Planning a Disney Cruise can be so much fun, and there’s always a tip from anyone who’s been on one to share. I’ve compiled a list of some tips from myself and fellow cruisers to really give you the Ultimate Disney Cruise Line tips!
After you’ve booked your Disney Cruise it’s time to start the planning and fun. This is an exciting vacation so make sure you make the most of it. You can check out my other posts: You’ve booked your Disney Cruise Now What? and What to pack for a Disney Cruise.
Disney Cruise Line Tips
Download the App before going: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, make sure you have the app downloaded before you get on the ship. Not only does it have a countdown, but this will be key to helping you navigate activities, meet and greets, menus and communicate to each other on the ship through messenger.
Data package: Don’t forget to sign up on the first day for the free 50MB data package. It doesn’t go far, hey it’s free, but you have to do it on the first day.
Getting into your room: On embarkation day you won’t be able to get into your stateroom till 1pm or later, and you may not receive your luggage or at least all of your luggage till later in the evening. That’s why it’s important to pack a carry on with all essentials: IDs/passports, medication, change of clothes, bathing suits, eyeglasses, must have jewelry, cruise documents, credit cards/ cash, toothbrush/toothpaste, deodorant and anything else that you can’t live without for the day
Directions: These ships are huge and it’s easy to find yourself mixed up and turned around. If you ever feel lost in the hallways just look down. If the world on the carpet is upright and you are looking at it normally then you are walking to the front of the ship. If the world is upside down, you are walking toward the aft (back) of the ship. Fun fact the Nautical flags spell out the ship name on the Fantasy.
Gym: It you’re hoping to work out at the gym just know on an at sea day it’s going to be the busiest between 8:30am-11am. It’s recommended to go extremely early in the morning or early afternoon.
Hair Dryer: The hair dryer in your room is pretty powerful, so you won’t need to bring one, just make sure you plug it into the right plug that it’s labeled for.
Room Lights and Power: Disney is an environmentally responsible company and on some ships there’s a mechanism that turns the stateroom’s power on and off. When you walk into the room, you’ll need your Key to the world card to activate the power, including A/C, TV, outlets, etc. Here’s the tip: bring an old Key to the world card, library card, old gift card, or hotel key card that size to keep the power and not worry about forgetting your key to the world card.
Room Service: It’s amazing, and included in your package. If you have an early excursion in the morning, plan on leaving a room service order the night before for a continental breakfast. Keep in mind that Uncrustables are available but will not be on the Room Service menu. You can also end the night with some warm cookies or Mickey Ice Cream bars! Just don’t forget to tip the cast member.
Fish Extenders: I’m going to send your to a full post with What’s a Fish Extender and Fish Extender Ideas.
New Release Movies: I love that you can see the newest released Disney movies the same weekend they come out. There’s no additional charge to see the movie, but if you want popcorn you’ve got to buy it!
Tipping on a Disney Cruise
Tips: As a reminder your tips are paid at the end of the cruise. You pay for them either by your room or in cash. This includes your servers, state room and normal crew gratuity. What isn’t included in tips are things like Room Service, alcoholic drinks from the bars or main dining room or your server if you’re having brunch or dinner at PALO or Remy.
Room Service: I like to keep a few small bills on hand so we can tip for this in cash, but you can also add the tip to the bill.
Alcoholic drinks: If you’re ordering an alcoholic drink look at your receipt the gratuity has been added, if you want to add more go for it!
PALO or REMY: Since this is an extra expense to dine at these locations remember to tip your server. The gratuity should be figured out as what you would leave based upon what you think this meal would have cost you at a regular restaurant. These cast member DO NOT share in the normal crew gratuities that you will leave at the end of the cruise. Check out our PALO Brunch experience!
Drink Packages on a Disney Cruise
Alcohol Specials: There are are few different options for this.
Wine Bottle Package: There are 2 different levels Classic ($199 -2018) and Premium ($309 – 2018) this includes seven bottles of wine (one for each not). The cost will vary depending on how long the cruise is.
Beer Mug special – You’ll pay $16.95 (2018 price) for a 22 ounce beer mug. Then you’ll get a coin which you’ll need to carry around with you that will allow you to pay the 16oz price for future beers. At the end of the cruise you’ll turn in your coin and get your souvenir beer mug.
Drink of the Day specials – Every day has a different drink advertised for $4.99 (2018) this includes the non-alcoholic choice.
Skyline Passport – 7 special martinis for the price of 6
FREE Drinks: Reminder there will be FREE drinks in the Atrium before your formal night dinner. Plus you can get FREE drinks during the DVC presentations.
Dining on a Disney Cruise
Main Dining Room: Each night you’ll rotate through the 3 main dining rooms on the boat. Your wait staff will travel with you. The menus will be different each night and sometimes choosing what you want can be hard. Don’t worry if you can’t decide between entree #1 or #2, or appetizer #2 or #3… order both. It’s all you can eat. Our last server would even surprise the table with food no one ordered because he thought we would enjoy it!
Cabanas Breakfast & Lunch Buffet: So here’s a tip if you’re eating at Cabanas make sure you walk all the way around to the back. They tend to hide the daily special eats, carving stations and sushi on occasions back there. Also, if you’re a first time cruiser just know there are lots of stations, and it’s not a regular buffet where you go through the line. You can walk up to any station and get what you need.
Ice Cream: You’ll find that having an ice cream machine at your service is addicting. They have cones, but it’s become a thing to grab a cup from the drink station, find a spoon and get more ice cream to eat. These also make a great Fish Extender gift.
Disembarking a Disney Ship
Leaving the Ship: When leaving the ship make sure you have two things… 1. Your KTTW (key to the world card) and photo ID. What I will recommend is DO NOT bring your passport but a different photo ID. The tip is to photo copy your passport. This way in case something happens, you have the passport information AND it protects you in the way of losing or getting the passport stolen.
Castaway Cay Day: If you or a family member is running in the 5K race they will disembark before anyone. Not only can you get off early with them but you can stake out a spot on the beach and get back to watch your loved one finish the race. This may mean you miss a lot of the character photo opportunities walking to the beach, but you’ll have a great beach spot!
Before Departing Book your next Cruise: If your trip has been one of the best ever and you think you want to cruise again I can’t stress enough to BOOK ONBOARD. You don’t have to have an exact date or actual itinerary in mind. You can put down $250 to lock in getting the On-board Booking incentives which are: 10% off the cruise price at the time of the full booking, 10% total deposit and the on-board booking credit. This will be valid if you cruise within 2 years of the date so make sure if you are going to do this do it later in the cruise, but don’t wait till the last night when everyone is trying to book.
Final Breakfast: If you have early or even late dining you do NOT have to go to the last breakfast in the Main Dining Room before leaving. Cabanas will be open and will be serving a full buffet breakfast. This is especially good for the early dinner guests who may not want to go to a 6:30am breakfast as they leave.
There you have it lots of tips and tricks for making your Disney Cruise the best one yet. Have you been on a Disney Cruise?
Make sure you check out my other Disney Cruise posts: