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:
- 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. You can bring a limited amount per person and you can bring it on in every port. We asked our room steward to keep fresh ice for mixing drinks. Each room is equipped with a refrigerator.
- 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, and anything else you may need to BOARD (Passports, or ID and birth certificate) or need before your luggage arrives to your room.
- 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!).
- 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!
- 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).
- 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 for your free autograph mat!) and take it to the character meet and greats and 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!
- 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.
- Have– have money on hand to re-book a future cruise while on board. Booking a placeholder is only $250 and you can sail anytime in the next 2 years. If you change your mind you can get your money back! This is the best way to save on your next Disney cruise. You will get 10% your next cruise and an on board credit. Be sure your agent is listed when you book your placeholder on board and tell them when you get home to be sure you are all set. You don’t even have to book a date yet!! Just book the placeholder, tell your agent and then we will help you pick your next amazing Disney cruise!
- 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.
- 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.