Which Disney Cruise Ship Is the Best?

The Disney company has a total of four cruise ships. This is a relatively small cruise ship line compared to some of the other cruise ship companies. Nevertheless, there is so much to look forward to with each Disney Cruise ship. If you are trying to decide which Disney Cruise ship best, you have come to the right place.

So which Disney Cruise ship is the best? With only four contenders for the top spot, determining the best Disney Cruise ship is tough, especially for Disney fans. But while all Disney Cruise ships offer the best Disney-inspired cruise ship, the newest Disney Fantasy looks to be the best Disney Cruise ship to date.

Complete with an elegant design, high-end customer service, and some of the best amenities to keep both kids and adults entertained, Disney Fantasy is generally regarded as the best Disney Cruise ship. The Disney Fantasy cruise ship is also the newest ship of the Disney cruise line – launching in 2012. Many people, however, say that Disney Magic, the oldest Disney Cruise ship, is the best.

Read on to learn more about which Disney Cruise ship is the best, as well as the feature and amenities of each Disney Cruise ship.

Disney Fantasy Vs. Disney Magic: Which Is the Best?

best disney cruise ship
Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship – Launched 2012

As mentioned earlier, Disney Fantasy is the newest of the four Disney Cruise ships. It has a wide variety of incredible features and amenities onboard and is generally considered the best Disney Cruise ship. Some, however, still say Disney Magic – Disney’s first cruise ship launched in 1998 – is the best with its recent updates and longstanding charm through the years. Below, I’ll describe in detail the Disney Fantasy and the Disney Magic Cruise ships.

Disney Fantasy

As the newest ship, Disney Fantasy has a lot to make up for, seeing that Disney has set high standards with each of its cruise ships. Launched in 2012 and considered a “baby” of the Disney Cruise ship line fleet, the Disney Fantasy lives up to Disney standards and more with its luxurious outfitting and fun activities meant for the whole family.

If you’re a fan of Disney heroes, the Marvel Super Heroes Academy will make your cruise superb. There’s also a command post with the Star Wars theme, and you’d find a Tiffany & Co. retail store inside the cruise ship. Not so bad for a rookie in the Disney Cruise ship line.

Unlike the Disney Magic, with only 70 percent of cabins giving over a good view of the ocean, the Disney Fantasy outfitted 85 percent of its cabin with a veranda for a better ocean view. You won’t just get a flat-screen TV–there’s the addition of iPod docking stations and mini-fridges, too.

For entertainment, you’d find a lot with the Goofy’s Sports Deck activity center, 3D movies, live performances every night, youth clubs, and the Quiet Cove Pool for adults. If that’s not enough, you can always delight in the virtual sports simulator for an additional fee or enjoy adult time with the six more adults-only lounges and bars available on the Disney Fantasy.

There’s also the fact that Disney Fantasy offers more dining options with 10 separately all-themed restaurants plus specialty venues for adults. There are three main dining rooms for families to enjoy, including the Sweet on You, which is a new ice cream shop addition for kids and adults alike.

Bigger than the Disney Magic, the Disney Fantasy cruise ship sails from the port of Orlando, Florida, in Port Canaveral and goes to several ports in Mexico, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean.

The below video is a great review and walkthrough of the Disney Fantasy Cruise ship:

Disney Magic

Some say that Disney’s oldest cruise ship – Disney Magic – gives the Disney Fantasy a run for its money. As the oldest ship in the fleet of Disney Cruise ships, Disney Magic (which launched in 1998) doesn’t look its age of 21 years, thanks to the latest updates of some of its features. The newest addition to Disney Magic is Rapunzel’s Royal Table, which provides a magical dining experience for kids and families aboard the ship.

Other notable Disney-inspired attractions on the ship are an interactive game center, Edge; the dress-up shop Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique; and the AquaDuck waterslide. Of course, the diverse array of live shows for entertainment, pools, and a spa for relaxation and enjoyment, specialty restaurants, and other eateries with buffet options are ever-present inside the Disney Magic cruise ship.

The Disney Magic can also hold a total of 2,713 passengers. It can take you to various parts of Europe, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and places in the U.S. like New York and Miami. Other perks include cabins with panoramic views of the ocean and outfitted with sitting areas, fully furnished bathrooms with tubs and showers, flat-screen TVs, media libraries, and a concierge service for suites.

The below video is a great review and walkthrough of the Disney Magic Cruise ship:

Disney Wonder Vs. Disney Dream: Which Is Second Best?

Disney Wonder

With the top spot as a tiebreaker, the second-best Disney cruise ship also has a tiebreaker with both Disney Wonder and Disney Dream.

Built a year after Disney Magic, the 1999 cruise ship Disney Wonder got its update in 2016 with added entertainment offerings and family-oriented amenities. Some of its most notable additions are the Disney characters’ meet and greet and the musical spectacular, Frozen.

For the kids and youths, Disney Wonder offers six youth clubs complete with age-appropriate activities. Toddlers, even infants, can go in swim diapers in specific splash areas, including wet and play areas.

Adults will enjoy the Disney Wonder with After Hours, an adults-only section where you can find adult lounges and three nightclubs. There’s also an adults-only specialty restaurant, aside from the six dining options for families.

As for family activities, Disney has designated 10 family areas for the Disney Wonder, where kids and parents can enjoy their day together as they sail across the ports of California, Texas, Canada, the Panama Canal, and the Caribbean.

Disney Dream

If the Disney cruise ship line has twins, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder would be the first pair, and Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream would be the second pair.

When it comes to size, the Disney Dream is as big, if not bigger, as the Disney Fantasy as it can carry 4,000 passengers in a single cruise. It’s also one of Disney’s newest cruise ships built and introduced in 2011.

So what’s to enjoy with the Disney Dream cruise ship line? As the second-best Disney cruise ship option, Disney Dream has five specialized kids’ clubs where kids, parents, and even grandparents onboard can enjoy.

For more adult-specific activities, the Senses Spa and Salon, including the Quiet Cove Pool, offer a time of relaxation. The ship has an adult section called The District, where you can find a host of adult lounges and bars. Disney Dream also has nine-themed dining options with two specialty restaurants for adults.

Just like its sister ship Disney Fantasy, Disney Dream sails from the port of Port Canaveral in Orlando, Florida, and sails to the British Virgin Island, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas.

Which Disney Cruise Is the Best for You and Your Family?

With four great options to choose from and two of each as a tiebreaker for the first and second spots, choosing the best Disney Cruise ship for you and your family can get confusing and a little overwhelming.

But you can quickly narrow down your choices by knowing what you might want to explore or experience on a Disney Cruise. To help you choose, we will first categorize the Disney experience on each cruise ship, from dining to family entertainment to kids and adults-only activities.

1. For First-timers, the Disney Dream Cruise Ship Is the Best

Here’s why: Not every first-timer is willing to go on a full-blast Disney Cruise, which means a cruise that would take them a long time to finish. The Disney Dream is the perfect choice because it sails from 3 to 5 days into the Bahamas.

It’s also the cruise that won’t cause you to break the bank or go broke after going. Plus, it provides more amenities for you and your family to enjoy. The bigger space of the Disney Dream ensures that you have plenty of space to enjoy, not just for your own family, but even to participate in group activities available on the ship.

On top of that, you get to sail from Port Canaveral, which is the ultimate “Disneyfied” experience with a quick trip to Legoland, Universal Studios, or Disney World, of course.

2. For the Ultimate Experience, the Disney Fantasy Is the Best Cruise Ship to Try

Here’s why: Of course, Disney will outfit its newest cruise ship with the best that it has to offer to Disney fans or people who’d just like to try a Disney cruise. The Disney Fantasy is almost the same as the Disney Dream. The only difference you’d find between the two sister ships is that their atrium and adult bars are decorated and named differently.

On top of that, the Disney Fantasy has longer cruises that sail on the Caribbean and the Bahamas. It also sails in Mexico, which makes for the ultimate Disney Cruise experience in other must-visit countries.

Disney Cruise Ship Prices (And Ways How You Can Save)

how to save money on a disney cruise ship

Price-wise, a trip on a Disney Cruise ship is not exactly cheap. However, there are a few ways you can save money on your cruise with a Disney ship.

1. Book at the Right Time

Disney cruises in mid-to-late January, early February, a select few weeks in March and April, early May, September, early November, and early December are the best times to travel if you’re looking to save money on your Disney Cruise trip.

Also, note that if kids are out of school, ticket prices for Disney Cruises are usually high since they are in demand.

2. Book Your Preferred Disney Cruise Ship Early

Booking your Disney Cruise ahead of time will also save you money since you can book less expensive interior staterooms. Most of the time, a Disney Cruise trip will be more costly for you if you wait for the last minute before booking your trip. The reason is that pricier staterooms are left last, so an “emergency” or out-of-the-blue Disney Cruise trip might end up more expensive than Disney’s regular prices.

It’s also important to note that Disney seldom offers discounts. But when they do, you can get a fair amount of discount to save on your cruise trip.

3. Book Through a Travel Agent

Aside from making all travel arrangements, booking through a travel agent can help you save money for your Disney Cruise. Big-box stores like Costco have a travel department that offers a gift card that is worth a hundred dollars. You may not end up with a cheaper ticket for your Disney Cruise trip, but you can use the gift card as an offset for your budget.

How Much Does a Disney Cruise Cost?

On a rough estimate, here’s how much you can expect to pay for a Disney Cruise, depending on how long of a trip you want to take. Take note as well that the following prices indicated are made for a family with an average of four members.

  • 3-Night Cruise (Caribbean) – from $2,600 to $6,300
  • 4-Night Cruise (Caribbean) – from $3,400 to $6,700
  • 7-Night Cruise (Caribbean and European) – from $5,300 to $10,000
  • 7-Night Cruise (Alaska) – from $6,500 to $17,000

What’s Not Included in Disney Cruise Fees?

You have to separately pay for the following when you go on a cruise trip with any of Disney’s Cruise ship lines:

  • Alcohol
  • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
  • Gratuities
  • Premium dining
  • Shore excursions
  • Spa services
  • Other cruise experiences that are not included in the Disney cruise package you paid for

Conclusion – Which Disney Cruise Ship Is The Best?

So to revisit our initial question: “Which Disney Cruise ship is the best?” The Disney Fantasy Cruise ship is generally considered to be the best of the four Disney Cruise ships. It is the newest and has an incredible offering of features and amenities.

All things considered, there’s really no way to pick the “wrong” Disney Cruise ship or not go with one of the best cruises. But given its newness, including all the furnishing and its slightly bigger size compared to its sister ships, the Disney Fantasy would be a top choice as the best Disney Cruise ship.

Also, be warned that Disney Cruises are quite addicting. You might find yourself booking all Disney Cruises to enjoy every Disney Cruise ship experience.

Related reading:

Where Does the Disney Cruise Go? – Top 7 Destinations

What Is the Newest Disney Cruise Ship?