Top 10 Disney Cruise Line Tips

Danielle’s Top 10 Disney Cruise Line Tips

Disney Cruise Line Tips

Disney Dream

I have numerous clients cruising soon and I thought it would be a great idea to pass on my “secret” knowledge. Cruising Disney is really a vacation like no other, and even without these tips anyone would still have an amazing time! Without further adieu, my top 10 Disney Cruise tips alphabetically:

  1. Alcohol– did you know that you can carry-on your own alcohol? It must be carried on (we take a backpack) and must be unopened. Our last trip we took: a 12 pack of beer, a liter of wine, a small bottle of scotch and a small bottle of chambord. The beer and wine we finished and took the alcohol back home with us. We asked our room steward to keep fresh ice for mixing drinks. Each room is equipped with a refrigerator.
  2. Boarding– grab the earliest time available to be at port…why not? Its included in part of your trip and the ship is open and waiting for you! If you arrive early for your time frame, they will fit you in. when your boarding numbers are called and you walk into the gangway there will be a long line(s)….these are for pictures. We duck under the rope and skip out on the picture. Why? Because we are not going to buy it anyway and we would rather be on the ship! Make sure your carry-on has bathing suits, sunscreen, medicines, floaties for kids and anything else you may need to BOARD (ID and birth certificate) or need before your luggage arrives to your room.
  3. Castaway Cay– don’t rush off the ship. There are plenty of seats for everyone! We grab a wagon once off the ship to throw the kids and our beach bag into. Towels are provided everywhere, so don’t pack any. We stopped by Guest Relations and got Bahamian stamps to mail postcards from the Castaway Cay post office. Stop by the bar(s) and ask about their 2 for 1 drinks (they don’t advertise but I always get them!).
  4. Dinner– have your travel agent request that you dine in Animator’s Palate on Pirate night. If you sail on a 4 night or longer then you will dine in AP twice with 2 different shows! Don’t arrive early, you have an assigned table number and the doors do not open early. Do: order anything you want! I have ordered the children’s soup selection, no salad, 2 different entree’s and a Mickey Bar for dessert (the Mickey bar is not listed….it is a secret!!) Whatever you want for dinner, rest assured you will get!
  5. Extra packing– I can pack our family of 4 into one large suitcase (another post to come on that) however here is a few items I suggest you bring. A light bathrobe (for the unknown knock from your room steward). A nightlight with a fragrance (for middle of the night bathroom breaks ). Drinking cups with handles (when I have to bring back 4 drinks to the room). Candy (for movies in the theater). Single dollar bills (for tipping room service). Chargers (for iPhone or camera). Highlighters (to keep track of what everyone wants to do on the navigator).
  6. Free– the Cove Cafe in the adult section has free pastries available all day and prosciutto, olives, and Parmesan around dinner time! Room service is free, just tip $1 per item ordered. If you need milk, order it as milk and cookies to get the milk free. Take a pillowcase or autograph mat (book through us and your autograph mat is FREE) and take it to Guest Services with sharpies (and a bag of candy to give characters) and you will get back a beautifully signed free souvenir of all your favorite characters! The toiletries are amazing, do not pack your own! Movies and TV on demand in your room! Watch newly released to DVD Disney movies anytime of the day as well as brand new movies in the Movie Theaters!
  7. Go– go straight to the main deck immediately after muster to have the best seats for the Sail Away Party. We have had front row seats both cruises. (we actually prefer to be one deck higher to watch down as its less crowded). Go to the pool at night and it is empty. We would often go between dinner and the show or skip out on the comedy show to swim.
  8. Have– have money on hand to re-book a future cruise while on board. You save an amazing 10% this way, only have to put down 10% (instead of 20%) and you get $100 worth of on board credit for that future cruise. Name us as your agent when you book and get something extra from your agent as well!! Even if you don’t know an exact date, book a dummy date and re-arrange your dates later on. (Ask us and we can explain this to you).
  9. Immediately– immediately go to Guest Services to add any gift cards to your account, change your dining time, or book Tea with Alice. Only your room key may be used for buying things on the ship and Castaway Cay, so add those gift cards for extra spending money and keep the cards in case you don’t spend it all and you need a refund. If the dining time you want is full when you book, Guest Services can modify it once on board. Tea with Alice fills up quickly (also Tea with the Princesses) so I book before everyone else knows about it and reserve my time slot.
  10. Just– just slow down. You will NOT see everything. That is the best part….you will want to cruise again to see more of what the ship offers. Relax, walk around, sleep in and explore. If you cruise Disney once, you will be hooked.


About Danielle

Danielle has been a Magical Memory Planners since 2013. She has lots of personal travel experience and would love to help you plan your next magical vacation for FREE.
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2 Responses to Top 10 Disney Cruise Line Tips

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  2. Rose Molina says:

    The first day, everything is pretty flexible. When we made our reservations we were on the second dining seating (which starts at 8:15) and were on the waiting list for the first seating from about December 2012 until our sailing date. On the day we boarded, we happily discovered we’d been assigned to the first seating (at 5:45) which would really work much better for our younger children. So if you’re in the same situation, don’t fret too much – it probably will work itself out. Another thing we probably screwed up a little bit was our reservations for Palo which is the Magic’s “premium” adults-only surcharge dining experience. When I made the cruise booking, I reserved us a dinner spot at 6:30 on our last cruise night. Since our dining rotation was Parrot Cay-Lumiere’s-Animator’s Palate, that meant we would missing our second night in Animator’s Palate, so we tried to move the Palo reservation to some other nights which proved to be problematic for a variety of other reasons (such as, it overlapped with the onboard Pirate Night or my daughter’s birthday dinner) so in the end we moved it twice and ended up with a reservation at 6:00 instead of 6:30. Another complication was that we needed to coordinate our Palo dinner with the nursery care for my daughter – our son could stay in the “included” child programming, but our daughter needed to be in the nursery which needs to be pre-booked and costs a little bit extra (It was $6/hour which is pretty cheap, especially for a cruise where it feels like the “extras” are *really* extra!) So one of the take-aways is if you make plans ahead of time and try to change them on the boat, you may end up worse off.