Disney World vs. a Cruise – which vacation is right for you?

Cruises and the Disney Parks are 2 of the most popular vacation choices in the world, and with good reason – they both have their benefits and can be amazing ways to escape and relax! Having been on both myself a few times, I can definitely see the good and bad sides of both vacations, and wanted to share some of the pros and cons with you, so that you can be better informed and pick the best vacation for you and your family:

Cruising:
Pros:
-The Food – all you can eat buffet almost any time of the day, plus amazing food in the dining rooms and free room service
-Large array of drink options – the full bars all over the ship can make you just about anything you can think up!
-A full agenda – there is always something to do! There is a huge itenerary full of activities for you to choose from, and there is something to suit everyone’s interests. Plus, there are shore activities that you can partake in once you arrive at the ship’s ports of call – great things like parasailing, snorkeling, and scuba diving (plus many more!)
-You can See the World – its a great way to get to visit new places, and in some cases a ship may dock in 3 or more new places you have never been so if seeing new things is a goal for you, cruising is the way to go!

Cons:
-Tiny Rooms – generally a cabin on a cruise ship is very small and in many cases have no windows, so it’s generally not a place you would want to spend a lot of time in (sure there are bigger rooms/suites available, but the cost can be super high for these types of accomodations). OH and tiny bathrooms…really tiny
-No wi-fi/phone access – this is slowly starting to change, but for the most part, when you are on a cruise ship, you don’t have cell phone coverage and most cruise lines don’t have unlimited wi-fi (to me, this is a plus, but for some people who need to be reached 24/7 this can pose a problem)
-Days at Sea not for everyone – depending on your itenerary, you can spend up to 1-3 days at sea in a row, and even with all the activities, the ship can start to feel slightly claustrophobic after that long, and the stir craziness can set in
-Crowded common areas – trying to get a seat at the pool on a sunny day at sea is really an art form, and the same goes for the buffets and deck chairs and pretty much every area where people can hang out

Walt Disney World:
Pros:
-Variety of Food – There are so many choices of different places to eat, there really is something to please every palette. Plus there are classy sit down restaurants, and casual buffets, and counter service places, there really is every kind/type of food you could ever imagine available to you, plus they are amazing at catering to those with special Dietary Needs
-So Many Things to see – beyond the tons of rides and shows and attractions and parades at the parks, there are spas and pools and restaurants and shopping and water sports and so much more for you experience within the Walt Disney World Resort that there will never be a dull moment!
-Above and Beyond Service – the staff (or Cast Members) of Disney will truly do whatever they can to make your vacation a magical experience, and its this service plus Disney’s extreme attention to detail that make everyone feel welcome and at home at WDW

Cons:
-Perception of it as a “place for kids” – When Walt dreamed up his ideas for Disneyland and Disney World, he truly did want them to be places where everyone can come and enjoy themselves no matter what age. I believe he has succeeded spectacularly and that there truly is something for everyone, but many people still see it as “kids stuff”, which is something that can really only be overcome by experiencing it yourself!
-Too much to do? – Many people say they need a ‘vacation from their vacation’ when they return home from WDW, because it is a fast paced place and theres always the feeling that you might be missing something so that keeps you running around and potentially getting frazzled, which no one wants on vacation
-Crowds – overall, you will spend a lot of time waiting at Walt Disney World – waiting in line for rides, waiting for shows to start, waiting at restaurants, waiting for buses/monorails/boats….they do their best to make even the wait times as painless as possible, but what it comes down to is you still have to wait, with WDW being one of the most popular vacation spots in the world, that means it will be full of people all the time, so be prepared to stand around and wait for pretty much everything (to me, it is more than worth the wait, but then again, I don’t have kids to entertain so that might be why it’s easier for me!)
-Cost – A WDW vacation can cost a lot, more than a cruise sometimes and more than other vacation destinations – its worth every penny and minute of planning that goes into it for me personally, but others might be scared off initially by the cost. Luckily, there are ways to help make it more manageable – check out my Money Saving Tips for planning your WDW vacation

….Of course, if you can’t decide between the two, you can always do a Disney Cruise, where you can combine the magic of Disney and the relaxation of cruising in one amazing vacation!

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Categories: Adult Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Food, Disney Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World | Leave a comment

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