Disney Cruise vs. Royal Caribbean: How They Stack Up

Royal Caribbean offers more ships with more to do onboard (for less money) but, of course, lacks that Disney twist.
Carissa Rawson
By Carissa Rawson 
Edited by Meghan Coyle

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Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean are two well-known companies for cruises. Although they both set sail from multiple ports within the United States, that’s about where their similarities end.

Let’s take a look at Disney Cruise versus Royal Caribbean, including the main differences between these two powerhouses.

The main difference: Disney Cruise Line vs. Royal Caribbean

The biggest difference when it comes to Disney versus Royal Caribbean is fleet size. Disney Cruise Line has just five ships, while Royal Caribbean boasts 26 ships in its fleet.

Royal Caribbean also has much larger ships; its Wonder of the Seas craft can accommodate 6,988 passengers. In comparison, the Disney Wish — the biggest ship on Disney’s cruise line — can only hold 4,000 passengers.

Royal Caribbean vs. Disney Cruise Line


Because Royal Caribbean is a much larger cruise line, it can sail many more routes than Disney Cruise Line. You can find a Royal Caribbean cruise nearly anywhere in the world, including but not limited to:

  • Europe.

  • North America.

  • Oceania.

  • The Panama Canal. 

  • South America.

Disney does have quite a few routes, despite its much smaller size. You’ll find destinations including:

  • Canada.

  • The Caribbean.

  • Europe.

  • Hawaii. 

  • Mexico.

  • Oceania.

Cabin types

Most cruise lines feature fairly similar cabin types, and Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise Line are no different. You can expect all the standard cabins, such as interior, oceanview, verandah and suites on both cruise lines.

However, Royal Caribbean has done its best to differentiate itself with interior rooms featuring windows to indoor spaces. Some of its ships also include virtual balconies, which operate gigantic digital screens to show outdoor views in every room.

Disney Cruise Line, meanwhile, is a little different in that all its rooms are built to accommodate families. You’ll find group-friendly features such as curtained room dividers. You’ll also be able to enjoy split bathrooms; these include a toilet and sink in one room and a shower and sink in another.


Not sure whether to take a Disney Cruise or one on Royal Caribbean? You’ll certainly want to consider the amenities that each cruise line offers. Again, you can expect to enjoy certain standard amenities when cruising on either of these lines. This includes daily activities, dedicated children's areas, live entertainment, pools, spas and fitness centers.

However, you can find much more on these ships. Royal Caribbean’s ships can accommodate many more activities, so you’ll find things such as:

  • Indoor skydiving 

  • Multiple water slides.

  • Rock wall climbing.

  • Wave pools.

  • Zip lining. 

Although smaller, Disney Cruise Line’s ships still provide plenty to do. This can include:

  • Broadway-quality shows.

  • Character meet and greets.

  • Movie screenings

  • Water slides and more. 

The biggest enticement here is that Disney’s ships all offer Disney-branded entertainment, so if you’re a fan of, say, "Frozen," "The Lion King" or Mickey Mouse, you’ll have a blast on a Disney cruise.


Cruises generally aren’t all-inclusive so it’s definitely something you’ll want to consider in a comparison of a Royal Caribbean cruise and a Disney cruise. When onboard, your food is included, as is entertainment, access to the pools and many other activities.

However, there are a few differences in inclusions between these two cruise lines.

First, those sailing on a Disney Cruise Line ship will not need to pay extra if they’d like to drink soda, as soft drinks are included on these cruises. This is not the case for Royal Caribbean; if you’d like to have soda, you’ll need to pay or purchase a soda package.

Second, Disney cruises offer complimentary in-room dining. This is available 24/7 and even includes unlimited Mickey ice cream bars sent to your room. While Royal Caribbean also offers 24/7 room service, it charges a fee for delivery.


Pricing is probably where the Disney-versus-Royal Caribbean breakdown is most noticeable. Disney cruises are significantly more expensive than Royal Caribbean ones.

For example, a three-night cruise from Miami to the Bahamas on Royal Caribbean will cost as little as $770.48 for two people.

On Disney, meanwhile, a three-night cruise departing from Port Canaveral and heading to the Bahamas is a minimum of $1,993. That’s more than twice as much as a Royal Caribbean cruise.


Both Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise Line offer packages for purchase for your cruise. If you’re interested in Wi-Fi, you’ll be able to purchase a package on either cruise line. The cost is going to vary based on the speed you choose and how long you’re sailing.

Royal Caribbean also offers the ability to purchase a drink package that includes alcohol. This means you’ll be able to have as many alcoholic drinks as you’d like, including wine, beer and liquor.

While Disney does allow you to buy a reusable beer mug that grants you discounted refills, there’s no beverage package available for guests. This is true for both alcohol and specialty drinks such as smoothies; these are charged on a per-item basis.

If you’re debating Royal Caribbean vs. Disney Cruise Line

While it's true that both Disney and Royal Caribbean offer cruises, they’re fairly different overall.

Royal Caribbean has larger ships, more amenities, and more cruises available.

Disney Cruise Line, meanwhile, has a much smaller fleet that carries fewer passengers. But you’ll still find a wide variety of sailings across the globe.

You can expect to pay more for a Disney Cruise than Royal Caribbean, but you’ll also be able to enjoy free unlimited sodas and room service.

(Top photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

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