Disney Magic vs. Disney Dream: How do they compare?by Sherri Eisenberg | December 16, 2016
These two ships have a lot in common, including the fact that they’re both Disney Cruise Line ships and therefore kid-friendly for children and filled with character meet-ups and all-ages entertainment. These two ships also have in common that they both offer short, sunny sailings out of Florida. So how do you choose? Read on to find out.
The first thing you notice is that the two ships are not the same price. Two-night cruises out of Florida on Disney Magic start at $1,341 per person double occupancy, and similar sailings on Disney Dream start at $1,498. That’s because Disney Magic is the line’s first ship, built in 1998, and Disney Dream was built in 2011. While both ships have been refurbished recently, there’s still a difference between an 18-year-old ship and a five-year-old ship, in amenities more than anything else.
Disney Magic sails three- to eight-night Bahamas and Caribbean cruises out of Miami, San Juan, and New York City, but this ship also does seven- to ten-night European sailings, including both Northern Europe and Mediterranean options.
Disney Dream just offers three-, four-, and five-night Bahamian sailings out of Port Canaveral, the port outside of Orlando. While in that part of the world, both ships also use Castaway Cay, the line’s spectacular private Bahamian island. This gorgeous resort-like space has a tram and bikes for easy exploration of the beaches and family-friendly activities. There are also much-coveted cabanas available for a fee, though they go fast.
Disney Dream and Disney Magic do a fabulous job of entertaining parents who want some time alone — from a private adults-only pool with a swim-up bar that’s blissfully free of games of Marco Polo to a posh spa with hot tubs in a solarium. Both ships also have an adults-only nightlife area with a variety of spaces, including a cocktail lounge, a pub and sports bar, and a nightclub.
In terms of dining, you'll find Palo, the adults-only Italian restaurant that does dinner (with wine pairings, if that’s your jam) plus an elegant brunch option, on both ships as well. But only Disney Dream has Remy, which is easily the best restaurant in the fleet, and one of the finest French restaurants at sea. (For true foodies, Remy alone is enough of a reason to choose Disney Dream.)
The two ships also have state-of-the-art kids clubs, a hallmark of the line. These spaces are divided into an It’s a Small World nursery, an area for 3 to 11 year olds, and separate clubs for tweens and teens. No other line can compete with either the facilities or the programming: You’ll find character-related activities, classes such as cupcake decorating, and parties.
The main kids clubs differ a little: Disney Magic has a "Toy Story" themed area called Andy’s Room, a Marvel Avengers Academy, a Mickey Mouse Club, and the Peter Pan-inspired Pixie Hollow. Disney Dream also has Andy’s Room and Pixie Hollow, but this ship also has a state-of-the-art Disney Infinity Game Room and (the space parents most covet) a "Star Wars" Millennium Falcon space, complete with a cockpit and a C-3PO unit.
Sherri Eisenberg is the New York City-based editorial director of ShermansCruise.com.