In September 2018 we took our 6th Disney Cruise, so I would love to share 7 tips for cruising with Disney that will make your voyage more magical. These tips have been part of why we have come to love cruising with Disney.
Use a Disney Trained Travel Agent
When we were considering booking our first Disney Cruise, I was pretty much clueless, since I had never been on any cruise. There was a travel agent in our Disney homeschool group, so I decided to talk with an expert. I cannot express how happy I am for choosing to use a travel agent.
An agent can make the entire process stress free, and it costs you NOTHING!! We still use our agent, because number one, she is great, but also she saves me from having to keep track of everything myself. Plus, why not have your own personal guide for tips to cruising with Disney? If you are looking for an agent, we highly recommend Amy, from 3D Travel.
Complete Online Check-in
Complete your online check-in as soon as you can, because this allows you to choose your port arrival time. The earlier your scheduled arrival time, the sooner you board the ship.
The sooner you board the ship, the more time you have to relax, enjoy lunch, drinks, pools, and other activities.
This allows you get the most of your first day on the ship.
Room With A Verandah
This just may be on the top of my tips for cruising with Disney. Being a family of five, in order for us to all be in the same room on our first cruise, we had to at least get the Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah.
We enjoyed having the verandah so much, we won’t ever take a cruise without having a one. Visitors would even stop by to say hello.
In the evenings, we would watch the sunsets. This sunset is off Key West.
Between activities, or while getting ready for dinner, we would just sit and relax on the verandah.
In the mornings, we wake early to watch the sunrise, like this beautiful sunrise over Castaway Cay on our most recent cruise. For our family, it is worth the added cost for a view like this!! Which leads into our next tip…….
Use Room Service
Each night we filled out our room service ticket to hang on our door. You choose your delivery time, food items, and drinks. This was typically our wake up call for the day.
Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, fruit, juice, and pastries on the verandah each morning was the perfect way to start the day. And it’s FREE!!!
Let’s be honest though, the kids didn’t always wake up with us!!
Enjoy Castaway Cay
We’ve been on both small ships, The Magic and The Wonder, plus one large ship, The Dream. Castaway Cay, you think would be more busy with the larger ship, but surprisingly, there are a lot of people who don’t get off the ship.
This is our favorite cruise day, and enjoying the island is a must do, even if only for a short time. Our favorite cruise has been our October 2014 Halloween on the High Seas cruise. It was a 5-Night cruise, with two stops at Castaway Cay!! The double stop cruises are hard to come by in the off season now.
Take a walk, get some fresh air, take a bike ride, sit on the beach, or whatever you enjoy most. You are on vacation!!
On our first cruise we reserved the float, snorkel, and bike ride packages for ourselves.
Now we just get and charge the floats to our room when we get on the island.
Our girls are older now, so they’ve gone off with the clubs to do the teen excursion, but still come hang out with us. We enjoy that while we can, and one day we plan to visit the adult only beach.
Purchase Photo Package
I wasn’t sure the full details on the photo packages before our first cruise, but we ended up taking full advantage of getting our photos taken on our first five cruises.
Your photo package begins at the terminal. Mickey and Minnie greet you in the lobby of the check-in/waiting area.
There are lots of photo opportunities, like professional family photos.
One of my all time favorites from the Halloween party night during our October 2014 cruise. The package we chose included a disk/memory card of our photos, plus a mix of all your photos in print as either 5×7 or 8×10.
Lots of character meet and greets all throughout the day on board, and on Castaway Cay.
Photographers even roam the beaches on Castaway Cay. Breaking it down, we paid less than $3.00 per print, and you get a photo release to use the photos, to purchase more prints wherever you wish.
I am so glad we bought the photo package, because when you are intentional about seeking out photo opportunities, it’s totally worth it!!
Book Your Next Cruise On Board
The perk for booking your next Disney Cruise while still on board is 10% off your next sailing, which is a great savings. Plus they usually offer in stateroom credits of $100-$200, depending on the number of nights in the next booking. The credit is applied to your room during your next sailing. We’ve always done the open bookings, so we didn’t have to choose dates, and could decide in the future. On our most recent cruise, September 2018, the sailing for open bookings must depart within 24 months. Be sure to double check cancellation policies, and details while on board, or with your travel agent. Plus your travel agent can still get the credit if you book on board!! Just be sure to tell them your travel agent’s name.
Hope these tips are helpful. Connect with us on Instagram. Let us know what makes your cruise more magical.
More Disney Tips can be found on Planning Away’s Best of the Best Disney roundup!!
Need a place to stay before your cruise? Check out our Review of Disney’s Copper Creek Resort.