Have you thought about stepping outside the box for your next Disney vacation?
If you’re a typical run-of-the-mill Disney World vacationer, you might want to try something a bit different for your upcoming trip. Two options that have been very popular of late are the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser and Disney Cruise Line sailings. But if you’re trying to decide between the two, which one is more worth your time…and money? We’re breaking it down.
One of the big questions in 2022 has been: should I visit the new Star Wars hotel or take a Disney cruise? The experience you get “onboard” the Halcyon (that’s the name of the Starcruiser ship) is similar to that of a cruise, but there are some key differences. Then, with the addition of the Disney Wish cruise ship in summer 2022, the decision became even more challenging. So today, we’re comparing the two to see which one might be right for you!
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
Let’s start things out at Disney World’s newest “hotel,” the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. This addition is less like a traditional resort and more like an immersive 2-day storytelling experience. While onboard the Halcyon, guests will get the chance to “live their Star Wars story” by completing missions, interacting with characters, dressing in theme, and more.
When we stayed at the Galactic Starcruiser, we were pretty impressed with all the activities available. Guests will participate in things like bridge training and lightsaber lessons, but there are plenty of optional additions as well, like droid racing, mixology classes, dance lessons, and more.
Also, we have to mention the food! Guests of the Starcruiser will get three meals a day, as well as some snack offerings in the atrium. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our meals and the variety of food during our trip, and you’ll even get some pretty great entertainment during dinnertime.
But what will this experience cost you? Well, it’s not cheap! For two guests to stay at the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser most weeknights from mid-August to mid-September of 2022, it’ll be about $4809 total. That’s $1209 per guest, per night.
Included in your stay are food and beverages (excluding alcohol and specialty drinks), two nights in your cabin, ongoing entertainment, one-day admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for your visit to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, valet parking, and an exclusive MagicBand. That’s quite a lot, but it’s still a pretty hefty price for just two days!
For a Star Wars fan or someone who enjoys interactive games (think like a murder mystery party, but without the murder mystery aspect), this could well be one of the best vacations out there. It’s truly unique when compared to other experiences and we had a blast during our two trips. However, it’s certainly not the most relaxing trip you’ll ever take — we were busy CONSTANTLY during our visit.
Disney Cruise Line
But what about a Disney cruise? You may have sailed before, but if you haven’t sailed the Disney way, then you’re missing out on some serious magic. Think about all the relaxing fun of a regular cruise, but add in your favorite characters and movies, plus top-notch Disney entertainment.
Disney Cruise Line is currently home to five ships, with more planned for the future. If you want to set sail, you can choose destinations all around the world, from the Bahamas and the Caribbean to Europe and Alaska. Voyages are available for as short as two nights or as long as two weeks — it all varies depending on your budget and your destination.
When you sail with Disney, meals are included in the price! You’ll be able to pick up breakfast, lunch, and dinner at a variety of restaurants onboard your ship. For dinner specifically, you’ll enjoy rotational dining between three main restaurants. For an upcharge, you can choose to visit one of the adults-only restaurants available onboard. We’ve had some pretty spectacular meals on Disney cruises in the past, and we certainly won’t complain about unlimited eats!
When it comes to cost for the Disney Cruise Line, you could save significantly compared to the Starcruiser (depending on your experience and accommodations). When looking at the same timeframe as we used above, we pulled two different examples of cruises that guests could take. First, you could do a 3-night Bahamian cruise from Miami on the Disney Dream from September 16th-19th, 2022. This particular sailing offers the Halloween on the High Seas celebrations, and two adults could stay in an inside stateroom for $1141. To upgrade to an Oceanview stateroom, it would be $1165.
But what about those who want to sail on the NEW Disney Wish? On that ship, you could sail from September 9th-12th, 2022 to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral. For an inside stateroom, it would cost two adults $2292, and for an Oceanview it would be $2466.
Included in the cost of your Disney cruise are your meals (excluding alcohol and some specialty dining locations), your stateroom accommodations, soft drinks at meals and beverage stations, snacks and ice cream, Disney character meet and greets, and entertainment including Broadway-style productions and Disney movies.
The cruise is a much more relaxed vacation, although you could “level it up” with port excursions and bonus activities to fill out your schedule. Many people are dedicated Disney cruise fans, and repeat sailers can actually get perks and early booking opportunities. Plus, a Disney cruise offers the added thrill of traveling to somewhere new and exotic, pulling you out of that “Disney World vacation comfort zone.”
So which option is best? Well, if you’re traveling on a budget, it’s undeniable that a Disney cruise is going to be the more affordable option — if you stay in the cheaper stateroom categories and don’t go overboard on the upgrades, that is. Also, it’s important to note that the prices mentioned above were for a 3-night cruise, whereas the experience at the Starcruiser is just two nights.
But while the Disney cruise is a good bit cheaper, we also have to give some points to the Galactic Starcruiser for originality. The idea of a 2-day live-in adventure is something we haven’t seen before in this particular realm of vacations. There are a lot of cool possibilities with that construct, and if the idea of stepping into a Star Wars story is something that excites you, then it might be worth the extra dough.
Really, it just comes down to preference. What are your vacation needs? Do you prefer to relax and unwind or try something new? Do you want to venture out further geographically or stay close to the familiar environment of Disney World? Both of these options could actually be added to the beginning or end of a Disney World vacation pretty effectively, you’ll just need to consider the added cost of transportation if you do a cruise and theme park trip back-to-back.
No matter which you choose, make sure to keep following along with DFB for the best tips on how to navigate your trip and get the most bang for your buck. If you’re paying to have a big trip, you want it to be as amazing as possible, and we’re here to help you with that!
Wondering about all of your options with your budget? Reach out to our friends over at Small World Vacations. They can price out trips for you to see what’s best for you and your family. And heir services are completely FREE!!
Which of the two vacations would you choose? Tell us in the comments!
The post What’s Cheaper?! A Disney Cruise or a Stay at the Star Wars Hotel. We Break It All Down For Ya! first appeared on the disney food blog.