Family Guide To Disney Cruise Lines - My Family Travels
Mickey, Minnie and other Disney characters cruise along with other passengers.
The beach at Castaway Cay with Donald Duck in charge.
The adults only pool on the Disney Fantasy.
The private island, Castaway Cay, is a favorite port of call for Disney cruisers.
The private island, Castaway Cay, is a favorite port of call for Disney cruisers.

Disney is the mother of all family-friendly cruise lines, and for passengers looking for quality youth programming, it’s an obvious choice. In addition to abundant activities for young passengers, there are enough adult-centered entertainment options to keep grown-ups occupied as well. Check out our comprehensive guide to what Disney has to offer everyone aboard their fleet.

Disney Cruise Activities for the Whole Family

Disney is a cruise line that really emphasizes bringing the entire family together which is why most of their onboard shows and facilities are suited for passengers of all ages. Each ship has a version of a family-friendly entertainment lounge, with D Lounge on the Dream and Fantasy, and Studio Sea aboard the Magic and Wonder.

All four ships offer an all-ages arcade with Arr-cade on the Dream and Fantasy, and Quarter Masters on the Magic and Wonder. Each arcade operates conveniently on a cashless system where passengers can use their key card to purchase credits. With a mix of both modern and throw-back games, the arcade is sure to keep the young and young-at-heart entertained for the afternoon.

Aboard the Dream and the Fantasy, fantastic waterslides have been erected on the top deck, wrapping around the ship’s framework to provide a soaring, thrilling raft experience that is fun for all ages.

There is a lot of family entertainment and a fun treasure hunt game aboard the two latest ships for kids to play by themselves or with adults. But, the stars of Disney’s cruise ships are certainly the characters we all grew up with, and families will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy character experiences, song and dance spectaculars, and new release movies in onboard state-of-the-art theaters.

Youth Facilities aboard Disney Ships

Babysitting is available for little ones ages 12 weeks to 3 years at Flounder’s Reef Nursery on the Magic and Wonder, and It’s A Small World Nursery on the Dream and Fantasy. Arrangements should be made at the time of your reservation or on embarkation day, as space is limited.

Disney’s Oceaneer Club offers toddlers and younger kids a chance to play dress up, play games, and participate in themed activities and is located on Deck 5 of all four ships. Also located on Deck 5 is the Oceaneer Lab, which combines playful activities with educational opportunities for ages 8 and up.

The recent enhancements to the Disney Dream include two new interactive youth areas, one themed to Star Wars with its own Millennium Falcon reproduction, and an interactive dance floor called Disney Infinity. Edge (ages 11-14) and Vibe (ages 14-17) are dedicated lounges on all ships where older kids can relax, play video games, watch movies, and socialize with peers.

Outside club hours, a lot of families like to spring for the Bibbidi Bobbodi Boutique where princesses and pirates are created, for a fee.

Take a look at this video:


Activities For Adults in the Disney Style

Grown-ups need not feel left out on Disney Cruises — rest assured, there is more to the cruise line than dinner with Mickey Mouse. In fact, Disney offers the customary array of activities available on most major cruiselines including spa and fitness, nightclubs with dancing, adults-only fine dining, and onboard art galleries. In more good news, the Disney Dream renovation created an adults-only pool and sundeck for quiet relaxation.

Dining Aboard Disney

Dining aboard Disney presents passengers with several options in a fun and imaginative way.

  • Main Dining Traditional dining with a twist, this option offers conventional cruise ship dining on a rotational basis, bringing cruisers and their wait staff to one of 3 dining rooms — a nice touch to ensure guests aren’t getting the same experience night after night.
  • Casual Dining For families looking for a relaxed, no-fuss dinner, each ship offers its own version of casual dining, where passengers can enjoy either self-service or made-to-order meals in a comfortable setting, with a sea view buffet and, often, some exterior seating. There are also ice cream stands and espresso bars, where snacking is a la carte.
  • Quick Service Dining is available through the day for passengers looking for a quick bite in between meals, and the poolside snackbars are open long hours.
  • Adult Exclusive Dining Grown-ups can enjoy a special night out at Palo, Disney’s adults-only fine dining restaurant available for a premium on all four ships serving northern Italian cuisine. The very exclusive Remi on the Disney Dream and the Fantasy is an even pricier treat, but the French fare is said to be fabulous and the setting is very romantic.

Guests can consult their Meal Ticket provided in their staterooms for dress-codes, times, and locations.

Newest Addition to the Disney Fleet

The newest addition to Disney’s fleet is the Disney Fantasy, which launched in 2013. The design of the the Fantasy keeps with the esthetic of her sister ships, and ongoing renovations of the older ships mean that there’s something new happening all the time. Some of the highlighted features of the latest ships include:

  • Theaters showing first-runs of 3D movies
  • First cruise ship to incorporate split bathrooms in most staterooms
  • Dedicated pools for kids-only, adults-only, and families
  • Youth clubs and activity centers for teens and kids
  • Art Nouveau style interior design

For more information on booking and planning your trip, visit the Disney Cruise Line website.

Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.