Magical Monday {Over 100 Disney Cruise Tips + Tricks}

Goooood morning and happy Monday!!  I have updated my Disney Cruise Line tips and tricks after our latest (and first) voyage on the Disney Wonder.  If you are looking for specific cruise reviews and experiences, you can find them here:
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Now, without further ado, I’ve got 108 tips and tricks for making the most of your Disney Cruise!

1-21: Planning

  • If you are cruising on a budget don’t be scared to book the cheapest interior stateroom available. There are so many things to do on the boat that you will spend very little time in your room. There is enough space, a bathtub for the littles and a magic porthole in these rooms. To sleep four, the sofa converts into a bed and a bunk comes down from the ceiling. We also love that these rooms can be made totally dark so that after late nights everyone will sleep in. There is a mini-fridge in each stateroom.
  • That being said, we have also tried an ocean view veranda stateroom and we LOVED having the additional space. This room also features a split bathroom – where you have one small area with a sink and a toilet and a second small area with a sink and tub/shower. With our boys now 11 and 8, this made a huge difference! Please note, there is a railing but you could go over the railing. We never left our kids unattended and were sure they understood the danger. However, the deck table could have been pulled over to the railing and someone could go over literally in the blink of an eye.
  • If you are looking for a veranda but to save a little money, consider an obstructed view.  There are a few of these on some of the decks and we find them just as enjoyable as the full view!
  • If you are looking for an ocean view but have been scared off by the veranda, there are also rooms with very large ocean view portholes that would be a great option.
  • Check-in online as soon as your window opens. This is where you get your port arrival time and how the determine the order in which you board the boat. We choose 10:30AM and are always on the boat by 11:30 with a good couple of hours to enjoy the pools and AquaDuck before the crowds.  We arrive at the port by 10AM.
  • Note that you cannot check in until your final balance is paid.  This can get confusing because if you are a Silver, Gold or Platinum Castaway Club member, it may turn out that your booking window for on-line check in and registration is BEFORE the date when the actual last payment is due.
  • After you check in online, you will be able to make reservations for activities and excursions.  Book early!!!  You can always cancel later and it has been my experience that the “good times” for everything DO fill up.  I recommend booking Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Pirates League, Dolphin swims at Nassau and all princess gathering (character meets) in advance.
  • Go ahead and register your kids for the kids club when you check-in online in advance of the cruise. This will save a lot of time and does not commit you to using it. But you’ll be ready when you see how fabulous it is and how much your littles love it :-)
  • You can bring on your own alcohol in your carry on bags! We packed a couple of bottles of wine. Don’t forget the opener!  They allow two standard sized bottles of wine per adult, or a six pack of beer per adult.  The beer is not expensive to purchase on board, so I would opt for wine.  Liquor is no longer allowed to be carried on.
  • Budget for the tips that will be added on at the end of your voyage. Ours total about $200 for the 4 night and $150 for the 3 night. Figure $50 per person.  The tips were well earned as every cast member was overly attentive and super helpful. You can also pre-pay these in advance, which we did this time.
  • Be sure to schedule a character call for your little ones before you leave! It’s free and we did ours the night before we left. They loved it! You do it through the on-line cruise planning center.
  • We were a little worried about where all of our luggage would fit. Never fear! The beds are raised and we could easily slide everything under the bed after we unpacked.
  • I did not experience seasickness, but did feel the boat moving on a few different occasions. Sister was more effected by it and bought sea bands in the store. This solved her problem and did not detract from her experience.  They also have a doctor on board that can help with more serious issues.
  • I packed a ton and wore it all. LOL. You will mostly wear a swim suit and cover up during the day and will want to change into a dinner outfit in the evening. I found it got chilly at dinner and in the shows so you might want a little sweater too.
  • Very nice toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap) are provided and the rooms do have a hair dryer.
  • Bring a small bag to carry with you around the boat. You will want sunscreen, your wave phone, your cell phone, autograph books, a camera and your key to the world cards with you. The boat only uses magic bands for the kid’s club.
  • If you love your cruise, book another one before you get off that boat! There is no reason not to… you receive 10% off of the going rate and get an on-board credit. (we got $100 both times we rebooked). You have to pick a sail date based on the current calendar, but can switch it once you get off the boat as long as you sail within 24 months. If you change your mind, you get your full deposit back.
  • While I book my own WDW vacations, I use Small World Vacations for cruises. It doesn’t cost anything more, they give you an on-board credit (another $100 for us) and they surprised us with tons of great swag in our room this time!!! I use Cissy (CissyWDWtravel@aol.com).
  • If you book with a Disney Visa Card, you can get another $50 on-board credit. Just ask your travel agent to apply the code. So, if you’re adding things up, we sailed with a $250 credit.
  • Since all of our cruises have been 3 or 4 night voyages, we generally spend a couple of nights before the trip at Disney World.  It is about 1 hour from the port.  We usually don’t have park tickets on these short stays, but just enjoy the resorts and Disney Springs.  There is plenty to do without ever going in the parks!
  • My parents prefer to stay close to port the night before and have had good experiences at the Hampton Inn on Atlantic Avenue in Cocoa Beach. They say it is fine and they like it because it is close to the port, has breakfast included and offers a 40% discount on parking at port. (which is $75-85 usually)

22-34 :  Getting on the boat & Port Canaveral

  • Depending on what time you arrive, you will stop curb-side at the terminal to unload everything except your carry on bags (1 per person + a purse) OR you will go straight to the parking garage and unload there.
  • Parking at the terminal is $80 flat fee (4 night) and $60 (3 night – this has probably gone up a bit since we last did the 3 night).
  • If you arrive early enough, snag a parking place on level 3 by the elevators OR on the ground floor. While you wait to check-in, someone will come collect the bags if you didn’t use curb side so be sure to have them all tagged with the provided labels.
  • After you check in at the terminal you will see 2 long lines – one for a photo with a character and one for kids club registration. The character outfits are the same that you will see on the boat.  If you want a picture in the terminal, definitely go to this line first!  Then hit the kids club registration. You can do the kids club thing once on the boat but this is the only chance to have the picture made with the boat in the background for embarkation day.
  • If you collect pressed pennies, there are two machines in the terminal with great choices. This is the only place to get them and you won’t pass back though here afterwards so get them before!
  • We wear our swim suits under cover-ups and apply sunscreen before getting on so that we can hit the pools and slides.
  • Be sure to wear or bring flip flops or water shoes in your carry on because the deck is terribly HOT baking in the Florida sun.
  • You won’t get your bags in your rooms until much later in the afternoon (1:30ish) so have your camera and anything you might need in your carry on bags.
  • The kids club is open for tours, questions and getting wrist bands starting at noon. I headed up there with the kids around 12:30 and there was no line. They eased all of my fears about dropping the littles off. I was so glad I took the time to do this on the first day!
  • After you secure your seats, you can run through the buffet for lunch at Cabanas and bring it back to your chairs.
  • The stores are not open while in port so don’t plan to buy anything until late that first night.
  • Read the Navigator that you will get at check-in. Once you get on the boat youc an go ahead and make reservations for things like tastings, Mixology (our family fave) and the Castaway 5k.  Some things will fill up fast.

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35-45: On the boat

  • We only saw a few clocks on board and are the kind of group that wanted to make certain events. Next time I’ll definitely wear a watch.
  • The pools get very crowded. Just be warned. No diapers are allowed in the pool so I wouldn’t even go on the cruise until everyone was potty trained. There are splash areas for little ones that aren’t potty trained.
  • Check the height requirements on the waterslides. Again, for the full experience I would wait to go until everyone could at least go down the smallest slide on each ship.
  • Speaking of the slides (especially the AquaDuck on the Dream), they were very super duper strict about the height requirement. My littles got measured each day with shoes off. They were given arm bands for the rest of the day. There is a minimum height requirement even to go with a parent.  At age 7, the two smaller boys in our group were able to ride the AquaDuck as a pair.  My 10 year old was able to go alone for the first time.
  • On the Mickey slide they ride alone. Both of mine were tall enough. You can’t ride together so I’d make sure they weren’t scared to do it alone.
  • If you like a fruity punch-like tropical cocktail while cruising, buy the signature cocktail in the souvenir cup the first day. It’s around $10. But you will get the cocktail of the day for the rest of the trip for $4.50. As many as you want!  There is a similar plan for a refillable beer mug that the men did.  Note that you don’t have to carry the mug around all day – ask any server for a token and trade in the glass for a new one
  • The rooms do have small refrigerators and small safes.  The fridge will fit your wine bottles.
  • There are so many fun things to do on board! We loved mini-golf, shuffleboard, ping pong and detective agency. Adult faves are the animation class and mixology class.  They also show first run and recent movies in the theater all day long.  We’ve cruised four times and still haven’t even have time to do everything we wanted to.
  • On our first three voyages we didn’t even get off the boat in Nassau. It seemed like a lot of others stayed on too. It was a great time to just relax and watch Disney movies on the big screen over the pool or play mini-golf.  Our kids were all small and very happy just enjoying the boat.  On our last trip (kids ages 7 and 10), we DID get off and took an excursion to Atlantis.
  • There is a Disney Cruise Line app that you should download. It has all of the activities and events from the Navigator and is helpful because it lets you favorite the ones you want to do. It also lets you text message others on the ship without using wireless. You can download this at the port before embarcation.
  • Room service is included! We ordered a cheese and fruit tray to the room each night while we got ready for dinner, and BLTs for late night snacks after the kids get back from kids club.  The general rule of thumb is to tip $1 per item ordered.
  • If you see something in a gift shop that you have your heart set on, GET IT! I didn’t get the glass cruise ornament and it sold out before the end of the voyage. Also, there is LOADS of cute cruise line merchandise and clothes available on the boat that I haven’t seen anywhere else. Set aside for that because you will be tempted.
  • Pack your princess gowns and accessories. Your girls will be so glad to wear them and YOU will love not having to buy them on board in the lovely, glittery princess store.
  • If you enjoy pin trading or collecting, be sure to hit up the officer pin trading party. It was our first time trading and we got some great ones! They will trade you any pin that they have with any pin of yours as long as they don’t already have it.
  • Take some time to enjoy the adult pool area. It’s luxurious and you will feel a world away!
  • Consider purchasing a Rainforest Room day pass for access to the spa facility without having an appointment.  It is $16 and can be bought in advance through the floral and gifts link on the DCL website.  This gives you all day, in and out access to the locker room, robes/shoes, rain showers, sauna, steam room, zero gravity loungers and hot tubs.  We used on our day at sea and really enjoyed it!
  • Irons and steamers are not allowed and are not provided.  If you arrive with wrinkly evening clothes, simply place them in the laundry bag, fill out the form to have them pressed only and leave them in your room the first night.  It is really inexpensive to have them pressed and they will arrive back to you before dinner the next night.
  • Cruising without kids or grands?  (Lucky YOU!!!!) Read about my parents’ experience doing just that in THIS POST.  They have cruised three times on Disney without us and the grands and absolutely LOVE it!
  • If you want to attend the Sail Away / Adventure Away celebration, do this… there is a mandatory muster drill at 4PM.  The minute you are released from that, head straight to the pool deck facing the large Funnel Vision screen.  There will already be a rope and just go ahead and plop yourself down right there to get ready for the show!
  • Cameras and GoPros are not allowed on the slides on any boats.

46-53: Disney Dream

Tips specific to the Disney Dream:

  • Ride the Aqua Duck as many times as you can on the first day.  The earlier you get on the boat the better!  If you want to beeline to the slides, get on the boat, take a right for the elevators and head to deck 11. Be sure to have flip flops because the deck can get very hot in the sun.
  • The district is the adult night club area. Pink is a very cool themed bubbly bar you must check out. Honey loved the sports bar for sitting in a recliner and watching football. Skyline is one of my favorites. That being said, when we had time for a drink at night without kids we loved just being on the deck near the adult pool and bar.  We had a lot of fun this last voyage attending a mixology class with all of the adults in our party.
  • Definitely sign up for the Detective Agency and complete a couple of the mysteries while on board. This is great for the day at sea. Both of my littles love Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom and it’s a very similar yet less time consuming activity.
  • Don’t miss dinner at Animator’s Palate. Such a fun little interactive show!
  • We love the breakfast buffet at Enchanted Garden. A buffet is also available in Cabanas. I would forego the sit down breakfast in Royal Palace.
  • If you have a special occasion, you can order a cake and have it delivered on a dinner night of your choice. We’ve celebrated a birthday on both voyages and adored the chocolate Mickey cake. You will find the order form here under celebration cakes.  On our last trip, Sister forgot to order the cake for Jay’s birthday and just got DARLING cupcakes from Vanellope’s sent up to dinner that night ($10 total for 4!).
  • The Golden Mickey’s was our favorite and one the kids will love. Villains Tonight and Believe were also super.
  • The Oceaneers Kids Club features a wonderful Star Wars themed space, as well as a Disney Infinity Game play area.

54-61: The Disney Wonder

Tips specific to the Disney Wonder:

  • The Wonder is about 40% smaller than the Dream.  It definitely makes getting around the ship easier.
  • The splash and water play areas are bigger and more varied than on the Dream.  This would really only apply to kids probably 6 and under.
  • The Oceaneers Kids Club features a Marvel area, as well as a Frozen themed space.
  • After Hours is the nightclub area for adults and has three separate spaces.  Our favorite was Crown & Fin, an English Pub with subtle nods to Mary Poppins, 101 Dalmations and Peter Pan.  We loved securing a backgammon table, ordering a cocktail and gaming the nights away.
  • The shows are excellent broadway style productions.  We loved the Golden Mickey’s and Dreams, but Frozen is a MUST SEE!  It is sensational!
  • As far as the characters go in general on the Wonder, I didn’t think there were quite as many options on this voyage compared to our Dream sailings.  On one hand, we were on a 3 night so that eliminates a whole day of greetings over the 4 night.  On the other hand, the boat is a good deal smaller and there just wasn’t space to have as many characters out at one time.  In our 4 sailings on the Dream, I’ve never seen lines like these on the Wonder!  My one negative of the sailing was actually that I didn’t feel the cast members appropriately managed the lines either.  On the Dream there was always a cast member at the end of the line to cut it off.  On the Wonder one line merged into the next and you didn’t really even know what character you were in line to see.
  • For food, we loved sitting on the deck at Cabanas for breakfast and lunch.  Our very favorite dining of ALL Disney, Disney Cruise Line and other Disney resort locations was Tiana’s Place!!!!!  Don’t miss this dinner and know that you can order beignets for your dessert every night, no matter what restaurant you are in.  Another don’t miss is dinner in Animators Palate.
  • An advantage to the smaller ship is that Castaway Cay is barely crowded!

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62-65: Pirate Night

  • Bring costumes for Pirate Night! Our boys loved dressing up. Your stateroom attendant will leave a bandanna in the room for each person as well. Honey just wore that and we brought a little eye patch and earring. Some people go ALL.OUT!
  • There is now a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on board that turns into The Pirates League on Pirate Night!  Make reservations as soon as you can to get fixed up right before dinner.  We had one costume and brought that.  For the other, I booked the package that included a costume.
  • The fireworks on Pirate Night were great. It was very very crowded so I’d probably go early and stake some claim with beach towels. They shoot off the left side of the boat.
  • If the littles want to go to kids club and forego the fireworks, LET THEM :-) Then you can grab a lovely seat on the top deck of the adult area and have a wonderful night.

66-70: Oceaneers Kids Club (ages 4-12)

  • The kids club is AMAZING. It kind of makes the trip for us. Mine beg to go and want to stay all night. Okay… done! In my opinion it was clean, safe and very well run. To check out, you must have your key to the world card, your secret password and tap the kid’s wristband (same as the magic bands in WDW). They have these cool automatic hand washing stations that the kids use as they walk in. Send them on the night of Pluto’s PJ Party – the baby colored a darling Pluto pillowcase that just might be his most prized possession.  Now that they are a little older, they both have one favorite activity in kids club and that is Gaga Ball.
  • Speaking of the kids club, we had the early dinner seating (5:45). Dinners are great, but long. Starting on the first night, we asked our wait staff to serve the littles first and then we ran them up to the kid’s club before we even had our adult entrees. At the late dinner seating (8:15), cast members will escort littles to the kids club for you!  After trying both dinner seatings, we all agree that we still prefer the early time.
  • There is also a kids club at Castaway Cay! We took ours for about 2 hours and they loved it, of course. Make sure they wear their magic bands off the boat that day, just in case.
  • A cast member will text you on your Wave Phone if your little one is ready to be picked up. We told ours we’d check in on them (and we did) but we also made sure they knew that all they had to do was tell someone they wanted to go and they would call us. The DCL app will not work for this – only the Wave Phone.
  • Magic bands must be returned to the kid’s club by midnight on the last night, unless you wish to keep them as a souvenir. If you keep them (or forget to return them), I think they charge $12.95 to your card. They will not work in the parks and cannot be linked to My Disney Experience.  However, I believe they do unlock special content in the Disney Infinity game.

71-73: Edge Kids Club (ages 11-13)

  • For our 2017 voyage on the Wonder, our oldest was just the right age to hop between Oceaneers and Edge at 11.  He loved this freedom!  He found that during the day he preferred Edge but at night he liked to be in Oceaneers with his brother.
  • This was the first time that we granted him permission to sign himself in and out of the kids club.  We downloaded the Disney Cruise Navigator App onto his phone and he always let us know when he arrived and when he left.  He loved this freedom and it really made the trip for him.  He could access the calendar of activities in both clubs and determine where he wanted to be.
  • I get asked a lot what age is “too old”.  I don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future, but I know that at age 11 we are still totally happy with Disney Cruise Line.  In fact, it is still our #1 family vacation.

74-79: Meals

  • We loved the buffet lunch in Cabanas. Something for everyone. Our party gravitated to the shrimp and crab legs. YUM!
  • Dinners are fantastic and the service was just outstanding. Don’t be scared to order two appetizers or two desserts if you want. They were so accommodating. They also had no issue with kids ordering off of the adult menu.
  • If you have a special occasion, you can order a cake and have it delivered on a dinner night of your choice. We’ve celebrated a birthday on both voyages and adored the chocolate Mickey cake. You will find the order form here under celebration cakes.  On our last trip, Sister forgot to order the cake for Jay’s birthday and just got DARLING cupcakes from Vanellope’s sent up to dinner that night ($10 total for 4!).
  • On two of our trips we have done the 3-bottle wine package at dinner. It was great and lasted us the four nights. They move it with you each night. While you can bring your own alcohol on board, there is a corkage fee if you want to drink it in the dining room.
  • From 2012: Our favorite experience of all was the Champagne Brunch at Remy. There were only 8 people dining and it was just gorgeous and luxurious and delicious :-) We sipped on bubbly while noshing on scrumptious eats with nothing but blue waters all around. This was a huge splurge and the most expensive meal I’d ever had. But worth it… so worth it!
  • We have done both the main and late dinner seatings and much prefer the main seating time. The late dinner seats at 8:15 and you won’t have food on the table before 8:45. Whit (age 6) was literally a hot mess every night. Of course, he was fine to go play in kids club, but sitting at a dinner table was no bueno.

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80-82: Shows

  • The Broadway style shows were fantastic! The Golden Mickey’s was our favorite and one the kids will love. Villains Tonight and Believe were also super. The shows last one hour and are the perfect length. My littles did not attend all of the shows – we’d run up to the kids club and ask if they wanted to attend and sometimes they said no :-) You can buy bags of popcorn at Preludes for a couple of dollars and there is enough to share. We brought in our own wine and soft drinks from the pool for the littles. We also arrived just on time each night and snagged the last row. It was still great for viewing and easy to escape if you need.
  • The Sail Away/Adventures Away Celebration and Pirate Night deck parties were crowded and just okay. I’m glad we did them this time but am not sure that I’d try to wrangle the troops in the crowds next time. If you are interested but don’t want to be in the thick of things, I recommend viewing from deck 12.
  • The See Ya Real Soon goodbye was offered twice on our last cruise. Based on experience, I’d definitely go to the first one in the afternoon!!! We had walk up greets with the fab 5 in their sailor gear and it was not crowded at all.  This is a great time to get a last minute autograph or photo with your favorite character.

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83-93: Castaway Cay

  • Get off the boat early to enjoy this fantastic day!! Trams will take you to the beaches. As far as I could tell they were the same on both sides. We went to the further beach (stop 2 I think) and were right by Pelican Plunge. The kids club was on the other side.
  • Do the Castaway 5k! It’s fun! You will sign up at the shore excursions desk on deck 5 (I think) on the first day to ensure that you get a number and a finisher medal (it’s plastic but cute). The minimum age is now 10, but you can check the kids into the kid’s club on the island while you run/walk. Note that this does take some of your morning, but was worth it for us this time!
  • Purchase post cards at one of the shops on Castaway and mail them from the post office to get a Castaway cancellation mark! I of course forged notes from Mickey to my littles and can’t wait for them to arrive!!! The postcards were a couple of dollars each and the stamps were $0.65.
  • Check out the kids club at Scuttles Cove.  There is also an older kid’s club (maybe called the Hide Out) that my older son enjoyed.
  • There are free soft drinks, ice cream and wonderful fruit stands all day long. YUM! There is also a bbq lunch of burgers, hot dogs, etc. But we all recommend the grilled mahi. So good!
  • We didn’t do any pre-rentals of floats or snorkeling. Floats are easy to rent there and are a lot of fun.  We bring our own snorkel gear and had fun with that. You DO have to wear a vest but it’s free. The good stuff is really far out, so I wouldn’t recommend doing this until at least 9 or 10 years old and only for good, strong swimmers. They aren’t going to drown, but it’s a long way out and back.
  • There are lifejackets available for free and I encourage using them. That being said, the waters were very calm, they were roped off and they were so shallow that he could touch the bottom all the way to the end. There are also lifeguards.
  • Bring your autograph books – the characters look so cute in their island wear!
  • There is tons to do here – bike rides, boat rides, splash pads, characters, sting rays and snorkeling to name a few.
  • Honey bought a super cute DCL cooler with ice and six beers of his choice for $35. I didn’t see that last time and love it!
  • We had a wonderful experience parasailing on Castaway Cay.  See the full review and tips in THIS POST!

94-101: Characters

  • Okay, we LOVE characters in this family so this was like a dream come true. There are so many of them all day long! We carried our signature books in zip top bags with sharpie markers for signing. You never know when you’ll run into a character so we kept them in our pool bag. They all spent a good deal of time with the kids.
  • Here’s how the times work – for example, you will see in the Navigator that Peter Pan is at Deck 4 Balcony from 4-4:15. I thought no way… how on earth will we ever see him! What that means is that everyone that gets in line between 4 and 4:15 is guaranteed to see him no matter how long it takes! Perfect!
  • If you wish to knock out all of the princesses in one fell swoop, head to the shore excursions deck on the first afternoon of your voyage to get a ticket. They were out two mornings and only those with a ticket could participate. There is virtually no wait so get that ticket Smile There have been different princesses on each cruise.  This time it was Cinderella, Snow White and Belle. Anna and Elsa are now on the boat as well and require a ticket!
  • Same story for the Disney Jr. characters. Get a ticket at shore excursions on the first afternoon. You will meet Doc McStuffins, Jake and Sophia.
  • I found lines started to form only 10-15 minutes in advance. But remember, as long as you are there by the listed “end” time, you will get to see the character.
  • Cast members will always take pictures on your own camera. The rule seemed to be 2 pics for the professional photographer and then 2 pics on your camera.
  • Go to the See Ya Real Soon party on the last night. The baby was in heaven. They sing and dance and welcome everyone up for one last hug with their favorite character. Mickey confetti comes from the ceiling and it’s just as sweet as can be. Also, there is a character palooza like ending where princesses and fab 5 members meet for pics for 20 crazy minutes.
  • I sell cruise signature books based on your itinerary in my etsy store!

102-107: Very Merrytime Cruises

  • There was a fun tree lighting with characters, hot chocolate and cookies on the first night.
  • If you wish to make a gingerbread house, you have to get a ticket (one house per stateroom) on the first day of the cruise at guest services. It is fun and we learned some great techniques for our own at home because a chef leads the class. You can’t take it off the boat so make it and then have fun eating it. It was delish!
  • Seek out the characters in their holiday wear. We loved seeing all of the outfits you never see in the parks and getting tons of pictures.
  • The Deck the Deck party was really cute. If your kids want to participate, they will probably want to stake out a position on the left of the stage (facing the stage) before the show and ask a cast member what to do. They call kids up to hula hoop, limbo, etc.
  • The last night of the voyage included carols by candlelight. They call all the littles up to the grand staircase and it was just lovely.
  • We were on-board for Thanksgiving. Rather than a special pirate night menu (which is nothing to write home about), we had a Thanksgiving meal. Mickey and Minnie were out just this one night in their pilgrim attire.

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108: Nassau

  • We had an incredible experience at the Dolphin Encounter at Atlantis.  After much research and debate (over the potential to save some money), we did book directly through Disney.  Read about it in THIS POST.

Since I’ve received quite a few emails and comments with questions, I want to open the floor to a Q&A. If you have any question at all about anything to do with the cruise, feel free to leave it as a comment and I’ll answer as best I can!

I can’t say enough what a wonderful vacation and memorable experience this has been, each and every time we’ve done it!

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7 thoughts on “Magical Monday {Over 100 Disney Cruise Tips + Tricks}

  1. Hi Amanda,
    Loved this post and all the additional information about the different ships. We have only done one Disney Cruise (on the Dream back in 2013), but I would love to share a tip that saved me some worry. We had a veranda room with a 4 year old boy; which gave me nightmares. Our amazing stateroom attendent offered to remove the small table from the veranda (storing in somewhere in the bowels of the ship). Even though I would not let my little guy out on the veranda alone, I felt much better without the table there for him to climb on. It also gave us more room on the deck. We set up a beach towel on the ground and he played with his cars while dad and I had a morning cup of coffee! Magical ;)

  2. How was the weather during your February cruise? I’d love to do a summer cruise, but February is so much more affordable. I just want it to be warm enough to enjoy Castaway Cay. Thanks. I love reading your Disney tips!!

    1. Great question – I get asked this a lot. Okay, I think that it is too cold to go in the water in February at Castaway. When we went in November I also found that too cold. To fully enjoy the water you really do want to go in the summer months. When we have cruised in “summer” it has always been right after memorial day during the first week of June. If you price out that week versus any other week in summer you will likely see that it is still the cheapest warm weather week. My parents also like to cruise in September if that is an option for you. It is hurricane season but it is also cheaper. I’d buy trip insurance during that time of year for peace of mind. Also, in late September they are already doing the Halloween cruises, which is something I’d love to do!

  3. Hi Amanda! I just love all your Disney World/DCL tips! I wanted to share a great tip we got from our room steward on our last Disney Cruise to go along with what you shared about bringing wine on board. When we asked for a corkscrew he told us to call room service and have one delivered along with 6 wine glasses for the two of us. On our previous cruise we ordered glasses each evening so this was such a time saver! We were on a three night sailing so ordering 6 at a time meant we were all set to open a bottle at our leisure each evening without having to wait for delivery! It was wonderful to go ahead and have them in our room for the whole voyage-we never would have thought to do it that way!

  4. We are going on our first Disney cruise in August! We’ll be on the Dream to the Bahamas. Thank you so much for all of these tips!! Question…we have a 5 year old. I am terrified to leave him in the Kids Club on a SHIP while we do dinner or something!! Advice?!

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