Nowadays, it’s a common misconception that Disney cruise is just for kids or more suitable for kids.
Well, no! That’s not the case.
An adult or even a senior person could still get the best Disney cruise experience; all you need is proper guidelines.
And this ultimate checklist of Disney cruising, with all the hidden tips and tricks we learned in our cruising journey, will help you get the most out of the moment.
Even though you are a child, adult, senior, beginner, or expert cruiser.
Disney Cruise Tips & Hacks That You Should Know
#1 Check for The Disney Cruise Line Discounts
Disney cruising experience is often considered expensive as compared to the Royal Caribbean.
However, specific discount hacks can help you in reducing the cost.
For example, booking a cruise as soon as possible is one of the best hacks for a Disney cruise.
#2 Book One-way Sailing
On Disney Cruise, you will get two types of sailing options.
The one that sails and ends at the same point is generally expensive. The other is selecting a cruise package that sails at one point and ends at another.
Among both, you must pick the package that starts at one port and ends at another.
This way, you could save lots of your bucks.
#3 Disney Cruise Booking Tips
There are lots of onboard experiences to enjoy at Disney Cruise. However, you must make a prior booking to get the most out of them.
Furthermore, they are all included in your cruising experience without additional cost.
#4 Prepare Yourself For Embarkation
Since covid-19, Disney Cruise has evolved its policies. They have introduced an exquisite PAT policy under which you can select your Port arrival time.
Although this policy was not strictly enforced, now, Disney is focusing on it to make the boarding process much more accessible, more transparent, and hassle-free.
#5 Book a Room Instead of a Suit
Yet another tip while sailing for the Disney cruise line is to book a room instead of a suit, especially if you are cruising with family.
For example, if you have a family of 4, you can expect to have connected cabins instead of a suit that will save you 50% of the cost.
Meanwhile, to book a suit, you must check the stateroom size. However, it also depends on the budget, but you can still get a better choice with some analysis.
Disney Cruise Stateroom Hack:
- Don’t use a door shoe organiser as it can damage the door, and Disney Cruise also prohibits doing so.
- Keep your Luggage under the bed as the stateroom might be small enough to not be compatible with the suitcase lying around.
- To get the best experience – get to know about the stateroom host.
#6 Pick Your Disney Cruise Sailing Carefully
Disney Cruise sailing has different itinerary packages; few are cheaper than others.
For example, holiday cruises, especially Christmas cruises, are more expensive but generally worth it.
That’s why, while sailing, remember to look for these sailing factors that can cause to increase or decrease in prices.
#7 First-Day Dining Tips
The first-day dining experience at the Disney cruise was fantastic, as we enjoyed it.
You may experience both, but we highly encourage you to choose the sit-down option; you must check availability first. However, we enjoyed an exquisite animator palate on our first day of dining that was completely worth it.
#8 Try Ultimate Food
Disney Cruise Line has different and more exciting dinner opportunities than other cruise lines.
For example, the rotation policy includes 3 restaurants.
So, you can also try the ultimate food options or request items not on the menu. If you struggle to decide between two things, you must taste both.
Regarding the dessert, Micky-shaped waffles, secret stash, Mickey ice cream or a customized platter is also worth trying.
#9 Enjoy the Movie at the Disney Cruise Theatre
Whenever a new Disney movie gets premiered on land, at the same time, it will be on air on the ship.
So, why spend some extra money on land?
Remember, you will enjoy the same Movie without extra charges and with eye-opening effects on the high seas.
#10 Pool Hack to Avoid Crowd
Before you sail, getting this pool hack from us is best.
We recommend visiting the pool in early morning or during sunset, especially if you want to avoid swimming in a crowded place. This will also save you from waiting in a long line.
On the contrary, I highly encourage you to avoid the mid-day pool until or unless you are about to swim with lots of friends or want to swim in the crowd.
#11 Enjoy Free Soda
We all know getting a can of Coke in the dining room will cost you a few dollars. However, what about getting the free soda wherever and whenever you want?
Yes, you can quickly get free soda at the Disney cruise fountain.
After that, get a refillable bottle and bring it all around the ship.
#12 Try Adult Restaurants
The adult-only restaurant is the ultimate option for adults to enjoy fancy dinners on the cruise.
You must know that adult restaurants will cost you an extra $45 per person menu.
#13 Let the Disney Cruise pick up your Luggage
Your Luggage on Disney cruise ships is no more your responsibility.
All you need is to check your Luggage at the airport, which the Disney cruise workers will send to your room.
This will ultimately lead to a better and hassle-free vacation experience.
#14 Carry your Bag By Yourself At Debarkation
As the Disney cruise line offers you to carry your Bag, we still recommend taking the Bag on your own. Especially if you can bring it, there is no need to hand over the Luggage to the stateroom team one night before disembarking with thousands of other guests.
It is also known as “express walk off”.
However, if you are handing over your luggage bag to the stateroom, you must carry a small 24 bag. In it, we recommend bringing the essentials like toiletries, pyjamas, medicine and next-day clothing.
#15 Get the Onboard Currency Exchange
One of the best things about cruising at Disney is that they don’t charge any commission for exchanging money. Even though, if you have any leftover money, you can still trade it in your preferred currency.
Remember, this policy applies to the bills only.
#16 Bring your wine or water
The good news is bringing your bottle of wine or water is allowed on the Disney cruise. And the tip is only in limited quantity.
For example, according to Disney cruise line policies, you can only bring two bottles of wine or champagne onboard. However, the weight should be at most 750 ml or 12 ounces.
Another tip is to carry these wine bottles in the carry-on luggage, not check.
#17 The Last Minute Reservation
We all know that while cruising, all types of reservations must be made in advance, from the restaurants to the sailing.
However, the duration of the pre-reservation will vary depending on what type of cruise vacation you want.
On the contrary, if you cannot make your reservations, here is a hack.
Palo and Remy are just lifesavers in terms of last-minute reservations. With that, they always have several tables reserved for onboard reservations.
#18 Use Child Care Service
Disney cruise line is often considered for kids, especially if you have kids with yourself. You don’t have to worry anymore.
Use the Disney cruise child care service.
This service is just fantastic, which includes nurses and even the supervised clubs.
In this way, you can have some time with your partner.
#19 Request for the Best Seat in the House
Getting your favourite spot to sit at Tiana’s Place or anywhere else is no more a dream.
All you need is to make an extra phone call for the request, which will be worth it.
#20 Dining Tips and Tricks
- You will not be charged for room service. So, order late-night snacks and meals at the cost of your cruise and enjoy this opportunity.
- There will be two different dining seatings to choose from. Families with kids prefer earlier dining seating, and families with adults are recommended to book late dining.
- The dinner seating can also be changed later by connecting with the guest service and due to any reason.
- You are free to order more than one item.
#21 Capture Each Moment and Grab the Photo
The best tip we can give you while Disney is cruising is to take advantage of every moment and capture your memories and favourite characters.
In case you missed it, you still have the opportunity to enjoy last night’s show, “till we meet again.”
It shows where your favourite Disney characters, theatre performers, and princes will get out.
So you can pose with them and capture your memory based on first come and first serve.
#22 Disney Cruise Menu Hack
Fortunately, the Disney cruise has one of the best dining experiences. The rotating restaurant itinerary policy will let you enjoy and experience the food of each onboard restaurant.
For example, you will get a printed menu with all the necessary details, but it’s a formality. The reality is all of your cruise meal is prepaid. So, you can order as many food, dessert, or appetizers as you want.
Don’t worry; this is how the Disney menu works. Even if you need help deciding between two dishes – order both.
#23 Enjoy Onboard Activities
Disney Cruise has plenty of onboard activity options.
For example, shows, movies, workshops, pool, theatre, and most importantly, character greets and meets.
We recommend taking advantage of your cruise onboard activities.
#24 Book the Port Adventure in Advance
Port adventure is fascinating that you must try it.
Choose whatever you want.
But you must be assured that Adventure Disney will wait for you if you get late from the port. On the contrary, you may have to say goodbye from the dock for independent port adventure booking.
So the hack and tip lie in always booking the port adventure from Disney.
#25 Disney Cruise Packing hack
Although you are not bound in your packing list for cruising, you can pack as much as you want. On the other hand, if you are arriving by plane, you may have to face fewer plane restrictions.
You must know Disney Cruise won’t let you access your Luggage before 6:00 PM.
In case you must carry a bag with all the essentials. Adding a jacket to your Disney cruise packing list is also recommended, as the weather can get cool, breezy, or chill at any time on the cruise or Caribbean.
The pro tip is to get packing cubes, an exquisite way to keep your Luggage organized and accessible anytime.
#26 Put Your Phone on Airplane Mode
Does using your phone on board give you a hefty amount of bills?
Yes, you will suffer a massive cost if you forget to check your phone coverage or use your mobile for calls, texts and data.
We recommend always putting your phone in the room or staying unconnected by keeping it in airplane mode.
However, the navigator app can still be used even in airplane mode.
#27 Disney Cruise WiFi Hack
Disney WiFi packages are usually expensive as you purchase in megabytes that can go quickly.
We recommend keeping your phone on airplane mode and enjoying the shore of the seas and the company of people around instead of looking down at your mobile. Still, if WiFi is your necessity, then here is a hack.
Well, the Disney cruise will also offer you 50 free megabytes on the first day of your cruise. In our experience, uploading pictures on social media or loading some apps was fair enough.
#28 Laundry Hack
Royal Caribbean doesn’t offer you self-laundry service. Comparatively, Disney Cruise does, which is quite remarkable.
So, the hack lies in getting a vacuum bag that has served us a lot in our laundry timings.
#29 Go for 18-plus Areas
18-plus areas are exquisite to try for any adult, especially if you are with your child. Take a break from your child care, hand over them to the Disney cruise child care service, and explore 18+ areas.
It involves spa centers, bars or fitness centers.
With that, the premium restaurants (like Palo – Italian inspired) of 18+ also have some of our favourite dishes.
#30 Get Sort of Free Drinks
The Royal caribbean drink packages are expensive, ultimately increasing the cruising cost. However, Disney cruising doesn’t generally require any additional beverage package.
Do you know why? Because most of the drinks are free.
For example, in the main dining room, many drinks like tea, iced tea, milk, and coffee are free.
#31 The Disney Cruise Ice-cream Hack
One of the finest ice creams of the Disney cruise, “mike mouse,” is not on the menu.
Almost in all of our cruising journeys, we had tried this exquisite ice cream, and yes, it was truly worth it.
So, we must recommend ordering at least one as it’s not on the menu. With that, you must know Disney Cruise also has a self-service ice cream to enjoy.
You can quickly get it from any pool deck of almost all Disney ships.
#32 Enjoy Breakfast With a Character
Many of you novice cruisers might not know that Disney cruise will let you enjoy a special breakfast with a character.
And to do all you need is a cruise plan longer than 7 days.
Remember, a character dinner on land costs around $45 per person.
So, remember to take the benefit of this opportunity.
#33 Don’t Miss Themed Events
Various types of themed events are being organized at Disney Cruise. For example, “Pirates in the Caribbean.”
And missing these theme events will never be a good idea as they are the ultimate source of joy.
We recommend going out for these events and taking part in activities. It will be great fun. However, if you wish to wait, seeing others will get you in action.
#34 Order Your Coffee Before Bed
If you are a coffee enthusiast, we recommend ordering your coffee before bed.
Many coffee addicts love to enjoy coffee once they wake up. So, ordering carafe of coffee at night means it still will be hot and fresh enough to sip in the morning.
This way, you will not disturb the room service early in the morning and can get your doze.
#35 Make Souvenirs
We all love taking souvenirs of moments. Don’t we?
And getting an autograph from characters while cruising on Disney is one of the best ways. For this, all you need is a surface for a signature.
For example, we tried pillowcases for autographs, and our experience was quite fantastic.
One worth starting point is that you must get something sturdy for yourself so the characters can put the pillow on it and won’t worry about signing. On the contrary, you can also try the disney theme autograph book.
#36 Disney Cruise Pool Deck Tricks
- On a pool deck, you will be provided with the towels. So you don’t need to bring it with you.
- Only a few people can enter the pool deck at a time. Once they get out, the lifeguard will let the next group in.
- Remember to enjoy the pool deck dining before you get out. Various options will be available, including pizza, shawarma, burger, bbq, etc.
- Pick only between two options – go to the pool deck late or earlier to avoid the crowd.
#37 Download The Disney Cruise Ship App
Before starting the journey on Disney Cruise, I recommend you to download the Disney cruise line navigator app.
This app will save you time and serve you in many ways.
We also used this app to plan our days on the ship and add some favourite events to the list so we could take advantage of it. It will also send you the notification just 15 minutes before.
We also sent messages to another person on the ship using the app throughout the cruise.
#38 Use Bars as an Adult Gateway
You might miss adult activities on the Disney cruise if you are an adult.
But no more worries; you can use the bars as an adult gateway. These bars are an excellent source, especially if you need a break from the ship’s environment, crowd, or commotion.
#39 Decorate your Door
On our first Disney cruise experience, we were not aware that decorating doors on Disney is common.
People get excited to decorate their doors which is a way to celebrate their love for Disney.
I decorated my door with mouse cruise magnets on our next Disney cruise. It looked fantastic.
However, to add more space and make our room more manageable, I also added magnetic hooks. These were quite useful in organizing our little essentials.
#40 Dress up as your Favorite Disney Characters
We often saw kids dressing up like their favorite characters on Disney Cruise.
Wait, we are about to tell you that you can also.
Ultimately, it depends on whether you wear it, but you must know dressing up as your favorite character is not only for kids.
#41 Resolve all your concerns with guest service
Do you want to save time on the day of disembarkation and get a hassle-free experience?
We recommend resolving your concerns with the guest service at least one night before.
#42 Disney Cruise Luggage Hack
- Make sure to place the luggage tags sent by Disney so that they can know where your Bag is going.
- Pack a separate carry-on bag at embarkation, including a swimsuit, essential documents, medications, etc., as you will not get your Luggage at least before night.
- You don’t need to pack shower essentials like shampoo, body wash, conditional etc., as Disney will let you experience high-quality products.
- A quality sun-screen with a spf protected hair care product must be in your Luggage.
#43 Get the Kids Meal
The kid’s menu of Disney Cruise is as great as the dining service for the adults.
You can order anything you wish for your child, from full appetizers to meals and desserts. On the contrary, if your kid wants to have even french fries, that’s also okay. They will serve it.
With that, you must know Disney Cruise is only responsible for serving, not whether the child has eaten.
So, you must keep checking that your kid ate something and didn’t leave playing.
#44 Disney Cruise Beverage Hack
Many beverages and drinks on Disney cruises are complimentary, but you can still get charged for them under certain circumstances.
- Bottled water, soda, alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, mocktails, shakes and espresso will also cost you money – no matter where you order.
- Although castaway cay offers many drinks like fountain soda, lemonade, milk, juice, iced tea, and plain water free of cost – still if you want to order any other beverage, you can, but at an additional cost.
- Disney Cruise also has a self-service drink station at the pool deck where you can serve a wide range of drinks 24 hours and free of cost.
- Whiskey, Rum, and Vodka – in short, spirits are also not allowed to bring and will be confiscated if caught.
#45 Miscellaneous Tips
Irons are not allowed to bring on Disney cruises. However, you will find it during self-laundry service and can use it to press your clothes.
Bringing extension cords or power cords is no longer needed. We found multiple plugs in each stateroom.
Book your next Disney cruise line while onboard and get the 10% discount. However, the sailing must be done in between 2 years.
Lastly, at the end of the cruise, remember to experience the magical framework before disembarking your Disney cruise.
Disney cruise line is comparatively a small cruise line. But, the unique experience, enthusiasm, and approach hit differently. That’s why it’s also getting popular day by day.
And the above-mentioned list of Disney cruise tips and hacks has all the ways to save money and how to do fun, whether you’re an adult or a kid.
So, whether you are a novice cruiser or cruising for the 20th time, we are sure that those little tricks will save you lots of bucks and time that we have experienced and learned over time.
I am Zoe Grace, a passionate enthusiast of cruise ships. With a decade of firsthand experience in the cruising industry, I have developed a deep understanding of the intricacies and wonders that these majestic vessels hold.
Now, I am excited to embark on a new journey as an author, sharing my knowledge and insights with readers who share my fascination for the world of cruising.
Join me as we explore the captivating world of cruise ships together.