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We take a lot of cruises in our family. One of our favorites is Disney Cruise. We are asked daily for any tips or tricks to a Disney Cruise vacation. We decided to finally sit down and share all of our knowledge with you in the 105 Disney Cruise tips. These tips will help you on your first Disney Cruise or your 10th cruise.
If you need a little extra Disney Cruise fun, check out our Disney Cruise playlist on YouTube with over 80 videos from all of the Disney Cruise ships and even holiday cruises. We share cruise videos and more Disney Cruise tips from Disney Dream, Disney Magic, Disney Fantasy, and Disney Wonder.
Booking Your Disney Cruise
#1 Land & Sea Package: If you are planning a Disney World and Disney Cruise combo package, start with your Disney World vacation first. You can spend your time playing at the Disney Parks in Orlando. Then end with a relaxing Disney Cruise. It is a nice way to end your vacation. Plus, Disney offers transportation from the Disney Resorts to Port Canaveral.
#2 Best Prices: We are asked daily…when is the best time to cruise? The best time is always September, BUT this is because it is hurricane season. If you want to save money, this is the time to cruise. You will find some incredible deals. You may want to add the trip insurance. Just in case a hurricane decides to drop by during your cruise. Another great time to visit is January. Yes, it is a little bit colder to swim, but the air is still warm!
#3 Best Time for Crowds: The cruise ships are limited on the number of guests. However, the best times to cruise are when the kids are in school. The cruises during the week or over the school months. These are going to be the less crowded cruises.
#4 Special Events: Our family loves the special event cruises for Halloween (Halloween on the High Seas), Christmas (Very Merrytime Cruise), Marvel Day at Sea, and Star Wars Day at Sea.
These are fun Disney Cruises with an extra touch of fun! If you love these special holidays or characters, plan your cruise around these specialty cruises.
Before You Go on Your Disney Cruise
The good news…a Disney Cruise is really a relaxing vacation. It is not like Disney World, where you have to do a lot of pre-planning or you miss out. A Disney Cruise is much more relaxing. However, there are still a few things you may want to do the first time you take a Disney Cruise.
There are very few activities you will need to pre-book.
#5 Shore Excursions: When you arrive to Ports of Call during your cruise, you can leave the ship to wander around or you can book a shore excursion. A shore excursion is a group or private activity coordinated by a local tour company. They usually meet you on board the ship and all leave together on the adventure. You are with this group until your activity is over and they bring you back to the ship.
If you want to book a shore excursion, you will want to book it early. Many of the more popular excursions (through Disney) do book up early.
#6 Shore Excursion Money Saving Tip: Booking a shore excursion directly with the tour company is a lot less expensive. Many of the same tours you book through Disney can be booked directly with the tour company!
#7 Palo/Remy: Disney offers two signature restaurants on board select Disney ships. These restaurants are amazing, but do book up. Both of these restaurants also charge an extra sitting fee, that covers the gratuity for the staff.
If you want to dine at Palo or Remy, be sure you book that early. Do not worry if you cannot grab a reservation. Disney holds tables for when you board the ship. You can stop by the Dining Manager, ask the concierge, or call the restaurant to book a reservation (once you board the ship).
The dinner is amazing, but our favorite dining experience is brunch at Palo.
#8 Spa: We do love to relax during our cruise! Disney Cruise ships do have a spa and salon if you think you may want to enjoy a treatment during your cruise. Most of these treatments you can book when you get on the ship. However, the more popular days like days at sea, do book up early. If you know you want to get a spa treatment during your cruise, we recommend you book it early.
#9 Rainforest Day Pass: Tim & I love the Rainforest Day Pass during our cruise. This includes a relaxing day in the Rainforest Spa with soothing showers, saunas, heated lounge chairs, and hot tubs. On select ships, the hot tubs have an incredible floor to ceiling view of the ocean. We usually only get the Rainforest Day Pass for one day of our cruise. If you only want one day, you do need to pre-book it. Once you board the ship, you can only get the Rainforest Day Pass for your length of cruise.
Online Check In Disney Cruise Tips
Disney Cruise offers an opportunity to check in online, before your cruise. You will still have to “check in” again at Port Canaveral. However, you can get a lot of little things done, before your cruise. We recommend checking in online, as soon as you can. You will receive an actual check in date. We would suggest checking in on that date. Some of the things that you can do during your online check in.
#10 Schedule Your Boarding Time: Checking in early allows you to select a better boarding time…AKA first! We recommend selecting an earlier boarding time. This allows you to get on the ship early. You can dine at one of the sit down restaurants vs the crowded buffet or hop in the pool or waterslides, before everyone else. We also like to get to the ship early, if we need to meet the Dining Manager (to change our dining time, book Palo, or make any requests to our dining rotation.)
#11 Register for Children Programming: You can also complete some of the process for Children Programming. This takes a few minutes, but will save you time on the ship once you board.
#12 Book Select Character Meet & Greets: Most of the character meet and greets are just walk up. However, there are a few that are more popular and do require tickets (aka reservations.) Those include Princess Gathering and Anna/Elsa. If you are interested in either of these meet and greets, we recommend booking during your online check in.
#13 Character Meals: On select longer cruises, you may have the opportunity to book a Disney Junior Character Breakfast. You can book this during your online check in process.
#14 Schedule Your Character Call: One of my favorite ways to get the kids excited about a Disney Cruise is Mickey or Goofy calling the kids on my cell phone. It is free and a fun way to get the kids excited! You can schedule this phone call during your online check in.
#15 Download the Disney Cruise Navigator App: You will ❤ this Disney app! You can download it to your smart phone. You will use this app during your cruise to find out all of the fun activities and even talk with your family members via the chat. Before your cruise, you will want to use this app to countdown to your Disney Cruise!
#16 Packing: We know you are already concerned you will forget something on your Disney Cruise. We felt the same way during our first few Disney Cruise. Tim even forgot the kids entire suitcase for one cruise and had to buy a whole new wardrobe for the kids! After 30 cruises, we do have it down to a science. Here is a packing list of things to bring on a Disney Cruise vacation.
#17 Call your Bank/Credit Card Company: Disney does not accept cash on board. Everything is charged to your key to the world card. When you do the online check in and check in at the port, you will verify your credit card. This is the credit card that Disney will charge for all incidentals during your cruise. Be sure you call your bank or credit card company to let them know you are traveling and will be on a cruise.
#18 Booking Your Flights: When you book your flight, we always recommend arriving the night before your cruise. However, if you do have to arrive the day of your cruise; arrive before 10 AM and depart home after 2 PM. I know Disney says arrive before 12 noon and depart after 12 noon. However, over the years we have heard a lot of stories of guests that miss their cruise and miss their flights home. Just to be safe, arrive by 10 AM and depart home after 2 PM.
#19 Arrive the Day Before You Cruise: If you can, we highly recommend arriving the day before your cruise. You can enjoy a night near the port or city. Most of the Disney Cruises leave out of amazing cities. Why not come a night early and enjoy the city. Plus, it is a lot less stress knowing you have time (just in case there are any delays.)
#20 Cruising out of Port Canaveral: If you are taking a Disney Cruise out of Port Canaveral, why not spend a couple days at Disney World (before or after) your cruise. Disney Cruise Line even offers shuttle transportation to and from Port Canaveral. It is a fun way to extend the magic!
#21 Bringing Alcohol: Disney Cruise allows you to pack (2) bottles of wine or alcohol (as your carry on) per person. This will certainly save you a little money on your adult beverages during your cruise. If you pack wine, do not forget your wine cork. Disney charges a $25 corking fee. You can pack a wine corkscrew with your checked luggage.
#22 Luggage Tags: Disney Cruise will mail you documents. This includes most of the same information you already completed in your online check in. The one thing in the documents that is important is the luggage tags. You will want to put a luggage tag on all of your checked luggage. This is the luggage you will drop off with the porter, once you arrive to the terminal.
Do not worry if you do not have your luggage tags. We rarely have ours, because we book our cruises very last minute. Once you arrive to the terminal, the porter will give you a luggage tag. You just need to tell them your stateroom number and they will create luggage tags for you.
#23 Documentation: On a Disney Cruise, you are leaving the country. With that in mind, you must have proper documentation. We highly recommend passports. If something happens during your cruise and you need to fly home, you must have a passport to re-enter the United States. I have heard many horror stories about guests that did not have passports on their cruise. Just to be safe, get those passports.
If you do not have time, Disney will accept an original birth certificate for kids and an original birth certificate and government picture ID for adults.
1st Day of Disney Cruise
#24 Checking Luggage
Disney World: If you are leaving Disney World and taking the Disney Cruise shuttle to port, your luggage will be picked up at your Disney Resort room. Your luggage will magically show up in your Disney Cruise stateroom, later in the day.
Everyone Else: If you are taking a taxi, shuttle, or driving to your Disney Cruise terminal; you will drop off your luggage with a porter. Be sure you bring cash ($1-3 per piece of luggage) to tip the porter. From that point, your luggage will magically show up in your Disney Cruise stateroom later in the day.
Bonus Tip: We book our cruises very last minute. Due to this, we rarely get our cruise docs. This includes our luggage tags. Never fear, when you drop off your luggage; the porter can get you luggage tags. You will just need your room number. That is it! They will create new luggage tags for you, right when you drop off your luggage.
#25 Checking in at the Terminal
Security: You will have to go through security to get to the Disney Cruise check in. It is very similar to airport TSA security, except you do not have to take out liquids, laptops, or remove your shoes.
Disney Cruise Check In: Once you get through security, you will check in for your Disney Cruise. The check in is divided into several lines. There is a Platinum/Club Level check in, Castaway Club members (Silver/Gold) check in, and finally everyone else. Be sure you get in the right line to help save time. You will need everyone with you, because the Disney Cast Member will need to take a picture of everyone in your family.
Boarding the Ship Disney Cruise Tips
#26 Photos: As soon as they call your boarding number, you can board the ship. One of the first things you will do is get a family photo with the photographers. If you do not want to wait in line, you can certainly skip this part.
#27 Welcome Aboard: One of our favorite parts of boarding the Disney Cruise Ships is the announcement. Once you board the ship, a Disney crew member will ask for your family name. They will then announce…”Welcome Aboard the Disney Wonder the Jones Family!” This is such an amazing video opportunity. You can get in front of your family and video tape their excitement boarding or you can go along with them. Just have those cameras ready!
#28 Pack a Day Bag: Once you board the ship, you may have several hours, before you can get into your stateroom. Be sure you pack your medicines, swim suits, sunblock, and any essentials for the first few hours on your cruise.
Room & Luggage
#29 Getting into Your Room: When you check in at the terminal, you will get a Key to the World Card. This Key to the World Card is good for your room key, getting and off the ship, and any incidentals. You will use this key to get into your room. You can get into your room around 1 PM on the 1st day of your cruise.
#30 Magical Luggage: Your check luggage will show up outside your stateroom soon after 1 PM. It can sometimes arrive as late as early evening, right before dinner.
#31 Go Ahead and Unpack: One of the first things you will want to do is unpack. It will give you more space in your room, by unpacking. You can hang items in the closet or put them in the dressers. You can then store the luggage under the main bed.
#32 Lights: The rooms are controlled with your Key to the World Card. When you get into your room, you will want to put your Key to the World Card in the slot by the door. This will turn on your lights and power in your room. We always bring a gift card to put in this slot. That will free up your Key to the World Cards.
#33 Downy Wrinkle Releaser: If you watch Jones Family Travels, we are always raving our Downy Wrinkle Releaser on our travels. This is especially important on Disney Cruise vacations, because you do not have an iron in your room. There are only a few laundry rooms on the ship and they are sometimes on a floor above or below you. It is so much easier to just pack the amazing Downy Wrinkle Releaser to use to get those wrinkles out.
#34 Extension Cord: There are only a few outlets in your stateroom. We always bring the extension cords with multiple outlets. This way all of our devices have an outlet to charge.
#35 Hanging Door Shoe Rack: Since the Disney Cruise staterooms are so small, we like to pack a handing door shoe rack to hand on the door. You can fit clothes, bug spray, sunblock, and little items in this shoe rack.
#36 Leave the Hair Dryer at Home: Disney does provide a super small hair dryer in your staterooms. It is not the best. However, hair dryers from home do not do well on the cruise ships. We recommend just leaving them at home and use the smaller ones or just air dry.
Must Do’s When You Board
There are several “must do’s” that you should be aware of when you board the ship.
#37 Dining Manager: If you need to make any changes to your dining rotation, request a specific table assignment (like a private table), or book a Palo/Remy reservations; you will want to plan on meeting with the Dining Manager. You can ask a Disney crew member when you board where you can meet the Dining Manager.
#38 Children Programming (Kids Club): This is something that can be done anytime on the 1st day of your cruise. We normally get lunch and get settled into our room, before we head over to Children Programming. You will want to spend a few minutes to check the kids into the Children Programming. For the Oceaneer Lab and Club, the kids will need to get Disney Cruise MagicBands.
#39 Shore Excursions (Port Adventures): If you did not pre-book any shore excursions, you may want to book those once you board the ship. You have plenty of time to book these anytime during your 1st day on the ship. It does not have to be right as you board.
#40 Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or Pirate League: If you want to book a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experience or the Pirate League on Pirate Night, you will want to stop by to book your reservation. These experiences book up quickly!
#41 Spa/Salon Treatments: If you are planning on spending some time in the spa or salon during your cruise, you can stop by the open house. This is usually held all day on the 1st day of your Disney Cruise. You can even take a tour to make sure it is a good fit for your vacation.
#42 Getting Around the Ship
Decks: There are several decks on board the Disney Cruise Ships. I like to spend my first day wandering around to get used to where everything is located.
Aft/Forward: You will hear Disney Crew talk about Aft and Forward. Aft is the back of the ship and Forward is the front of the ship. As you are walking around the halls, you will see some tips to help you figure out where you are including:
Stars on the Carpet: The tip or top of the stars will always point forward to the front of the ship.
Stars on the Lights: You can also look to the ceiling for directions. With the circle lights, look for the lines in the lights. The point of the lights will also point you to the front of the ship.
Port/Starboard: You will also hear the Disney Crew talk about Port and Starboard. These are the left and right sides of the ship.
Fish: Hanging on the outside of the stateroom doors are fish or starfish. The fish have four letters, so think Port. The fish are the Port side of the cruise ship.
Starfish: The starfish are on the Starboard side of the side. I am sure you can figure that one out!
#43 Let’s Party: As you leave the terminal, the Disney Cruise ships will have a “sailing away” party. You will get to meet the Disney Cruise Crew and your favorite Disney Characters. It is a lot of fun! If you like to dance, you can go on Deck 9. If you want a better overall view, head to Deck 10.
#44 Heading Out to Sea: We love going to the front of the ship (after the “sailing away” party) to watch the land disappear into water. You may even see some dolphins! Be sure you turn off your phone or put it in airplane mode as soon as you leave land.
Secrets to Using Electronics on Your Cruise
#45 Cell Phones: We had a fellow YouTuber friend that racked up an insane phone bill when she went on a cruise. She just did not know to turn her phone on airplane mode. As soon as you leave the land of the United States, your phone will probably start on International Roaming. This can get quite expensive. So, either turn your entire family’s phones on airplane mode or turn them off. We turn ours on airplane mode. That way, the kids can use the Disney App and we can stay in touch with them during the cruise.
#46 International Service: You will have ports of call in other countries and you may want to call home. Be sure you call your cell phone company to see if there are any temporary service plan options, while you are on vacation.
#47 WIFI on Board: The Disney Cruise ships do have wifi service in your staterooms and throughout the ship. You get a small amount of data for free. It is literally enough to check your email for just a few minutes. You can then purchase additional minutes.
#48 WARNING! Most computers and cell phones have systems working in the background. The paid wifi is based on data usage. Especially with cell phones, you could purchase a data plan and send one Facebook post with a picture and use your entire data plan in just a few minutes. This is because certain apps use a lot of data. Facebook is one of them. I always stop by the computer help desk on board and ask them to turn off all of the apps, behind the scenes. They know which ones will soak up all of your data and are happy to take a minute and turn them all off for you. Then, on the last night of your cruise, you can pop back over to have them turn them all back on.
#49 Wave Phones: If you do not use your cell phones on board the Disney Cruise ships, Disney provides (2) phones per stateroom called Wave Phones. You can use these phones to communicate with your stateroom and other staterooms.
#50 Business Center: If you prefer to leave your computer at home, the Disney Cruise ships do have computers in the Internet Cafe that you can use to check your emails. You will still have to purchase an internet package and log in every time you use the computers.
Dining During Your Cruise
#51 Rotational Dining: One of my favorite parts of a Disney Cruise is the FOOD! You do not dine is just one dining room like other cruise lines. You will rotate the restaurants on board the Disney Cruise, so you will get different dining experiences and restaurants.
The great news is your servers will come with you. This means your server will have your drink ready to go on day 3 or 4 or know how you like your steak cooked. It makes your dining experience so amazing!
#52 Room Service: Dining is included on the Disney Cruise ship. This even includes room service. There are a few things on the menu that may be an extra small fee, but almost everything is included. We love taking advantage of room service on busier port days. We can then come back to the room and just relax for dinner.
#53 Anything at Any Restaurant: Tim loves the escargot. He will order it every night of the cruise, even though it is on the menu at another restaurant. If you like something ask for it. This includes more than one appetizer or dessert. If you want to try one of every single dessert, ask for it. The server will bring it for you and you can just ENJOY!
#54 Food to Go: When our kids were younger, they would literally fall asleep at the table and never eat their dinner. Then they would wake up at 10 PM hungry and grumpy. We would ask the server to pack up their food to go. If you have a tired family member or even a sick family member, just order some food for them to bring back to the room. The server will set you up.
#55 Food, Food, and More Food: You have so many dining opportunities on board the Disney Cruise ships and almost everything is included with your cruise. The only big exception is Palo and Remy. These are the Signature Table Service locations. You will also have to purchase snacks at the theater and Walt Disney World Theater.
#56 Pack Alcohol in Your Carry On: You are welcome to carry on, two bottles of wine each adult. Be sure you also pack a cork screw to open the bottles of wine. If you forget your cork screw, you will be paying for a pricy corking fee to open your wine.
#57 Personal Navigator for Restaurant Times: You can look in the Navigator to see the restaurant hours each day. You can enjoy sit down locations, buffet, or quick service. You can see all of the hours for these dining experiences in the Navigator.
We also recommend downloading the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App to your smart phone. You can see all of the activities and dining on the app. In addition, you can chat with family members with the chat option.
#58 Pack Snacks: I always like to pack one suitcase that is completely empty on Disney Cruise vacations. In this suitcase, I will only pack snacks like popcorn or gummies. These are perfect snacks for the Buena Vista Theater (first run movies) of the Walt Disney World Theater (Broadway shows.) This will save you some money on buying snacks for these shows.
#59 Pack Yeti or Tervis Cups: You have unlimited beverages at the beverage station on the pool deck. This includes coffee, tea, milk, and Coke products. They do have small cups at the beverage station, but we like to bring our own larger cups. We can fill them up to take them to the movies or theater or even just to hang out at the pool.
#60 Amazing Restaurants…Have Your Camera Ready: There are two restaurants that are truly amazing. One is called Animator’s Palate. This restaurant is on all of the Disney Cruise ships. The other restaurant is Tiana’s Place, currently on the Disney Wonder. Make sure you have your cameras ready, because both restaurants are amazing!
#61 Unlimited Ice Cream: Yep! We eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the Disney Cruise Ships. You can also get unlimited ice cream on Castaway Cay. You can use cones. You can also pick up cups from the beverage station to have ice cream in a cup. You can also make your own float with ice cream and soda.
#62 Celebrating?: Are you celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or a huge milestone? Just let your server know on the 1st night of the cruise. They will be happy to celebrate right along with you.
#63 Palo & Remy Sitting Fee: Disney does offer two adult only restaurants called Palo & Remy. These restaurants do charge a sitting fee. The sitting fee actually covers the gratuities for the servers at these restaurants. You do not have to tip more. The sitting fee covers the gratuity.
#64 Eat Off the Kids Menu: Some of the best classics are on the kids menu. You may feel like chicken nuggets or even a Mickey Mouse ice cream bar. Adults can eat off the children’s menu, too!
#65 I NEED Coffee: Tim is a coffee snob, so he normally packs his own coffee system. You can always pick up coffee at the beverage station. Even easier is ordering room service. We will order a quick breakfast with coffee delivered each morning.
#66 Play & Dine: Since we always book our Disney Cruise last minute, we almost always get 2nd dining. The second dining time is super late. I remember many dinners where the kids literally fell asleep at the table.
To help keep the kids awake and the whole family happy, Disney created something called Play & Dine. The kids are served their food quickly during dinner. The Children Programming crew for Oceaneer Lab and Club, then come to your restaurant to pick up the kids. They will wait at the front of the restaurant, while one crew walks around the restaurant. You can then take your child or children up to the crew and check them into the Children Programming. They will then take all of the kids to play in the Lab or Club. This allows you to enjoy the rest of your meal and keep the kids entertained!
Pools & Water Slides
#67 AquaDuck & AquaDunk: These two super popular slides are a lot of fun for the whole family. However, the lines can also get pretty long. We love hitting the pools in the afternoon on the Castaway Cay day. Most people spend the entire day on the island.
We usually leave around 2 PM and head right to the pool on board the ship. The pool is usually empty, so we can ride the water slides over and over and over again, without a wait. Another fun time to ride without a wait is during the Pirate Night.
#68 Towels: Disney has towels by the pool and also on Castaway Cay. You normally do not need to pack any beach towels, unless you are planning a day on the beach or excursion at one of the islands.
#69 Drinks by the Pool: Disney offers a drink of the day for every day on your cruise. These are usually one of the least expensive drinks each day. Ask your server what the drink of the day is, when ordering your adult beverage.
Remembering Those Memories
#70 Extra Suitcase: Remember I said pack that extra suitcase with popcorn and snacks? You will use all of those snacks during your cruise. This will leave a suitcase for all of those souvenirs. If you have kids, you will get a ton of them. The kids would come home everyday from Children Programming with all kinds of crafts and fun.
#71 Pictures: Disney has photographers throughout the ship. You will get tons of pictures to sort through at the end of your cruise. If you are looking for that Christmas card picture or a perfect family picture, you can get that picture on the Disney Cruise. Just be sure you order all of your pics, before you leave the ship.
#72 Friendship Rocks: If your kids are in Children Programming a lot, they will want to participate in the farewell event called Friendship Rocks. They get a cute t-shirt and you will capture another fun memory of the kids on the Disney Cruise. Be sure you bring your camera!
#73 Costumes: On Pirate Night, the crew and A LOT of guests actually dress up. You can easily create a costume with a white t-shirt, black pants, and a red sash. This is an inexpensive way to dress up for Pirate Night. You will get a bandana in your stateroom either the night before or on the Pirate Night. This is a fun souvenir and extra costume accessory.
#74 Extra Buffet: On Pirate Night, the ship has an evening buffet. We are always too stuffed to try it out, but it does look amazing. The buffet on Pirate Night opens pretty late after the fireworks.
#75 Fireworks at Sea: After 20 cruises, we still try to catch the fireworks on Pirate Night. It is just amazing to see fireworks at sea! We like watching the fireworks from Deck 10.
If you are taking a Caribbean or Bahamas cruise, you will be lucky enough to spend a day at Castaway Cay. This is Disney’s private island and it is incredible!
#76 Adult Time…AHHHH: Disney has their own private section of the island called Serenity Bay. This is only for adults. It is so relaxing and quiet in this section. You can enjoy lunch at Serenity Bay, so you can stay in this section all day long. You can even drop off the kids at Children Programming on the island and then head off to some adult time. Be sure you wander the water looking for starfish!
#77 Castaway Cay 5K: runDisney does have a run called Castaway Cay 5K as part of the runDisney lineup. This is a fun little run on the island. You even get a medal at the end. Hunter and I usually do the 5K and Tim and Kelly come along to cheer us on. Even better, they will get onto the island (before everyone else) and they can save some chairs under an umbrella by our favorite section, Pelican Plunge.
#78 Cookies BBQ: On Castaway Cay, you will get the chance to have one of the best BBQ lunches. The best news? It is included with your cruise. You can enjoy ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, fish, corn on the cob, and so much more. We love getting the huge cookies and making the ultimate ice cream sandwich. In addition, there are beverage stations open throughout the day to get Coke products.
#79 Mickey Mail from Castaway Cay: As you know, Jones Family Travels loves Mickey Mail. Castaway Cay actually has a post office. You can bring a postcard from home and mail from the Bahamas. This is really fun for kids to get home and get their own postcard. You can purchase stamps at the Castaway Cay Post Office, but be sure you bring cash.
#80 Tower: Castaway Cay has a tower in the middle of the island. You can walk or better yet, bike to the Tower. You can climb all of the way to the top to see a spectacular view of the whole island, including the Disney Cruise ship. If you get thirsty, Disney has water in a cooler near the tower.
#81 Pin Trading: Disney takes pin trading on the Disney Cruise Ships to a whole new level! They have several nights on board the Disney Cruises, devoted to pin trading with the officers. It is a fun way to meet the crew and trade some pins!
#82 Call Pepe: On the Fantasy and Dream, they have an activity called the Midship Detective Agency. This is a really fun game. My kids LOVE it! One of the hunts during the Midship Detective Agency is at the stateroom door for Pepe from the Muppets. On Pepe’s door, it has a phone number. What happens if you call the number? A lot of fun!
#83 Art of Disney: If you love Disney trivia and behind the scenes, you will want to take the Art of Disney Tour. This is an amazing behind the scenes look at the Disney Cruise ships. This tour is more for adults, but kids can experience it, too.
#84 Til We Meet Again: One of our favorite activities is the Til We Meet Again party on the last night of the cruises. They have a little show and then you will have a few minutes to meet the Disney Characters. Some of the ships offer (2) shows. Once in the afternoon and one late a night. The one late at night is usually less crowded.
#85 Navigator: You will receive the Navigator in your room, every evening. The Navigator tells you all of the activities the next day on the Disney Cruise ship. This way you can all pick out your favorite activities. There is always so much to do, be sure you remember you are on vacation…make some time to relax!
#86 Movies at Sea: Disney offers an incredible perk on the Disney Cruise ships! They offer first run movies. First run movies are movies that are in the movie theaters. They actually show these in the Buena Vista Theater. If it is a brand new release, they may also show it in the Walt Disney World Theater. This even includes movies in 3-D. We sometimes plan our cruises around movie releases. That way we can see the movies on board the ship. We did that with Moana. We knew we were cruising and Moana was coming out, so we booked our cruise around the release date.
#87 Broadway Shows: Disney hosts amazing Broadway style shows on board the Disney Cruise Ships. They have an early and late show that corresponds with your dining time. However, sometimes it is tough to make it to a show. You can also watch the shows, right from your stateroom tv.
#88 Gambling on Board: Disney does not have gambling on board any of the Disney Cruise Ships. We are not big gamblers, but we do get a lot of questions about gambling opportunities on board the ships. You do have a couple options. Disney does have BINGO and (our favorite) Dash Dash Diaper Dash. I know we will probably get in trouble for even saying this, but the Dash Dash Diaper Dash is one of our favorite activities as adults. Our kids are no longer little, but we all like to go to this event and bet on the babies! LOL! Yes, I did say bet on the babies. It is a baby race, so we all get a fun laugh betting on which baby we think will win each race.
#89 Fish Extenders: Disney has a fish or starfish on every stateroom door. Disney fans (aka DISBoards) created a really cool activity called Fish Extenders. A Fish Extender is a material lined pockets all decorated with Disney theming and characters. You hang the Fish Extender on the fish or starfish on your stateroom door. You can then partner with fellow cruisers on DISBoards or Facebook Groups and exchange gifts. This is a fun way to meet fellow cruisers. However, it is also a lot of work.
I like to use the Fish Extenders and just surprise my kids each night or day with goodies. It is much easier and still a lot of fun!
#90 Hidden Mickeys: If you are a fan of Hidden Mickeys, look for them on the Disney Cruise ships. They are everywhere. We ran into our friend, Steve The Hidden Mickey Guy, on the Disney Wonder recently. He showed us some of the Hidden Mickeys in the Vibe & Edge. You can click here to pick up his book for your Disney Cruise.
#91 Leaving the Ship: When leaving the ship at Ports of Call, be very careful. You always want to stay in tourist areas. Do not venture outside of tourist areas. They are not always safe. In addition, always keep your money close. Many areas have pick pocket issues.
#92 Leave Plenty of Time: If you book directly with a supplier or wandering around a Port of Call, be sure you leave plenty of time to get back to the ship. When you do not book your excursions directly with Disney, you are responsible for getting back to the ship on time. Remember, many of the Bahamas and Caribbean islands can have traffic, too. Be sure you leave plenty of time to get back to the ship.
#93 Hair Back: If you have longer hair, be sure you bring hair ties with you. When you are on Deck 9 or 10, it can get quite windy. Be sure you carry a hair tie with you, just in case you need to pull it back.
#94 Light Sweater or Jacket: In the evening hours (even over the summer months in the Caribbean), it can get cooler and windy. In addition, the restaurants often have super cold air-conditioning. I always pack a light sweater or jacket for everyone in the family.
#95 Skip the Sundress: I know sundresses are such an easy travel outfit. However, on a cruise you may want to skip the sundress. If you are wearing a sundress on Deck 9 or 10 or on an island, it may get windy. You will either be walking with your hands by your side, holding down your sundress or flashing the ship. Skip the sundress and go for shorts or capri pants.
Last Night on Board the Ship
#96 Shutters Photos: The Disney photographers will be taking amazing pics of your family all cruise long. Be sure you stop by Shutters the night before or early the last morning to purchase any pics from your cruise. I always like to go in the afternoon on the last day. It is less crowded.
#97 Children Programming Bands: The Disney Cruise MagicBands are fun, but they are only for the Disney Cruise. Be sure you drop off the MagicBands to Children Programming on the last night. If you do not return them, they will charge you a fee for them.
#98 Leave Luggage: On the last night of your cruise, Disney will ask you to leave your suitcases outside the stateroom door. The stateroom host will pick up your luggage and you will not see it again until you pick it up at Customs (the following day.)
Be sure you take your time and leave out clothes for the following morning; PJ’s, medicine, makeup, brushes/combs, deodorant, toothbrushes/toothpaste, etc. Anything you may need the following morning to get ready to leave the ship. You will also want to use your “day bag” from the first day of the cruise to carry everything with you on that last morning.
I have seen several people forget to pack clothes and leave the ship in their PJ’s. Be sure you take your time and pack or rather unpack things you may need for that last morning.
Last Day on the Ship
#99 Breakfast: You will have a set breakfast time on the last day of your cruise. It will be early! You also dine at the same restaurant, where you had dinner the previous night. That makes it a little bit easier. Be sure you are packed and ready to go after breakfast. Once you leave your stateroom, you will not be able to get back into it. Be sure your bring your day bags with you to breakfast.
#100 Key to the World Cards: You will need to have your Key to the World Cards with you, as you leave the ship. The Disney crew will scan those cards one more time to make sure you are off the ship.
#101 Everything is Closed Except…On that last day, everything will be closed. It is always amazing to me how quickly the Disney Cruise ships turn over for the next customers. It is really only a few hours! On the last day of your cruise, everything will be closed except Guest Services and Shutters photographs.
#102 Double Check Statement Prior to Last Day: As you can image, Guest Services gets super busy on the last day of your cruise. The Disney crew drops off your stateroom bill early in the morning (on the last day.) A lot of people then have questions about their bill. I always swing by the night prior to request my stateroom bill. This always saves some time.
#103 Porters: Always save a little cash to tip the porters. For the longer cruises, I know families can have a lot of luggage. It is so much easier to just grab a porter to help with your luggage. It is a nominal cost for a little sanity on the last day of your cruise. Some ports also give priority to porters, so you may save a little time in line at Customs, too.
#104 Evaluations: If you had an amazing Disney Cruise crew member during your vacation, make sure you include them in your evaluation. One of the best things you can do for an exceptional crew member is by mentioning them by name with their department in your evaluation. This can be huge for a crew member!
After the Cruise
#105 Forgot to Get Pics: Sometimes you get so busy on the Disney Cruise that you forget to actually get your pics from Shutters. You still may be lucky! You can always contact the photography company to see if you can still order your pictures. We gave this advice to a friend recently and they were able to get many of their Disney Cruise pictures, even after their cruise.
We hope this helps you plan your magical Disney Cruise vacation! Be sure you check out our YouTube playlists with over 80 Disney Cruise videos. We are family friendly, so perfect or the kiddos on YouTube Kids!
Do you have a fun tip for Disney Cruises? Please share with us, leave a comment below!