Disney Cruises: A Close Look at Disney Cruise Line

Disney cruises are obviously cruises offered by Disney Cruise Line. While we have written about this cruise line before, covering the Disney cruise ships and Disney cruise line specials, we haven’t discussed the actual Disney cruises you can take in great depth. Since Disney “only” operates four ships, it is actually manageable to examine all the Disney cruises, at least in broad outline, and that is precisely what we do below. What Disney cruises can you take?

All of Disney’s cruise ships – Disney Fantasy, Disney Dream, Disney Wonder, and Disney Magic – operate throughout the year, but two of the four don’t offer the same cruises through all four seasons. The Disney Dream’s offerings are more or less consistent throughout the year, as the Dream exclusively offers three- and four-night cruises to the Bahamas. There is no break in operations, and three- and four-night cruises alternate for most of the year, meaning there is one three-night cruise and one four-night cruise a week. It is unclear why this scheme isn’t the same throughout the entire year; for whatever reason, there are occasional periods during the year when there are a few trips of the same length in a row. The Disney Fantasy is just as consistent as the Disney Dream. The Fantasy only sails to the Caribbean for seven-night cruises all year long. From about February to November of 2014, the Fantasy alternates between trips to the Western Caribbean and trips to the Eastern Caribbean, but then midway through November the ship exclusively sails to the Eastern Caribbean. (This is true up until the end of April 2015.)

The Disney Wonder spends the majority of its year (seven months) doing the same cruises: five-night trips to the Western Caribbean and four-night cruises to the Bahamas. During the spring transitional season, however, the Wonder has three once-a-year offerings, with the most notable being a 15-day repositioning cruise through the Panama Canal. In the fall transitional season, Disney also operates unique cruises, like a 14-day repositioning cruise from San Diego to Port Canaveral. In between these months the Wonder offers cruises to Alaska. The structure of the Disney Magic’s schedule is somewhat similar to the Disney Wonder’s. Until the 2014 summer season, it will only offer three- and four-night cruises to the Bahamas. In late May, it repositions to the Mediterranean, where it stays until September. However, rather than resume its trips to the Bahamas once it crosses the Atlantic, the Magic offers cruises from San Juan for about a month, and then it begins exclusively offering seven-day cruises to the Western Caribbean from Port Canaveral.

With the exception of the Wonder and Magic during the summer, Disney cruises are consistent throughout the year and are heavily focused on the Caribbean or thereabout. This makes sense, as the ships operate out of Florida for most of the year, and Caribbean cruises are popular with families, the demographic Disney is obviously after. However, a few different non-Caribbean cruises are available during the summer, so overall Disney offers a fairly diverse set of cruise vacations.

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