Planning your first Disney Cruise? Get the most out of your trip with these tips and tricks:
“The Dress Code”
I feel like it’s an unspoken rule when you go on cruises to look nice. While I do know some cruise lines have a dress code usually when dining in the sit-down restaurants, it was interesting comparing the difference between the Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Lines. In the parks, it is common to see ripped jeans, crop tops, and cutoff shorts. While my husband and I were on the cruise, we made sure to pack clothes that were comfortable, cool, and appropriate for dinner and the shows that night.
I wore a lot of sun dresses and flowy rompers that really liked to blow around on the outside decks of the ship. I would also really suggest bringing a sweater with you everywhere! Cruising to the Bahamas was warm and humid outside, but the air conditioning is always on blast inside and whenever the doors open from the breezeways. I packed Eric a comfortable pair of boat shoes because I knew tennis shoes would look ridiculous with some of the nicer outfits we packed.
That being said, whenever we got off the ship, we were always dressed for what was happening during the day. For example, I would not want to wear a dress and heels while walking the streets of Nassau and Eric’s feet would have been screaming all day if he wore his boat shoes while walking to Serenity Bay at Castaway Cay.
BYOC (Bring Your Own Cup)
One of the biggest tips I can give you is bring your own cup! Soda, water, and juice are all included on your Disney Cruise. However, the cups are pretty small and I love to keep hydrated. Before Eric and I hopped on the Disney Dream, we purchased an insulated cup similar to a Yeti for us to fill up with water or soda for us to enjoy cold whenever we wanted. I recommend this because our cup was huge and we didn’t have to leave our room or stop for a beverage nearly as often as we would have if we didn’t get that cup. Plus it’s stainless steel and reusable after washing it out! Instead of using Disney’s paper cups, save the planet!
Deck Navigation Card/Lightswitch Card
Prior to the cruise, I turned to YouTube to watch vlogs and to see how people packed before their cruise. One of the most interesting things I learned was how the cruise lines preserve energy by having you take your room key and place it in a slot to turn the lights on in your cabin. While I love how much that saves electricity, it’s very easy to forget your room key card in the slot before you walk out of the room. That key is your ticket to dinner, a credit card, and how to get back on the ship after disembarking.
I purchased a set of laminated cards that double as a light switch card as well as a key to which decks of the ship have the dining, entertainment, and other good to know places around the ship. It turned out to be very useful! We never forgot our key cards the whole trip! You can absolutely use an old ID, credit card, or gift card. I bought mine from Etsy and thought the little extra Disney touch was helpful and cute.
Go All Out
Something I wish I would have done on our cruise was come out of my shell a little bit more. We had the luxury of two “themed” nights on our cruise. We had a Pirate Day at Sea, and Halloween on the High Seas. Since it was our first Disney Cruise we didn’t know how far to push our silliness. We didn’t think about packing costumes for Trick-Or-Treating (which is mostly for the kids… but aren’t we all kids on a Disney Cruise?) and we did pack a little bit of pirate gear but decided to tone it down before dinner and the fireworks.
Once we stepped out into one of the main areas of the ship, looking at adults and kids go absolutely ALL OUT was so fun to watch. There were adults carrying around a full size pirate skeleton and having him sit at dinner with them! It was hilarious! Kids and grandparents in full makeup, pirate beards and all.
Another thing I loved doing was looking at every family’s door decorations. Something to note is that the doors on the cruise lines are made of metal and are easy to decorate using magnets. The merchandise stores on the ship sell magnets to attach to your door but the most fun doors to look at are the homemade decorations and pictures lining the hallways. Usually the decorations correlate to what kind of cruise you are on and have a theme like pirates, Halloween, or Bahamas and tropical in our case. I branched out and had a “honeymoon” magnet with our wedding date, cruise ship, and our names made for our door. It was “Up” themed and was so cute! It’s also a nice little souvenir to bring back home with you and hang up on your refrigerator.
Just Keep Eating
My last tip for you, calories don’t count on vacation. Eric and I love food almost as much as we love each other and wanted to really try as much as we could while on our honeymoon. Try every restaurant, every pastry, or every ice cream flavor you want. Don’t hold back! The five-star cuisine on the Disney Dream was unlike anything I have ever experienced before. They can also accommodate food allergies, and have a wide variety of options based on diet needs as well. Even better, the cast members within the food service team know the menus in and out and have never steered me wrong with anything they may recommend. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Everybody is there to help you have a one of a kind experience, and it is absolutely what YOU make of it.