Top 10 Disney Cruise Tips | Well, eleven tips and one bonus tip. So really twelve tips.

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I never thought I was a cruise guy, but doing the Disney Cruise this year has changed my mind. My family and I had such a great time that we are doing it again next year ! It was totally worth every dollar we paid for it. And seeing how excited my kids were when they met the princesses… well that was just the icing on the cake.

We did the 4-day Bahamian cruise during the week of March Break. The ship departed from Port Canaveral, Florida with stops in Nassau and Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island.

In the process of planning our trip, my wife and I got lots of advice on the dos and don’ts of a Disney cruise. Some of those tips were helpful and were nice to know, but a few of them made a really big impact on our vacation. Those are the tips I’m going to share with you today.

  1. Stay at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport– Since Port Canaveral, is approximately 45 minutes from Orlando. We decided to fly into Orlando the day before our cruise to ensure embarking the ship would be free of the stress resulting from flight delays. It was a great plan. The Hyatt Regency is all about convenience. It’s right inside the airport and as an added bonus, they will take all your bags from the hotel room straight to your cabin on the ship.
  2. To meet the ship at Port Canaveral, you’ll have to either rent a car or take a shuttle bus. We chose to take the Disney shuttle. A bit more expensive, but so convenient, and it really added to the Disney build-up!
  3. You will not see your suitcases until you get into your cabin later in the day. Put the things you need for the day (e.g., snacks, water, swimsuits, a change of clothes) in a smaller travel bag on the day you embark.
  4. Ask for the early dinner seating – there is so much to do on the ship each day and your kids will be so excited to do everything. By the end of the day, they’ll be totally out of gas. An 8pm dinner is just way too late.
  5. Don’t bring a big stroller. Buy a $20 umbrella stroller to get through the airport. Strollers and wagons are available at the purser’s office and at Castaway Cay at no extra charge.
  6. Take a surge protector to plug in all your stuff. There are just not enough outlets in the cabin for the chargers for all the gadgets, hairdryers… etc.
  7. Bring fun magnets and a magnetic dry-erase board and markers for outside your cabin door. It makes it easier to find your room and it’s fun for the kids to get messages.
  8. The Oceaneer Club (Kid’s Club) was a big hit with our kids – plan 5 minutes for pick-up and drop-off. It’s a process to get in and out but it’s well worth it and the kids had so much fun there. Make sure to bring the Disney Wave Phones with you (available at no charge in your cabin) as the Kid’s Club will call if you are needed.
  9. Bring autograph books. The characters will sign them. It’s a great souvenir of your trip.
  10. Soft drinks and water are free and readily available all over the ship, but alcohol is very expensive. You are allowed to bring a small quantity of your own alcohol on board. Bring a six-pack or two for your cabin and if you enjoy wine with your dinner sign up for the wine package, it’s a great value.
  11. Stay on the ship in Nassau – it’s nice to have all the ship’s offerings (e.g., Kids’ Club, swimming pool, splash pad, water slide, shows, etc.) all to yourself.

Bonus tip:

Put cell phones on airplane mode. Forgetting to do so will be very costly.

The Disney Cruise was our best family vacation ever. I highly recommend it and I hope these tips make your cruise as enjoyable and magical as ours was.

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  1. After spending one full day on board your cruise ship, it will not be difficult to determine whether or not the ship is completely full. Basically, if you are on a 2500 passenger ship and you never experience any lines, have no trouble making dinner or spa reservations and find that there are
    plenty of free deck chairs available in the middle of a warm sunny day, chances are that the ship is
    not 100% filled to capacity.

    If this is the case, it doesn’t hurt to simply go to the Front Desk and ask about the possibility of
    obtaining a cabin upgrade. If there are cabins available, cruise lines have no reason to keep them

    Of course, almost 10 times out of 10, you will find a sign on the Front Desk informing you in bold
    letters that “The ship is full and there are no available cabins.” But don’t let this turn you off. This is
    actually a permanent sign that is placed on the Front Desk every single voyage, regardless of
    whether or not the ship is really full.

    The idea is to simply reduce the number of passengers making cabin upgrade requests.

    Michael Thomas
    Longview, WA

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