7 Tips For Cruising With Disney

Share Our Happy!!

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. 

Disney Cruise at port in Cancun

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.

Disney Cruise Itinerary book and luggage tags

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.

Pool deck on the Disney Dream

The sooner you board the ship, the more time you have to relax, enjoy lunch, drinks, pools, and other activities.

Young girl enjoying an ice cream cone on ship deck

This allows you get the most of your first day on the ship. 

Disney Cruise Tips

Room With A Verandah

Girls standing on cruise ship balcony

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.

Hawk on balcony of cruise ship

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.

Sunset off Key West, Florida

In the evenings, we would watch the sunsets. This sunset is off Key West.

Man sitting in chair on Disney Cruise Ship balcony

Between activities, or while getting ready for dinner, we would just sit and relax on the verandah.

Sunrise over Disney's Castaway Cay

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

Room service ticket for Disney Cruise

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.

Tray of room service breakfast on Disney Cruise

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!!!

Kids sleeping in cruise ship room

Let’s be honest though, the kids didn’t always wake up with us!!

Enjoy Castaway Cay

View of Castaway Cay from ship

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.

View of Disney Cruise ship from Castaway Cay

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.

Woman in hammock on Castaway Cay

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.

Man in water at Castaway Cay

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.

Disney Cruise Line photo pass with  Minnie

Your photo package begins at the terminal. Mickey and Minnie greet you in the lobby of the check-in/waiting area.

Family in front of Christmas tree on Disney Dream

There are lots of photo opportunities, like professional family photos.

Girls dressed up for Halloween on the High Seas

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.

Girl with Goofy in Halloween costume

Lots of character meet and greets all throughout the day on board, and on Castaway Cay.

Couple in water at 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

Disney Cruise Tips

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.

Disney Cruise Tips

More Disney Tips can be found on:

Staying on Disney property before your cruise? Check out:

Review of Disney’s Copper Creek Resort

Fun at Splitsville in Disney Springs

One Tip for Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge

Share Our Happy!!

Julie Gazdecki

Julie is owner and founder of How We Find Happy. As an optimist, the name is perfect as we share the ways we find happy living in Florida, visiting breweries, spending time with our adult children, and getting away on some couples trips. As previous residents of Michigan, we still spend lots of time each year visiting our family up there, along with new and favorite places. My hope is to encourage others to spend time exploring this beautiful world, and finding happy in unexpected places.

29 thoughts on “7 Tips For Cruising With Disney

  • Cynthia Mackintosh

    We took a Disney Cruise back in 2006 when our boys were very young. They are now 16 & 18 and hoping to take another in the future. They are so much fun! Loved reminiscing seeing your post.

  • You have a lot of great tips! We have never tried Disney before. Will have to make this brand a priority when the grandkids are old enough to cruise!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    So much fun when they kids are little!! I was reminiscing to organize these tips. Makes me want to hop on a ship right now!!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Thank you!! Happy the tips are helpful. So much fun to take grandkids. I look forward to that myself someday!!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    That’s great your husband said it was one of his favorites. Hope you get to take one soon too!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Going through photos was making me want to go now too!!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Thank you!! So happy these tips will help you plan your first cruise, and hope you take one soon. Cruises are the best!!

  • I love the veranda room as well. Looking forward to taking my grandkids on a Disney cruise someday!

  • Shalona

    Great tips! Im thinking about going on a cruise this year . . . I now know how to prepare for an amazing trip!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Now that my girls are getting older, I look forward to taking grandkids myself!!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Thank you!! Taking little ones on a cruise is so much fun!! Enjoy!!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Thanks!! Go for it!! Cruising is so addicting!!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    They are so much fun!! Hope you get to take them soon!! You will love it!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Watch for the cruises from ports out on the west coast too. Now we just need to get to DisneyLAND!!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Understandable why they love them so much!! They are magical!

  • Sheila

    Looks like you had an amazing cruise. I’ve heard such good things about Disney cruises, if I was going to do a cruise I would do a Disney cruise!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Disney does it right!! Everyone should experience at least one cruise!!

  • OH this makes me want to go again…

  • Payton has always wanted to do a Disney cruise! I really should look into it! Thanks for sharing!

  • Janine

    A Disney Cruise is definitely on my list, though I want to wait until our little one is a little older so that she is aware of the magic of the experience. These are great tips!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Now it’s just to squeeze it in with all the other travel opportunities!!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Same here as I was writing the post!!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Definitely should!! I’m sure you will all enjoy one!!

  • Julie Gazdecki

    Cruiseline is no exception!! It is just as magical!!

  • alison

    We loved our disney cruise Everything was so easy and kids had a blast. I love that you ordered room service breakfast Way cool for the kids.

  • Julie Gazdecki

    I agree, everything is very easy. Nice and relaxing!!

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