Disney Cruise vs Celebrity Cruise: which is better?

Disney Cruise vs Celebrity Cruise: which is better?

We are huge Disney Cruise fans. And up until recently, Disney Cruise Line was the only cruise we had experienced. But as you know, Disney Cruises can be quite expensive when comparing to other cruise lines. And their itineraries are also a bit more limited. Celebrity Cruises is often compared to Disney in terms of service and food. So when we had the opportunity to sail with Celebrity to Bermuda, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to compare the two.  Disney Cruise vs Celebrity Cruise: which is better?

Animators Palate Dinner Menu

Disney Cruise vs. Celebrity Cruise: Food

A lot of people love to cruise for the food! So let’s start with that. We sailed on the Celebrity Eclipse, which is an older ship and smaller class. Because of that, it may not be entirely fair to judge these equally, but we’ll do what we can here. The Celebrity Eclipse only has 1 main dining room. Compare this to Disney, who always has three main dining rooms, and you can see how that might not be the most fair comparison. So we will judge solely on quality here. For us, the food quality was actually quite similar between both cruise lines. 

The food in the buffet was also of similar quality. But the quick service options left a lot to be desired on Celebrity when comparing it to Disney. Disney definitely has better options for quick serve. And the quality is also much better. Especially when you compare it to Mickey’s Festival of Foods on the Disney Wish.  For food? Disney wins this category thanks to their higher quality quick service options. 

Disney Dream Cruise Guide

Disney Cruise vs. Celebrity Cruise: Service

When people compare Disney to other cruise lines, they state the service on Celebrity is what puts it in the same class. And we agree with this! The service on Celebrity was phenomenal. From our waitstaff to our stateroom host, servers and bartenders in the lounges, the service was great. We usually state Disney’s service as one of the reasons why we are willing to pay a higher price tag. And Celebrity does a great job of matching that same level on their ships.

For service? We’ll call this one a draw. 

Disney Cruise vs Celebrity Cruise Line: which is best?

Disney Cruise vs. Celebrity Cruise: Entertainment and Activities

A hot topic of debate on our Instagram when we shared this trip was the entertainment and activities. Disney Cruise Line offers so many activities throughout your vacation, it’s often hard to make it to everything you want to see and do. This is why we always recommend against 3-night cruises if you can because they just go too fast! Celebrity on the other hand, often had us wondering what we should do next. So which is better? Well, that depends entirely on what type of trip you are looking to have on your cruise. Do you want to be rushing from one activity to another? Is that a good time for you? If so, then Disney is the better option. 

But, if you are really looking to just relax, read and drink, then Celebrity is going to be a lot more your pace. Not only is that what many people are doing, but they’re set up better for that type of traveler. They have more bars and lounges, and more spaces in general to just sit and relax. For us, Disney wins in the activities department. But that’s because their style is more our style. 

When talking specifically about the evening entertainment, again this is a matter of personal preference as well. Disney holds Broadway caliber shows each night. And if you love Disney music and Disney characters, then this is going to be perfect for you. Celebrity also offers shows, but with a much more grown-up feel. Either way, if neither of these options suit you, you can always skip the shows. 

Disney Dream Kids Club

Disney Cruise vs. Celebrity Cruise: Kids Clubs

Kids Clubs are a hot topic when it comes to cruise lines. We need things for kids to do right?! Right. Well I think it’ll be no shock that Disney wins the kids clubs category. Disney Cruise Line’s kids clubs are really pretty awesome.  With imaginative spaces and plenty of programming, they pride themselves on offering world class service and activities for their youngest sailors.

Celebrity Cruise line also has a kids’ club program called Camp at Sea. Thes programs are great for kids, and if you have kids, they’ll have a blast. But their programming is a bit more low key. And in general, there are less children onboard, which means kids will have less of their peers to interact with. Both are great choices, but Disney is going to be the better option for kids overall.

Disney Cruise vs Celebrity Cruise Line: which is best?

Disney Cruise vs. Celebrity Cruise: Cleanliness 

Disney Cruise Line consistently ranks high when it comes to cleanliness onboard. Their norovirus record is low, and you can almost always see a Cast Member cleaning.  Though I never felt like anything on Celebrity was not clean, Celebrity Cruises has considerably more norovirus cases than Disney does each year. In my opinion, part of that is because they don’t require you to wash your hands before entering the buffet. People in general have become more lazy about hand hygiene since Covid. And this is the one thing you as a passenger can do to prevent norovirus! Celebrity also doesn’t ask you to sanitize before entering the main dining room either, which is something that is fairly standard for Disney. 

This is by no means to say that Disney is perfect. In fact, on our last two cruises with Disney, we noticed a serious decline in people washing their hands before entering Cabanas, with little to no enforcement from Cast Members.  I don’t like buffets in general. And one of those reasons is because I don’t want other people’s hands near my food, when I have no idea how clean they are. But I do appreciate that Disney generally expects guests to wash their hands before entering the buffet. And sanitize before dining in the evening. 

There is obviously much more that determines cleanliness then just norovirus outbreaks, as sometimes these things just happen. So we will go by the actual data given by the CDC. Celebrity consistently scores 95 or higher on its ships. And Disney consistently scores 96 or higher. They’re pretty even when it comes to CDC ranking but we are going to give it to Disney on this one .

disney cruise nursery

Disney Cruise vs. Celebrity Cruise: Internet

Oh, the internet at sea! We’ll just get to the point here. Disney’s internet onboard is not great. It’s just not. It’s expensive and often unreliable. Celebrity Cruises uses Starlink, which is basically the gold standard for WiFi at sea. It’s also kind of expensive, but it works, and it works well. Celebrity easily wins this category for us. 

Alcohol on a Disney Cruise, Disney Cruise for adults, Disney Cruise drinking

Disney Cruise vs. Celebrity Cruise: Hidden Fees 

Let’s talk about “hidden fees” on cruises, or rather, what things are not included.  We have a whole post about what’s not included on your Disney Cruise. But the reality is that for many guests, Disney’s fares include almost everything. Celebrity, well, not so much. Though this post isn’t entirely about Celebrity Cruise Line, it is important to note a few things that Disney includes that Celebrity does not. While Disney includes all fountain drinks, if you’re a soda drinker, you’ll pay extra on Celebrity.

Room Service is included in your cruise fare with Disney. It’s not with Celebrity. And while main dining room food is included on both cruises, Celebrity Cruise Line has more opportunities to dine at restaurants that are not included.  So when it comes to what’s included in your cruise, Disney wins this one for us. 

Disney Cruise in Europe: how a Disney Cruise in Europe is different

Disney Cruise vs Celebrity Cruise: Itineraries

It’s no secret that Disney Cruise Line’s itineraries are a bit limited. Part of this is because they only have five ships at the moment. But part of it is because they just don’t try to go other places! Disney knows people will book cruises solely for the cruise and not the destination. And it allows them to be lazy. I said what I said. 

Celebrity Cruise Line on the other hand, has more ships and goes more places! They have more ships which allows them to do this. And they also offer a wider variety of longer itineraries, which allows them to go further distances from port. When it comes to itineraries, Celebrity wins this one for us. 

Disney Cruise vs. Celebrity Cruise: Which is better?

Overall, Disney Cruise Line for us is still our favorite cruise line. But as you can see the best cruise line will depend on what your preferences are! Both have great service and food, and Celebrity will be able to take you more places, on a wider variety of ships.  Disney may be better for those with kids. But not everyone wants to be surrounded by children on their vacations. So, in that case Celebrity will be a better fit for you. Disney Cruise ranks better for us overall. But both cruise lines are great for a cruise vacation. Need help planning your next cruise? We can help you plan that!

Which is better? Disney Cruise or Celebrity Cruises

Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website

Melanie Renee is a photographer, writer, designer and mom. Visiting Disney destinations since 2010, she is also an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. When she's not creating her next coffee recipe, or designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's seeking beautiful sunsets and planning her next trip .

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