Updated: Jul 17, 2020
Make your dream come true on a Disney Cruise. On this blog post, I will give you my useful Disney Cruise advice, plus, tips, and tricks that can help you while you are on your Disney Cruise. Read my blog below and you’ll have a much better knowledge of what to expect, even if you’ve never been on a cruise before!
Temporary Suspension of Disney Cruise Line Departures
Disney Cruise Line is suspending all new departures beginning Saturday, March 14, 2020 through April 28, 2020.
Here is what you should do BEFORE you book your trip.
The first thing you should do, is join several Disney Facebook groups. These people know everything!
Here are my two suggestions
Disney Cruise Line Junkies
Disney Cruise Line
Find a travel agent. It’s free so why not.
Here is my travel agent.
Wishdrawals Disney Vacation Planning – Mike and Jennifer Moreno
Now book your trip.
We decided to book the 4-Night Bahamian Cruise from Port Canaveral. Sailing to Nassau Bay, Bahamas (Atlantis) and Castaway Cove (Disney Private Island).
To be honest, 4 days was not long enough! I suggest a 7 day cruise if you have the time and money.
It’s important you take care of the following items online after you book your cruise.
Select your land excursions.
On-board activities-Book ASAP otherwise you will be sh%t out of luck. They go fast!
Pick an arrival time to board the ship– I suggest you select an early arrival time. Getting on the ship early is a perfect way to start your vacation and enjoy the ship before it gets too crowded. Otherwise, you will be stuck in the waiting room watching others have fun. Important note: You can’t get into your cabin till 1:30. The cruise line will deliver your luggage to your room shortly afterwards.
Dining Times– Pick your dining times. If you have the early dinner, (6:15 pm) then you will watch the Disney Cruise Lines’ Broadway-style musical afterwards. If you select late dinner, (8:15 pm) then you will watch the show before dinner. Disney has musicals every night.
Decide if you want the photo package and place your order -Just like the Disney theme parks, you can expect to find photographers at all the key spots on your vacation. I wish I would have saved my $200 and not have purchased the package. I think we had a couple of good pictures. Also, I’m not a fan of the cheesy backgrounds (see below). I suggest you hold off and purchase individual pictures that you love. Do not forget to pick up your USB by the front door when you leave if you ordered the photo package.
Download the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App– This is where you will find the majority of the daily activities on-board the ship. The app only works on the ship.
Here is my list of what you need to bring in order to have a Magical Cruise.
Disney Door Magnets
Many of the cruisers decorate their staterooms doors with Disney door magnets. It’s a fun way to celebrate your family vacation and it makes it easy to find your room. We overpaid by buying custom graphic magnets online via Etsy. The quality wasn’t even that great. I suggest you make your own. Just print out some cute pictures and slap a magnet on the back. There are several DYI sites that you should check out. I even saw people just putting basic Disney magnets on their doors.
Lanyard for your Key To The World Card
This card serves as your identification on the ship, room key, and charge card. Guests who have sailed with Disney before will receive a complimentary Castaway Club lanyard upon checking in. If it is your first Disney cruise, then I suggest you purchase one in advance. We bought ours on Amazon for $8.
Bottled water or refillable mugs.
There is no bottled water available in your room, unless you want to drink from the sink.
I suggest a refillable mug so you can fill it up with water at the beverage station before returning to your room. The beverage stations on board are open 24/7.
The water bottles must be unopened and packaged in their original packaging. It must be in your carry-on luggage, not your checked baggage.
Bring your own alcohol.
This is how you can save a ton of money. Bring your own alcohol.
You can bring 2 bottles of unopened wine or champagne (no bigger than 750ml) or 6 beers (no larger than 12 ounces) on board. These beverages must be packed in your carry-on not your check in luggage. Bring a bottle opener.
Pirate costumes for Pirate’s Night
Only on select Disney Cruises
This event is pirate-themed night with: live shows, fireworks, pirate move over options, late night parties, and pirate character meet and greets. Costumes are not required. I would say about half of the cruise guests dress up for this event. Some people elect to wear pirate inspired looks with regular clothes or matching DYI pirate shirts. We had leftover costumes from a Halloween costume party last year. If you notice, my youngest daughter is a ghost and my oldest daughter is wearing a simple vintage black dress with a pirate feel to it. Overall I think we achieved a pirate theme look for zero cost to us.
Bring movie theater popcorn or candy to save money.
My kids love popcorn, candy, and sodas during a movie. In front of the Disney movie theater is a concession stand with movie theater prices. I suggest filling up your water bottle with soda at the service station upstairs and bringing your own candy. Otherwise, be prepared to fork over some serious cash. Yes, they even charge for soda at the concession stand.
Bring princess dresses for your daughters.
Little girls who sail with Disney are often seen wearing their favorite princess dresses. They will enjoy wearing them to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Fantasy’s Royal Court Tea, or when meeting their favorite princesses.
The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique has dresses available to purchase. However, we have several princess dresses at home, so we brought our own for the activity. I’m always looking for ways to save money. We scored these adorable Elsa boots for $10 during the Black Friday sales.
Bring Instant Coffee
Otherwise, you will have to force your husband to go upstairs and get you a cup every morning. There is no coffee in the rooms.
**Do not bring towels because Disney provides them on the pool deck **
30 days out
You will receive luggage tags in the mail. You need to put the tags on your bags before you reach the port. Once you are at the port you will hand your luggage over to the concierge.
Night before your cruise.
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport Hotel. This hotel is located inside the airport, which is convenient since we had a late flight.
Transportation to Port Canaveral
Cruise Shuttles– You can find several shuttle services online to Port Canaveral for $30 round trip per person.
Uber– $100 to Port Canaveral and $167 return for party of 4 (van).
Taxi– Is around the same price as the Uber, but you can negotiate prices.
Disney Transportation– $300 round-trip for party of 4.
Boarding Day Check List
Check in online.
Make sure you have the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App downloaded.
Have tags on your luggage.
Make sure water bottles, beer, wine, and champagne are in your carry on.
Do not be late to the port! Show up and be prepared for them to call your number. Your carry on bag should have all your basics such as medication, electronics, and your swimsuits for the pool. You can’t get into your cabin till 1:30 pm.
After you are dropped off at the port, give the concierge your check in bags.
Pick up your Key To The World.
Go straight to the buffet so you can enjoy some delicious lunch. All you can eat crab and shrimp.
Are you a family of 5 too? Disney offers bunk beds and a side-wall, pull-down bed. The room easily slept all of us.
Before- During the day
After- At night
We selected the veranda with an ocean view. I’ve watched Titanic too many times and I want the option to jump if the boat is sinking. Even if I will die from the jump, I still want the option.
Also, I spend about half my time hanging out on the balcony. Totally worth the extra cash.
Fun on the Ship
Disney Cruise Line Navigator App and Navigator activities sheet.
This is where you book and see the ships daily activities. This is how you will organize your time and make sure you don’t miss an event.
Once on the ship, connect to the ship’s complimentary app. WI-FI network. The WI-FI is only complimentary for the app.
Just like Disney World, this app will help you find the characters. This is where you find out where the princesses and characters will be.
If you have the early dinner, (6:15 pm) then you will watch the Disney Cruise Lines’ Broadway-style musical afterwards. If you select late dinner, (8:15 pm) then you will watch the show before dinner. They have musicals every night. In my opinion the musicals are the best part of the cruise!
It’s a Small World Nursery (Infant 6 months- 3yrs)
The Oceaneers’ clubs is for kids ages 3-12. Your child must be potty trained.
Edge (ages 11-14)
Vibe (ages 14-17)
Only during open house and specific activities are the parents allowed into the Oceaneers’ Club. The club is FREE and you can leave your kids there for FREE. I seriously thought they were joking when they said it was free. The older kids can check themselves in and out with a parents permission. This place is massive and it has everything a kid could want.
Just like Disney World kids are given a band to enter and exit the kids club. The bands cost $12 a band, but you can get a full refund if you return them at the end of the cruise. I suggest you fill out all the paperwork online for the kids club before booking, so you’re not stuck filling out paperwork your first day on the cruise.
Free parent and kid activities in the Oceaneers’ club.
We only attended one activity at the Oceaneers’ Club. However, we had a blast creating flubber with the mad scientist.
Yes, it even bounces.
Movies on the Disney Cruise
You will find current movies and new releases at the movie theaters on board. Keep in mind, the refreshment stands outside the theater serve popcorn, candy, and canned soda for theater prices. I suggest bringing your own. Look at your Disney Cruise Navigator to find specifics of what movie is playing and when. We were able to watch Onward and Frozen 2 during our March 9, 2020 cruise.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
Tea with Princess
The three main restaurants are Enchanted Garden, Royal Palace, and Animator’s Palate. You will rotate among these three restaurants with the same wait staff. Also, you will have the same table number at each restaurant. They are three course meal restaurants. However, it’s all you can eat, so you can order as many appetizers and main courses as you like. The food is “oh so” delicious. You are not required to dress up but it is fun to do so.
Disney Dream – Royal Palace Restaurant
Out of the three restaurants, this one is more on the boring side. It’s just a typical cruise restaurant.
My oldest daughter was able to try escargot for the first time. It was not her favorite.
Disney Dream – Animator’s Palate
This Mickey Mouse themed restaurant has a magical Disney feel. The restaurant features over 100 video monitors. Crush the sea turtle from Finding Nemo swims from screen to screen. He engages with guests and has one on one conversations with almost every table.
Disney Dream – Enchanted Garden
Enchanted Garden is an indoor inspired garden. It’s absolutely breathtaking.
At dinner the cocktail of the day is always $5 and they are strong! I needed it the first night since the water was rough with 12 to 14 foot waves. Talk about scary!
Penelope’s Sweets & Treats
If your kids love Wreck-It Ralph the movie. then make sure you check out the ice cream store.
Fun on Land
Check out these blogs to learn more:
Castaway Cay- Coming Soon
Breakfast on departure day
The breakfast buffet is not open on departure day. If you want breakfast, then it must be a sit down at the same restaurant from the night before.
My favorite Instagram spots.
I love fashion and make-up. Did you see something you like?
Here’s what we wore:
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