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Which is better, the big Disney Cruise ships or the small Disney Cruise ships?

by Dad
(The Office)

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One of the big discussions that rages on all the different cruise line boards is big ships (like the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy) versus a small ships (like the Disney Wonder and the Disney Magic). So for the Disney Cruise Line which is better? The Big ships or the Small ships?

Disney Dream

Do you think Dad’s rooting for the big guy, or the little guy? Photo courtesy of Disney

Over the last year, Mrs. Mom and I have been on both the Disney Magic, a small ship and the Disney Dream a large ship. So here’s my thoughts on the Dream versus the Magic. Big versus Small.

Typically I root for the little guy. I like underdogs. I’m not a fan of bullies pushing the little guys around. That’s just me. So when it comes to cruise ships you’d think I would like the smaller ship, right?

Maybe not.

Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream Stateroom

Staterooms are roomy on the Disney Dream. Photo courtesy of Disney

By the Numbers

We’ve sailed on the Magic and the Dream. The Magic and the Wonder, while they’re not little ships by any stretch of the imagination, they’re smaller than the Dream and the Fantasy. I thought it’d be kind of interesting to compare and contrast the two, the small ship versus the big ship.

Let’s look at a few statistics. The Dream is 40% bigger than the Magic. The Dream is 1,115 feet long, 217 feet tall, and weighs a whopping 130,000 tons. The Magic is 934 feet long, 171.5 feet tall and weighs in at only 84,000 tons.

The Dream holds up to 4,000 passengers and the Magic holds up to 2,713. The Dream has 16 decks and the Magic has 11 decks.

So which is better, the big Disney Dream or the smaller Disney Magic?

Me, I like the Dream better. I like the big ships better. Let me tell you why.

disney cruise fireworks

The pool deck really benefits from that extra space. Photo courtesy of Disney

The Blessing of Space

This may all come from the fact that our first cruise was on the Dream, on the big ship, but we found the Magic to be really small. Almost claustrophobic.

If you look at comparable rooms on the two ships, the Dream’s staterooms are bigger. That’s what we found. We had roughly the same category rooms (they don’t exactly translate between the two ships) and the Dream was noticeably bigger. There’s just a little bit of square feet difference, but a little bit of square feet in a cruise line in certain places really makes a difference.

On the Dream we could walk between the bed without having to turn sideways and scoot. On the Magic we felt cramped. Things just felt crammed in.

And it wasn’t just the cabin. It was every where. The Dream is nearly 30 feet wider than the Magic and it shows, especially around the pool areas. There wasn’t a lot of room on the sides of the big main pool on the Magic and plenty of room on the side on the Dream. The pool takes up a lot of room on the cruise ships. The pool is one of the central focus points. You’re there for Sail Away Party. You’re there for the Pirate Party. You’re there a lot of times. It’s right outside the cabanas, which is the buffet. It just felt cramped. Everything on the Magic felt cramped.

The restaurants on the Magic were cramped. It was hard to walk between tables. Not on the Dream – you were very comfortable walking around the dining room.

When it comes to people the extra space on the Dream really becomes evident. On the Magic it seemed like everyone was crammed in. We were always being jostled and cramped. The Dream didn’t feel that way. It just felt bigger and more spacious.

Destinations to Travel

Dad’s Bottom Line

The bottom line is when it comes to big ships versus smaller ships on the Disney Cruise Line we prefer the bigger ships. Yes, Dad goes for Goliath versus David. Hard to believe. Bigger is better in this case.


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