Disney have recently announced that they are going to run Disney UK Staycation cruises in England 2021 (or a Disney cruise UK to nowhere as they are now being referred to) There are lots of different ports with sailings from cities such as Newcastle, Liverpool, Southampton and London in August, September and October 2021. I thought I would share a little bit about our experiences going on a Disney cruise, as I remember struggling to find a lot of info about what its like, before we went, especially from a British perspective.
Disney Cruise From the UK 2021
We Sailed on the Disney Magic starting in Barcelona, then sailed to various European destinations over the course of a week. They have a few ships that follow different itinerary’s and ours was called The Disney Magic. This just happens to be the same ship that’s going to be the Disney Cruise coming to England for summer 2021, so although we went a while ago, to a different destination, as so much of the holiday is about the ship, I thought I’d share my experiences onboard the Disney Magic as a family.
Disney are taking bookings now for the Disney Cruise UK Staycations on the Disney Travel Company website
What’s the Disney magic Cruise Ship Like?
First up the the Ship – The size is unbelievable! Before going, I imagined a holiday where we’d use it as a base, getting off as much as we were on, but there’s so much to do, you won’t ever run out of activity’s onboard. There’s a full itinery of things to get involved with everyday, with a daily Navigator delivered to our door each morning (Or there’s also an app) with things such as character meets, family activities and quizzes and a cinema showing the latest releases to name just a few.
What’s the Swimming Pool Like on a Disney Cruise?
There are two swimming pool areas – One for families and also an adult only deck. My children loved them, but the kids pool especially is very small. I remember my husband describing them as children soup, not that it put either of mine off going in. The slides are good and there’s a mini splash area for little ones. A really nice time to visit (and when we found the pools a lot quieter) is later in the day, where you can then enjoy a cocktail at sunset while the kids bob about in the water watching a film on the big screen above. The adult only one in comparison was a calm oasis away from the busyness of the rest of the ship. If you can steal yourself an adult only afternoon on your Disney UK staycation cruise, sitting on the quiet deck looking out to sea, is really pretty special.
Kids Clubs on a Disney Cruise
Speaking of getting time as a couple – The kids clubs are mega, as in another level to any we’ve experienced. I know everyone has their own opinions on holiday clubs, but for us, our children have always loved going. So, when going abroad we’ve always looked for holidays that include them. We can then also get a bit of time to ourselves and that in all honesty makes me a much nicer mum when we are then all back together! On the Disney Magic the kids club is done out like Andy’s bedroom from Toy Story and mine couldn’t wait to experience it for themselves.
It felt really safe too with the children checked in and out through a special bracelet system. When we went, they had a big team of (very!) enthusiastic staff, a virtual marvel experience and also appearances and events from Disney characters. That meant one evening we even went out for dinner to the adult only restaurant on the top deck, while the kids were delighted to be left watching a magic show with mickey followed by a bedtime story from a Disney princess. Out of everything, one of the things my daughter still talks about is the time when the real Tiana from The Frog Princess read her a story. There are also clubs for older children that are lot more free flowing, but seemed a nice way for them to make friends onboard and also a nursery for little ones. I’d say if you are going on a cruise and think you’ll want to book some slots, do it online as soon as you can before going to secure their places.
What’s the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Like on a Disney Cruise?
Another highlight for my little girl was the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique – I booked her in for a princess makeover and we both found the whole thing magical. She had her hair, makeup and nails done and absolutely loved it. One tip that I read before going was that the dresses are very pricey, so if you can take your own, as when paying for these alongside the make-over, it can really add up. Not to say they didn’t look beautiful all hanging on the rails, but my little girl was just as excited with the Cinderella dress I’d secretly purchased and packed from George at Asda that I presented her with before we went in.
Book a character breakfast – This was another tip I saw online and if they are running the same way on the Disney UK Staycation cruises, they really are worthwhile. It didn’t cost us any extra, but meant we were saved a lot of time, rather than waiting to see each character individually.
Disney Cruise UK Cabins
The cabins are as you’d expect on a cruise, small, but I have to say I was surprised at just how compact it was. My advice would be to pack light and also limit time in your room. If you are a family of four, maybe even getting ready for evenings in pairs, or only one parent taking little ones back to the room for a nap can help.
What to Wear on A Disney Cruise
Now this is a question I googled a lot before going on our cruise, as I had no idea what to pack. When I thought of cruises I thought of very glamourous formal dinners, yet Disney also appears to have a very informal fun atmosphere, so I couldn’t work it out. If your cruise is the same as ours I would say just wear whatever you are comfortable with – Disney give dress code details, but for things such as formal nights I went all out buying dresses and putting my son in a waistcoat and bowtie, but there were also plenty of people that didn’t dress up at all. I love personally love the opportunity to get glammed up and loved wearing dresses for dinner, but there are so many people onboard wearing an array of everything, whatever you are wearing you won’t stick out.
How to Decorate Your Door on a Disney Cruise
With the ship so vast, and the endless corridors of cabins, it was nice having magnets on our door so it was easily recognisable from a a distance for us and the kids. Plus the magnets make really lovely keepsakes that only cost a few pounds. I was surprised at how cheaply you can get personalised cruise magnets for families. I found lots to choose from on both Ebay and Etsy with different personalised options. I bought heart magnets for all of us that were personalised with the dates of our cruise and our names that have also been lovely to bring home and keep.
What’s Included in a Disney Staycation Cruise?
One of the things we loved when we were onboard was how much was included in the all inclusive. When we went, the meals in the restaurants were great, the breakfast buffets endless and there were lots of fast food spots to use throughout the day and even an ice cream machine for the kids near to the pool. The kids club and all the entertainment was also included in the price when we went. There are however some extras that you can add onto your bill as you go along. Alcohol is not included in a Disney Cruise cost, and also drinks from the coffee shop and I remember toys and wands etc that you could buy on pirate night being pretty pricey.