What makes a Disney cruise such an amazing experience? My family and I have just returned from a magical 7 night Mexican Riviera cruise on the Disney Wonder. We have sailed many times with Disney cruises and have also sailed with a number of other cruise lines.
Nothing even comes close to the Disney cruise experience compared with the other cruise lines we have tried. For us the first choice is always Disney. Why?
I gave a lot of thought to the question of what makes a Disney cruise so special. We particularly enjoy the Disney Wonder as we like the size of the ship.
The entertainment is amazing, the kid’s programs are the best at sea, the staterooms are very well designed, and of course, it is just, well, it’s Disney!
But of course, I really don’t have to think too hard about why the Disney cruise experience is the best. Really for us, it is the crew. The people who are there to make sure you have the best cruise experience.
Of course, the ship is beautiful, the entertainment wonderful, but the thing which really brings the magic to life are the people who work so hard to make the cruise experience truly special.
One of those people is our very favorite server. Dinesh from India. We met him on the Disney Wonder last year and very much hoped that he would be there for us on this cruise.
In fact, for my 10-year-old son this was the most important aspect of the cruise. Forget the shows, the kids club, and the water slide – the thing that he was most wishing for was that he would see Dinesh!
I had requested that he be our server months ahead of time. I even double-checked as this was so important to us all. As soon as we checked in and I saw the table number on the card I thought that something was wrong. It wasn’t anywhere near the one we had last time and I guessed that a mistake had been made.
As soon as we boarded we went to Parrot Cay for a buffet lunch. We were so happy when we saw Dinesh there. Not so happy when we realized that a mistake had been made and that he was not our server in the dining room.
Happily, he sorted it out for us and we changed our dining assignment so that he could be our server again. It didn’t even matter that we had to change from the very coveted Main Seating to the later one as it was more important to us all that we were at his table.
For me, people like Dinesh are what makes the Disney cruise line the best in the world. You just know that he genuinely wants to help you get the most out of your experience. He remembered that we like curry so he made sure that we got some amazing dishes every day.
He made sure that my very picky 5 year old always got the exact type of bread that he wanted. He got ginger for my daughter’s tea as she was not feeling well. There were so many things that he did above and beyond what he needed to do. He really looked after us and made us feel very special.
Cliche though it may sound, he and other Disney crew members just make you feel at home. You feel so welcome. The customer service we experience in daily life is so often just not good.
You can often tell people don’t really enjoy their jobs. The waiter who looks annoyed when you ask for something, the person on the phone who is irritated and reading off a script, the hotel receptionist who just wants to get back to talking to her friend. The concept of great service is now the exception rather than the rule.
Thankfully Disney cruise lines get service right. From the stateroom attendants who always greet you with a smile to the highest quality entertainers at sea, to the bar staff, the restaurant servers, the kid’s counselors and every other member of the almost 1,000 crew at sea. They make you feel welcome.
That is the Disney difference.
To lessen the sadness of leaving a Disney cruise I always have to book another one before I leave the ship. I always book a Disney Cruise Placeholder or another cruise just to know that we will soon be sailing again (and for the discount onboard).
We will be back on the Disney Wonder later this year. And I am calling this morning to make sure that we get our favorite Disney crew member in the dining room. Let’s just hope that the request gets communicated to the ship this time. See you soon Dinesh!
Update for 2022: I found this post recently, more than 8 years after I had written the original. I am happy to report that I still feel exactly the same way about the Disney cruise experience.
I have spent many months onboard a Disney cruise with my children and will always return to the amazing Disney ships. Even though Dinesh retired after almost 20 years on the Disney Wonder, we still have so many crew member friends to keep us going back.
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Alison Meacham is the founder of EverythingMouse Disney Blog. For over 15 years she has shared her love of Disney Parks, Disney Cruises and Universal Orlando. In over 30 years of Disney Travel she has spent countless months in Disney Parks and has sailed on over 45 cruises. A British native and now a United States resident she splits her time between California, Florida and the UK. And spends a serious amount of time sailing the seven seas. She helps over 200,000 people per month follow their Disney travel dreams.