Choosing the right cruise line is one of the most important aspects of planning a cruise vacation. Two popular options, Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line, provide a range of entertainment, dining, and activities tailored to various preferences and budgets. This article will explore the Disney cruise vs. Norwegian cruise experience, examining the fleet, pricing, itineraries, destinations, onboard activities, dining options, and suitability for different age groups. We aim to inform you about the distinctions between Disney and Norwegian cruises, ensuring you make the best choice, whether traveling with young kids, adults, or your entire family.

About Disney Cruise Line

Fireworks at Sea on a Disney Cruise Ship | Image © Disney

The following are some of the key features of a Disney Cruise Line vacation:

  • Disney Cruise Line, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company, expertly merges the magic of Disney with thrilling cruise experiences.
  • Enjoy a family-friendly atmosphere with high-quality entertainment and a wide array of activities for all ages.
  • Specially designed ships cater to guests of all ages, offering engaging children’s programs and peaceful adult-only spaces.
  • There are character meet-and-greets, Broadway-style productions, movie screenings, themed deck parties, swimming pools, and exciting water slides.
  • Embark on memorable journeys to sought-after destinations, including the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Alaska, and Europe.
  • Gain exclusive access to charming Disney destinations like Castaway Cay and Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point.
  • Explore unique local attractions, experiences, and excursions through the Port Adventures program.

About Norwegian Cruise Line

The Norwegian Prima in port

Norwegian Prima | Image © Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd

Here are some of the highlights of a Norwegian Cruise Line vacation:

  • Norwegian Cruise Line, part of the Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings family, offers an energetic and versatile vacation experience.
  • A wide selection of entertainment, dining, and activities is available to guests.
  • Travel in style aboard modern ships, complete with children’s programs, enriching activities, thrilling water sports, and tranquil adult-only retreats.
  • Sail to captivating Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, and Europe destinations.
  • Enjoy dazzling live performances, as well as engaging educational programs.
  • Select from various shore excursions tailored to different interests and age groups.

Are you interested in learning more about Disney Cruise Line vs. Norwegian Cruise Line vacations? Want to know how much each option will cost? Connect with The Vacationeer for a free, no-obligation price quote and free help booking your cruise!

In-Depth Comparison: Disney Cruise vs. Norwegian Cruise

Choosing the perfect cruise line for your vacation can be challenging. To assist you in making the best choice, we present an extensive comparison of Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line. This analysis will examine key factors such as fleet size, pricing, itineraries, destinations, onboard activities, culinary experiences, and overall suitability for children, adults, and families.

Fleet Size and Design

The Disney Wonder underway with a gorgeous sunset in the background | Image © Disney

Disney Wonder | Image © Disney

Disney Cruise Line operates a fleet of five ships: Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, and Disney Wish. These ships are designed with a magical atmosphere in mind, featuring Disney-themed décor, spacious staterooms, and a wide array of amenities.

Norwegian Cruise Line has a more extensive fleet of 19 ships, offering various sizes and experiences. Their vessels are designed to provide a modern, stylish, and comfortable atmosphere, focusing on flexibility and personalization.


The Disney Cruise Line is known for its premium experiences and exceptional service, which come at a higher price. It also offers unique Disney entertainment and access to exclusive destinations, such as Disney’s Castaway Cay.

On the other hand, Norwegian Cruise Line offers a budget-friendly vacation experience, emphasizing flexibility, diverse entertainment, and an extensive range of dining options. Their pricing structure accommodates a range of budgets, making it more accessible to a broader audience.

Evaluating prices between Disney and Norwegian can be tricky, given their distinct offerings and cruise experiences. Consequently, direct comparisons aren’t as straightforward. Disney Cruise Line might feature higher initial fares, yet it encompasses more onboard entertainment and premium experiences. In contrast, Norwegian Cruise Line’s lower pricing may appeal to travelers looking for a more flexible and modern cruise experience without Disney themes and exclusive experiences.

When choosing a cruise, you should consider your preferences, budget, desired destinations, onboard activities, entertainment, and dining options. Working with a knowledgeable travel agent can be invaluable in making an informed choice and finding the best deals, as they can help you navigate the various options and promotions.

Both cruise lines offer opportunities for savings, such as Norwegian Cruise Line’s frequent promotions or Disney’s Last Minute cruises, onboard credit, or Florida resident discounts on Disney cruises from Florida. By taking advantage of these options, you can ensure you select the cruise line and itinerary that best suits your needs and budget.

Get A Free, No-Obligation Price Quote.

For unbeatable pricing on Disney and Norwegian cruises, rely on The Vacationeer, a top travel agency with expertise in both cruise lines. The Vacationeer can address questions on various topics, such as tipping and alcohol policies on Disney cruises, dining experiences on Norwegian cruises, the best cruise line for kids, and more. They can help you find the perfect itinerary that suits your preferences, budget, and schedule.

As one of the highest-rated Disney travel agencies and a Diamond-Level Disney Authorized Vacation Planner, The Vacationeer has extensive knowledge of Disney Cruise Line. They can offer up to $1000 in Disney cruise onboard credit, which can be used as free money for extras not included in the Disney cruise fare.

Furthermore, as a Norwegian Cruise Line specialist, they provide exceptional service at competitive rates if you choose Norwegian. Their expertise will help you make an informed decision between various cruise lines. Whether it’s your first cruise or your 50th, with guidance from The Vacationeer, you can embark on your dream cruise vacation, confident that you’ve made the best choice for your preferences and budget.

Contact The Vacationeer today for more information – their expert advice is free!


Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line offer a variety of experiences catering to diverse preferences. Disney cruises typically span three to eleven days, with some extended cruises available. Meanwhile, Norwegian Cruise Line features a broader range of lengths, typically from 3 to 15 days, with most cruises falling within the 7-15 day range.

Cruises from both lines often include multiple stops at different destinations, along with some days at sea. However, there are shorter Disney cruises that exclusively travel to Castaway Cay in the Bahamas.

When selecting a cruise, it’s essential to consider your preferred destinations, especially on longer voyages. Both cruise lines present unique routes and ports of call, so carefully evaluating your options will help you make the right choice.

The itinerary you choose also affects the travel documents you need. Depending on your cruise’s location, you’ll need the appropriate paperwork, such as a visa, immunization record, and passport for a Disney cruise or a Norwegian cruise.

Reach out to The Vacationeer to help you plan your cruise, whether it’s a shorter Disney Cruise or an extended Norwegian Cruise. Their expertise ensures a smooth and enjoyable experience from start to finish.


Disney Cruise Line offers family-friendly cruises to popular destinations such as the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Alaska, and Europe. Recently, Disney has ventured into faraway places like Australia and New Zealand. Disney Cruise Line passengers also enjoy access to exclusive destinations like Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point and Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, where they can experience a tropical oasis infused with Disney magic.

Conversely, Norwegian Cruise Line presents a broader array of destinations, encompassing the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America, Alaska, Europe, Asia, and even world cruises. There’s also a private destination, Great Stirrup Cay.

Norwegian’s extensive selection ensures travelers can easily discover a cruise that aligns with their interests and desires.

For more information about all the ports of call you can visit, contact The Vacationeer.

Conversely, Norwegian Cruise Line presents a broader array of destinations, encompassing the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America, Alaska, Europe, Asia, and even world cruises. There’s also a private destination, Great Stirrup Cay.

Norwegian’s extensive selection ensures travelers can easily discover a cruise that aligns with their interests and desires.

For more information about all the ports of call you can visit, contact The Vacationeer.

Onboard Activities

Disney Cruise Line is renowned for its family-centric activities and enchanting Disney-themed experiences. Guests onboard can enjoy character meet-and-greets, themed deck parties, Broadway-style shows like Frozen and Aladdin, and interactive experiences such as trivia, animation workshops, and scavenger hunts. Additionally, Disney Cruise Line offers state-of-the-art health clubs and luxurious spas for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation.

Conversely, the Norwegian Cruise Line offers a wide range of activities for all ages. Guests can enjoy a variety of entertainment options, including ThrillPlex activity zones, live music, comedy acts, casinos, educational programs, themed parties, and interactive game shows. Furthermore, Norwegian Cruise Line boasts luxurious spas, advanced fitness centers, and engaging activities like art classes, wine tastings, and cooking demonstrations.

Dining Options

Disney Cruise Line presents a variety of inclusive dining options to suit the tastes and preferences of all its guests. Utilizing a unique rotational dining system, passengers can savor diverse themed restaurants with distinct atmospheres and menus, such as the enchanting Lumiere’s, ocean-themed Triton’s, or vibrant Tiana’s Place. From upscale fine dining venues to laid-back buffet-style eateries like Cabanas, there is something for every palate.

Additionally, Disney Cruise Line offers character dining experiences at Animator’s Palate and adult-only specialty restaurants, such as Palo and Remy, which boast exquisite culinary masterpieces and a refined ambiance (for an additional fee).

Norwegian Cruise Line also delivers an extensive array of included dining options. The main dining rooms provide both conventional and flexible dining schedules, catering to varying mealtime preferences. Travelers can opt for casual dining choices, including buffets, poolside grills, and pizzerias like La Cucina.

For those interested in a specialty dining package (extra fee), Norwegian Cruise Line offers a range of restaurants featuring diverse cuisines, such as steakhouses like Cagney’s, sushi bars including Wasabi, and Italian trattorias such as La Trattoria.

Best for Kids: Disney Cruise vs. Norwegian Cruise

Disney Cruise Line excels in providing a magical environment for children, complete with a wide range of activities and entertainment options. Kids can interact with beloved Disney characters, be captivated by Broadway-caliber shows and movies, participate in themed parties, and enjoy water play areas featuring pools and slides.

DCL Disney Cruise Oceaneer Club

Kids love Disney Cruise Line’s Oceaneer Club | Image © Disney-Pixar

Age-specific kids’ clubs like the Oceaneer Club (ages 3-10), Edge (ages 11-14), and Vibe (ages 14-17) ensure safe and engaging spaces for children to socialize and take part in exciting and interesting activities. Disney’s ships also provide group babysitting and playtime at It’s a Small World Nursery for children under three.

In comparison, Norwegian Cruise Line presents an assortment of activities and youth programs that will keep them entertained. The Splash Academy (ages 3-12) encompasses arts and crafts, movies, video games, themed nights, and water-based activities like pools and splash zones. The Entourage program (ages 13-17) offers a dedicated area for teens to mingle, engage in activities, and attend exclusive parties.

Overall, Disney Cruise Line is the best choice for kids due to its unmatched Disney-themed entertainment, tailor-made experiences for younger guests, and age-specific kids clubs. The enchanting atmosphere amplifies the appeal for children, making it an unforgettable experience.

Though a worthy alternative, Norwegian Cruise Line doesn’t fully capture Disney’s immersive magic and doesn’t match up. However, Norwegian Cruise Line still accommodates families by offering a diverse array of enjoyable activities and dedicated spaces for children and teenagers, ensuring a fun vacation for everyone.

Best for Adults: Disney Cruise vs. Norwegian Cruise

Despite being known for its family-oriented atmosphere, Disney Cruise Line also offers a variety of adult-exclusive activities. Guests can relax in serene retreats like the Quiet Cove Pool and luxurious Senses Spa & Salon or explore adult-only dining and lounges like Remy, Palo, Skyline, and Cove Café.

My wife and I recently sailed on the Disney Wish, where we particularly loved the Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge. This immersive, adults-only bar serves themed cocktails and provides panoramic views of iconic Star Wars locations.

No wretched hive of scum and villainy here! Hyperspace Lounge offers amazing views.

No wretched hive of scum and villainy here! Hyperspace Lounge offers amazing views.

We also enjoyed the adult areas of Castaway Cay, dining at Palo, and attending fitness classes.

While we appreciate the family-centric ambiance and Disney theming, it was easy to slip away to the adult-only areas whenever we wanted.

Conversely, Norwegian Cruise Line is recognized for its diverse adult-centric amenities and sophisticated atmosphere. The Spice H2O, an adults-only retreat, offers a serene space for relaxation, while the Mandara Spa provides indulgent treatments. Norwegian also presents gourmet dining experiences like Le Bistro and Cagney’s Steakhouse and unique bars and lounges like the Ice Bar and Sugarcane Mojito Bar.

Evening entertainment options include Broadway-style shows, live music, and a vibrant casino.

Both Disney and Norwegian offer a great cruise experience for adults. Focused on relaxation, refined entertainment, and diverse dining, Norwegian targets an older audience. Disney blends family charm with exclusive adult spaces, creating a unique experience.

Bottom Line: Choose Norwegian Cruise Line for sophistication and its diversity of amenities; opt for Disney Cruise Line for a magical adventure with adult-only escapes.

Best for Families: Disney Cruises vs. Norwegian Cruises

When comparing family-friendly cruise experiences, Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line both offer exceptional vacations tailored for guests of all ages. Each cruise line provides unique activities, entertainment, and dining options that cater to families. However, one stands out as the ultimate choice for an unforgettable family cruise vacation.

Disney Cruise Line excels in creating a magical atmosphere for families, with enchanting character encounters, captivating Broadway-style shows, and engaging activities for all ages. The cruise line features family-friendly dining options, such as Animator’s Palate, where interactive elements bring the dining experience to life. Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, serves as a tropical haven with activities for everyone, including water play areas, snorkeling, bike rentals, and character meet-and-greets.

On the other hand, Norwegian Cruise Line accommodates families through its youth programs and family-oriented activities. While it may not deliver the same immersive magic as Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian offers unique experiences like the Splash Academy and Entourage, dedicated youth and teen spaces, and family-friendly entertainment options such as live shows and interactive game shows.

Ultimately, Disney Cruise Line is the best cruise line for families seeking a magical, all-inclusive experience. With its unique blend of Disney-themed entertainment, character interactions, and family-focused activities, Disney Cruise Line solidifies its position as the premier cruise line for family vacations.

Though Norwegian Cruise Line provides commendable options, it does not quite achieve the same level of enchantment that Disney Cruise Line offers, making Disney the top choice for families.

Best Overall: Disney Cruise vs. Norwegian Cruise

Choosing between Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line depends on individual preferences, as both cruise lines provide unique and memorable experiences tailored to different types of guests.

Disney excels in catering to families with children and Disney fans, offering a magical and immersive adventure complete with character meet-and-greets, Disney-themed activities, and exceptional service. Disney Cruise Line is the top choice for families and kids, ensuring delightful experiences and lasting memories for everyone.

However, Disney cruises can be more expensive than other cruise lines, and their itineraries often focus on popular and family-friendly destinations. Consequently, Norwegian Cruise Line might appeal more to budget-conscious travelers, couples, and adults seeking a versatile cruise experience without Disney theming. Norwegian boasts a wide range of destinations, onboard activities, and dining choices, ensuring a well-rounded and enjoyable vacation without compromising quality and service.

That said, adults can still find plenty to enjoy on a Disney cruise, especially if they appreciate the charm of Disney vacations. Disney Cruise Line features exclusive adults-only spaces, premium dining options, and various entertainment options catering to an older audience.

Ultimately, the best choice between Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line depends on your preferences, travel companions, and budget. Both cruise lines offer exceptional vacation experiences, each with its unique attractions.

Overall, we lean towards Disney Cruise Line due to its distinct charm that creates unforgettable memories for travelers of all ages. However, your choice may differ.

Please consult a cruise line expert such as The Vacationeer before finalizing plans.

Start Planning Your Dream Cruise Today!

If you’re considering booking your Disney cruise or Norwegian Cruise, look no further than a reputable and experienced travel agency like The Vacationeer. They have the expertise to answer your questions, assist you in selecting the perfect itinerary, and ensure you receive the best pricing available for either cruise line. As a Diamond-Level Disney Authorized Vacation Planner, they offer unparalleled service and competitive prices, including up to $1000 in Disney cruise onboard credit.

Are you interested in exploring other cruise options? The Vacationeer will help you compare pricing and discover the best itineraries at the lowest price. As cruise specialists, they can answer all your questions and advise you on Disney Cruise vs. Norwegian, Disney Cruise vs. Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise vs. Carnival, Disney Cruise vs. Princess Cruise, and more. They can also assist you in planning a Disney World vacation or finding the best Sandals Resort or best Beaches Resort.

Regardless of your preference, reach out to The Vacationeer today and begin planning the cruise vacation of your dreams. With their expert advice, you’ll confidently navigate the Disney Cruise vs. Norwegian Cruise decision and find the perfect match for your unforgettable adventure. Contact The Vacationeer for a free, no-obligation quote and discover how affordable your dream cruise can be!