I Had No Idea This Is What Happens on a 7-Night Disney Cruise

I’ve been on a lot of Disney cruises. In fact, I’ve been on almost every single Disney cruise ship (one more to go!).

Quincy on a Disney Cruise

But, it wasn’t until last year that I took my first ever week-long cruise. I had always stuck to 3- and 4-night cruises. Well, I had no idea that this is what happens on a 7-night Disney cruise.

There’s a lot of excitement on a long cruise but for just a portion of it, check out my PERFECT day during one of the at-sea days on my 7-nighter.

But here’s what I WASN’T expecting!

Rotating Rotational Dining and Activities

Disney cruises have a super fun way of doing dinners that they call Rotational Dining. Basically, each day of your cruise, you’ll rotate to one of three restaurants and you’ll rotate between those for the duration of your cruise. Now, on a shorter cruise, that means you’re only doubling up once, if at all.

Enchanted Garden

But, with a week-long cruise, you’ll find yourself at each rotational dining spot twice and one of them another time on top of that. Though I expected to see menu changes, I was not expecting there to be different menu themes and sometimes completely different entertainment experiences. With 7-nights on the Disney Fantasy, I experienced two different menus at Enchanted Garden and Animator’s Palate.

Quincy at Animator’s Palate

Animator’s Palate is an interactive restaurant, and it also had two different experiences. The first dinner there featured a Finding Nemo show where diners can interact with Crush the sea turtle. The second dinner featured a show where diners could create their own character to magically animate along the walls courtesy of Mickey’s magic. Interestingly, I loved the second show WAY more; guests on short cruises don’t ever make it to that one.

Animator’s Palate

Then at Royal Court, we experienced three very different nights — the regular menu, the Pirate Night menu (something I was familiar with from shorter cruises) and Lobster Night! I thought the varying experiences at these spots really helped to keep dinners interesting despite having repeat dining locations.

Click here for a review of Animator’s Palate on the Disney Magic and Wonder!

Tired of the Food

That said, I absolutely did not expect to get as tired of the food as I did. Disney cruises have awesome food from the rotational dining, to the grab and go options, to the buffet, and to the upcharge lounges and adults-only restaurants. I ate like a KING, so you can imagine my surprise when on night 7 I was dreading dinner. I was dreading dinner on LOBSTER NIGHT. What’s wrong with me?

Chicken Schnitzel – Animator’s Palate

Well, the answer is that having heavy three-course dinners every single night was just not something I was used to. Sometimes, you just want a slice of pizza and to watch a movie and there is a bit of a feeling of obligation to head to that planned dinner seating.

Luigi’s Pizza

That said, you absolutely don’t have to (unless you for some reason are also obligated to cover Lobster Night for work)! Instead, you CAN grab a piece of pizza and hang by the pool if you’re getting a touch overwhelmed with all the eats at dinner. You’re also welcome to skip courses at dinner.

To learn more about dining on the Disney Fantasy, click here!

Hangin’ with the Crew

Now I kind of expected this next one but it was fun to experience it first hand. Disney Cruise Line is known for its standard of service, and you’ll probably interact with dozens of crew members during your voyage. In particular, you’ll see your serving team a lot (they’ll follow your from restaurant to restaurant) and your room attendant who takes care of your housekeeping and turn-down service each day.

Cast Costume

I took a shorter cruise with my family when I was a kid and we STILL talk about our server, Ganesh, who made our dinners so fun and memorable. With a week-long cruise, you make even stronger connections with your crew team.

I cruised with my friend Cassie from Disney Food Blog on my week-long cruise and we made sure to get a picture with our server. We were also blown away by the attention to detail that our room attendant had. We had a banner in our room that kept falling and every day when we came in it was taped back up.

Quincy and Cassie with Serving Team

By the time we made it home, we were commenting about missing the crew and my memories of the trip aren’t complete without them!

To see what it’s like to be a crew member on a Disney Cruise, click here!

Vibe with Other Cruisers

I had also heard folks talk about getting to know other cruisers when they sailed but on shorter cruises, you’re usually only running into the same people once or twice. On longer cruises, it’s a lot more common to run into people a few times. After all, it’s seven days and there are only so many people on the ship!

Quincy with Goofy and Donald on a Cruise

We found ourselves running into and hanging with a few other groups over the course of the voyage. Cruises can be a surprisingly great time to make new friends and longer cruises set you up to be able to do that pretty easily!

Vibe with Your Cruisers 

This last one definitely varies by group but it is certainly something to be aware of when cruising for longer! Seven days is a looooong time to share a tiny cabin and do a lot of activities with your family or friends. Tensions can flare and it can feel like it’s difficult to get alone time.

Quincy and Cassie

Now, Cassie and I didn’t have much issue with this. One, we split up during the cruise sometimes to do our own things which certainly help. Plus, she and I don’t get to spend a lot of in-person time together so it was a nice change of pace for us.

BUT, I’ve heard horror stories from folks who want nothing more thant to be AWAY from their cabinmates by day five — with two more days to go. Yikes. To combat this, make sure you’re taking time for yourself and getting the space you need. It’s something you have to be really intentional about on a ship.

Disney Dream

Overall, I absolutely preferred a week-long cruise to a shorter one — but I don’t think it’s for everyone. It gave me enough time to settle into the cruise life but for others it can feel really limiting. Keep an eye on AllEars.Net for more cruise takes and tips!

Want to see the cabins on the NEW Disney ship? Click here!

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2 Replies to “I Had No Idea This Is What Happens on a 7-Night Disney Cruise”

  1. I went on both a 3 & a 4 night Staycation cruise in the UK in 2021. Both times the only show at the Animator’s Palate was the second show you mentioned where you make your own character. So sometimes people on short cruises do see this show. Never say never.

  2. I recently did my first week long cruise also on the Disney Fantasy. It was amazing! The crew gave exceptional service. My serving team and room attendant were so friendly. They really made my cruise memorable—Especially when they helped me celebrate my birthday! I’d definitely recommend it to anyone on the fence about a 7 night cruise.