What is the Best Disney Cruise Ship?
We Compare and Rank to find the Best Disney Cruise Ship
When you combine cruises with Disney, something magical happens! Below we compare the five Disney Cruise Line ships to help you decide which one is best for your next getaway. So, what is the best Disney Cruise ship? Without further ado, here is our list of the top 5!
Ships in the Disney Cruise Line Fleet
The latest industry numbers indicate that Disney Cruise Lines have a 2.3 percent share of the worldwide cruise ship market. With additional ships soon to be added to the roster, we should only expect Disney will increase its market share over the coming years.
Disney Cruise Line has 5 active ships, with three additional Disney cruise ships expected to be added by 2025.
Here is the current DCL fleet:
- Disney Magic
- Disney Wonder
- Disney Dream
- Disney Fantasy
- Disney Wish
A sixth ship, Disney Treasure, is expected to join the fleet in 2024. Another ship, as yet unnamed, is being custom-built and expected to launch sometime in 2025. And Disney has announced the purchase of the partially-constructed Global Dream for conversion to a new Disney ship, also launching in 2025. Once all is said and done, there will be eight ships in the fleet.
Castaway Cay is a tropical paradise located in the Bahamas and is an exclusive port-of-call for Disney cruise guests. Disney owns the island, so you won’t compete with non-Disney guests for reservations.
There are lots of similarities between these Disney ships. Each one has its advantages and its magical experiences. That said, some of the entertainment, dining, amenities, activities, and destinations vary from ship to ship.
Best Disney Cruise Ships
Each of Disney’s cruise ships has its own unique history and defining characteristics. Here is our list of the best Disney cruise ships, ranked!
1. Disney Wish Cruise Ship
Disney Wish Overview
Disney Wish is the newest Disney Cruise ship, launched in the summer of 2022. For its inaugural season, the ship focuses on 3- and 4-night Bahamian itineraries sailing from Port Canaveral (FL), with visits to Disney’s Castaway Cay and Nassau.
This ship has a length of 1,119 ft and a gross tonnage of about 144,000. The Disney Wish has 1,254 staterooms and boasts an onboard Guest capacity of 2,508 (at double occupancy) and 4,000 (max occupancy). In addition, 1,555 Crew Members keep the ship running. Disney Wish currently has no sister ships – it is the first in a series of three so-called “Triton Class” Disney ships (the two sister ships are expected to be introduced in 2024 and 2025).
While we admit that the newest isn’t always the best, that’s certainly not the case here. Instead, the Disney Wish has quite simply changed the game when it comes to cruising.
Disney Wish Dining
Disney Wish offers three rotational dining restaurants, two of which offer a sort of “dinner and a show” experience.
At Arendelle – a Frozen Dining Adventure, you’re an honored guest of Queen Anna and Kristoff as they celebrate their engagement with Norwegian-inspired cuisine and live musical performances from Elsa and Olaf.
On another night, you’ll experience Worlds of Marvel, which offers a worldly menu inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe, along with a little adventure in the form of Ant-Man and the Wasp demonstrating Super Hero technologies.
Finally, 1923 offers a dining experience steeped in the golden age of Hollywood. Named after the year the Disney brothers founded their first studio, you’ll enjoy the flavors of California while surrounded by relics of the early days of animation.
For those seeking an elegant (upcharged) experience, try Palo Steakhouse for dinner — or drop into Hyperspace Lounge for an intergalactic drink. And with casual dining options such as Marceline Market and even places to grab a Taco or some BBQ, you’ll never go hungry onboard the Disney Wish!
Disney Wish Entertainment
Disney Wish onboard activities include Disney’s first-ever “attraction at sea” called the “AquaMouse,” a sort of waterslide meets raft ride meets roller coaster. Live shows include Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Disney’s Aladdin. And, of course, there’s a vast array of movie, nightclubs, pools, pubs, a Walt Disney theatre, and more!
Disney Wish Activities for Kids
Disney Wish offers plenty to keep the kids entertained. Train at Marvel Super Hero Academy, visit Star Wars Cargo Bay or build your own coaster at the Walt Disney Imagineering Lab. Edge and Vibe cater to tweens and teens, while it’s a small world nursery!, Toy Story Splash Zone and Mickey & Minnie Captain’s Deck is waiting for the tiniest travelers.
2. Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship
Disney Fantasy Overview
Disney Fantasy – the sister ship of Disney Dream – was launched in 2012 as Disney Cruise Line’s latest ship. Guests can choose between a seven-night Eastern or Western Caribbean cruise. This ship has a length of 1,114.8 ft and a gross tonnage is 129,750. Like Disney Dream, the Fantasy has an onboard guest capacity of 2.500 (double occupancy) and 4,000 (max occupancy) with a crew of over 1,400.
Routes: Port Canaveral, Florida; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St Thomas; US Virgin Islands; Castaway Cay, Bahamas; Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Falmouth, Jamaica.
We love Disney Fantasy, and so do other Guests!
Disney Fantasy Dining
Disney Fantasy offers Rotational dining between the always entertaining dinner show named Animation Magic at its Animator’s Palate restaurant. The ship’s other dining locations include the magical Enchanted Garden and the fairytale dining room of Royal Court. In contrast, the casual dining options include Cabanas, Flo’s Café, and snacks at Eye Scream and Frozone Treats. The Northern Italian cuisine of Palo and French-inspired Remy provide a few upscale and intimate options for adults.
Disney Fantasy Entertainment
Disney Fantasy onboard activities include a “water roller coaster” called the “AquaDuck,” the nightclub district called Europa, several pools, pubs, theatres, and more!
Disney Fantasy Activities for Kids
Like the other Disney cruise ships, Disney’s Fantasy has plenty of individual and instructor-led activities geared to kids of all ages.
3. The Disney Magic
Disney Magic Overview
Disney Magic was the first Disney cruise ship that had its maiden voyage on July 30, 1998, and has been in service ever since. It boasts a length of 984 ft, a gross tonnage of 83,338, and has 11 public decks, 875 staterooms, a crew of 945, and enough capacity for 2,700 guests.
The interior of Disney Magic is decorated in an Art Deco style, while the ship’s exterior color scheme is black, red, and white with 20 yellow lifeboats (matching the colors of Mickey Mouse). Disney Magic’s horn blasts a tune from Disney’s famous “When You Wish Upon a Star.” The ship’s Godmother is Patricia Disney, the wife of Roy E. Disney.
Routes: 4 Night Caribbean Cruises; 5, 6, 7, and 8 Night Western Caribbean Cruises; 2, 3, 4, and 8 Night Bahamian Cruises; 4, 5, 7, 9, and 12-night Mediterranean Cruises; and Special Cruises
Simply put, Disney Magic is… magical!
Disney Magic Dining
Disney Magic offers two dining times – early and late. The Disney Cruise Line uses something they call “Rotational Dining” to ensure that guests have a chance to experience each of the ship’s themed restaurants. Regarding dining options, Disney Magic has several restaurants, and all three participate in the Rotational Dining schedule. Disney Magic’s dining locations include Lumiere’s (themed after Beauty and the Beast), Rapunzel’s Royal Table (inspired by Disney animated movie Tangled), and Animator’s Palate. In addition, Disney Magic’s Palo restaurant is located on the aft deck. It serves Northern Italian fare at dinnertime (18+, seats 130 guests).
Disney Magic Entertainment
The fun never stops on Disney Magic. There are live Broadway-style shows with your favorite Disney characters, fireworks, character meets, and movie theaters with first-run and Disney movies. The Walt Disney Theater and the Buena Vista Theater, karaoke, games, several pools, and a variety of Disney-themed deck parties, including Pirates Night and Sail-Away Celebration. The ship also boasts a massive LED screen called “Funnel Vision” and numerous lounges and bars (including O’Gills Pub). Keys piano bar, the Promenade Lounge, D-Lounge, and the adults-only Fathoms.
Disney Magic Activities for Kids
Disney Magic hosts a variety of kids’ clubs to keep the youngsters entertained, including:
-It’s a Small World Nursery is a play area for infants.
–Oceaneer Club and the Oceaneer Lab are geared towards kids ages 3 to 12 years old. Activities include themed activities, computer games, experiments, costume dress, and more.
-The Edge is an interactive area where younger guests play (ages 11-14).
-The Vibe club is strictly for teens and offers video games, Internet, TV, music, Internet access, and social activities.
4. Disney Dream Cruise Ship
Disney Dream Overview
Disney Dream is the 3rd Disney Cruise Line ship operated by The Walt Disney Company and has been active since 2011. The ship currently sails three-day, four-day, and sometimes five-day cruises to the Bahamas. It has a capacity of 2,500 (double occupancy) or 4,000 passengers maximum and has a crew of 1,458. Disney Dream is 1,114 ft in length and has a gross tonnage of 83,000.
Routes: With the arrival of the Disney Wish, the Disney Dream is no longer primarily based at Port Canaveral, Florida. It now offers 3, 4, and 5-night Bahamas cruises from Port Miami, along with multiple European itineraries of 4-11 nights departing from Barcelona, Civitavecchia (Rome), Copenhagen, and Southampton.
Overall, the Disney Dream is fantastic. It’s not our absolute favorite, but there’s really not much to complain about.
Disney Dream Dining
Disney Dream has Rotational dining where you will get to experience 3 different restaurants each night of your cruise. The ship is home to a “state-of-the-art” dinner show at Animator’s Palate, a classic Disney fairytale feast at Royal Palace, and Enchanted Garden set in a serene conservatory setting. For a more casual dining experience, head to Cabanas for a casual breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Or check out the pizza, chicken, burgers, and salads at Flo’s Café. For a delicious icy treat, head to Frozone Treats, or Eye Scream (an ice cream shop). The Italian-inspired Palo and the French-inspired Remy are both high-end, adult-only dining options. In-room dining is available 24 hours a day.
Disney Dream Entertainment
Disney Dream onboard activities include digital sports simulators, a 9-hole mini-golf course, a full-sized basketball court, a volleyball court, a pitch, and a walking track.
Disney Wonder is also home to a “water roller coaster” called the AquaDuck, Mickey’s Slide, and has three pools, including the quiet cove pool. The ship also boasts two theaters: the Walt Disney Theater (live Broadway-style performances) and the Buena Vista Theater (first-run Disney movies).
Disney Dream Activities for Kids
Like the other Disney cruise ships, Disney’s It’s a Small World Nursery, Oceaneer Club, Oceaneer Lab, Edge, Goofy’s Sports Deck, and Vibe are geared to kids of all ages.
5. Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Overview
Disney Wonder is the second ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet and made its maiden voyage in August 1999. She is constructed in a nearly identical fashion to Disney Magic. However, the ship’s interior is decorated in the Art Nouveau style rather than Art Deco. Disney Wonder has 11 public decks, 875 staterooms, a crew of roughly 950, and can accommodate 2,400 passengers. This Disney cruise ship has a length of 974 ft and a gross tonnage of 83,000.
Routes: The routes include the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Alaska, and the USA’s West Coast
Still an excellent cruise ship (despite our ranking).
Disney Wonder Dining
Disney Cruise Line uses a dining rotation where guests rotate to a different restaurant each night. Guests are seated at the same table number – with the same table guests and wait staff – for every night they are on board. This creates less confusion and a friendly commodore among the guests.
Disney Wonder has three main restaurants: Triton’s, Tiana’s Place, and Animator’s Palate. Triton’s features French cuisine in an Art Deco dining room, Tiana’s Place serves southern cooking with live jazz music, and Animator’s Palate is a dining show offering contemporary cuisine and Disney characters. The other main dining rooms and food options include Cabanas, a buffet-style restaurant for breakfast and lunch and a casual eatery for dinner, a sandwich and salad shop called Daisy’s de-Lites, Pinocchio’s Pizza, and the adult-oriented Palo, where Italian-inspired food and décor are complimented with live music.
Disney Wonder Entertainment
Some of the entertainment and lifestyle highlights of Disney Wonder include Crown & Fin Pub, an adults-only British-style pub, Frozen, A Musical Spectacular, and the relaxing and rejuvenating Senses Spa and Salon. Check here for a list of all onboard activities.
Disney Wonder Activities for Kids
Like Disney Magic, Disney Wonder offers the Oceaneers Club and the Oceaneers Lab for children ages 3-12. The Club provides several TVs, costumes to play dress-up, a slide, and some counselor-led activities. The Lab is geared towards the older age ranges and offers video games, TVs, computers, cooking classes, and more.
How to Book your Disney Cruise and Receive Onboard Credit
Ready to book your Disney Cruise? Do you have any questions? The Vacationeer can help!
The Vacationeer offers something called “onboard credit” as a free bonus/incentive for booking through their agency. Onboard credit is essentially free money – linked to your stateroom account – that can be used to pay for nearly anything on your Disney ship or in Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island. This includes drinks, meals, merchandise, activities, spa treatments, gratuity, and more.
Ask your travel agent about onboard credit before booking a Disney Cruise line vacation. If they don’t offer it, then hang up and find one that does! We can tell you that The Vacationeer offers the most competitive onboard credit in the business and doesn’t charge you a single penny to use their services!
See the Vacationeer’s Onboard Credit promotion and our Disney Cruise Onboard Credit page, then get a free quote today!
The Vacationeer can also help you plan and book your Disney cruise on their newest Disney cruise ships – the Disney Wish.
Best Disney Cruise Ship for Adults
While there are no Disney cruises exclusively for adults, there are plenty of dining options, bars, excursions, and perks geared towards adults on each cruise.
The Disney Dream is our pick for the best Disney cruise ship for adults. It offers the cosmopolitan Skyline lounge, an upscale travel-themed lounge called The Meridian, the Italian restaurant Palo, the French fine-dining of Remy, a Quiet Cove for adults, Senses Spa, and port excursions that cater specifically to adults.
Where is the Best Location on a Disney Cruise Ship?
The best location on a Disney cruise ship for the best views (widest vistas) is the very front or the very back of the ship.
The best location on a Disney cruise ship if you are prone to getting seasick is the center part of the ship because you’ll feel the least movement there. Specifically, try to reserve Deck 6 Midship on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, Deck 6 or 7 Midship on the Disney Wish, and Decks 7 and 8 Midship on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
What is the Best Deck on a Disney Cruise Ship?
The higher decks and cabins at the front (forward) or back (aft) have better views, but the ship will sway the most the higher you go. So it’s really just personal preference.
What is the Best Side of a Disney Cruise Ship?
If you sail out of Port Canaveral and stop at Castaway Cay, the starboard side is the best side of a Disney cruise ship because it faces the beach of Port Canaveral, where you can wave to everyone on the beach as the ship sets sail. The starboard side is also usually the side that faces Castaway Cay when the ship is docked there (though this will always depend on conditions at the time of docking). The starboard side is the right-hand side of the vessel, while the port side is on the left.
Enjoy your Disney Cruise!
We hope our Best Disney Cruise Ships RANKED article gives you some suggestions.
For more Disney information, please see our How Much Do Disney Cruises Cost, Last-Minute Disney Cruise, What’s Included and What Isn’t, Best Cruise Lines for Kids, Disney Cruise Customer Service, Why Use a Disney Travel Agent, Disney Payment Plans, Disney Transportation Map, and Disney World Tips articles.
Thank you for reading our page, and we hope you have a fantastic vacation out at sea!