Lite 99
Tampa's Feel Good Favorites

Are you ready to vacation differently? Forget about heading over to Magic Kindom or EPCOT. No, we’re talking about hopping on a Disney Cruise!

Disney Treasure ©Disney

With all the ships in the fleet, it can be a little challenging to figure out which ship to cruise on. It doesn’t help that the fleet which is currently at five ships is soon to be six! Don’t worry. We’re here to help you decide which ship is right for you and your family. Let’s break it down!

As we were saying, the Disney Cruise Line fleet is comprised of five world-class ships: the Disney Magic, the Disney Wonder, the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy, and the Disney Wish. The fleet will be joined by the Disney Treasure later this year! They all sail to different ports and in different areas of the world, so just your itinerary of WHERE you want to travel will narrow down your selection quite a bit.

Also, if you’re restricted on cruising dates, that will help narrow down your options. For example, if your travel plans have you cruisin’ around Europe, then you’ll be sailing on the Disney Dream — because that’s the only ship that currently sails in Europe.

Not a bad view

But we’re gonna take travel dates and travel destinations off of the table and JUST look at the ships and what the ships have to offer. We’re gonna rank all five ships based off of some standard criteria so YOU know which ship will best fit your needs and the needs of your family. And we’ll try to slot in the newest one in (even though it hasn’t started sailing yet) where we can.

Best Cruise for Food
Best Cruise for Adults
Best Cruise for Kids
Best Cruise for Teens
Best Cruise for Recreation 
Best Cruise for Entertainment 

Set Sail with Disney Pals!

So, now that you have an idea of what this is all about, let’s dig into these ships! We have a full overview of everything the ships have to offer, and now we’re highlighting the ships that top each category of fun, food, and frivolity!

Best Cruise for Food

Sometimes evaluating food, restaurants, and dining experiences on Disney Cruise ships can be difficult because many of them offer the same options. All of the ships have a sort of food court-style quick service options on the top deck, near the pools. You can find fine dining options like Palo or Remy (or both) on most of the ships. And Animator’s Palate has become a Disney Cruise dining icon on the ships. So, how do you distinguish “best food” on the ships when so many options are so similar on most of the ships?

Animator’s Palate on the Disney Dream

Now, consider this a good thing! It’s difficult to decide the best and that means that when selecting your cruise, you don’t have to worry about FOMO! If your cruise destination has you sailing on the Disney Wonder instead of the Disney Dream because so many experiences are similar across the fleet, that means that you won’t be missing much (if anything).


Now we know that makes us sound like we’re teasing you. “Hey DFB, you said you’d give the Best Cruise for Food, and now you’re saying it’s all good. What’s the deal?” Ok, ok, we hear you! There IS a Best Cruise for Food — the standout in this category is the Disney Wish.

The Disney Wish is the newest Disney Cruise and it has SO many dining options, some are similar to experiences on other ships, and some are completely unique to the Wish! And there’s just MORE to choose from!

Food on the Disney Wish

The Wish has the traditional Disney Cruise Line three dining room rotational dining service which rotates among three brand new dining stories: Worlds of Marvel, 1923, and Arendelle: A Frozen Dining AdventureThese new dining experiences are unique, fun, engaging and let’s face it, delicious! You’ll also find the poolside quick service options that you’ve come to expect on a Disney Cruise, but the quality of these locations on the Wish just stands apart from the other ships.

Who knew Ant-Man was such a good cook?

The Wish just also goes above and beyond in some other categories, like having some great spots to snag specialty coffee orders, for those who need a latte while they cruise, you can pick up your caffeine fix at Wishing Star Cafe and also in Marceline Market (the top deck buffet service), both in addition to the Cove Bar & Café you can find on all of the Disney ships. The same can be said of the bars and lounges, the Wish has NINE (well, TEN if you include Hook’s Barbery, which will serve up some rum while you get your beard trimmed)! There’s even a $5,000 cocktail you can get at the exclusive Star Wars Hyperspace Lounge.

Awesome Cast Members!

The Disney Wish wins the food category, but that doesn’t mean that the other ships are losers. You’ll still have amazing and memorable meals aboard any of Disney’s ships. But, if you’re going to pick a cruise just based on the food alone, and you don’t care where or when you cruise, then you’ll want the Disney Wish.

All of the Disney Wish Restaurants

Before we finish this category, let’s talk about the unique dining experiences that will be aboard the Dinsey Treasure. First up, we’ve got the Plaza de Coco.

Plaza de Coco

Plaza de Coco will be part of Disney’s signature rotational dining experience aboard the Disney Treasure. This restaurant will be a theatrical dining experience and will be the FIRST themed to a Disney and Pixar film! Passengers will get to dine at this unique location TWO evenings. The menu is said to be a modern twist on traditional Mexican fare. The story will pick up right where the film left off where  Miguel and his familia will come together in Mariachi Plaza.


What Disney Could Serve at Its NEW ‘Coco’ Restaurant?

Skipper Society

We have been super excited about this new Jungle-Cruise-themed bar that will be aboard the Treasure! The bar will take inspiration from this popular attraction that has different versions across the globe! There will be fun hidden Easter eggs that nod to the attraction. The Treasure will even have its own Jungle Cruise boat named Ems Express!


Jungle Cruise Lounge Announced for Disney Treasure Cruise Ship

Haunted Mansion Parlor

We love this theme of lounges and bars based on some of our favorite attractions! Soon aboard the Treasure, you will get the opportunity to sip cocktails among our favorite 999 happy haunts! You can expect to see famous and iconic characters from Haunted Mansion attractions around the world, along with new haunts. This bar will tell a story in 30-minute loops. Of course, there will be signature drinks like a zero-proof cocktail served in a specialty mug called Sympathetic Libations!


A Haunted Mansion Bar Is Coming to the Disney Treasure Cruise Ship!

Periscope Pub

Another lounge based on an attraction? We love it! The Periscope Pub will take inspiration from the film and defunct attraction 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. This Submarine-inspired lounge will present “19th-century steampunk influences.” There will be light bites, craft brews, and TVs to allow you to watch any sporting event!


 Come With Us INSIDE the Disney Treasure Cruise Ship

Jumbeaux’s Sweets

Zootopia’s very own ice cream parlor, Jumbeaux Café, will have its counterpart on the Disney Treasure with Jumbeaux’s Sweets! Officer Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde will be featured in a sculpture tribute within this “playful pink” shop featuring Victorian-style architecture.


And what’s Jumbeaux’s Sweets serving up? “Humor and heart by the cone full” in the form of more than 20 flavors of handmade gelato, 16 flavors of ice cream and sorbets, specialty treats, candies, and more.

Click HERE for more on Jumbeaux’s Sweets!

Heihei Café

Oh, HEY, Heihei! Moana’s sidekick is the inspiration for Heihei Café, a causal walk-up cafe just off the Grand Hall. The Southern Pacific Isle of Motunui, as seen in Moana, provides the blue-water vibe, and the setting will be complete with furniture stylings paying homage to “a traditional construction technique used by the Polynesian people to craft seafaring vessels.”


Sounds like a pretty good place for your morning cup of coffee or tea, huh?

Jade Cricket Café

Another walk-up café offering coffee, tea, and more is inspired by the Fa Family’s “lucky” cricket, Cri-Kee from Mulan!


A jade sculpture on the bar top will pay tribute to Cri-Kee, while the central moon gate and plum blossom flowers serve as “symbols of Mulan’s strength, beauty and heritage,” along with counters that will remind visitors of Mulan’s armor.

Find out more about the Cafes onboard the Treasure HERE!

Best Cruise for Adults

Disney Cruises are great for families and kids, but they make amazing vacations and retreats for adults, as well. Whether you’re traveling solo, with some pals, on your honeymoon or anniversary, or with your family but just getting a break from the younger members of your crew, the Disney Cruise ships offer fun, relaxation, and luxury for grown-ups.

Senses Spa

You just read all about which cruise wins for food and you’re thinking, with ten bars and lounges, that the Wish has to top the Adults category, too, don’t you? Well, SURPRISE, it’s up there but didn’t win this round.

Who edged out their sister ships in this category? The Disney Fantasy.

Disney Fantasy

As mentioned above, many of the ships offer overlapping experiences and offerings, so you’ll find adult-only areas, pools, lounges, spas, and decks on all of the ships. But what sets the Fantasy apart from her sisters is that her over-18 options are conveniently located in the same general section of the ship. The adult dining options of Palo, Meridian, and Remy are snuggled together at the aft end of Deck 12, but Deck 4 seems to be created with adults in mind with seven variously themed bars and lounges (Vista Cafe, D Lounge, Ooh La La, La Piazza, O’Gills Pub, Skyline, and The Tube), not to mention Tiffany & Co gift shop for those looking for some duty-free jewelry purchases.

Ooh Laa Laa

Again, you’ll find adult-only sections on every Disney Cruise. However, if your cruise plans are centered around a grown-up adventure, then you might want to see where the Fantasy will take you!

Disney Fantasy Cruising: 2023 Restaurant Guide

Best Cruise for Kids

Well, this is all Disney Cruises, isn’t it? If Disney is known for anything, it’s quality entertainment for kids, so you know you’re kids are gonna have a good time on a Disney Cruise. But is any one ship slightly better at this than the others?

Oceaneer Club

All of the ships have kids-only areas that are age-specific with activities and entertainment tailored to that age range. These Disney Oceaneer Clubs and Oceaneer Labs are on all of the cruise ships, but there are different themes and Disney stories utilized on each ship. But one ship pulls ahead of its peers in this category: The Disney Wish.

The Wish is really a benefactor of its older siblings. The Wish started her cruising career in 2022, nearly 24 years after the first official Disney Cruise ship, The Disney Magic. That’s 24 years for Imagineers, technology, and research to optimize the best possible experience and space for little cruisers to enjoy. And they’ve really done their homework and it begins before they even enter the Oceaneer space — at the entrance, which is A SLIDE! Parents check their kiddos into the Club on Deck 3, and then they SLIDE DOWN to Deck 2, where the club is located (sorry, it’s a kids-only slide, no adults allowed).

You can enter the Disney Wish kids’ area through a SLIDE!

The Oceaneer Club has multiple spaces where kids can choose to hang out and participate in different activities. There’s a stage in the hub of the club where there will be special shows and character appearances. Then it breaks off into different themed areas like Fairytale Hall for fans of Disney royalty; Walt Disney Imagineering Lab, where kids participate in hands-on activities; Marvel Super Hero Academy for those Avengers-in-training; Star Wars Cargo Bay for those force-sensitive in the family; and Mickey & Minnie’s Captain’s Deck with an indoor playground set for getting some of that youthful energy out.

Oceaneer Lab

And while it’s not located in the Oceaneer Club, you can’t forget about Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique where kids can get transformed into their favorite Disney characters! And other kid-loved spaces like pools, waterslides….er water-coasters, the Hero Zone, and well, you know, the whole rest of the ship.

The Disney Wish includes an Imagineering Lab for kids!

So the Wish is the best cruise for kids, but another thing to consider is the best cruise ship for adults with kids and we’d consider the Magic or the Wonder would fit that role as those ships are smaller, easier to navigate, and overall just a bit less complicated. So, this is kind of a “yes, but” answer, but still something worth considering!

Explore the Kids Clubs on the New Disney Cruise Ship — The Wish

Best Cruise for Teens

Let’s look at that teen stereotype of kinda moody, a little sassy, too “grown up” for cartoons, but still a little goofy and definitely not shouldering the burden of student-loan debt or a mortgage, but dealing with the nuances of maintaining their cool in a virtual universe of social media. Can Disney find something to appeal to the complex creatures that are human teenagers? Is there anything on a Disney Cruise ship that might entice a teen to put down their phone (or adults too for that matter, you know who you are), and have dinner with their family, watch a show, participate in a game, or even make some new friends and actually talk to them IRL (that’s “in real life” for you grown-ups out there) rather than just communicating through text?


Disney had their work cut out for them to find new and engaging ways to reach the ever-evolving interests or teenagers. And as technology, culture, and trends seems to change every five years, that is a daunting task to remain relevant for this dynamic group of cruisers. Yet, they managed to do it! (Disney, you are really a place where dreams come true!) But which ship did it best?


We’re starting to sound like a bit of a broken record, but we like the Disney Wish and Disney’s Dream and Fantasy (since they have the same options. So too will the Treasure when it launches).

Disney Wish’s indoor or weather-controlled Hero Zone is a multi-use space for so many activities. This includes basketball, ping pong, air hockey, shuffleboard, and foosball. Families can use this area too, but it’s especially great for teens. It’s not an accident that the Hero Zone is near Vibe on Disney Wish.

Hero Zone ©Disney

The Wish is the only ship to have The Hideaway for teens and tweens. Yet the other ships – Disney Dream, Fantasy, and Magic – all have Chill, a teens-only spa for ages 13 to 17.

Learn All of the Disney Wish Secrets

Best Cruise for Recreation (pools & spa)

For all of these categories, we can honestly say, “all of the ships are great, but this one just squeaks out ahead”, but not for this category. When it comes to the best Disney Cruise ship for Recreation (we’re talking pools and spas), The Disney Wish is the clear front runner.


Now, yes, you will find plenty of pools and a luxurious spa on each and every one of the Disney Cruise ships, but the Wish just does them bigger, better, and more! The AquaMouse is not your average pool slide, or even your cruise-specific “over the edge of boat” slide, it’s a complete water attraction! You’ll get in a 2-seater ride vehicle and go up into a tunnel that will take you into the world of Disney animated shorts, either “Scuba Scramble” or “Swiss Meltdown” as your story, and you’ll see the story playing out on the screens around you!


Also, the Disney Treasure will present AquaMouse: Curse of the Golden Egg its own all-new storyline!


Beyond the epic water coaster, there are a total of 10 pools and water play areas, in fact — each named after a Disney character! And for the little ones, there’s a Toy Story Splash Zone, which has Toy Story characters that squirt water! Quiet Cove is an adults-only area of the deck, where you’ll find an infinity pool, whirlpool spa, and bar.

Toy Story Splash Zone

And the Spa?! The Senses Spa is on all of the Cruise Ships, but on the Disney Wish, there are all of the luxurious indoor treatment areas and an outdoor rainforest relaxation space. Unique to the ship is Disney Cruise Line’s first-ever ice lounge for thermal therapies, plus other treatments like heated ergonomic loungers. There are also multiple different rooms to use like the sauna, steam room, and frigidarium, or the cold room.


Other Cruises have the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutiques for little ones to get the royal treatment, but only the Wish has Hook’s Barbery, where dapper folks can get spiffed up in a setting reminiscent of a cigar room, and could also sip on a nice cognac or rum in the process. It’s a BARber shop, get it?

Hook’s Barbery

Will you get the chance to pamper yourself and relax on other Disney cruises? Yes. But if your final destination is relaxation decadence, then you want the Wish. (Keep in mind that the Treasure will also offer the same spots as the Wish currently does).

The Most Relaxing Spots on Disney’s New Cruise Ship

Best Cruise for Entertainment (clubs, shows, and characters)

Disney Cruise Line also offers free movies in multiple spots – out on the funnel vision screen near the pools, as well as in the movie theater on the ship. The movie theater even offers runs of new movies that are currently out in theaters. There are also Broadway-style shows in the theater onboard the ship. Typically these large productions are offered more than once a night. Each ship has its own unique performances.

Walt Disney Theatre

In the ship’s Atriums, Disney Characters meet and interact with guests throughout the day, and the ships all set off evening fireworks. And there are spaces onboard for quizzes, trivia, and games for families or just adults to enjoy. The ships are all floating entertainment centers! But a few of them offer a bit more in this category.

The Disney Dream and Fantasy both host the Midship Detective Agency, an interactive game taking guests all around the ship to solve a mystery. There are three different mystery options involving Mickey and friends, characters from Disney’s 101 Dalmations, or the Muppets. And we do love a good Muppet Caper!

Disney Cruise Line Atrium

The Disney Wish has learned from its older siblings and created a unique Atrium Stage which hosts unique character shows throughout the cruise and character meet-and-greet opportunities. It also has its own interactive game aboard, Disney Unchartered Adventure. Disney Unchartered Adventure is its own interactive game using the Play Disney Parks app and AR technology on your mobile device to play games and interact with your favorite Disney characters.


So, which ship comes out on top? We lean toward the Dream and Fantasy. We love the Midship Detective Agency and how families can play it together or individuals can play it solo. Plus, Muppets. ‘Nough said.

SNEAK PEEK at Pixar Characters Coming to Disney Cruise Line Soon


Like we’ve said about a hundred times already, there’s no such thing as a bad Disney Cruise. Your ship will provide you with impeccable service, special memories, amazing food, fun activities, and relaxation galore, no matter when or where you cruise. But if you’re looking for some very specific onboard experiences, these categories may help you find the right ship for you and your family.


We’ll keep you posted on how these new additions to the Disney fleet stack up, so make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter to keep up with all of the Disney Cruise Line and Disney Parks information!

Be sure to stay tuned to DFB for all the latest Disney Cruise Line news!

Check out this sneak peek of 6 exclusive souvenirs coming to the Disney Treasure!

Which Disney Cruise ship is YOUR favorite? Let us know in the comments!

The post Ranking The Best Disney Cruise Ships For 2024 first appeared on the disney food blog.