Falls Resort. Universal Resort will add a fifth hotel in August 2018 with Universal’s Aventura Hotel.

You can walk to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure from Cabana Bay Beach Resort. However, we really wouldn’t recommend doing that when it is so easy to get on board the shuttle bus.

The shuttle buses travel at regular intervals from the front of Cabana Bay Resort. It is rare that we ever experienced more than a 5 minute wait for a bus.

The actual journey from the hotel to the parks takes about 8 minutes by the Cabana Bay Beach Resort shuttle. It’s easy and the buses are clean and the drivers are helpful and cheerful. We never had to wait long for a Cabana Bay Beach Resort shuttle either to the parks or to Volcano Bay.

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If you walked from Universal Cabana Bay it is going to take at least 25 minutes to reach the entrance to Universal Studios Orlando or Islands of Adventure. It can also get pretty hot in Orlando and we have to confess that we would rather take the Cabana Bay shuttle bus.We suggest that you save your time and perhaps more importantly your energy for the parks!

The Cabana Bay shuttle bus stop is close to the main entrance to the security check point at Universal Resort. It is a short journey up the escalator and through the security lines. You then walk over the bridge. Turn left to Islands of Adventure or right to Universal Studios park.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort is ideally placed to visit the new Volcano Bay Water Park. There is an entrance at the back of the property – so no need for a shuttle bus. Volcano Bay is a short walk from any of the rooms in Cabana Bay. We find this a particularly convenient feature of Cabana Bay.

You have to get a shuttle bus from the more expensive Portofino Bay, Hard Rock and Royal Pacific Hotels. It’s not too far on the shuttle, but it is a great feature just to be able to walk to Volcano Bay from Cabana Bay.

Universal Cabana Bay Beach Resort Hotel Perks

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Apart from the location there are a number of additional perks which are only given to Universal Cabana Bay Resort guests.

The most valuable of these perks is being able to enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Park an hour earlier than the general public. This can make a huge difference to your Universal theme park visit.

Even though the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been open for a while now, it is still the busiest area of the Universal parks. The main Harry Potter rides of Escape from Gringotts and The Forbidden Journey are still the most popular rides in the park. At peak times the wait times can approach 120 minutes.

If you have early entry you should be able to time it so that you can ride one of the main Wizarding World attractions at least twice. It is possible to go around three times but that is pushing it a little!

The more expensive Universal Studios hotels, the Portofino, Hard Rock and Royal Pacific all have the extra, incredibly valuable perk of a free Express Pass for everyone staying at those hotels. Unfortunately Cabana Bay doesn’t offer this. Lowes Sapphire Falls doesn’t and neither will Aventura when it opens.

However, we think that this is the only disadvantage to choosing Cabana Bay over the other hotels. The Express Pass is a huge perk, but of course the hotels offering it are considerably more expensive than Cabana Bay and Sapphire Falls. It really depends upon your budget and how important the Express Pass is to you. If you are going at a slow time then Express Pass is nice, but no where near as much of a perk as if you are going at a peak time.

The other perk is that you can charge everything to your room. All restaurant and merchandise purchases at Universal Resorts can be charged on your room key. So really I am not sure how much of a perk this actually is. One large account instead of splitting it between credit cards? Not really a reason to stay at a Universal Studios Resort Hotel, but if you have the perk it is easy to use.

It’s a nice feature that you can also have purchases delivered to your room. This means that if you buy all the Harry Potter merchandise that you have had your eye on you can have it delivered to your room. However,you do sometimes have to wait until the next day for it to arrive. Not an amazing perk but nice to have.

Universal Cabana Bay Beach Resort Rooms

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This is a major benefit of staying at Cabana Bay Resort. The rooms. They are some of the best designed rooms I have ever stayed in with family comfort in mind.

We all know that cramming four people into an hotel room can be a challenge. Not at Cabana Cay Resort. The Family Suites really are perfect for parents with children.

The Family Suites sleep up to 6 guests. They offer a very generous and well planned 430 square feet of space.

The bedrooms in the Cabana Bay Family Suites have 2 Queen Beds. The bathroom is a split bath with the toilet on one side, a sink in the middle and with the bathroom to the right having a bath with shower and a sink.

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This really is the ideal set up for a bathroom for a family. Several people can get ready in the morning at once. This is really important when you are trying to get different members of the family out to the Universal parks early in the morning!

There is also a separate living room, kitchenette area. The living room has a full sleeper sofa. It is comfortable enough for two children to share.

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An adult probably isn’t going to want to spend many nights sleeping on there, but it is pretty comfortable for a sleeper sofa.

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The kitchenette area has a microwave,small sink, decent sized but small refrigerator, coffee maker and a bar with seating. You can certainly save yourself some money if you are efficient about getting some breakfast items and snacks.

The bedroom and living area are completely separated in the Cabana Bay Family Suites. It has a really good sliding door so that you can have privacy between the two areas.

There is also a really useful closet area in the bedroom. It offers a good amount of space for putting your luggage and hanging clothes. It also has a safe.

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Both the living room and the bedroom have 48″ televisions. There is enough separation between the two areas that you can use both televisions at the same time if you really want to.

Disney Cabana Bay Family Suites are also available with connecting suites. If you have a really large party these are ideal.

If you book a Family Suite at Cabana Bay Beach Resort you will choose between a Tower Suite and a Courtyard Suite. The Tower Suites have internal hallways and the Courtyard Suites have external hallways. We always book the Tower Suites even though they are usually at least $10 a night more.

If you need extra space at Universal Orland Cabana Bay you can book a two bedroom suite. These are ideal for larger families or even two families sharing. The two bedroom suites offer up to 772 square feet of space and sleep up to 8 people. The two bedroom Cabana Bay Suites have 2 separate bedrooms. One has two full beds and the other has a Queen bed. The 2 bed suites also have a pull out full sofa in the living area. There is a kitchenette and 2 full bathrooms.

It is really difficult finding affordably priced larger accommodation close to Universal Studios, so if this is what you need you should definitely look at this option in Cabana Bay Resort Hotel.

You can also book a room for 4 at Universal Cabana Bay. These are the perfect solution if you want a standard hotel room for up to 4 guests. The room has two Queen beds and sleeps up to 4 guests. The standard Cabana Bay Resort Hotel rooms also have a mini refrigerator and a full bathroom. At 300 suare feet the standard rooms at Cabana Bay offer a decent amount of space.

Universal Cabana Bay Beach Resort Pool

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Cabana Bay Beach Resort has two main pools. The Cabana Bay Courtyard Pool is the largest of the two. Yo can access this straight off the lobby and it has a dive tower themed water slide. We really didn’t enjoy the water slide as the turns were really sharp and meant that you kept hitting the sides. In contrast to this the pool slide at the Portofino Resort was one of the best hotel resort pool slides that we have ever encountered.

The Universal Cabana Bay Lazy River Pool is definitely our favorite and we talk more about that below. We much prefer that pool to the Courtyard Pool.

The Cabana Bay Beach Resort pool hours vary according to the season. Check with the lobby so that you can find out the current Cabana Bay Beach Resort pool hours.

You can rent a Cabana at Cabana Bay Resort. We have never done this and feel that we probably never would.You can just walk to Volcano Bay from Cabana Bay so if we were going to spend money on a cabana rental it would really be at Volcano Bay. However, Cabana Bay Hotel cabanas are available. Prices vary by the season but they are suitable for up to 4 guests.

Universal Cabana Bay Lazy River

The Cabana Bay Beach Resort Lazy River is one of the best features of the resort for us. It is a reasonable size for a resort and usually it isn’t too crowded. It is a rare feature of any hotel resort to find a lazy river. It is the only one available at any Universal Orland Hotel Resort right now. It takes about 5 minutes to go the whole circuit and there are two main entry poits.

However, we do have one major complaint about the Universal Cabana Bay Lay River. To get an inner tube you have to pay! We never felt nickel and dimed in any Universal Resort, but to have to actually buy an inner tube for the Cabana Bay Lazy River. To get a decent sized inner tube is $11. Let’s do the math. Yes you can tell we are pretty put out by this. $22 for 2 kids. You can take them home with you. It’s pretty cool to have a Universal Cabana Bay lazy river themed inner tube or two at your home, but we really could have spent the $22 elsewhere.

This really is our only complaint about Cabana Bay. Just give us a free inner tube! You can bring your own Cabana Bay Beach Resort Lazy River inner tubes, but who is really going to do that. We know own two but the chances of us remembering to back them next time we go to Universal Cabana Bay is probably almost zero.

Universal Cabana Bay Beach Resort Dining

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The Cabana Bay Bayliner Diner is a great place to grab something to eat. The Bayliner Diner is a large, fun, quick service dining location. There are plenty of different choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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There are four different hot food stations to choose from as well as a salad bar, frozen yogurt self serve and a drinks section.

The prices are pretty reasonable considering the location. We enjoy the Breakfast Waffles with strawberries and whipped cream for $7.65. The Create Your Own Omelet is also a good choice for $9.10. It is freshly made while you wait.

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Lunch and Dinner at the Bayliner Diner also have some great choices. The Grill Station offers burgers, including a Black Bean Veggie Burger for $8.99. We like the International Station which serves some interesting choices such as Colombian Chicken Empanadas and Swedish Meatballs. Pizza and Pasta is also available. The pizzas are particularly good.

All of the hot food stations have a vegetarian choice. If you have a special dietary requirement just tell one of the staff.

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Bayliner Diner has a huge seating area. There are places for 600 inside and 100 outside. The whole theme is the retro 50s and 60s theme of the hotel. Lots of bright blue and orange furniture. Plenty of booths for you to sit and enjoy your food. You can watch old commercials on the huge screens in the seating area.

Cabana Bay does not have a full service restaurant. However, there are plenty of places to dine just a short shuttle ride away. You can take the Cabana Bay Resort Shuttle to Universal Studios City Walk and there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. There is also a Universal Resort Hotel Shuttle which runs in the evening to take guests to Portofino, Hard Rock and Royal Pacific Hotel if you want to dine in one of the full service restaurants there.

Cabana Bay Resort Bars

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There are two outside bars at Cabana Bay – one in each pool area. Our favorite is the Hideaway Bar and Gril which is open from 10 am until 10pm. It is right by the courtyard pool so convenient for the Cabana Bay Lazy River. The Atomic Tonic poolside bar is also a great place to enjoy a cocktail by the pool.

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The Sizzle Bar is located inside the lobby area and is open from 5pm until 11pm. There is a Happy Hour from 5pm until 6pm every day.

Galaxy Bowl Bowling – Cabana Beach Resort

Not many hotels have their own bowling alley! Staying with the retro theme, there is a bowling alley inside Cabana Bay Hotel. If you have ever seen the movie The Big Lebowski then you may recognize that the Galaxy Bowling alley is modeled on that. There are 10 lanes available for bowling from 11 am until 11 pm every day.

The prices for Bowling are a little high, but it is a lot of fun. It is $15 for adults, $9 for kids 12 and under. The amount of time you get depends upon how many guests are in your party. Up to three people get one hour, four to eight people get 90 minutes bowling time.

You can also grab a table and enjoy some traditional bowling alley type food. Items on the menu include Chicken Wings, Tater Tots and Steak Flatbread. There is also a bar offering cocktails, beer and wine.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort Starbucks

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If you simply have to have your Starbucks fix every day then you will be well catered for at Cabana Bay. There is a large Starbucks right next to the Bayliner Diner. There is a large seating area. Lines can be long in the morning when everyone needs their first coffee of the day.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort Store

We really like the Cabana Bay store which is located just off the hotel lobby. They have a good selection of items including a dedicated Harry Potter section. It is good to be able to browse without the crowds of people that you often find in the stores in the park. There are some fun Cabana Bay themed merchandise items available too.

Universal Cabana Bay Beach Resort Parking

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Universal Aventura Construction in Progress

One of the really great things about staying at Universal Cabana Bay Beach Resort is that you do not need to have a car. If you just want to visit the Universal Parks then we would suggest you leave the car at home. There is a Hertz rental location available at all of the Universal Studios Resort Hotels, but if you are just visiting the Universal Parks you can walk or use the resort transportation.

We found that the easiest way to get from Orlando International Airport MCO to Cabana Bay Beach Resort was to take an Uber. It was cheaper and easier than renting a car to get to the resort.

If you do bring your car to Universal Cabana Bay Resort there is plentiful parking available. The day rate for Universal Cabana Bay Beach Parking is $12 for guests If you hare not a guest of the resort the overnight rate of the hotel is $45 a night. Hint. Don’t do it.

Disney Castaway Cay Excursions and Activities

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Which Disney Castaway Cay Excursions and Activities are the best? Now you have booked your Disney cruise you are probably very excited to be sailing to Disney’s private island Castaway Cay.

However, which are the best Castaway Cay excursions? Which activities do you want to do on Castaway Cay.

Here is our guide to all the Disney Castaway Cay Activities and Excursions.

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There are two main types of activities on Castaway Cay. Those you pay extra for and those which are included. It is very possible to go to Castaway Cay and not spent any extra money on activities. However, there are some special Disney Castaway Cay excursions and activities which you may want to consider which cost extra.

Castaway Cay Free Activities

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The most obvious thing to do on Castaway Cay is to enjoy one of the beaches. There are plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas for everyone.

There are two main beaches on Disney’s Castaway Cay.

The most popular beach is the Family Beach. This is the first beach that you will see when you either take the tram or walk from the ship. The island is small so you will not have very far to walk. If you prefer, there is a tram.

The Disney’s Castaway Cay Family Beach is for everyone. You aren’t exactly going to be on your own out there, but the island is large enough so that you will not feel as though you are over crowded. If you are sailing on the Disney Wonder or the Magic, these ships are much smaller than the Fantasy and Dream. Therefore you are going to have a lot fewer people on the beach to share with.

Castaway Cay Serenity Bay is the adult beach. Usually this is quieter. Of course you don’t have children on the beach as this is strictly for the over 18s. However, we have been on the beach sometimes when it seems to be just as busy as the Family Beach. It really does depend upon the composition of your particular Disney cruise. Some just don’t have as many kids on board.

The water is mostly shallow and ideal for simply relaxing and enjoying gentle swimming. I am 5′ 4″ and can usually stand up in the water near the Family Beach. There are plenty of lifeguards and there is a very clearly designated area where you are not supposed to go past. It feels very safe.

At the edge of the Family Beach is an ear which is reserved for Concierge Guests only. This of course is the best beach area as there are very few guests on it, particularly if you are sailing on one of the Disney classic ships the Wonder or Magic.

Pelican Plunge

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A popular attraction at the Family Beach on Castaway Cay is Pelican Plunge. This is a 2,400 floating platform out a short distance from the shore in a sectioned off area of the ocean. There are two water slides to enjoy. Lines do form, so if you want to go to Pelican Plunge it is best to do it as soon as you arrive on Castaway Cay.

You can read all about Castaway Cay Pelican Plunge here

You can enjoy all the beaches on Disney Castaway Cay for free. However, if you want to rent a float or inner tube this is a lot of fun. Castaway Cay float or inner tube rental costs $11 for the whole day. There really isn’t a need to rent one for everyone if you want to cut down on costs. We usually get one between two of us.

The inner tube is the most popular. It isn’t exactly dignified getting on and off this! However, once you master the art of just throwing yourself onto it you will be fine! The blue float is ok but we all prefer the inner tube. If you change your mind about which one you want, you can always swap it for the other kind.

Castaway Cay 5K

If you are feeling energetic the Disney Castaway Cay 5K is one of the most popular activities. The Castaway Cay 5K is free to enter and you even get a medal when you finish!

The emphasis is on fun rather than the race for the finish. Anyone can participate provided they are at least 10 years old. It is a lot of fun to take part in this informal Disney Castaway Cay 5K.

You do need to register for the 5K. Just go to Guest Services on the ship and tell them that you want to take part.

You will be told when and where to meet on the ship on the morning that you dock in Castaway Cay. The usual time is around 8.15. If you are taking part in the Castaway Cay 5K you will be among the first to get off the ship in the morning. You will all disembark at the same time as a group. A Cast Member will walk with you to the starting point.

The Disney Castaway Cay 5K race really is meant to be fun. There are water stations along the route. Make sure that you take advantage of them and stay hydrated. Castaway Cay can get pretty hot, even at that time of the morning.

Castaway Cay Bike Rentals

Castaway Cay

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You can rent a bicycle on Castaway Cay for $11 an hour. They really are pretty flexible with this hour limit though – no one is actually watching the clock to make you return the bike on time.

There are a number of different size bikes to choose from. You can also rent a bike with a baby seat. All riders under the age of 18 have to wear a helmet.

There are 1.5 miles of bike trails on Castaway Cay. All of the trails are paved and it is very easy getting around the island. It is a lot of fun to explore the places that you wouldn’t usually see. There are a couple of lookout towers along the way. It is the same track that the 5K uses.

The sun can be pretty strong in Castaway Cay so always wear sunscreen. Also it may be better to have your bike ride early in the morning. It can get pretty hot!

Boat Rentals on Disney Castaway Cay

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You will find a good choice of boat rentals on the beach close to the ship. Prices vary for these. Here are the prices for 30 minutes rental time:

Sea Kayak 1 seater $16 2 seater $21

Hobie Cat $30

Aqua Trike $26

Paddle Boat 2 seater $16 4 seater $21

Fun Kat $29

Stand up Paddle Boat $17

For the Hobie Kat you do need to have previous sailing experience.

Disney Castaway Cay Snorkel

Snorkelling is very popular on Castaway Cay. You can bring your own equipment. However, snorkel equipment is available to rent on Castaway Cay for $32 for adults and $16 for ages 5 to 9. This is the price for all day snorkel rental. It includes snorkel, mask, fins and snorkel vest.

Castaway Cay Banana Boat Thrill Ride

If you are looking for a thrilling banana boat ride this is available for $38. You do have to be at least 8 years old to participate.

Castaway Cay Glass Bottom Boat Scenic Voyage

This glass bottom boat voyage is available for all ages. The cost is $43 for adults and $24 for ages 5 to 9. The voyage takes about an hour.

Castaway Cay Getaway Package

The Pelican View

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The Castaway Getaway Package lets you bundle some rentals so that you save money. This includes snorkel equipment, a float or tube rental and a bike rental. The cost is $43 for ages 10 and up. There is a discount for children aged 5 to 9 as the price is only $24.

If you know you are going to need all 3 of these rentals it will save you money. However, you must book this on board the Disney ships as it is not available on Castaway Cay once you are there.

Castaway Ray’s Stingray Adventure

Castaway Cay Stingray

Photo by Scott Ableman

This is a very popular excursion. It does get booked up so be sure to book online as soon as you can. There is a special Stingray area for this excursion. Guests learn about these fascinating creatures and then get the chance to spend some time in the water snorkelling with the. The Castaway Ray Stingray Adventure lasts about an hour and costs $52 for adults and $41 for children aged 5 to 9.

You do have to be accompanied by an adult if you are under 17.

You can see more detail about this Disney Castaway Cay excursion at

Castaway Ray’s Stingray Adventure

The Wild Side Teen Adventure

There is a special excursion for teens available on Castaway Cay. Teens must be at least 14 to participate. This experience includes snorkeling, biking and a high speed boat ride. The excursion starts with snorkeling in the Snorkel Lagoon. Then you will ride around the island on a bike.

For most teens the highlight of this Disney Castaway Cay excursion is the high-speed boat ride.

The cost of this Castaway Cay activity is $50.

Castaway Cay Walking and Kayak Nature Tour

This kayak and walking tour is only available to those aged 10 and up. The cost is $68 and the excursion lasts about 3 hours.

The first part of the Castaway Cay excursion is the guided walk which takes around 45 minutes. Then you will board a double kayak to explore the tidal zones and mangroves around Disney’s private island. You finish your Disney Castaway Cay excursion with some time on a private beach.

This 3 hour Castaway Cay activity costs $68 for ages 10 and up.

Castaway Cay Sandbar Beach Adventure

If you want an adventurous Disney Castaway Cay excursion this could be the one for you. Guests start on a Zodiac Rigid Hull inflatable and take a fast ride out to a deserted sandbar. You get away from the crowds and can sunbathe or swim as you want. Guests 21 and older can enjoy a sampling of Bahamian rum.

This Castaway Cay port excursion is for ages 8 to 70. The cost is $73 per person.

Castaway Cay Extreme Getaway Package

This Castaway Cay package lets you bundle up various options so that you can save some money. It combines snorkel equipment rental, bike rental a float or inner tube and the Castaway Ray Stingray Adventure.

The cost for this Castaway Cay adventure is $82 for ages 10 and up and $62 for children aged 5 to 9.

Abaco Rigid Hull Snorkeling Adventure

This excursion is for adults only. The age range specified is 18 to 70 and the cost is $84.

If you enjoy snorkeling and want something more challenging than this could be the Castaway Cay excursion for you. You travel to a snorkel site on a Zodiac Rigid Hull Inflatable. The snorkel site is between 6 to 15 feet deep.

You will also get a sample of Bahamian rum after the snorkeling is finished – not good to combine the two activities!

You will most likely see more fish than you will closer to the shore.

Castaway Cay Watercraft Ski Adventure

This is the only way to rent a jet ski on Castaway Cay. It is a timed, guided excursion. The cost for 1 hour is $102 and you need to be at least 18 years old to rent a Wave Runner.

The guide will take you out open waters before returning to Boat Beach after about 1 hour. Guests must weigh less than 375 pounds.

Castaway Cay Parasailing

This Castaway Cay excursion will give you a very different view of Disney’s private island!

Parasailing is available for anyone aged 8 and up weighing between 90 and 375 pounds. Single rides are not guaranteed and you may be required to ride tandem, depending upon the weather conditions.

Your actual air time will last about 5 to 7 minutes. You will reach heights of between 600 to 800 feet.

This is certainly a very thrilling experience. The cost is one of the more expensive excursions on Castaway Cay. IT is $104 for all ages 8 and up.

Rigid Hull Snorkeling Session

This excursion also uses a Zodiac to take guests out into a snorkeling site. All equipment is included and you will spend about 90 minutes of actual snorkeling time. There is a snack and beverage provided on your way back to Castaway Cay.

The cost of this Castaway Cay Snorkel Adventure is $115 for adults and $103 for ages 6 to 9.

Castaway Cay Bottom Fishing

If fishing is your thing you may want to think about this Castaway Cay excursion. The adventure lasts about 3 hours. You will join up to 8 other guests on your custom boat. All equipment is included. This is a catch and release fishing excursion.

Abaco Backcountry Fishing Adventure

With this excursion you fish in the backwaters of Castaway Cay. The cost is $164 for this 3 hour excursion. You need to be at least 8 to participate.

Castaway Cay Watercraft Ski Adventure

This is for anyone aged 8 and up who wants to ride a Wave Runner. This is for two people and you must share your Wave Runner. You do have to be 18 to drive, but anyone aged 8 and up can be a passenger.

Abaco Flats Fly Fishing

If you prefer fly fishing you can take this Castaway Cay excursion. At $229 for anyone aged 8 to 70, this is the most expensive of all of the Castaway Cay port adventures. You will be taken to a local flats fishing area. You may even catch a barracuda. As with all of the Disney Castaway Cay fishing experiences, all equipment is provided and it is catch and release.

Booking Disney Castaway Cay Excursions and Adventures

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You will be able to book most Castaway Cay Adventures and Excursions prior to your cruise. You can do this online. Also when you board the ships you can go to the Port Adventures Desk.

All excursions are subject to availability. Some do get booked up well ahead of time so if you know what you want to do be sure to book as soon as you can.

Cancellations are fully refunded if they are made up to 3 days prior to your cruise departure date.

Which Disney Castaway Cay Excursion do you want to experience?

Top 10 Romantic Things To Do On A Disney Cruise

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Top 10 Tips for A Romantic Disney Cruise

What are the Top 10 Romantic Things to do on a Disney Cruise? You may think that a Disney cruise is just for the adults, but we disagree. A Disney cruise is a great vacation for the family, but there are many things to keep the adults happy. Here are our favorite romantic things to do on a Disney cruise.

Where to Find Romance on a Disney Cruise
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Have Brunch At Palo

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All of the Disney ships have Palo restaurant onboard. Disney Palo is an adult only restaurant which is perfect to have a romantic meal with your significant other. You can choose from either brunch or dinner, but we think that a romantic brunch is the best choice. It is just such a wonderful way to start the day. Certainly a very Romantic Things To Do On A Disney Cruise!

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The Disney Palo Brunch is served from 10:00 am. until 2:00 pm. on each day at sea.

Rose e Mimosas

Disney’s Palo is very much influenced by Italian cuisine and style. The restaurant has a fabulous location on each of the Disney ships. We particularly like the Disney Fantasy Palo brunch as the restaurant offers sweeping views of the ocean and of course, spectacular food. There is an additional charge of $25 per person, but for the quality of the food and the experience we think that this is worth it.

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You will be greeted by your server who will offer you a complimentary glass of Prosecco or a Mimosa.Your server will then take you on a tour of the buffet tables. You simply will not know where to start. There is a huge amount of choice. Your server will also show you the hot entrée choices. You can order as many items as you wish and they will be brought, freshly prepared to your table.

Brunch at Palo is one of those truly not to be missed experiences when you are sailing on any of the Disney ships. You can make your reservation before you board, but you can only reserve one brunch experience. If you want to change or make a reservation when you are on the ship you can go to Palo or Remy to see if there are reservations available. If you are a concierge guest your concierge will arrange your reservations for you.

Disney Fantasy Palo Brunch Review

Enjoy a Romantic Dinner At Remy

Appetizer at Remy's

Remy is only available on the Disney Fantasy and the Disney Dream. If you are sailing on one of these ships you absolutely have to make time for romance at this top quality restaurant. Unfortunately this experience does not come cheap so you do need to be prepared for some sticker shock. However, as one of the best Disney restaurant experiences you should make your budget stretch if you possibly can. Dinner at Remy is $85 per person, but it is exceptional quality food and an amazing experience.

Remy

If money is no object you can even order the $25,000 bottle of Château Cheval Blanc 1947. Pixar fans will notice that this is the same wine that food critic Anton Ego orders in Ratatouille. Most of us will pass on this and order from the extensive wine list!

You can still enjoy the Ratatouille theme of course. You will be welcomed with a complimentary Collette cocktail.

Your server will help you choose from the excellent selection of food on the menu. They are extremely knowledgable and very attentive to your needs. They have the amazing ability, which seems rare, to be there when you want them and blend in to the background when you really don’t. This is one of the many things which makes Remy the perfect location for a romantic meal on board a Disney cruise.

The food, the service and the view make this an experience not to be missed if you are sailing on the Disney Fantasy or Disney Dream. Brunch is also available for $55 per person. This is another excellent experience, but we would always choose Palo brunch over Remy.

Romantic Things To Do On A Disney Cruise – Rekindle Romance on Castaway Cay

Disney - Welcome to Paradise

One of the most enjoyable aspects of a Disney cruise is the chance to spend a day on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. They really have thought of everything to make this an island paradise for every member of the family. If you are looking for romance you can certainly find it on Disney’s Castaway Cay. If you have ever imagined what paradise looks like you will know when you arrive at Castaway Cay.

If you are looking for a romantic getaway you should head straight for Serenity Bay. This Castaway Cay beach is strictly for adults only. If you are traveling with kids you can still get some romantic time. Disney has thought of everything.

The kids can be checked into the Oceaneer’s Club and Lab right there on the island. You can be sure that they are having a great time whilst you are bringing back the romance in your life.

Serenity Bay is the best beach on Castaway Cay – mostly because it is the least crowded. It is the furthest away from the dock, but it is easy to get to on the shuttle bus.

Castaway Cay cabana

If you want the ultimate in luxury on Castaway Cay you should consider trying to book a Cabana on Serenity Bay. The Castaway Cay Cabanas are very popular and you need to book one as soon as they become available. They are priced at $399 for the day on Serenity Bay. For the family beach they are priced at $599 for the day. The are a luxury, but if you can indulge it is a great way to enhance your day on Castaway Cay.

The Cabanas have plenty of space for you to relax. You will enjoy comfortable furniture,lockable storage, a shaded deck and even a fresh water shower. Non alcoholic beverages and towels are included. They even have a supply of sun tan lotion for your to use. For the ultimate experience you can even book a couples massage.

Enjoy A Show

Showtime On The Magic

Disney ships are known for their outstanding entertainment. There really aren’t any other ships which can come even close to matching the standard of the shows which Disney cruise lines stages. There are some shows which are staged on more than one of the Disney ships, but each ship also has it’s own unique entertainment.

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It is very difficult to chose a favorite, but if we really have to pick we think that Golden Mickeys on the Disney Wonder and Dream, Tangled on the Disney Magic, Villains tonight on the Disney Dream and Disney Wishes on the Fantasy are the ones which we would choose.

There are two shows every evening and you will pick the show which fits in with your dining assignment. If you have early dining you will go to the later show and if you have the late dining you will see the early show. The shows are very popular so it is always best to arrive at your seat early.

Watch the Sunset or the Sunrise

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There is something which is just so special about watching the sunrise or sunset with someone special. We know that this isn’t unique to a Disney cruise, but the ships are just so spectacular we enjoy the sunrise and sunset so much more on the Disney ships.

Just Get Out There

If you can possibly spend the extra money we highly recommend booking a balcony stateroom for your Disney cruise – at least once. We have traveled in every possible category of stateroom, but if the price is affordable we will always opt for a balcony. Particularly if we want to enjoy some romantic time. There is something just very special about sitting on your balcony and watching the ocean go by.

Get Married on Renew Your Vows on a Disney Ship

This has to be one of the most Romantic Things To Do On A Disney Cruise. Have you ever thought of getting married or renweing your vows on a Disney ship? Engagements and honeymoons are also very popular on Disney cruise ships. If you can dream it, Disney will help you do it.

If you are thinking of getting married on a Disney cruise there are a number of venues which you can choose from. The venues each offer different advantages and you will want to think carefully about exactly the location which which will best suit your romantic vision.

You can even have a ceremony on Castaway Cay. You can accommodate up to 100 guests to witness your dream Castaway Cay wedding celebration.

There are many locations on a Disney ship which are perfect for a marriage proposal. One of the adult only restaurants, particularly Remy would be a wonderful place for a proposal. The only limit is your imagination.

If you have been married for many years a Disney cruise is a wonderful place to celebrate an anniversary.

Indulge at the Spa

For the ultimate in romantic relaxation together you can have one of the couples treatments at the Senses Spa. You can book a couples massage so that you can enjoy the experience together. Another popular experience is the Exotic Rasul Ritual. If you want to enjoy 50 minutes alone with your significant other in a steam and shower room, this is the one for you!

Disney Magic ReImagined Senses Spa 5

All of the Disney Ships offer Couples Villas. These are spaces on board the ship which offer the spa treatment rooms which have two massage tables. The real luxury is that you combine a treatment of your choice with some time on your own. You can enjoy the private verandah, whirlpool, and open air shower. All treatments also include a foot cleansing ceremony and a tea ceremony.

Time in the Couple’s Villas doesn’t come cheap – prices start at $449 and do not include gratuity. Many people think that the experience is well worth it.

Get a Tropical Rainforest Pass

Disney Magic Re-imagined Senses Spa 8

The Tropical Rainforest is an area of the spa which we think is a must do experience for anyone wanting to spend some relaxing time with their partner. The Rainforest is part of the spa. You can get a day pass or a whole cruise pass to enjoy the steam room and other facilities offered.

Disney Magic ReImagined Senses Spa 9

The ones on the newer ships the Disney Fantasy and Dream are very much nicer than the older ships the Disney Wonder and Magic. All of the ships have a selection of sauna and steam rooms. They also have showers with different effects including the rain forest effect.

Senses spa on the Disney Magic

The Disney Cruise Rainforest is very much nicer on the Disney Fantasy and the Disney Dream. The overall design of the area is nicer on the newer ships. The Fantasy and Dream have an area where you can view out to the ocean and sit on the hot stone chairs or enjoy the hot tubs. The Disney Wonder and Disney Magic are all indoors with the hot stone chairs in a central area and the steam room and showers surrounding that area.

Whichever ship you are sailing on we think that at least a day pass for the Rainforest is worth purchasing.

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Here is our guide to the Disney Rainforest Room

Enjoy the Bars and Nightclubs

Disney Dream Cruise

There is plenty to do after dark on a Disney cruise. If you enjoy nightlife the Disney ships all have plenty of bars and nightlife to offer. Each of the ships has an Entertainment District which is only open to the over 18s after 9 pm each night. On all of the ships there is sure to be a style of bar which you enjoy – ranging from English style pubs to contemporary bars.

Disney Dream Cruise

One of our favorites is the Ooh La La bar on the Disney Fantasy. This is incredibly opulently furnished and is designed to look like a French boudoir. It serves an excellent selection of wine and champagne including their own label Ooh La La Champagne by Taittinger.

Disney Dream Cruise

The kids clubs on all the Disney ships are open until late, so you can enjoy some alone time in the evening.

Visit The Quiet Cove

Disney Dream Cruise

You have to be aged 18 or older to use the adult only pool decks on the Disney ships. Disney has put a lot of thought into providing outdoor areas on the ships where the grown ups can escape from the children.

On the Disney Wonder and Magic there are adult areas on Deck 9 which include a pool, bar area and cafe. The Disney Fantasy and the Disney Dream have very large spaces on Deck 11 which include a pool and a swim up bar.

Quiet Cove pool at night

The Disney Fantasy has even larger spaces for adults, with Satellite Sun Deck. This is a very large area for adults only with lots of sun loungers as well as the circular shaped splash pool Satellite Falls. On every sailing which we have made on the Disney Fantasy this are seems to be particularly underused, so if you want to enjoy some peaceful time with your romantic partner this is a very good place to be.

If you want to know more about the adults only area on the Disney Fantasy check out our guide at

Disney Fantasy Quiet Cove Pool

Would you like to enjoy a romantic Disney cruise? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below. Do you have any suggestions of Romantic Things To Do On A Disney Cruise?

Disney Cruise Rainforest Room

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Are you thinking of getting a Disney Cruise Rainforest Room Pass? The Rainforest Room is still one of the best kept secrets on a Disney Cruise.

If you are looking for some serious indulgence and relaxation on your Disney cruise you must head to the Rainforest Room. We think that it is well worth the cost of a Rainforest Room Pass or Daily Pass.

What is the Disney Cruise Rainforest Room?

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disney cruise rainforest room

The Rainforest Room is part of the Spa on all Disney cruise ships. The Disney Cruise Rainforest is a limited access area where you will find steam rooms, showers and stone lounge chairs.

On the Disney Fantasy and the Disney Dream you will also find two hot tubs which overlook the back of the ship.

The Rainforest Room on the larger ships is much larger than on the classic Disney Wonder and the Magic. Of course, there are also more passengers on the larger ships. This means that whichever Disney ship you are on the Rainforest Room should not be too crowded.

The Disney Cruise Rainforest Room is Different on Each Disney Ship

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The Disney Wonder and Magic have newly reimagined Rainforest Rooms which are very similar. The Disney Fantasy and the Disney Dream have similar Rainforest Rooms to each other – but they are very different from the Wonder and the Magic.

We have to say that we much prefer the Disney Cruise Rainforest Room in the Disney Dream and the Fantasy to the classic ships of the Wonder and the Magic.

The main difference is that the Disney Wonder and the Magic Rainforest Room is completely indoors. The Rainforest on the Fantasy and the Dream has an area which is at the very back of the ship and has panoramic windows which give an amazing view.

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The picture above is of the stone loungers on the Disney Wonder.

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They have the same basic design, but the ones on the Fantasy have a head rest. I didn’t tend to use this anyway, but rolled up a towel to put behind my neck. All the stone loungers have reading lights.

The stone loungers on the Disney Fantasy and the Dream look out over the ocean. They are in an enclosed area, but you are at the back of the ship so you can see the daylight or the stars at night.

Another major difference on the newer Disney Ships is that the Rainforest Room on the Dream and Fantasy has two hot tubs. These are on the back deck and you can see out over the back of the ship.

Usually there was a stone lounger available and it was rare that there was a wait.

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These hot tubs really only fit two people at a time – unless you want to be really close to your fellow guest!

The design of the hot tub is a little bit strange and I personally didn’t find them very comfortable. The bottom of the hot tub is not flat. It has an elevated curve design. I am not sure if I was the wrong height to make this work. However, I am 5′ 4″ and my partner is 6′ and he didn’t like it much either!

The location of the hot tubs on the Disney Fantasy and Dream couldn’t be more perfect. You can enjoy some time in the hot tub whilst overlooking the ocean. You can even feel the ocean breeze as some of the panels on the screen are open. This also means that sometimes birds will join you in the area! They aren’t too much of a nuisance though as they seem to soon find their way back out again.

Disney Rainforest Steam Rooms

On all of the Disney ships there are 3 steam rooms. Again, I prefer the ones on the Fantasy or the Dream. The sauna on the newer Disney Fantasy and Dream ships has a window where you can look out over the ocean. It really is an amazing experience to relax in the sauna and look out at the ocean below.

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This was probably my favorite of the steam rooms.

The Laconium was almost too hot to deal with. The temperature of the Laconium is set between 107 and 118 degrees Fahrenheit. The warning says no more than 10 minutes but I don’t think there is any way I could get anywhere near the time limit in here! The floor is almost too hot to walk on so be sure that you wear flip flops. Take a towel in with you to all the steam rooms to sit on.

The Hamam was a lot more tolerable. This is set at a lower temperature of 104 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

As part of the Rainforest Pass weekly package you sometimes get free salt scrubs for every visit. Take advantage of these. On our last Disney cruise the choice was between orange, lavender and chocolate. The orange had the nicest smell so I usually got that one. You get the scrub from the spa reception. Always remember to ask because they don’t always offer a salt scrub automatically.

The spa staff recommend that you use the salt scrub in the Hamam. They suggested that you apply the scrub and then allow it to be absorbed for about 5 minutes. As you can imagine, this makes quite a lot of mess in an area that other people are using! Make sure that you are courteous and rinse the seats and floor with the water provided. The best technique I found was to fill the plastic cup with the water and use that to rinse the floor.

Then go to your favorite Rainforest Room shower to rinse off the scrub. You will feel so relaxed that you are ready to face anything!

Disney Rainforest Showers

In all of the Disney Cruise Rainforest Rooms there are fabulous showers, all with different settings. It is a lot of fun to experiment and find out which is your favorite shower!

Some of the showers have cold rain, others warm tropical rain. It is a fabulous experience to come out of one of the steam rooms and go into your favorite shower. Some even have flashing lights and sound effects to mimic a rainstorm.

How Much is A Disney Cruise Rainforest Pass?

Of course everyone wants to know how much a Disney Rainforest Pass costs.

You can pre purchase a Day Pass for the Rainforest online for $16 per day. You can buy as many as you want online.

However, if you think that you are going to enjoy the Rainforest the length of cruise pass is a better value. There are individual passes and couples passes available.

Single Pass for the Disney Cruise Rainforest:

3 Day Pass $69

4 Day Pass $101

5 Day Pass $114

7 Day Pass $144

Couples Pass for the Disney Cruise Rainforest:

3 Day Pass $102

4 Day Pass $144

5 Day Pass $169

7 Day Pass $193

An 18% gratuity will automatically be added to the Rainforest Room Pass cost. This adds quote a bit to the cost so be aware that a 7 day Couples Pass will be $228. We think it is well worth it but be prepared for sticker shock, particularly if you didn’t realize about the gratuity.

You do not officially have to be a “couple” to buy a Couples Rainforest Pass. You can share a Rainforest Couples Pass with a friend! Therefore if you have a friend or family member in your party you can still share a Pass so that you can save some money.

These length of cruise Rainforest Passes can only be purchased once you are onboard your Disney cruise ship. We head straight to the spa when we board the Disney cruise.

There are only a limited number of the length of cruise passes available for the Rainforest. We have heard different numbers for how many, but Disney has never released the official figure.

Each time you want to visit the Disney cruise Rainforest Room you will go to the reception desk of the spa. You will hand over your room key and be given a key bracelet to access the Room. You will also be given a robe.

There are changing rooms opposite the Rainforest Room. Here you will find bathrooms, lockers, toiletries, showers and a sauna. There are also flip flops provided for use in the Rainforest Room. We would suggest using these or bringing your own.

The showers in the changing areas are large and have really nice shampoo and conditioner available. You can use these at any time. Even though the showers in the staterooms are relatively large for a cruise ship, it is nice to use these sometimes, particularly because the free products available are so nice!

The lockers are operated by a number key code. You simply have to remember your code and of course which locker you chose. Ok so we know that isn’t always that simple! We did see that people forgot and then had to ask one of the spa staff to help them.

When you have finished in the Rainforest Room you just go back to the reception desk and hand them your bracelet key. They will then return your Key to the World.

There is no limit on the amount of time that you can spend in the Rainforest Room. However, if you are using the stone chairs you are asked to be considerate of how long you spend on them if people are waiting. It isn’t usually a problem but sometimes people do seem to spend an age on there without moving!

When Is The Best Time To Visit Disney Cruise Rainforest Room

There are good and not so good times to visit the Rainforest Room. It is usually open from 8 am until 10 pm every day. One of the quietest times seems to be early in the morning when it first opens. It is good to get some time to relax even if you are just waking up! Later in the evening around 6pm onwards is also good. Most people are either at dinner or watching the shows on the ship.

We always make sure that we make the maximum amount of use of the Rainforest Room. The first day it will be available that first evening. We have found that this is a quiet time. Most people are still just getting to know what to do on the ship.

Days at sea are the busiest times in the Rainforest Room. Days in port are quieter as of course there are less people on the ship. We have found though that days at Castway Cay tend to be quite busy. We would have expected that this would be a quieter time, but in the afternoon people are beginning to come back onto the ship after a day on the island. It is amazing to be able to look out over towards Castaway Cay from the hot tub though!

Which is the best Disney Cruise Rainforest Room?

We recommend the Rainforest Rooms on all of the Disney ships, but by far the best are the ones on the Disney Fantasy and the Dream. The design and the amount of space allocated to the Rainforest Rooms on the newer ships is definitely better than the classic ships. The fact that you can see outside of the room and get amazing ocean views is a huge plus on the Fantasy and the Dream.

Having said that, the classic ships are still very much worth some time in the Rainforest Room. Yes, they are smaller but they have many of the same relaxing elements. The stone chairs are fabulous on all of the ships. The classic ships Rainforest Rooms have been reimagined in recent years and it has made a big difference. The classic ships do not have the bot tubs, but for me that doesn’t really matter as I am not a big fan of the hot tub design in the Rainforest.

If you really can’t make up your mind I would suggest that you do the tour of the Rainforest which is offered on the first day that you board the ship. You will then see exactly what facilities that it offers.

Have you every experienced the Disney Cruise Rainforest Room? Was it worth it?

Which is the Best Disney Cruise Ship?

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If you are thinking of sailing on a Disney cruise you may be asking which is the best Disney cruise ship? There are four Disney cruise ships at sea right now – with another 3 being built. Which is the best Disney cruise ship?

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First let’s take a look at the different Disney cruise ships.

The Classic Disney Cruise Ships

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The Disney Magic was the first ship to be launched in 1998. The Magic’s sister ship, the Disney Wonder was launched a year later in 1999.

The two “classic Disney ships” are basically the same design. The Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder are the smallest cruise ships in the fleet.

The Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder are 984 feet long – that’s pretty small in the cruise ship world these days. They have 875 staterooms and at full capacity can have 2,400 passengers. There are 950 crew members.

The New Disney Ships

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The newest Disney cruise ships are 40% larger than the Disney classic ships. The Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy are 1,147 feet long. They can carry a maximum of 4,000 passengers at full capacity and have 1458 crew members.

To put this in perspective it is often quoted that these ships are longer (or taller) than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The Disney Dream was launched in 2011 and the Disney Fantasy followed in 2012.

There are 3 more Disney ships on the horizon which are due to be launched in 2021, 2022 and 2023. There are very few details available at this time. All we really know is that they will be bigger than the Disney Dream and the Fantasy.

What is the Difference Between the Classic and the Newer Disney Ships?

The really obvious answer to this is their size. There is a lot of difference. If you want a smaller Disney cruise ship which is easier to get around and also to get to know, you will be happier on the classic ships. If you want more facilities and don’t mind the fact that there are more people, the newer Disney ships are the best.

However, it really isn’t that simple. There are many other things to consider when you ask yourself which is the best Disney cruise ship.

What is Basically the Same About All of the Disney Ships?

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Before going into what is different about each of the Disney cruise ships, let’s think about what really is the same.

The level of service is exceptional on all of the Disney ships. It is always very difficult to explain just how above and beyond most of the Disney crew go to give exceptional service to their guests. You have to experience it to believe it. I have witnessed this first hand so many times.

Most recently I was on the Disney Wonder and was in Triton’s, one of the main rotational dining restaurants, having lunch. I heard a shout of pure joy as a server recognized a family from a previous cruise. She ran over and greeted that family as if they were long-lost cousins. That’s the Disney difference that you just can’t explain unless you see it. That kind of experience is genuine and is what Disney is all about.

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There are other things which are just the same on all of the Disney ships. The large staterooms, most of which have the split bath. The excellent children’s programs. The adult spaces. The Disney rotational dining. The Broadway quality entertainment.

However, there are very distinct differences between each ship. Which Disney cruise ship that you think is the best for you and your family, will depend on other factors.

Let’s think about the things which are going to influence your choice of Disney cruise ship. When you are deciding which is the best Disney cruise ship you are going to look at a number of factors.

Disney Cruise Ship Itinerary

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This really is going to be a big deciding factor when you look at which Disney cruise ship is the best for your vacation.

All of the Disney cruise ships sail very distinct itineraries from different home cruise ports.

If you want to sail the Caribbean on a Disney cruise ship you will find that the most convenient itineraries are on the Disney Fantasy. She sails mostly 7 night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries – all out of Port Canaveral Florida.

However, if you want a 3 or 4 night sailing on a Disney cruise then the Disney Dream is going to be your best choice. The Disney Dream sails mostly 3 and 4 night itineraries to The Bahamas from Port Canaveral Florida. The Disney Dream can be an excellent first Disney cruise. The prices are obviously going to be lower than a full 7 night on the Disney Fantasy.

Disney's Private Island Castaway Cay

Disney’s Private Island Castaway Cay

The Disney Dream also has the big advantage that all sailings will make a port stop a Disney’s private island Castaway Cay. For many Disney cruisers the day at Castaway Cay is the highlight of their vacation. Click Here for a complete guide to Disney’s Castaway Cay.

Both the Disney Wonder and the Disney Magic have more varied itineraries than the larger Disney ships. This might be the decider for you when you are thinking about which is the best Disney cruise ship. Itinerary may be the most important thing.

The Disney Wonder sails from Port Canaveral, Galveston, San Diego and Vancouver. If you are looking for a more diverse itinerary then you really should consider the Disney Wonder.

One of the most spectacular of the Disney Wonder itineraries are the cruises to Alaska. Here you can browse the Disney Cruises to Alaska.

The Disney Wonder also sails through the Panama Canal twice a year. If we had to pick our very favorite Disney cruise it would be the Panama Canal cruises. Each cruise is for 14 nights, so is ideal for people who have more time to spare on a vacation.

There is nothing quite like the sight of the Disney Wonder sailing through the Panama Canal. The 14 night break gives you so much time to relax. These cruises also tend to include extra features such as chances to look behind the scenes at the kitchens. There are usually not so many children on these cruises either.

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The Disney Wonder now sails from San Diego on cruises to the Mexican Riviera. They range from 2,3,4, 5 and 7 night cruises so there really is something for everyone. If you are based on the West Coast these Disney San Diego cruises are a great idea.

The Disney Magic also has a number of different itineraries. You are sure to be able to find a Disney Magic sailing which suits you. In the summer months the Disney Magic sails in Europe. These cruises vary from Southern European cruises from Barcelona, to Northern European cruises as well as cruises around the British Isles from Dover England.

The Disney Magic has a Transatlantic sailing twice a year – this cruise offers great value for money for people with some flexibility and time to spend on this longer cruise.

The Disney Magic also has some sailings from New York and Miami. This is perfect for cruisers for whom Port Canaveral is not their first choice. Most of these cruises also have a port stop in Castaway Cay.

Disney Cruise Theme Sailings

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Disney Cruise lines also offers a number of different themed sailings.

One of the most popular are the Star Wars Days at Sea. If you are a Star Wars fan you really should think about booking one of the Star Wars special cruises. For more details about what to expect you can see our guide here.

If Star Wars is not your thing then you may want to enjoy one of the seasonal cruises such as the Halloween on the High Seas Cruises or a Very Merrytime Cruise.

Other Differences on The Disney Cruise Ships

Which is the best Disney cruise ship is always going to depend on so many factors which only you can answer. However, there are some other things which may help you make up your mind about which Disney cruise is best for you and your family.

Each Disney ships has different entertainment. All of the Disney cruise ships have amazing nighttime entertainment. However, all have different shows. If your Disney Princess is a particular fan of Princess Anna and Queen Elsa then you may want to pick the Disney Wonder. All the cruise ships will have personal appearances by the Anna and Elsa, but only the Disney Wonder has Frozen, A Musical Spectacular.

If your favorite movie is Tangled then you may want to consider the Disney Magic. They are the only ship to have Tangled the Musical on board.

If I had to choose a ship which has the best entertainment I would always say the Disney Wonder as it has Frozen and The Golden Mickeys. I do also enjoy Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular on the Disney Fantasy, but really for me the Wonder wins on the stage show entertainment right now.

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If you want to ride the AqauDuck then you have to sail on the newest ships of the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy. The classic Disney Wonder and Magic really do not have anything to compare with this. The Disney Magic has the AquaDunk but this is not really a comparable. The Disney Wonder had a fabulous re imagination recently but if you want an AquaDuck equivalent you just don’t get it here.

If the finest dining at sea is important to you then you need to choose the Disney Fantasy or the Disney Dream as they are the only ships to have Remy. This is one of the finest dining experiences at sea. Palo is on all of the ships, and is our preference, but if you want to experience what many think is the best of the best then you have to sail on one of the larger ships.

If you are thinking of booking Disney Cruise Concierge we would also say that the better choices are the newer ships of the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy. The classic Disney Wonder and Magic ships have been re-imagined to accommodate a new concierge lounge, but the Fantasy and Dream were purpose-built with concierge guests in mind. The Disney Fantasy and the Disney Dream have a fabulous outside pool deck.

All the ships have the concierge lounge now but we think that the very best are on the Disney Dream and Fantasy. The only benefit of the Wonder and the Magic is that there are less concierge staterooms so it seems to be more of an exclusive benefit. You will get more individual attention, but it is pretty amazing on all the ships.

If you want an inside stateroom with the Virtual Porthole you do have to sail on the Disney Dream or the Fantasy. Apparently it was too much of a technological difficulty to refit the Magic and Wonder with the virtual portholes. We think they are a nice touch, but this really should be a minor reason to sail on the newer ships.

Which is the Best Disney Cruise Ship?

As you will see the answer to the question about which is the best Disney cruise ship really is going to vary according to what you and your family want.

We love all the Disney cruise ships, but if we had to decide we would say the Disney Wonder. Is this because the Disney Wonder was our first Disney cruise and we have spent more time sailing on her than any other ships? Possibly. But you have to decide what is best for your family. All of the Disney cruise ships offer an amazing experience which really doesn’t have any comparison.

Our advice? Look at the itinerary first and then choose the ship. Whichever of the Disney ships you choose you will have an amazing time. There really isn’t an answer as to which is the best Disney cruise ship. They are all amazing.

Disney Cruise Castaway Cay Stingray Adventure

Castaway Cay Stingray

The Disney Cruise Castaway Cay Stingray Adventure is one of the most popular excursions on Disney’s beautiful private island so if you want to experience this it is best to book ahead online prior to your cruise.

The price of the Castaway Cay Stingray Adventure is $52 for adults and $41 for children aged 5 to 9. Little ones do have to be aged at least 5 to participate in the Stingray activity. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult 18 or older for this excursion.

Castaway Cay Stingray

Photo by Scott Ableman

The Disney Cruise Castaway Cay Stingray Adventure experience lasts approximately one hour. If you have booked this experience you will head to Castaway Ray’s to check in. You will be given your scuba gear and life vests. The first part of the Stingray experience is an educational talk about the sting rays. It is a good introduction to learn about the stingrays and be told the right way to interact with them.

You will then be split into smaller groups, each headed by a Cast Member, to begin your interaction with the stingrays. You carefully enter the water, in a shuffle style that is explained to you so that you don’t disturb the sting rays.

You walk out to the ‘dining area’ – a horseshoe shaped area where the rays are trained that they will find food on the Mickey shapes. You will be able to get very close to the rays and touch them as they take the food out of your hand.

Castaway Cay Stingray

Photo by fickrized

The next part is about 30 minutes of snorkel time on your own. Guests report differently on this part of the Disney Cruise Castaway Cay Stingray Adventure excursion. Some say they see lots of stingrays and others saying that once the feeding time is over the rays swim away.

It is best if you can possibly get an earlier time for this excursion of around 10am. The water will be clearer earlier on in the day as not so much sand will have been kicked up by your fellow guests who have done the excursion before you. The sun will also not be as strong early in the morning.

It is a great idea to bring a water proof camera with you as you will get the chance to get some great pictures.

After the hour is up you have to hand back your snorkel equipment unless you have purchased that separately. It can be more economical to book the Extreme Getaway Package on Castaway Cay if you are going to to the Stingray Adventure. This includes the Stingray Adventure, Snorkel Equipment for the day, Float Tube Rental for the day and One Hour Bicycle Rental.

If you want to see our Complete Guide To Castaway Cay just click on the link or the picture below:

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Have you experienced the Disney Cruise Castaway Cay Stingray Adventure? What did you think of it?

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Disney Alaska Cruise

Disney Cruise San Diego 2019

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Are you wanting to sail on a Disney Cruise from San Diego in 2019? There are now plenty of choices for Disney cruises from San Diego in 2019. This is the perfect port for those of us who live on the west coast and want to still enjoy a Disney cruise.

There are a number of different itineraries to choose from for your San Diego Disney cruise. The Disney Wonder will offer 2,3,4,5 and 7 night cruises from San Diego in the winter and spring of 2019.

These dates have only just been announced. We are confident that there will also be cruises in September and October of 2019 from San Diego on the Disney Wonder after she has finished her time in Alaska for the summer. We will of course let you know as soon as those are announced.

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The cruises are available to book for the general public from November 2nd 2017. Castaway Cay members will get a head start with booking opening on October 30th for Platinum Castaway Club members. If you are Gold Castaway Cay members you can book on 31st and Silver call book on 1st November.

The San Diego Disney cruises book quickly. In recent years there have not been very many sailings and the demand is high. The prices can go up considerably in the first few days and certain categories sell out.

If you want to book a Disney San Diego cruise we highly recommend that you call as soon as you can in your booking window. Or use a trusted and experienced travel agent to help.

The Disney Wonder arrives in San Diego on 3/10/2019 following a Panama Canal Repositioning cruise from Port Canaveral.

2 Night Disney Cruise San Diego 2019

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If you want to get a taste of everything which a Disney cruise has to offer you can sail on a 2 night cruise out of San Diego on 4/12/2019 or 4/19/2017.

If you are looking for dates for a Disney Cruise from San Diego in 2018 the Disney Wonder sails on 4/27, 5/4, 5/11, 9/28 and 10/5.

You will sail out of San Diego on a Friday and return on a Sunday. There is one port stop on Saturday in Ensenada Mexico.

These dates are block out dates for the onboard booking offer. In other words, if you already have a place holder booking held for a future Disney cruise, you cannot use it for these 2 night San Diego cruises. These cruises are usually very popular and sell out quickly.

Personally we would not recommend a 2 night cruise unless you are new to cruising and are not convinced you are going to like it (take it from us, you most likely will be addicted in no time). The other reason to go on a 2 night cruise is if you simply can’t take the time to do a longer sailing.

3 Night Baja Mexico Disney Cruise from San Diego

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There is just one 3 night Mexico cruise offered on the Disney Wonder for 2019. This sails on 5/12/2019.

Day 1 San Diego

Day 2 Ensenada Mexico

Day 3 At Sea

Day 4 San Diego

This gives an extra day at sea as well as a port stop in Ensenada.

There is also a 2018 San Diego Disney 3 night cruise which sails on 5/13/2018.

4 Night Baja Mexico Disney Wonder Cruise from San Diego 2019

This adds the port stop of Cabo San Lucas Mexico to this San Diego Disney cruise. If you can possibly stretch your budget and time to sail on a 4 night cruise, we highly recommend this itinerary over the 2 and 3 night Disney cruise. Not only will you have more time on the ship, but you will undoubtedly prefer the port stop of Cabo San Lucas over Ensenada.

Day 1 San Diego

Day 2 At Sea

Day 3 Cabo San Lucas

Day 4 At Sea

Day 5 San Diego

The sail dates for the 2019 Disney San Diego Cruise are 3/20/2019 and 4/3/2019.

If you are looking at a 4 night Disney cruise from San Diego in 2018 the dates are 9/19/2018.

5 Night Disney Baja Mexico Cruise from San Diego 2019

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This 5 night San Diego itinerary gives you even more of a chance to enjoy the Disney Wonder.

Day 1 San Diego

Day 2 At Sea

Day 3 Cabo San Lucas

Day 4 At Sea

Day 5 Ensenada

Day 6 San Diego

The Disney Wonder sail on this 5 night itinerary on 3/10, 3/15, 3/24,3/29, 4/7, and 4/14 in 2019.

If you are looking for 2018 San Diego 5 night Disney cruises the dates for this are 4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 9/14, 9/23, 9/30, and 10/14. These last 4 dates in 2018 are Halloween on the High Seas Sailings.

7 Night Disney Mexican Riviera Cruise from San Diego 2019

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If you want to experience a whole week on the Disney Wonder enjoying the Mexican Riviera then a 7 night cruise is for you.

Day 1 San Diego

Day 2 At Sea

Day 3 Cabo San Lucas

Day 4 Mazatlan

Day 5 Puerto Vallarta

Day 6 At Sea

Day 7 At Sea

Day 8 San Diego

This is our favorite Disney Wonder San Diego sailing. Not just because it gives us the most nights on the Disney cruise, but also because you get to experience 3 port stops and 3 days at sea.

The dates for the Disney Cruise Mexican Riviera sailings for 2019 are 4/21, 4/28 and 5/5.

If you are looking for the 7 night San Diego Disney Wonder cruises for 2018 the only date is 10/7.

Do you want to sail on a Disney cruise from San Diego in 2019?

The Cost Of A Disney Cruise – What Is Included?

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What is the cost of a Disney cruise? What is really included in the price? When you book a Disney cruise you really need to know exactly what is already included so that you can have a real expectation of the costs. The good news is that most things are included in the basic Disney cruise cost.

Unlike many other cruise lines Disney is very up front about the costs. If you don’t want to add extras then you really don’t have to.

The Cost of a Disney Cruise

What is included on a Disney Cruise_
cost of a disney cruise

Read on to find out what is already included in the Disney cruise price as well as extra costs that you may incur.

How To Save Money On A Disney Cruise

Disney Cruise Stateroom

This of of course included in the basic cost. The staterooms on all the Disney ships range from the least expensive, the inside cabins, to the luxurious Concierge Staterooms and Suites.

The basic price that you pay for a Disney cruise is based on the stateroom you choose and the number of people in the stateroom. The first 2 guests usually pay more than the third, fourth and fifth guests.

disney cruise stateroom

Sometimes you will even get a Disney Cruise Kids Sail Free deal – as you would imagine, these tend to sell very quickly so watch for updates about these as we tell you about them as soon as they are announced. It is a long time since we saw a Disney Cruise Kids Sail Free Deal.

There are sometimes discount deals on Disney Cruises for Florida Residents and Military Personnel. We have also seen some Disney Cruise discounts for Canadians. However, these tend to be rare.

Discounted Disney cruises are rare. However there are ways to save on a Disney cruise if you know what you are doing.

Disney Cruise Food

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All of the food is included. You can eat very well on a Disney cruise ship without ever paying another penny more than the basic price. There really is so much food, you definitely won’t go hungry.

There are buffet and restaurant options for each meal. You will also find snacks, pizza and ice cream available for no extra charge. Room service is available 24 hours a day – the food is mostly free, although there are some paid for options.

There is so much food on a Disney cruise, there really is something for everyone.

Desserts!

Disney cruise line is famous for it’s Rotational Dining concept. There are 3 main restaurants on each of the Disney ships and you ‘rotate’ around each restaurant during your cruise. You keep the same table in each restaurant, and much more importantly you keep the same servers.

Click here to find out more about Disney Cruise Rotational Dining

The quality of the servers on the Disney cruise line is the highest of any of the cruise lines that we have experienced. We love the rotational dining experience as it lets your servers get to know your likes and dislikes. We always choose the same servers on the Disney ships and have got to know them well over the years.

There are specialty restaurants on the Disney ships which are charged at a premium, but you do not need to choose these options. Palo and Remy are exceptional, but you do not have to eat here. These premium restaurants on the Disney cruise ships are all reserved for adults only.

All of the Disney ships have the Palo restaurant. The Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy also have Remy fine dining restaurant.

Disney Entertainment

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The Disney cruise line has the best entertainment at sea and this is all included in the basic price that you pay. Disney is of course known for it’s high quality stage shows and you are sure to be greatly impressed! So often shows at sea are a disappointment, but you will not find this at Disney Cruise Lines!

The shows vary on each ship but there will be some entertainment each night. Our favorites are The Golden Mickeys, Disney’s Frozen and Aladdin.

There are also lots of movies in the Movie Theater. If you are on the ship when a Disney movie is released you will usually get to see a premier at midnight!

There are lots of activities on the ship which are free of charge. These range from trivia to learning how to draw a Disney character.

There is also the Pirates in the Caribbean theme night which takes place on most Disney cruises. This spectacular pirate themed evening is fun for all ages. It also features the only fireworks show at sea.

You may be lucky enough to be on board when a famous Disney artist or Imagineer is on board. They will often give a presentation which is well worth attending. One of the best which we have seen is the talks by Don “Ducky’ Williams. There was also an excellent Pixar cruise where a number of directors of the Pixar movies were on board – we missed John Lasseter unfortunately!

Disney has recently started to offer Star Wars at Sea on select sailings. This will give you the opportunity to experience Star Wars themed events and to meet some of the characters from the movie.

Non Alcoholic Beverages

Most non alcoholic beverages are included in the cost of your Disney cruise. This is a huge benefit over many other cruise lines where you will pay for soda on board.

The savings of this can be huge over other cruise lines. A rival cruise line which offers an unlimited drinks package would cost $215 for our family of 5. With Disney cruise line these drinks are included – so this is a huge saving over many other cruise lines.

There is a 24 hour beverage station on all of the Disney ships. Non alcoholic drinks are available free in the restaurants (with the exception of specialty drinks). Soda and non alcoholic beverages ordered at the bar are charged for – but you can always go to the beverage station to save on cost if you want to.

Specialty coffee is available, but is charged at an extra rate. The free coffee on board is not wonderful, but it is better than most cruise lines.

Disney Magic Colours of Signals Bar

You do pay for alcohol of course. But Disney has one of the most flexible policies about taking alcohol on board the ship with you. Each adult over 21 can bring two bottles of wine or a 6 pack of beer. There is a corkage charge of $25 per bottle (or you can drink it in your stateroom without charge). For a complete discussion of the rules you can see our article at:

Drinking Wine On Board a Disney Cruise

Disney Cruise Ship Children’s Programs

The Disney cruise ship children’s programs are fabulous – the only difficult thing about the will probably be getting your child to leave them! These are all free for the programs for 3 years and older.

If your child is aged from 12 weeks to 3 years old then the Flounder’s Reef is available at an extra charge.

What is Charged as Extra on a Disney Cruise Ship?

There are of course some things that you will be charged extra for. All excursions or Port Adventures as Disney calls them will be charged as extra. Any trips to the spa or salon also have a separate charge. Phone calls and internet usage are extras too (and expensive ones at that). There is also a video games arcade on each ship (we admit we avoid these like the plague)!

A Disney ship is a great chance to get some wonderful photos with the characters. The Disney photographers are excellent and you can purchase professional photos from them if you want to. You can always use your own camera though.

There are usually some extra charge events like Wine Tasting. These are a lot of fun and usually cost around $10 extra per person.

There are self service laundry services with a small charge, as well as laundry service. You can take a huge amount of luggage on board though so we rarely have felt the need to use the laundry service!

Disney Cruise Ship Gratuities

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Gratuities are not included in the basic cost of your Disney cruise. Here are the recommended amounts for Disney Cruise line gratuities per guest per day.

Dining Room Server $4 per day
Dining Room Asst. Server $3 per day
Dining Room Head Server $1 per day
Stateroom Host $4 per day

These amounts are a guideline only and it is very easy to adjust them if you want to. We find the service so exceptional on a Disney cruise that these amounts are very fair. It is most likely that you will want to reward your dining room servers and stateroom hosts with something extra. For more information go to Disney Cruise Gratuities Explained.

A 15% gratuity is automatically added to bar, beverage, wine and deck service tabs. You can check your account easily at any time with guest services.

Most things really are included in the cost of a Disney cruise. We have sailed with many different cruise lines as well as Disney, and really we can say that Disney is the only one that you feel isn’t continually asking for money as extras. This is one of the things that we enjoy about Disney cruise line.

It is possible to spend very little extra on a Disney cruise – nice not to have a shock when you look at that onboard account at the end of the cruise!

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

Here are some related articles you will enjoy:

Disney Cruise for Adults

Disney Castaway Cay – The Ultimate Guide

Disney Western Caribbean Cruise