Disney Cruise Line Planning Tips And Tools
You’re going on a Disney Cruise and you have a zillion questions. Relax, we have the information you need to plan ahead and have the best time on your voyage.
Starting with the travel documents to the onboard activities, everything you need to know is here. What do I need to wear to dinner? What are the kids clubs like? What’s there to do at the ports of call? What’s the difference between the stateroom categories? The answers to these and all of your inquiries can be found through the links below.
Before you begin, take a look at our Disney Cruise Vacation Planning Guide.
Arriving in Orlando:
Cruising with kids may seem stressful at first , but once you get on board, you’ll all be so busy having fun that you’ll forget about all of that! In fact, your kids may be so busy with their own activities, you may not see them again!
We have gathered all the information you’ll need so your planning will be simple. Check out our Kids Clubs page to find out hours, ages and what’s available for kids. You’ll find information about the ships’ pools and sports decks here.
As per Disney policy, babies that are younger than 6 months old are not permitted to sail on Disney Cruise Line ships due to safety concerns. On Transatlantic, Hawaii and Panama Canal sailings, the minimum age is 1 year. If anyone traveling in your party meets these restrictions at time of sailing, please choose an alternate sail date.
Cruising while pregnant
Tips for cruising while pregnant
Disney Cruise Tips Dos And Donts: Do Update Your Passport
If you use your passport frequently, then you may be familiar with the expiration date. If not, then you may need to find your passport first. Make sure you know where it is since it is important to the cruise.
Check the date if you havent used it in a while and make sure it doesnt expire before your cruise. If it does, you will need to update it before the cruise to make it onboard your ship. This is less important for domestic cruises, but its a must for international travel.
And make sure that your kids also have passports, including babies!
Read my full guide on applying for a passport for babies and kids
Only Teenagers Can Hang Out In The Coolest Part Of The Ship
The frontmost part of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy ships hosts a private sundeck and secret splash pools that are exclusively for use by 14 to 17-year-olds at onboard youth club, Vibe. There is supervision, of course, and Disney Cruise Line’s famously fun activities, but it’s practically a private vacation resort for high schoolers to chill at all day and night.
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Disney Stateroom Door Decoration Is Encouraged
Walk along the corridors of your Disney cruise ship and you will see some spectacular door decorations. Your imagination is the only limit to just how creative you can get.
Doors and walls in your Disney cruise stateroom are magnetic.
Note that Fish Extender Gift Exchanges are Strongly Discouraged now
Do Go To The Mickey Pirate Character Meet And Greets
Check your daily navigator to find where the character meet and greets are for Pirate Night. Usually the characters are available for pictures before the party even starts so make sure you plan accordingly. You can expect to meet Pirate Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Captain Hook, Captain Jack Sparrow and more!
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Record The Entire Show At Animator’s Palate
Category: Dining | Ships: All
** SPOILER ALERT **Something fun and special happens in Animator’s Palate. If you would prefer to be completely surprised, do not read the next few Disney Cruise tips about Animator’s Palate. ** END OF SPOILER ALERT **
During one of your rotational dining nights, youll find yourself eating at the lively Animators Palate. Before you are served your meal youll be invited to draw your own character using markers at your table. Each guest gets to create a character that is animated and comes to life.
While you are eating, the magicians at Disney will make your drawing come to life in a musical extravaganza that will be displayed on the big video screens located around the dining room.
Just before the main course, youll get some not-so-subtle clues from the wait staff and animated characters on screen that something special is about to happen. When you get these clues, position someone with a video camera or cell phone in a place where they wont block others views but who can record the full event.
It is fun to replay the special video and see your creations come to life. It goes by so fast the first time it is played, your recording will prove to be a very valuable memento.
Here is a quick video to give you an idea:
There Is So Much To Learn At The Lectures
Yup! There are some great naturalist lectures on the Disney Alaskan Cruises.
The educational sessions is one thing I missed out on my other cruises, but I loved learning all about wildlife, glaciers and other amazing things about our world.
We may have also accidentally taken a nap during the presentation but the speaker was so relaxing that it was hard not to.
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Consider A Portable Battery Charger
On my only excursion on our first Disney cruise , I ran out of battery on my phone, so I missed some great opportunities at the end of the excursion to take video and pics with my kids and my wife. A portable charger easily fits in a fanny pack, purse or pocket, and has a great range of devices that it can charge. It holds 90% of its full charge for up to 30 days, and has a remaining power indicator. Great idea if you plan on being away from the ship or on deck for an extended time.
We would have liked to have brought along a power strip to more easily charge all our devices on board, since the number of devices you can charge is limited to the plugs isn the stateroom, but in March 2014 Disney changed their policy on power strips and electrical cords, saying they are not allowed on board Disney ships because they are fire hazards.
If You’re Traveling With Young Children Arrange An Early Dinner Time
Traveling with young children? Then avoid this pitfall we ran into. Book early, so you can get the early dinner rotation. On Disney cruises , there are typically several dinner rotation times in order to accommodate everyone on board.
We were stuck with the 8:15 dinner rotation because we booked a bit late for the trip. We had a 7-year-old, a 6-year-old, and a 3-year-old, and at least one of them fell asleep at the table every night! This was a bit problematic, and either my wife or I would have to leave early to get the kid back to the room to bed.
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You Arent Locked Into Your Dining Assignment
Even though there are two official seatings for dinner every night and you are assigned a restaurant for every evening, you do have some flexibility. For starters, youll still be fed you if you show up 15 to 20 minutes late, or even 30, though your meal might be a bit more rushed. And if you want to eat at the same restaurant every night of your cruise and skip the others, the staff will do its best to accommodate you. Dont miss these other insider secrets to having the best Disney vacation.
Dont Leave During The Park Day
This statement ties into the last one. During a typical year, Id suggest that you leave the parks to enjoy some downtime.
You can go somewhere to eat lunch or go to your Disney resort for a swim.
These ideas work when the park is open 12+ hours. When it closes early, youll waste too much time on transportation and walking back and forth.
My suggestion is that you study the park hours and plan your day around being there the entire time.
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Pack Your Carry On Correctly
It may take a while for your room to arrive and luggage to make it to your stateroom so ensure your carryon has anything you need for the afternoon .
Use a traditional carry on with wheels because, your booze has to be in your carryon.
If the weather is beautiful in Vancouver, you may want to pack your familys bathing suits to enjoy the pools and slides on day one!
Book Port Adventures In Advance
You will be visiting some amazing ports so you will want to think about which Disney Port Adventures you want to book.
Your online Cruise Personalizer has details of them all. You can book before you sail.
We always suggest that you book excursions via Disney. You can book independently and you will probably save money.
However, if you book with Disney you can be sure that they have the Disney seal of approval. Most importantly if you are late back from a Disney Port Adventure the ship will wait for you.
If you go independently you could be waving goodbye to your floating home from the dock. We have seen it happen. Dont let it be you.
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Luggage Clearance Under The Bed Is 13
Category: Your Stateroom | Ships: All
There is plenty of room under your bed for even the largest of suitcases. The amount of clearance is just over 13 inches. I have found that all of our luggage will fit comfortably under the bed. Neatly tucked out of the way.
Pro-tip: You can stack different sized luggage inside each other if you have bigger and smaller cases.
Disney Cruise Tips And Hacks You Have To Know Before You Sail 2022
Posted on Published: January 10, 2022
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. LEARN MORE ON MY DISCLOSURE PAGE
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Who wants all the Disney cruise tips and secrets 2022 that you need to know? After spending months at sea on Disney cruises we wanted to give this free list of Disney cruise tips to our readers.
So if you want the biggest and best collection of Disney Cruise Tips, Secrets and Hacks ever read on!
We started out thinking we would aim for 101 Disney cruise tips and secrets. However, that just wasnt quite enough. So here is our collection of 107 Disney cruise tips to save you time and money so that you can have the very best experience at sea!
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You Can Take An Adventures By Disney Trip While Cruising
Instead of choosing just one port adventure in cities like St. Petersburg and Stockholm, the group travel company offers full-scale trips that “overlay” at each port, making for the ultimate vacation enhancement on Mediterranean and Baltic sailings. Expect to be whisked between Florence’s grandest sights or Rome’s famed monuments on European Disney Cruise Line sailings without planning a thing. Want to take it easy while sailing? Adventures by Disney also conducts shortened tours of major port cities like Barcelona and Copenhagen prior to setting sail.
White Uniforms Dont Signify Were Steering The Boat
Unlike on many other ships, wearing a classic white uniform doesnt mean staffers are the captain or even first mate it means that theyre managers, explains one cast member. The epaulets hold a clue as to which department theyre in: theatrical masks are for entertainment, a propeller is for traditional ship crew, and an oval means theyre part of the deck team.
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Other Interior Attractions And Activities
Meeting Disney characters is a really fun part of a Disney cruise. Who knows how this will work when cruising returns, but historically you made a reservation in advance to meet the popular princesses or Frozen gang.
Other characters, like Captain Minnie and friends, did not require an advance reservation. You would just get in line to say hi to the characters and have a picture taken. While some character appearances are a surprise, most times and locations are shared in advance on your daily cruise itinerary.
There is an onboard fitness center, so you can work off some of those treats and drinks.
The Senses Spa & Salon is a full-service spa with everything from massages to pedicures and hair care.
Pro tip: The showers in this part of the ship are full-sized in case you are getting a bit claustrophobic in the shower in your stateroom.
Youll want to make appointments in advance, though last-minute appointments are sometimes available if you are feeling spontaneous.
If you like getting away to relax, look at purchasing access to the Rainforest Room for heated stone loungers, aromatherapy showers and hot tub . You can buy a one-day or full-cruise pass to this area of the spa.
While the Senses Spa is for adults 18 and up, teens looking for a treatment can check out the Chill Spa.
Adult Only Pools On Disney Cruises
There is plenty of space reserved for the over 18s only on the Disney ships. This includes adult pools and hot tubs. On the Disney Dream and Fantasy, there is a huge sun deck reserved just for adults.
Capacity is limited at all Disney Cruise Ship Pools right now so you may have to wait. The adult pool is less crowded than the Family pool so you are less likely to have to wait.
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Disney Cruise Planning Guide
If you are planning a Disney Cruise for a family vacation, you are probably looking for everything from Disney Cruise packing lists to which Disney ship to take. There are many things to consider when planning a Disney Cruise, especially when you are first time Disney cruisers!
We are Gold Castaway Club members, which means weve been on quite a few Disney Cruises. We have put all our insider tips for a planning a Disney Cruise in one place and hope you find it helpful when planning your Disney Cruise!
Dont Follow The Crowd
Even though crowd is a relative term at the moment, the standard Disney strategies still apply.
When you follow everyone else, all of them will get ahead of you in line. Thats never good on a regular day. At a Disney park in 2020, its madness.
Follow the long-forgotten wisdom of Fleetwood Mac and go your own way.
In my experience, cookie-cutter itineraries lead to frustration. Its when you do your own thing that you develop new traditions for your family.
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Watch A Movie Under The Stars
Category: Other Tips | Ships: All
Check the schedule to see what is showing on Funnel Vision in the evenings.
Grab a sweatshirt and cozy up in your favorite deck chair to a Disney classic movie being played on the massive video screen played.
When everything else is quiet on the ship, this can be a fun way to cap off a wonderful day.
Dont: Loudly Complain About Standing In Line
You know what. This one doesnt merely apply to Disney theme parks. Its more of a universal thing.
I dont care if youre standing in line at the movie theater or the DMV or the orthodontist.
The other people in line dont want to hear about what a personal inconvenience this is to you.
Unless youre currently hours away from a breakthrough in cold fusion, youre not doing anything more important than anyone else.
If everyone else can wait without complaining constantly, so can you.
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Grab Every Facebook Photo While The Clock Runs Out
Even if you skipped every character meet-and-greet, you’ll still be able to cram in a week’s worth of photos at “Til’ We Meet Again,” the goodbye show on the final night of each sailing. After a short heartwarming performance, loads of Disney characters, princesses, and theatre performers will disperse throughout the crowd, posing for photos on a first-come, first-serve basis. The onboard photographers will have already shut down, too, so you can snap as many iPhone pictures as you’d like, making for a full album in one fell swoop.
Get An Early Port Arrival Time
We like to arrive at the port and board the ship as early as possible. This allows you to enjoy lunch and the ships pools before your room is ready.
This early Port Arrival Time is popular, so you will want to be diligent about choosing your time as soon as its available. This means you will want to login to your Disney account as soon as online check-in becomes available.
Then, you can make sure to snag the coveted early times before they book up. The trick to bypassing this is to use the cruise tip mentioned above.
If you choose to use the Disney Cruise Line ground transportation, you will NOT choose a Port Arrival Time. Instead, you will arrive at the port with the Disney cruise transfer. This is our go-to method for arriving at the port early when be book our cruise last minute.
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Dont Forget To Bring Pirate Clothes/costumes
With Pirate Night you can go all-out or you can choose to be more subtle. Its all up to you! For me, I think its fun to go all out. We love being on the search for fun pirate shirts and costumes the weeks leading up to the cruise. It just makes pirate night that much more fun. Look for clip-on earrings, fun bandanas, glittery fabric, and beads to braid in your hair. And dont forget to pack extra black eyeliner so you can round out your perfect pirate look!