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A Disney Mediterranean Cruise Review – Disney Magic

By Eric Stoen on January 23, 2015 • Last Updated March 20, 2023 This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure here .

Disney Cruise Review: Leaving Venice

Disney Cruise Update s

This post was written after our first two Mediterranean Disney cruises. Our third cruise, in Northern Europe, wasn’t as good, mainly because the cold weather drove everyone inside which led to overcrowding and highlighted issues that we kind of glossed over on previous sailings. My open letter to Disney cruises on what they can improve is HERE .

Then in 2023 we took our forth Disney Cruise, on the Disney Fantasy, in the Caribbean. My review is HERE .

Planning for a Disney Cruise

January is a perfect time to think about not only doing a cruise with your kids this coming summer but doing a cruise with your kids next summer. Disney announces their summer cruise schedules roughly 16 months in advance and some of their popular and unique itineraries sell out quickly. If you’re interested in one of their sailings, grab a reservation before it’s too late.

So, that begs the question: should you be interested in one of their sailings? That depends on your family and your budget, but in general my answer is yes. It’s a great vacation for young and old alike, with some caveats.

We’ve now gone on two Disney Mediterranean cruises with our three kids. The first was to/from Barcelona, stopping in Malta, Palermo, Naples, Civitavecchia, La Spezia, Corsica, and Villefranche. The second of our Disney Mediterranean cruises traveled from Venice to Barcelona, visiting Athens, Ephesus, Rhodes, Crete, Mykonos, Santorini, and Malta. Our kids were 1, 3 and 5 for the first cruise and 4, 6 and 8 for the second. After a total of 24 nights on the Disney Magic, here are my thoughts:

Best Ages for a Disney Cruise

I touched on this in my post about the best ages to travel everywhere . We’ve seen everyone from babies just a few months old to people in their 80s on the cruises. Disney cruises do a good job of entertaining everyone, but it always looks to me like the teenagers are having the most fun on the ship. I honestly don’t think that kids under two are going to get much out of Disney cruises. Any other age will be able to find things to do.

Disney Cruise Review: Walking around the Disney Magic

Disney Magic Kids Club

A lot of people ask me about the kids’ clubs on Disney cruises. Honestly, of all of the things to do on the ship, the kids club hasn’t been a top choice of my kids. The club is well organized and well supervised, and there is an ever-changing agenda of things going on (like fairy tale hours or science hours), but whenever our kids have chosen to spend some time there, they invariably get bored after half an hour or so and want to leave. That’s likely not representative of all kids though.

Disney Magic Ship Activities

There are activities on Disney cruises for every age beyond the kids club. Our default on our Disney Mediterranean cruises was always the pools. The pools are good and never seem overly crowded, even on days at sea with 1,000 captive kids on the ship. Our kids enjoyed the waterslides, but I would highly recommend waiting to go them. The line for the Aqua Dunk – the slide that drops suddenly and shoots you in a tube over the side of the ship and back – was over half an hour the first day of our most recent cruise. But by halfway through the trip, there was no line at all.

Disney Cruise Review: Waterslide

If you don’t feel like the pool on your Disney cruise, there’s shuffleboard. There’s a sports court. There are movies always showing, including new Disney releases. There are constant character appearances. There are classes on napkin and towel folding. There are cooking classes. There’s a spa. There’s a gym. There’s Bingo (the only gambling on the ship). There are decent-quality, Broadway-type shows. There are magicians for kids. The list goes on. I always kind of preferred to relax with a book, but I think I was in the minority.

Disney cruise review: Walking around the Disney Magic

Disney Magic Rooms / Cabins

We booked a two-room Concierge suite on the first of our Mediterranean Disney cruises. It came with a personal attendant who would do things like bring us DVDs and popcorn, and surprise the kids with stuffed animals. The setup of the room on our Disney cruise was nice, with a larger bathroom and a dining table, but it wasn’t worth the money. We didn’t really need the option to dine in our room, and we didn’t watch too many DVDs or eat too much popcorn.

So the second cruise we instead booked two connecting rooms with balconies. This was far less expensive, and although there was a little wasted space in that we didn’t really need four sinks or six beds, it worked out great. Disney even removed the balcony divider for us so that we had one long balcony instead of two smaller ones. Just another reason to book far in advance: there aren’t many connecting rooms, so if you’re a family of five or more, you need to reserve them quickly.

Disney cruise review: The suite on our first Disney cruise

Disney Magic Food

The food on our Mediterranean Disney cruises ranged from not good to very good. There are three restaurants that you rotate among, with the same servers at each. While my foodie wife was fairly disappointed in the food quality, I was decently happy most nights (except when I ordered fish – it was usually really dry). My kids were nicely adventurous, going for venison, Cornish game hen, duck, and other more unique entrees off the adult menu far more often than they ordered off the kids menu.

One of the biggest letdowns during our Disney Mediterranean cruises was Greek Night, but really how is a kitchen catering to 2,500 people going to compete with the lunches in the local tavernas on the islands that we were eating every day?

Disney cruise review: Our lunch at a beach taverna in Crete was better than Disney's Greek-themed meal.

Disney Mediterranean Port Excursions

On our first cruise we did three official Disney port excursions. One was good and uncrowded – to Montserrat in Spain. One was decent but very crowded – to Pompeii. And one was terrible and crowded – a pottery-painting workshop for kids in Palermo, Sicily. What we took away from this was: never book the cruise-sponsored excursions! On our second cruise we did research well in advance, determined where we wanted to roam around by ourselves (Rhodes, Crete, Mykonos, Santorini) and where we wanted guided tours (Venice, Athens, Ephesus, and Malta), and then booked the tours with the top-rated guides on TripAdvisor.

All tours turned out to be far better than the previous Disney excursions, they were all at our pace, and they were all far less expensive than if we had booked through Disney. An added benefit was that each tour was timed to avoid the crowds from our ship and other ships. Every night on the ship when we were listening to other cruise-goers complain about their tours, we felt like we made the right decision.

My post on every one of our Disney cruise port stops, what we did and what we would recommend, is HERE .

Disney cruise review: Athens

The Disney Element

So obviously the cruise experience is largely Disney-themed. You’ll see characters walking around and posing for photos, hear a constant Disney soundtrack, and be very much surrounded by Disney while dining. What’s interesting is that the Disney experience is a bit of a time warp. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Chip and Dale – the old-school characters? They’re everywhere. And there’s a night dedicated to Pirates of the Caribbean – the 2003 movie more than the theme park ride.

But if you’re looking for characters from the most recent movies? Well, the younger passengers are dressed like them, but Disney largely ignores them. Frozen, the biggest animated movie of all time? There were a couple of character appearances, some screenings of the movie and a themed kids menu one night, but otherwise there was no sign of the movie – not at Animators Palate, the animation-themed restaurant, not on the soundtrack and and not in the shows. And we cruised a full eight months after the movie came out – plenty of time for Disney to have taken elements from it and incorporated them. Brave, Tangled, Up and Cars? Barely present. Yet if you’re a fan of the Emperor’s New Groove and Hercules, which not coincidently came out close to the Disney Magic’s maiden voyage, you’re set.

Disney cruise review: Frozen

My kids liked the overall Disney presence. I was fine with it. My wife by the end of the cruise very tired of the Disney theme and forced cheerfulness of all employees/cast members, feeling like she had been trapped in a theme park for 12 days. And even when you get off of the boat it’s not over – on the bus to the airport in Barcelona they were showing yet more Disney videos. Two weeks in Paris post-cruise worked nicely to remove us from a Disney mindset. And no, we didn’t go to Disneyland Paris or into the Disney store on the Champs-Elysees.

Disney cruise review: Lots of characters

Quality of the Experience

Having been subjected recently to a cruise on Royal Caribbean, I have to say that Disney cruises are far nicer, and Disney just does things better. On Royal Caribbean, there was a constant push by the cruise line to get you to spend more money – on alcohol, art, jewelry and gambling primarily. Disney cruises don’t hit you over the head with any of that. Sure there are the Disney Vacations desk and a few stores, but otherwise, there’s an overall appreciation that you paid in advance for the all-inclusive cruise experience and, other than wine, laundry and pirate costumes, there’s not much to add to the room tab.

Disney cruise review: Fireworks at the Pirates of the Caribbean deck party

Disney Magic Feedback / Summary

One thing that annoyed me on both of our Mediterranean Disney cruises is that there are plenty of areas in which Disney could improve, but they don’t seem to want to hear about them. There is a “comments and feedback” form at the end of the cruise that everyone is encouraged to return, but really it’s just a series of ratings and there’s no room for actual comments. And when I asked Disney about this on their web page, they quickly deleted the comment.

Despite that, I would recommend a Disney cruise if you want your kids to have fun in a safe environment for a week to two weeks, with (largely) interesting port stops. But definitely book in advance. When we took our Greek cruise in 2014, the following summer’s Norway cruises were already sold out. We booked our Summer 2016 cruise early in March 2015. Check Disney’s website ( http://disneycruise.disney.go.com /) for current availability.

Have you gone on a Disney cruise? What was your impression?

Disney cruise review: Sailing into Malta. A great reason to have a cabin with a balcony.

More from Travel Babbo

My Camera Setup

January 24, 2015 at 5:30 am

Kids or no kids I would certainly echo the point about organising your own excursions. I’ve only done one non National Geographic cruise, on Silversea in the Caribbean, and the organised tours were largely rubbish. I noticed that a number of people were hiring taxis and that was possibly a better option but now having searched for personal tour guides through Tripadvisor I would certainly do that if I was crazy enough to take another cruise. Another tip I discovered too late was a number of people left the ship at the last port stop (in USVI) and avoided the two days at sea to get to Port Lauderdale. If you’re time poor (or have better things to do, like flying to Rio 🙂 then cutting off a sea transit by flying out of the last port of call is something to consider.

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January 24, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Good advice on leaving the ship early, but it really depends what your goal of the cruise is. If you’re just looking for transportation to ports, then absolutely, cut off the last couple days. But with Disney, as far as the kids are concerned, days at sea are more fun than the port stops. If you’re there to make your kids happy – which really is the main goal of booking Disney in the first place – you wouldn’t want to shorten the cruise at all. You’d just be throwing money away.

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February 28, 2016 at 2:37 pm

Very informative and well written article! Thank you for sharing your adventure as we are very interested in exploring a Mediterranean cruise with Disney Cruise Lines. We just returned from our first Disney Cruise on the Disney Dream, and we are definitely hooked!

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April 20, 2016 at 2:42 pm

I’ve just booked our first one – to the Caribbean in June. We are not cruisers and prefer more active holidays, but are so exhausted that we are trying a bit more of a “relaxing” holiday. Thanks for this well-balanced review.

April 20, 2016 at 2:54 pm

Your daughter will love it! We’re doing our third this summer. Future ones will depend on whether the kids still find them fun and whether there are new, interesting itineraries. Would love for them to add an Asian loop!

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May 18, 2016 at 3:06 pm

Hi! We just booked the 7 day Meditteranean cruise for Sept. 2017 with my 7 year old and 9 year old. I don’t know the geography well of the ports so my concern is if we don’t book excursions in every place are there things to do in walking distance of the ports or would we need to get a taxi or other transportation. Thanks!

May 23, 2016 at 8:34 am

Hi KaraBeth. Once we’re back from our Disney cruise this summer, I’ll write up a blog post on what we did in all of the ports on our three cruises. In general it’s always fine to walk around where Disney docks. Civitavecchia isn’t interesting, but otherwise we’ve enjoyed exploring all of the places we’ve gone. Disney doesn’t provide much information on the ports on board, so do some research in advance – maybe print out city maps and figure out playground locations and good kid-friendly restaurants. Then you’re set. We’ve found that to be more enjoyable for the kids than joining excursions, and it gives you the flexibility to return to the ship whenever you want.

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September 11, 2016 at 9:03 am

Hi We have also booked for sept 2017 I would be interested to know your plans for excursions We don’t want to get off at every port but feel Rome is a must visit although I don’t fancy being on a coach with a lot of people for a day

September 12, 2016 at 11:14 am

KaraBeth and Emma – I’ve just posted my breakdown of every one of our Disney ports, including Rome: https://travelbabbo.com/2016/09/disney-cruise-port-stops-and-excursions-in-europe/ .

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December 16, 2016 at 4:34 am

Hello I’ve booked for Sept as well can’t wait I don’t know much on excursions either xx

December 16, 2016 at 8:54 am

Have a great time! My post on all of our port stops and what excursions we did is here .

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June 15, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Hi! Can you please give me an inside scoop on how hard it is to get off and back on the ship for excursions?

I’m looking to book a Mediterranean cruise in 2016.

June 15, 2016 at 2:19 pm

In most ports you can walk off the ship and into town. In some you need to tender in. Regardless, it’s never taken us more than a few minutes to disembark or get back on the ship. In some places like Naples we went on and off the ship several times during the day since it was so easy and close to the center of town.

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July 7, 2016 at 12:06 pm

Keep in mind that some ports do not let off in the “center of everything”. It all depends on what you’d like to see: Civitavecchia is a good two hours drive from Rome. Livorno is also about 1.5 hours from Florence and 30 minutes from Pisa. It is also about 30 mins to Pompeii from Naples.

July 7, 2016 at 10:57 pm

But those have been some of our favorite ports. Well, not Civitavecchia – there’s not much to see there. But we liked Naples a lot, just wandering around from where the ship docked. And when we stopped in La Spezia we spent the day in the small town and loved it. I’m not a fan at all of trying to see Florence or Rome in a day. A couple hours of driving each way to walk through one of the world’s great cities with 50 other people, take quick photos in front of a few major sites, and spend lots of time waiting for others during bathroom breaks? Nope, definitely not the way to experience an amazing destination. And crazy travel days like that aren’t kid-friendly either.

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July 7, 2016 at 7:56 pm

Thanks a lot for sharing your experience . we are thinking about doing our first cruise with the kids this summer . Looking forward to read your review about Disney cruise , summer 2016 . by the way , did you have any problems with weather in the sea? strong wind for example ? and what about motion sickness , was it a problem ? wish you a pleasant vacation 🙂 and thanks again

July 7, 2016 at 10:49 pm

Hi Maha. On the two that we did so far, there was virtually no motion at all. Maybe once did we feel the ship rocking slightly? But that was in the Mediterranean. This time we’ll be in the north Atlantic, so it could be a little more exciting. Will keep you posted. When we traveled to Antarctica with NatGeo/Lindblad we had 32-foot seas – it felt like that scene in Frozen where the parents’ ship hits the huge storm! So anything less than that wouldn’t worry me too much. Others may be more sensitive.

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July 11, 2016 at 6:41 pm

We just booked the 10 day Mediterranean cruise for 2017 summer. Are the excursions included or extra $$ If extra how much per person? Thanks

July 11, 2016 at 10:37 pm

Have a great time Lesha! Excursions are all extra, whether you book them through Disney or privately. I’ve found that with our family of five, private excursions can be comparable price-wise and offer a lot more flexibility. Excursions are anywhere between $50 and $200 per person depending on the activity. I usually budget $125 per person which is a reasonable average, for Disney or for private. The entire Disney list is at https://disneycruise.disney.go.com/port-adventures/europe/ .

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December 19, 2016 at 10:37 pm

I enjoyed your article! There’s much less info about European Disney Cruises compared to their Castaway Cay ones. Thanks for the info!

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5 ways Disney makes cruising Europe easy for families

Megan duBois

Many people know Disney Cruise Line for its family-friendly cruises from North American home ports to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico and Alaska. But did you know that every summer, one Disney cruise ship makes its way across the Atlantic Ocean for a season in the Mediterranean?

Previously, Disney Magic was the lucky ship to cruise among the charming European ports, but in 2023, Disney Dream sailed to the Mediterranean for the first time. The ship will continue to take families to bucket-list-worthy destinations around Europe, including Italy, France, Greece and Norway, next summer, too.

If you're thinking about taking a European cruise and wondering how to balance traveling with kids and venturing into historic cities, don't panic. Here are five ways Disney is making the Europe cruise experience as simple and smooth as possible for families of all types.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter.

Children can stay in the kids clubs while parents explore the ports

disney cruise europe reviews

Long port days can be hard for parents who want to see the historic sites in Rome, visit wineries in Tuscany or enjoy a guided hike in Norway but fear their kids will get bored quickly or are too young to participate in some activities.

One of the biggest perks for families cruising with Disney Cruise Line is that kids can stay in the dedicated kids clubs on board the cruise ship while parents explore the various ports of call on their own. Parents can drop junior cruisers off at the clubs before getting off the ship and know that their children are being cared for by the counselors their kids have already met.

Even better, playtime in Disney Dream's four youth activity spaces is included in the overall cost of the sailing. Disney's Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab are dedicated spaces for kids ages 3 to 12, where they can play games, do crafts or hang out with a good book while under the supervision of the counselors.

Related: Best cruise lines for families

While you're out enjoying the port, you can also be assured that Disney is taking care of your children's rumbling tummies because the kids clubs provide meals inside the club during the day.

Older kids have their own shipboard spaces. Edge is Disney's tween club for those ages 11 to 14, where guided activities, like video game competitions and dance parties, take place daily. Edge is located inside the faux forward funnel on Disney Dream, so it feels exclusive.

Teens ages 14 to 17 can enjoy Vibe, where they'll learn how to make movies or watch them on the 103-inch TV. Disney Dream also has a private sundeck for teens, which is only accessible with a Vibe-coded room keycard. (Be sure to check in at Vibe on embarkation day to ensure your teen's room key will allow them into the deck area.) Both Edge and Vibe have a free come-and-go policy, so kids can enjoy the spaces as they want without parents having to check them in or out.

No matter which club your kids hang out in, they will have plenty of fun, and parents can rest assured that if anything happens, the counselors know what to do. They have access to every phone number for Disney-led port excursions, so if your child has an emergency and the ship can't reach you directly, Disney can call the tour operator.

If you are touring ports on your own, inform the counselors of your plans and give them your best contact information on embarkation day.

Disney Cruise Line offers both family-friendly and adults-only shore excursions 

disney cruise europe reviews

Disney's shore excursions in Europe cater to all types of travelers and desired experiences with family-friendly and adults-only options.

Grown-ups who may be traveling without kids or have dropped their children off at the kids clubs can enjoy tours designated for cruisers ages 18 and older. The adults-only tours often move at a faster pace, so pack your walking shoes if you plan to do a heavy day of sightseeing, especially in cities like Rome or Athens.

Adults will find that excursions through Disney Cruise Line encompass a wide range of interests, from wine tastings and local food tours to venturing into historical sites. There are even some adventure sports like riding ATVs.

If traveling with young kids, book the tours labeled "for families" or "featuring exclusive youth activity" early since they fill up quickly.

Related: Shore excursions: What new cruisers need to know

Family tours are often less strenuous than the traditional or adults-only departures, allowing for little legs to keep up with the group. They feature longer breaks or time on your own, so kids can get a rest and perk up with a sweet treat, like gelato in Italy.

Tours labeled with the phrase " featuring exclusive youth activity " will include time for adults and kids to have separate activities. One of the options with this label is a tour of Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, where kids learn how to make pizza at a local restaurant with the help of the Disney Cruise Line youth counselors while parents enjoy time on their own or on a guided tour. Everyone comes back together for lunch.

Booking shore excursions through Disney Cruise Line also guarantees that you won't be left behind in a foreign city if your tour runs late getting back to the ship.

Casual dining options are plentiful after long days of sightseeing

disney cruise europe reviews

After a long day sightseeing in port, the last thing your kids want to do is sit through a long dinner in one of Disney's three main dining rooms. This means finding dinner elsewhere on the ship, which is easy thanks to Disney's quick-service options on the pool decks.

Families can grab a quick bite from three "Cars"-themed service windows at Flo's Cafe every evening. The menus here are packed with kid-friendly favorites, such as chicken tenders, burgers, salads, wraps, pizza and more. Flo's also has sandwich specials that change daily, including tasty options like spicy fried chicken and pulled pork.

You can be in and out in 15 to 20 minutes and then have time to see the nighttime shows or get to bed early before another day of exploration in a new port.

Alternatively, families can order room service , which is included in the cost of your Disney Dream cruise. Room service can take a while to arrive if you, like hundreds of your shipmates, are ordering during peak dinner hours. However, the joy of eating dinner in your pajamas in a space where kids can squirm freely may be just what your family needs after a long day off the ship.

Related: 12 dining mistakes you must fix on your next cruise

Pro-tip: If you're a chicken wing connoisseur, Disney Cruise Line has some of the best wings at sea on its room service menu. They are crispy and juicy, served piping hot, and the buffalo sauce is spicy.

If your family wants to eat in the main dining room, and you're on the early seating rotation, Disney offers some leniency on longer port days when tours tend to return to the ship late. A ship officer or dining team member will often be out on the pier announcing that the main dining rooms are still seating guests until a certain cut-off time. If your family can make it to your assigned dining room in time, you can enjoy a meal there.

Just know that if you miss a dinner show one night, there's no second opportunity to see it again, even on longer sailings. So, if your family is set on seeing or participating in a certain dinner show, like "Animation Magic" – where you draw a figure on a special sheet of paper and it comes to life on screens around Animator's Palate – you will want to ask your dining team which night that show is being performed.

The cruise ship is a familiar home base with plenty of Disney charm

disney cruise europe reviews

Visiting new cities and towns can be as draining as it is exciting. Riding for hours in a bus and walking around all day in the warm European sun can wear out both adults and kids. Also, the stress of navigating different languages and unfamiliar cities can be unsettling if you're not used to it. That's why it's nice to have a friendly home base for your travels on a Disney cruise ship.

One of the biggest perks to cruising, in general, is that you unpack once. You don't need to deal with the hassle of packing up and swapping hotels mid-trip.

Upon returning to the ship each day, children can enter a familiar world where they have their stuff set up how they like in their cabin, they can interact with their favorite Disney characters, and they can join friends in the kids clubs to play games and swap stories about the day's adventures. Parents can relax and not worry about where to eat dinner in a strange city.

Around the ship, families will find plenty of familiar Disney fun, so evenings are easy and carefree. Most nights, families can watch a live performance in the main Walt Disney Theater or catch a movie in the Buena Vista Theater, including newly released movies currently playing in theaters at home.

Related: 26 Disney cruise tips, tricks, secrets and extra magic to unlock when setting sail with Mickey

If your kids are into meeting characters, they are in for a treat. Mickey Mouse and all his pals will dress up in themed outfits for the various European ports of call and come to the ship's public spaces for meet-and-greets.

The Disney princesses are also onboard to greet everyone and pose for photos. They also host tea parties, but parents be warned, the tea party is an added cost, and reservations fill up quickly.

Of course, no Disney cruise is complete without a deck party or two. On select Mediterranean sailings, fireworks will light up the sky over the Mediterranean Sea with Disney's iconic Pirate Night deck party.

Travelers can bookend cruises with Adventures by Disney short escapes

disney cruise europe reviews

Extending your stay in Europe is a great way to take advantage of flying halfway around the world to get on a Disney cruise. Take the hassle out of planning what to do before or after your cruise by booking an Adventures by Disney guided tour.

Families with kids ages 5 and older are allowed to book, though Adventures by Disney does suggest that kids are at least 6 years old. Children under 5 are not permitted on these tours.

The tours take place in Barcelona, London and Rome, all of which have associated ports that Disney Cruise Line sails from throughout its European season. The guided tours include meals, hotel accommodations, transportation to and from the ship and tours of the major sites in each city.

Escapes in Barcelona are four days long. Families can enjoy a privately guided tour of La Sagrada Família cathedral and Parque Güell, plus time at the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona and the medieval abbey, Santa Maria de Montserrat.

If your cruise departs from Civitavecchia, Italy, the Rome escape may be a fun add-on to your trip. The four-day tour includes a VIP Colosseum tour, a tour of St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums, and plenty of time to explore the city on your own.

Families departing on Disney Cruise Line from Southampton, England, can book the London escape , which is only three days. The trip starts with a high-speed boat ride on the River Thames and dinner at a local pub. Other activities on the tour include a private viewing of the Crown Jewels, afternoon tea and a private tour of St. Paul's Cathedral.

Bottom line 

Whether you're a cruise pro or sailing around Europe for the first time, Disney Cruise Line makes sailing the historic coastlines of Europe easy and fun for families.

The ship makes for a familiar home base, with plenty of activities for kids and adults. The cruise line's shore excursions satisfy the interests of families exploring together while providing options for adults who need a more grownup experience in port. Just be sure to pack your walking shoes and a positive attitude!

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

  • The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • A beginners guide to picking a cruise line
  • The 8 worst cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
  • 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
  • 15 ways cruisers waste money
  • 15 best cruises for people who never want to grow up
  • The ultimate guide to what to pack for a cruise

Experiencing Europe on a Disney Cruise!

4/23/2021   |   Cruises

Every summer Disney Cruise Line sails one of its ships to Europe for one of the most special sets of itineraries available. Disney Cruise Line separates their European itineraries into Northern Europe and Mediterranean itineraries. My family was able to experience the unique 7-night repositioning cruise that connected these guest experiences. We started in Dover, England and ended in Barcelona, Spain and it was a vacation we will never forget and recommend to all interested in visiting Europe with their family.

disney cruise europe reviews

Visiting Europe on a Disney cruise allows families to visit multiple countries and cultures in a short time while keeping a home base on the ship. The tours offered by Disney’s port adventures team allow for the interests of all ages with varying tour lengths to accommodate your needs.

disney cruise europe reviews

On our particular cruise, we docked in Le Havre, France; Lisbon, Portugal; and Cadiz, Spain with 3 full days at sea. All of these countries were new to our family so we took advantage of the tours to see all we could while we were in port. Le Havre is located in northern France and about a 2 ½ to 3-hour drive from Paris. With a 16 hour stopover, there was plenty of time to take an adventure into Paris and see the main sights of the city. Lisbon’s city tour showed us how important the city and its inhabitants were to navigation of the oceans and the discovery of the new world. Cadiz’s town square, just steps from the dock, allowed us a walking tour of the city that dates from the time of the Phoenicians, about 1100 BC. Another amazing sight was seeing Africa as we sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar late one evening.

disney cruise europe reviews

Families of all ages can be found on Disney’s European cruises. If you have young children, exposing them to historical locations, introducing them to new languages, and giving them a fun time each day is a great introduction to Europe. Tweens and teens will get excited when they recognize places and people that they’ve studied in school and then when they are back on the ship the excitement doesn’t stop when they meet up with new friends in Edge and Vibe.

disney cruise europe reviews

What makes Disney’s cruises so special to experience Europe is the fun, family-friendly atmosphere. From the shows to the onboard events, the age-appropriate port adventures, and the characters that dress in the native clothing of the ports, you will find everyone young and old enjoying each day of the cruise from morning until night.

disney cruise europe reviews

Going on a European Disney Cruise Line vacation is one of the most memorable vacations that a family can have. Disney’s European itineraries are available for booking by contacting your Me and The Mouse travel agent.

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Review of Mediterranean Port Adventures

  • Thread starter rainythursdays
  • Start date Jun 6, 2022

rainythursdays

Earning my ears.

  • Jun 6, 2022

Just got off my first cruise on the Magic and it was absolutely fantastic!! I know I would have wanted to know this before the cruise (planner that I am) and would like to give a short review of each of the port adventures I was on. We did all Disney port adventures since it was our first time. Naples - Mt Vesuvius Hike, Wine Tasting and Pompeii (Adults Only) - This was the best tour! Our group was relatively small and the guide was phenomenal. We stopped at this place that sells Jewelry made of seashells (didn’t get anything), and hiked Mt Vesuvius in the morning (relatively steep, but paths were wide and not dangerous at all). We then went to this lovely vineyard when we had a decent lunch and wine tasting of several wines. Our guide then brought us to Pompeii and guided us through a section of the ruins (it’s impossible to see the whole thing in a day, but I believe we saw the highlights). Tour was not rushed at all and we made it with plenty of time to spare back on board. Highly recommend! There’s a similar tour for families as well which I believe should be the same without the wine tasting, but would be a much larger group. Civitavecchia (Rome) - Tarquinia and Olive Oil Tasting - Having been to Rome before, I knew I didn’t want to squeeze all of Rome in a day and therefore opted for this tour which was the only half day one that didn’t go to Rome. This was okay. We had a guided tour of Tarquinia which was a quaint little town, but being from Europe, was not a must see. We then had some free time in Tarquinia which in my opinion was a little too long as the guide did not really give any ideas on which are the best places to visit during our free time, and just recommended cafes you could sit in or for bathrooms, which is useful in its own way, but I‘m the type that likes to explore the best parts of the town rather than sit in a cafe for the whole hour. We didn’t want to get lost or run out of time so decided to sit in a cafe in the end. Olive oil tasting was disappointing - I was expecting a proper tasting with explanations but they just set up a buffet table with some bread, and four different types of olive oil for lunch and we had no explanations whatsoever. The farm we were at was picturesque and quite lovely though. An tour through the olive farm would have been nice. Disappointing tour for the price. Livorno (Florence/Pisa) - Easy Pisa - Skip this. We were originally booked on Pisa (with the guided walking tour) but it got moved to the afternoon which clashed with one of our other activities so we moved to this in the morning. All they did was to bring you to Pisa, give you some free time (which was not enough at all to see the sights), and then put you on an electric train and give you a short guided tour while driving. Tour by train was definitely not a good way to truly see and learn about the sights. Extremely expensive for what it is. I would recommend booking your own transfer to Pisa, the sights are concentrated around the miracle square anyway. If climbing the tower is important to you, go to the ticket counter first thing!!! (Also something our guide neglected to mention to us.) They have staggered times for climbing the tower. Cannes - Monaco, Monte Carlo and Eze - Itinerary sounded great in theory, but it was so poorly organised for ours. We ran into bad traffic (which I’m not sure why it wasn’t anticipated considering they have ran this tours for ages), and we arrived late in Monaco and so the whole day was very rushed. Had a very very brief guided tour (maximum 10 minutes) which was just pointing out the sights as we passed them, then some free time (not long enough to see anything properly). We then drove to Monte Carlo where we got to see the casino and Cafe de Paris. Again, very short amount of free time to properly see anything. Note that the casino opens at 2 pm, and we are there for the morning, so if you want to try a hand at gambling, pick a tour that goes to Monte Carlo in the afternoon. Otherwise, it’s nice to see the inside of the casino when no one else was around. It’s €17 per person just to visit. Pricey, but worth it just to see it once in person in my opinion. Ran into some issues with the bus coming late in Monte Carlo which again wasted lots of precious time. We then had a very mediocre lunch which was disappointing, and took way too long (all the Disney tours congregated there for lunch and they couldn’t seem to handle the crowd despite, again, probably being used to this crowd). This cut into our Eze time, and after a while most people were fed up and just left lunch half way (honestly, no loss on their part) to explore the town alone. We decided to wait for our guide (mistake), and she ended up giving us only a brief 5 minute tour pointing out the sights as we walked up the village and we only had 15 minutes left to see the village on our own. Time would be much better spent if we walked on our own. Made it back to the port with time to spare though. Well this ended up longer than expected! Only thing I would recommend whole heartedly would be the Naples excursion. Cannes was in theory good but the planning was extremely poor that day - enough to put me off returning. Also open to answering any questions about the cruise!  

DCL Repeaters

DCL Repeaters

Dcl addicts.

Great report! What was the passenger count? Did you have your own dining table in the main dining rooms?  

DCL Repeaters said: Great report! What was the passenger count? Did you have your own dining table in the main dining rooms? Click to expand...

lorimay

Strolling along...

Thanks for your review! We sail July 6th. Can I ask what your port of arrival time was? I was on at midnight last night, as usual the website was finicky, it took me 45minutes to get it all uploaded. We ended up with an 11:30-11:45 arrival. Thanks.  

lorimay said: Thanks for your review! We sail July 6th. Can I ask what your port of arrival time was? I was on at midnight last night, as usual the website was finicky, it took me 45minutes to get it all uploaded. We ended up with an 11:30-11:45 arrival. Thanks. Click to expand...

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