Earlier this year, my family had the opportunity to take our very first Disney Cruise on the Disney Dream as part of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration-Land and Sea Adventure. I’d been on another cruise lines in the past, but to be honest, it was so many years ago and it was definitely not a Disney Cruise. This was, in fact, the first time the rest of my family had ever been on a cruise, so on top of making sure they were ready for cruising in general, I was determined to make sure we were able to fully enjoy the Disney Cruise Experience!
In this Part 2 of my complete guide to Disney Cruising post, I’m sharing some hacks and tips I discovered on our Disney Cruise and things you should definitely keep in mind during your first Disney Cruise Line Experience. If you’ve already been on a Disney Cruise, feel free to add some of your tips for first time Disney Cruisers in the comments!
Jump to Part 1: Your Complete Guide to the Disney Dream Cruise
9 Tips for First Time Disney Cruisers
Disney Cruise Line Navigator
I highly recommend you download the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App on your smartphone or your tablet prior to setting sail on your Disney Cruise. It not only offers helpful features and information about the ship, but it gives you updates on everything that’s happening on the ship such as activities and character photo opportunities and allows you to set your daily itinerary. Also, my favorite part of using the app was the onboard chat feature. People who are traveling with you with the onboard wifi can easily text and chat with you via the app. This isn’t only for first time Disney cruisers either!
Magnetic Door Signs
Our Disney SMMC group had me really excited about bringing some magnetic door signs for our stateroom door. You will find that several people on the ship decorate their doors with these signs, which not only make it a fun way to express your personalities, but serve as awesome door markers for children (and adults) to easily find and identify their staterooms.
Key To the World Card
As I mentioned in Part 1, you get what’s called a Key to the World Card when you board your Disney cruise, and this this card not only gives you access to your room, but pretty much takes the place of your ID and credit cards while on the ship and should not be lost or misplaced. Be sure to carry a lanyard to help you keep your key to the world card with you at all times.
Costumes for Theme Nights
Disney Cruises will almost always have some sort of dress up night and party on the cruise, such as Pirate’s Night that we had on the Disney Dream. Although your room attendant will likely bring you a bandana and little pirate accessories, go ahead and pre-pack a costume especially for the kids. We managed to order ours on Amazon ahead of time to save some money of trying to purchase something on the ship.
I believe the Disney Cruise line is the only cruise that allows you to bring alcohol beverages from home, but this is with a few restrictions. The limit is 2 bottles of wine and a 6 pack of beer that must be in your carry-on, otherwise, they will be stored until you leave the ship. You are free to drink these in your room, but if you want to bring these to the dining rooms, there is a corking fee of about $25 per bottle. Otherwise, don’t forget your corkscrew!
Food is readily available all throughout the cruise, but packing some snacks and candy can come in handy during the cruise. They’re great for late cravings after dinners or for any night shows for the kids at night shows and movies. Although you can get snacks like popcorn outside Walt Disney and Buena Vista theatres, they are a bit limited on variety and plus, having your own will save you some money. It is important to note that Disney Cruise line does not allow any unpackaged food on board.
If your child is an autograph collector, be sure to pack an autograph book for your children to collect signatures from the Disney characters they mingle within the alleys and during kids activities aboard the cruise.
Suction hooks and clothes hangers
The staterooms, just like any other cruise room, can be little limited on space. On the Disney cruise line, they do provide a small provision in the bathrooms to hang small items, but you could definitely use more for families. Pack a few clothespins and suction hooks to hang dry your wet clothes, and ensure the bathroom is usable.
Also, remember to pack not only chargers and adapters for your devices, but if possible extra battery cases. The Disney cruise line does not allow power strips on-board but you can access one after depositing $50 from the customer service. They are offered based on first come first serve basis, so be the first to get one!