Disney Cruise Line Wins Industry Awards

July 7, 2015, 3:26 PM

The Disney Cruise Line has picked up another couple industry awards.

Disney Cruise Line
Photo courtesy Disney Cruise Line

Travel + Leisure readers ranked the Disney Cruise Line their top choice for "mega-ship" ocean cruise lines for families and overall. It's the seventh year in a row that Disney's won the family award and the second overall that Disney's won the overall award.

Obviously, we're all theme park fans here, so we're probably a bit biased toward Disney, but feel free to agree/disagree with the Travel + Leisure picks - and make your case for or against cruising as part of a theme park vacation - in the responses.

Replies (10)

July 7, 2015, 3:39 PM

This really does not surprise me. Disney has figured out the magic mix between having a ship where there is something to do for everybody. It also gets better and better every year.

For anybody reading who has never been on a DCL. One thing it is NOT is a boat full of screaming kids.

Case in point: Disney is one of the few ships that does not have a casino. Instead, they offer Bingo which kids can play for the fun of it while adults play it for the money. You get a lot of money too if you win....

July 8, 2015, 7:40 AM

Other than Disney, I sailed on Carnival Cruises. Although Disney is about 100% more expensive, it is well worth the expense. Carnival is designed for young adults and it shows. Disney is best for the entire family with enough diversions to give parents a break. The shows, meet & greets, dining, and activities make for a memorable experience. I intend to do Disney again. Carnival, not so much, although I already sailed with them 3 times before Disney.

Edited: July 8, 2015, 8:09 AM

DCL is WAY overpriced for my liking (I'd say about double the 100% premium that Anon suggests). I've looked at them occasionally, but simply cannot bring myself to spend that kind of money. They're currently quoting $4,300+ for 2 adults and 1 child for an inside stateroom on a 7-day Caribbean itinerary (only 3 ports of call), which is flat out absurd, and doesn't even include incidentals, excursions, tips, or transportation to Port Canaveral (figure nearly $6k when all is said and done). I could easily book a week at a family friendly all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean for half that including airfare. My parents, avid cruisers, just did a 15-day Australia/New Zealand cruise (10 ports of call) with a balcony stateroom for about the same price Disney quotes for a crummy Caribbean cruise.

I remember doing The Big Red Boat with my parents when I was in high school, and it was fine, but since Disney has taken over the old Premier Cruise Lines, the pricing has gotten out of control.

Sorry, the only award DCL should win is the biggest rip-off on the high seas, and somehow getting people to come back for more. Good for them for luring families to spend so much on a vacation, but I just don't understand why people are willing to spend 200+% over standard rates for a Disney cruise. I also don't get the appeal of taking kids under 10 on a cruise when there are far better destinations and vacations for younger kids.

July 8, 2015, 8:26 AM

The 7 day cruise is very pricey, but I found the 5 day cruise to be much more affordable. Disney Wonder is an older boat and sailing for 5 days will cost you approx. $2000 for an inside room. The newer boats like Dream or Fantasy, 7 day and longer, and Caribbean/Bahamas cruises are more expensive. Comparatively, Royal Caribbean on their newest boats with DreamWorks characters can be just as pricey.

July 8, 2015, 10:35 AM

Royal Caribbean is not nearly as pricey. You can do a 7-day Caribbean itinerary (4 or 5 ports of call) for between $450 and $700 per adult (RC offers free kids' promotions occasionally) that includes the DreamWorks experience. A 6-day cruise on DCL with a similar itinerary costs a minimum of $750-$900 per adult and another $440-$500 per child, and DCL has never done a free child promotion that I'm aware. So, if you price out the full package, I can take my family of 3 on a Western Caribbean cruise with Dreamworks characters on RC for less than $1,000, while a Disney Cruise that is a day shorter is going to set me back $2,500. Even Norwegian, Holland America, Princess, and Celebrity (considered more luxurious cruise lines than RC or Carnival) have cheaper rates than DCL for similar itineraries.

I just don't get it. Obviously Disney has built an impeccable brand, and is able to leverage it into obscene prices that many people don't bat an eyelash at. More power to them for getting people to pay for it, but I will still shake my head at the proposition of a Disney Cruise.

July 8, 2015, 1:35 PM

I suspect the only time I'd ever do a cruise would be on a honeymoon or a romantic getaway. With that in mind, I would not do a Disney cruise because my idea of romance doesn't involve being surrounded by a bunch of wailing kids (sorry Anthony, but I've heard differently).

July 8, 2015, 2:45 PM

If I'm spending time on a boat, I want to be driving it!

July 8, 2015, 3:13 PM

But then we'd have to rename it to Disney Titanic.

July 8, 2015, 4:18 PM

It seems odd to me that my wife and I are looking forward to the day when our kids are grown up and moved out of the house to take our first Disney Cruise! Some day..... *Sigh*

July 8, 2015, 10:50 PM

The only cruise ship news from this week that means anything to me is that Carnival Cruises has won approval to start sailing cultural and humanitarian cruises to Cuba next May. Since 1961, Americans could only visit Cuba as a journalist, researcher, or by virtue of having family members or relatives there. This makes it one step easier for regular Americans to finally visit Cuba.


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