How To Choose Which Disney Cruise Is Right For You

If you have several pairs of Mickey Mouse ears in your home, love all things Disney, and just can't get enough of the magic it brings, it might be time to consider a Disney cruise. There are shows, shops, activities, clubs, and even things just for Disney adults. All your favorite characters have packed their steamer trunks and are all ready to set sail with you. 

Last year, Disney unveiled their newest ship, Disney Wish, with another one — Disney Treasure — launching in December of 2024. That's in addition to another as-yet-named ship on the way, as well as an eighth ship, Disney Adventure, which was recently purchased. This ship's home port will be in Singapore with plans for a 2025 maiden voyage. 

However, at the moment, Disney is sailing the Disney Magic, Disney Fantasy, Disney Dream, Disney Wish, and Disney Wonder. We'll give you ship info, a list of destinations (subject to change, of course), an overview of the amenities on the ships, and a preview of the Disney Treasure. 

Signature characters and styles of each Disney ship

There are a ton of destinations you can visit on the five current ships, but as a general rule, according to a phone call with Disney Cruise Lines, Disney Dream largely sails in Europe, Disney Fantasy sails to Bermuda and the Bahamian islands, and Disney Magic sails to the Bahamas and Panama Canal. Disney Wish visits the Bahamas, while Disney Wonder goes to Bermuda, the Hawaiian Islands, Alaska, Vancouver, and Australia. Disney Treasure will be going to the Caribbean. Prices, trip length, and which ship is taking you vary, so check the Disney Cruise Line website

Featuring Sorcerer Mickey on the bow, Helmsman Mickey in the atrium, and Goofy at the stern, the Art Deco-styled Disney Magic was Disney's first cruise ship and can hold 2,700 passengers. The Art Nouveau-style Disney Wonder can hold 2,713 passengers, with Steamboat Willie Mickey at the bow, Ariel in the atrium, and Donald, Huey, Dewey, and Louie at the stern. 

Disney Dream holds 4,000 passengers and also features an Art Deco-style motif. The largest ship to date, the Disney Wish joined in 2022 and can hold 5,000 passengers. Introducing even more characters, the Disney Wish features Captain Minnie at the bow, with Cinderella, Jaq, Gus, and Lucifer the Cat in the Grand Hall, as well as Rapunzel and Pascal at the stern. Disney describes the Disney Wish as their "castle at sea," due to its grand fairytale design.

Where you can go

The Disney Cruise Line website is a bit tricky to navigate, but we're here to help. On the homepage, click "Destinations" at the top center. In this menu, you'll see various itineraries. These itineraries can change (as does pricing), so consult the website for current info, but the following offers a general overview. In the Caribbean, cruise itineraries may take you to the Bahamas, Bermuda, Tortola, Barbados, Antigua, Jamaica, and Curaçao. All Caribbean cruises also visit Disney's Cruise Line's Castaway Cay, its private island. In the Pacific, Mexican Riviera itineraries may stop at Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán, and Puerto Vallarta. You can also visit the Panama Canal, which hits Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Cartagena, and Cozumel.

Mediterranean cruises visit Italy, France, and Spain, with cruises beginning and ending in Barcelona. If you take the British Isles cruise, you'll visit Great Britain, including Ireland and Scotland, as well as France. In northern Europe, you can also sail from Copenhagen, Denmark, or Dover, England to a number of Nordic cities. You can also take the Baltic cruise, visiting Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands. 

An Alaska cruise will sail you to Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, and Icy Strait Point, or you could sail from San Diego to Vancouver with stops in San Francisco or Victoria in British Columbia. On a Hawaiian cruise, you'll visit Oahu, Kauai, the Big Island, and Maui. Or, if a theme or occasion is more important than the destinations, you could choose a seasonal or themed itinerary, such as the Very Merrytime Cruises.

Choosing the right cruise for you, part 1

Once you have an itinerary in mind, there are a few characteristics and features unique to each vessel, though some features, such as youth clubs, are available on all ships. Disney Magic hosts three Broadway-style shows, including "Tangled: The Musical." It has a full-sized movie theater, sports like basketball and ping pong, and the giant AquaDuck water slide. Marvel Super Hero Academy is part of the Oceaneer Club for kids 3 to 12. There are also clubs for teens (Vibe) and tweens (Edge), as well as bars, adult lounges, a spa, and pools. There are several fine dining restaurants and quick bite options. 

On Disney Wonder, you'll find shows such as "The Golden Mickeys" and "Frozen: A Musical Spectacular," which is particularly fitting for Alaskan itineraries. On the Alaska route exclusively, kids can also party with Pixar characters, though little ones can play in the "Toy Story" area and build Mickey Roadster Racers on any itinerary. There are also a number of adult-only restaurants, pubs, pools, and spas, making Disney Wonder a good choice for adult Disney fans. 

Choosing the right cruise for you, part 2

Disney Dream also offers a variety of shows, but the live performance of "Beauty and the Beast" is the cruise line's signature production. Kids can play mini-golf with Goofy, and families can solve mysteries together with the Midship Detective Agency. Young Mouseketeers can make a splash at Nemo's Reef or on the AquaDuck water coaster, while teens at Vibe can enjoy their own private pool. Disney Dream also offers upscale dining and spas for adults only. The sister ship to Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy offers many of the same features but tends to sail on longer itineraries. On Disney Fantasy, young Marvel and Star Wars fans can also attend the Marvel Super Hero Academy and meet stormtroopers at the Star Wars: Command Post. 

As stated previously, Disney Wish emphasizes its fairytale surroundings. On board, you can attend live shows like "Disney's Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular" and "The Little Mermaid," as well as experience AquaMouse, which is Disney's first attraction at sea. The immersive water adventure winds through 760 feet of tubes. Disney Wish also features the first "Frozen"-themed dining and theatrical experience. While young ones in the Oceaneer Club find adventure at the Star Wars: Cargo Bay, adults can space out in the Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge or lounge in The Cove, an adults-only pool and bar. 

Disney Treasure preview

Disney Treasure is Disney Cruise Line's new ship for 2024 and will make seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean trips. Once it begins sailing, you'll be able to visit the Plaza de Coco Mexican restaurant, based on "Coco." On the first night of dining, you'll be entertained by Miguel and a mariachi band, while the second night transforms the restaurant into a Día de Los Muertos celebration. 

The "Avengers: Quantum Encounter" dining experience includes a visit from Spider-Man and a global menu, while The 1923 restaurant offers California cuisine and an Old Hollywood ambiance. Here, you can check out storyboards, sketches, and props from films like "Tarzan," "The Lion King," and "Aladdin."

You can also watch "Beauty and the Beast" as a live show, as well as "Disney Seas the Adventure," which is a live variety show that includes some of Disney's most beloved songs. Disney Treasure also features a new AquaMouse water coaster, which includes a new short called the "Curse of the Golden Egg," ocean views, and a few booby traps. You can also check out live entertainment at the "The Lion King"-themed Sarabi lounge, climb the obstacles at the "Hero Zone," or lounge by one of the ten Disney-inspired pools.