45 Disney Cruise Tips and Hacks That You Must Know

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.

Table of Contents

Disney Cruise Tips & Hacks That You Should Know

disney cruise tips and hacks to know
45 disney cruise tips

#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.

However, sometimes if certain room types don’t perform well, you will find special discounts on Disney near the sailing. It is an exquisite way to save money.

#2 Book One-way Sailing

disney cruise hacks

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. 

So, book your frozen gathering, Disney junior breakfast, or princess meet-up at the cruising cost. But you must ensure to book in advance.

#4 Prepare Yourself For Embarkation

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. 

For example, if your selected port arrival time is 12:30 AM, you can’t enter the terminal before 12:30 AM.

#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.

It’s because generally, 2 rooms are cheaper than a suit.

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. 

However, to initiate the prices, you must know a general rule of economic work here – the higher the demand, the more the costs.

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

First-Day Dining Tips

The first-day dining experience at the Disney cruise was fantastic, as we enjoyed it. 

We were unaware of one thing, but you should know that Disney Cruise has two options: the buffet and sit-down lunch in the main dining.

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? 

Enjoy the next Disney movie, just like Marvel, Pixar, and star wars on the 3d Disney theatres.

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

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. 

For example, Remy and Enchante are the two restaurants reserved for adults. On the contrary, each ship will have different adult restaurants but must be one or two.

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. 

Meanwhile, it doesn’t matter whether you are at embarkation or disembarkation. The cruise line will carry your Luggage, and you will see your bags once back home or in the stateroom.

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.

All you need is to present your receipt for exchange, and they will exchange it in your priorities currency and with the exact exchange rate.

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.

For example, for a Disneyland vacation, you must complete the reservation at least two months or 60 days before.

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.

You can request the reservation of your desired table or seat at a perfect place. They will indeed find no hesitation in doing so.

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.

Fact: the most photographed moment view on the Disney cruise is the walls of the bathroom and the fancy minnie mouse statue.

#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. 

So, the buffet is one of many to try more foods as the hack is that you can order as much food as you want.

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.

Sounds weird?

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

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.

However, you have two options to book port adventures in advance – using Disney or independently.

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

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.

Wait for the port day and go for touristy areas or internet coffee to enjoy the benefit of WiFi for free with exquisite food.

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.

Isn’t it?

Whether you want to give your laundry for a fee or want to have self-laundry service – Disney cruise will serve you either way.

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.

Yes, they are not entirely free, but a large number of them are free. You only need to know which one is free, how and where to get it.

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.

You will enjoy a special breakfast with a character if you have it. Additionally, what makes it fascinating is that the cost of it is included in your cruise cost.

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. 

For example, making reservations, payments, booking cruise activities, and getting details of transportation or flights is now a lot easier.

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.

The one that I love is “Ooh La La.” It is a French-themed champagne bar that is my favorite due to its calming atmosphere.

#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. 

For example, on princes’ night, you can wear your favourite princess dress and can achieve a theme of it.

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.  

All you need is a copy of your bills to the guest service. So, instead of waiting in long queues, spend your last minutes on the cruise enjoying amenities.

#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.

Check Out 24 Must Have Items To Pack For Cruise Journey.

#43 Get the Kids Meal

The kid’s menu of Disney Cruise is as great as the dining service for the adults.

However, just like the seniors, kids are not bound to eat or drink from the menu only.

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.

For example; 

  • 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.

Remember, the Disney cruise does not offer salon and spa centers. They are third-party vendors, and in case you have any complaints – do contact them directly.

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.

Bottom Line: 

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.

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