Embarking on a Disney cruise promises a magical journey filled with enchanting experiences, delightful entertainment, and the whimsical charm only Disney can deliver. Whether you find yourself aboard the Disney Dream, Disney Wish, or any of the illustrious Disney cruise ships, a treasure trove of adventures awaits, from immersive Disney movies to thrilling pool deck activities. If you’ve ever wondered whether a Disney cruise is worth it, consider this: the all-inclusive nature of the cruise, combined with unparalleled Disney service, offers a compelling value proposition. However, the secret to unlocking an unforgettable voyage lies in meticulous planning and arming yourself with essential Disney cruise tips.

By diving into the magical world of Disney Cruise Line and soaking up every sprinkle of pixie dust knowledge, you significantly elevate your cruise experience, ensuring every moment is steeped in Disney wonder. So, buckle up as we navigate through crucial tips, insightful suggestions, and hidden gems to optimize your journey in the enchanting realms of Disney!

Tips and Tricks for Booking Your Disney Cruise

Money-Saving Strategies

First-time cruisers should also consider money-saving strategies to optimize their Disney cruise experience. Using Disney gift cards can help manage your budget efficiently. Keep an eye on cruise fare fluctuations and book when the prices dip, allowing for considerable savings.

Wallet full of cash in a pocket

Another smart strategy is to utilize onboard credit, which can be used for various services and purchases onboard. These savings can then be allocated to other fun activities, room service, or fine dining experiences, enhancing your cruise experience without breaking the bank.

Best Time To Book

Want the best deal for your Disney Cruise? Strike the moment it’s released! Typically, new cruises are announced about 18 months in advance. Booking right away ensures you get the most favorable price, regardless of your sailing date. The early bird truly gets the best stateroom at the best rate!

Disney Cruise ship on the sea

Choosing Your Stateroom

When selecting a stateroom, consider factors such as location, view, and amenities provided. A well-chosen stateroom enhances your cruise experience by offering easy access to the ship’s amenities and attractions, providing breathtaking views, and ensuring a comfortable and convenient stay.

Zoomed in cruise ship balcony

Whether you prefer a room with a veranda to enjoy the ocean views or one close to the pool deck for a quick swim, understanding your preferences and needs is key to making the right choice. A thoughtful selection of your stateroom means every moment in your private space is as enchanting as the adventures waiting for you on board and ashore.

Boarding the Disney Cruise Hacks

Importance of the Disney Cruise Navigator App

Navigating your Disney cruise is a breeze when you utilize the Disney Cruise Navigator App, a digital companion designed to enhance your voyage aboard the wondrous Disney cruise ships. It’s not just about setting sail; it’s about immersing yourself in a world where every moment is a brushstroke in your Disney masterpiece of memories.

Disney Navigator Mobile App

It’s crucial to download the Disney Cruise Navigator app before you step into Disney’s floating kingdoms. This practice ensures a harmonious blend of excitement and effortless navigation from the onset. Accessibility is your wand, waving a seamless and interactive Disney experience into existence, connecting you instantly with essential guest services, and unfolding a treasure chest of Disney Cruise Line tips and secrets.

Installing the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app on your devices is quite simple. The app has an iOS version available on the App Store, and an Android version on Google Play. However, note that the app may be unavailable in some regions, such as Japan.

Disney Navigator App Features

This app is your key to unlocking experiences; from scouting scrumptious dining options to unfolding a myriad of onboard activities, ensuring every heartbeat is in sync with Disney’s magical rhythm. Whether you’re lounging on the pool deck or sharing giggles with Disney characters, the app acts as your personal fairy godmother, transforming wishes into reality. It’s a beacon, illuminating pathways to unseen pleasures and untold stories, enveloping your senses in a cascade of Disney wonders.

Sailing with Disney is a magical experience, but with the Disney Cruise Navigator App, the magic is at your fingertips! Here’s why this app is your ultimate cruise companion:

  1. Bookings: No more manual reservations! Book Port Adventures, spa treatments, nursery slots, and even those exclusive adult-only dining experiences, all within the app.
  2. Payments: Seamlessly make payments and track your payment summaries without any hassle.
  3. Online Check-In: Begin your magical journey early with the “My Online Check-In” feature.
  4. Dining Seating: Curious about where you’ll be dining? View or modify your seating arrangements anytime.
  5. Vacation Protection Plan: Add or make changes to your protection plan details directly.
  6. Transportation Management: Easily view or modify details about your ground and air transportation.
  7. Special Requests: Whether you want extra pillows or a surprise for a special occasion, add or modify specific requests to personalize your experience.
  8. Activities Galore: Don’t miss out! Gain access to detailed schedules for live shows, movies, deck parties, character experiences, nightclubs, and even youth club events.
  9. Dip and Dive: Get all the information you need about pools and splash zones, including their locations and timings.
  10. Ports of Call: Stay informed about every magical stop on your cruise journey.
  11. Daily Calendar: Stay updated with an onboard daily calendar that lists events and activities, ensuring you never miss a beat.
  12. Personal Itinerary: Keep track of all your booked activities in one consolidated view.
  13. Personal Planner: Organize your schedule and bookmark your favorite activities for quick access.
  14. Rotational Dining: Know exactly where you’re dining, when, and even your table number, taking the guesswork out of meal times.
  15. Deck Plan: Navigate the ship effortlessly with a comprehensive deck plan at your disposal.
  16. Onboard Chat: Stay connected! Send messages and fun Disney emoticons to your friends and family onboard.

In essence, the Disney Cruise Navigator App isn’t just an app; it’s your personalized cruise assistant. With its extensive features, it ensures that your Disney cruise experience is not just magical but also hassle-free. So, before you set sail, make sure this trusty companion is with you!

Internet Packages Tips

While sailing with Disney Cruise, it’s essential to know your internet options. Everyone receives a complimentary 50MB on the first day. For more data, consider the packages: Pay As You Go ($0.25/MB), Small ($0.19/MB for 100MB), Medium ($0.13/MB for 300MB), or Large ($0.09/MB for 1,000MB).

Phone connecting to a WiFi Network

Concierge guests in Category S, T, and V Staterooms enjoy a bonus of 100MB, but the real treat is for those in Category R Staterooms—they get free Wi-Fi for the entire cruise. Remember, the only way to enjoy continuous free internet is by booking a Category R Stateroom. However, you can try preserving your free MB’s by turning off background internet usage for nonessential apps.

Embarkation Day Essentials

Embarkation day can be both thrilling and chaotic, so knowing what to expect is crucial. To ensure a smooth start to your Disney Cruise, pack essentials such as documentation, medication, and swimwear in your carry-on bag, as you might not have immediate access to your checked luggage. Exploring the ship’s array of activities, from the inviting Disney Cruise pool deck to the expansive kid’s clubs, can make the first day of your cruise an unforgettable adventure.

Vintage Luggages with stickers

Familiarizing yourself with the Disney Cruise app is also a good strategy as it offers schedules and important updates to keep you informed throughout your journey. By preparing adequately and embracing the vast array of activities available, you can kick start your cruise on a high note, setting the tone for an enchanting experience aboard.

Maximizing Dining Experience

Disney Cruises offers a culinary journey that matches the enchantment of the voyage itself. The expansive dining options available will allow you to indulge in a variety of gastronomical delights.

Couple dining by the sea

Rotational Dining and Fine Dining Options

Disney cruises introduce you to rotational dining, a unique concept where guests rotate through different dining venues, experiencing a variety of atmospheres and menus, including places like the charming Enchanted Garden. This approach to dining ensures that your culinary experience is ever-changing, exciting, and full of surprises.

Variety in Culinary Delights

Beyond rotational dining, there are numerous specialty dining experiences available on board, each designed to tantalize your taste buds with exquisite flavors and culinary craftsmanship. Whether you are a fan of gourmet dishes or crave homely comfort food, Disney cruises cater to every palate, making every meal a gastronomical adventure.

Dining Room Insights

Choosing between early and late seating is essential for optimizing your dining experience. Venues like Rapunzel’s Royal Table offer more than just food; they deliver a themed dining experience that blends storytelling with culinary artistry. To fully savor the exceptional fine dining on the cruise, understanding the nuances of each dining room and its offerings is crucial.

Your dining experience on Disney Cruises is not just about satisfying your hunger; it’s about embarking on a culinary journey that weaves together flavors, ambiance, and Disney magic, creating memories that last a lifetime.

Bars and Drinks

Disney Cruise Line offers a plethora of options for those looking to unwind with a drink. If you’re planning to enjoy some alcoholic beverages aboard, remember to pack wisely. Disney allows each passenger (21+) to bring two wine bottles or six beers in their carry-on. However, it’s advisable to pack your own corkscrew and bottle opener to avoid a $25 USD uncorking fee in the dining rooms.

For beer enthusiasts, a one-time purchase of a 21-ounce beer mug ensures you get an extra five ounces more with every refill. Don’t fancy carrying the mug around? Simply swap it for a card and redeem it for a fresh mug whenever you’re in the mood. On embarkation day, look out for beer packages offering discounts and unique bundles, like a six-pack paired with an insulated bag—perfect for beachside relaxation.

A thumbs up beside a glass of beer

Wine lovers, before committing to the wine packages offered at dinner, weigh their value. Sometimes buying a bottle separately or even bringing one from home might offer better quality and value. And everyone should stay alert to the ship’s happy hours, typically announced via the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app. These can offer up to 50% off drinks, which you’re free to enjoy anywhere on the ship.

Every day, a specially priced “drink of the day” is available for around $5, offering a delightful twist to your beverage experience. And if you’re looking to delve deeper into the world of spirits, consider a Mixology class or a beverage-tasting seminar. These activities might be an additional expense, but they present a unique chance to learn, taste, and mingle.

Concierge Guests Benefit

Opting for concierge-level rooms unlocks a world of exclusive benefits and privileges. Concierge guests gain access to private sun decks and receive personalized guest services, making every aspect of the cruise experience more luxurious and tailored.

Woman with a clipboard on her phone

From priority bookings for shore excursions to exclusive meet-and-greets with Disney characters, the perks of being a concierge guest add a sprinkle of extra magic to your Disney cruise, ensuring your journey is wrapped in comfort, convenience, and exclusive Disney enchantment.

Meeting the Disney Characters

Meeting Disney characters and embracing the Pirate Night spirit are some of the unmissable experiences that a Disney Cruise offers.

Interaction with Disney Characters

On a Disney Cruise, guests have the golden opportunity to meet a variety of Disney characters. These encounters can be a highlight of your Disney trip, bringing smiles to both young and older faces. Here’s a Disney cruise tip to make these interactions even more magical: check the Disney Cruise app regularly for times and locations of character greetings and be ready with your room key for swift access.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse Stuffed Toys

Whether you’re looking to snap a photo with Mickey or get an autograph from Cinderella, these moments add a sprinkle of extra magic to your journey. Maximizing these opportunities can turn your cruise into a series of unforgettable moments filled with joy, laughter, and Disney magic.

Embracing the Pirate Night Spirit

Pirate Night on a Disney Cruise is a thrilling experience where guests can unleash their inner pirates. This themed evening is the perfect time to do pirate costumes and partake in the swashbuckling festivities.

Man and woman in a pirate costume

Whether you choose to enjoy fine dining with a pirate twist or attend special events brimming with buccaneer spirit, embracing the Pirate Night spirit adds an adventurous flavor to your cruise. Join the revelry, let your pirate flag fly high, and make memories that will be cherished long after the cruise ship has docked.

Must See Entertainment and Engaging Activities on Disney Cruise

A Disney cruise line offers a vast array of entertainment and activities, ensuring there is something for everyone.

Group of children on a yacht

Diverse Entertainment Options

The entertainment options on a Disney ship are diverse and captivating. Walt Disney Theatre hosts a range of spectacular shows, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the enchanting world of Disney storytelling. For movie enthusiasts, the selection of Disney movies available is extensive, providing entertainment for every taste. Plus, for those wondering about casinos on Disney cruises.

Happy Child watching a 3D movie

Whether it’s enjoying a classic Disney movie or partaking in the myriad of onboard activities, the opportunities for fun and entertainment are boundless. Exploring these entertainment options can add a dash of excitement and wonder to every sea day, turning your entire cruise into a magical adventure.

Engaging Kids and Teens

For younger cruisers, the Kids Clubs and Teen Club on Disney cruises are hubs of fun and creativity. These spaces offer a safe environment where kids and teens can engage in a variety of activities while making new friends.

Kids horseback riding by the shore

A visit to the Small World Nursery or the Cove Cafe can also be a delightful experience for families with young children. Ensuring that your children enjoy these clubs safely is crucial, so don’t hesitate to visit guest services for any inquiries or assistance. By leveraging these facilities, you can ensure that your youngsters have an equally enchanting time, filled with laughter, learning, and lots of Disney magic.

Best Shore Excursions and Castaway Cay

Exploring Disney ships and their distinctive destinations can be the highlight of your cruise adventure, and meticulous planning can optimize your experience.

Island Paradise: Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, is a secluded paradise offering unique experiences and excursions. This island oasis is packed with activities ranging from serene beaches to adventurous trails.

Castaway Cay Disney Private Island

Exploring the island’s pristine landscapes and participating in the unique activities available, like snorkeling and bike riding, can make your visit to Castaway Cay a memorable adventure. A stopover at this island paradise lets you experience Disney magic in a whole new light, where every moment is filled with enchantment and the vibrant spirit of the island.

Planning Your Shore and Port Adventures

Effective planning for shore and port adventures is key to making the most out of each port of call. By researching each destination and booking excursions that suit your interests and budget, you can ensure a richer and more enjoyable experience at every port. Delving into the culture, cuisine, and attractions of each destination can provide a more rounded and fulfilling cruise experience.

It’s also wise to consider the duration and timing of each excursion to avoid clashes with other planned activities and to ensure you’re back on the ship in good time. Through thoughtful planning and a spirit of adventure, each port visit can become a unique journey, adding diverse and enriching layers to your overall Disney cruise experience.

Family of four having fun on the shore

More Essential Tips and Tricks for Disney Cruisers

What to Pack on Your Disney Cruise

Mom and daughter packing a suitcase

On your boarding day, luggage might take some time to arrive at your stateroom. So, keep these handy in a day bag:

  • Medication (in original containers)
  • Passport and necessary documentation
  • Camera and accessories
  • Extra glasses or contacts
  • Sunscreen and hat
  • Swimsuit and cover-up

Weather-Adapted Attire:

  • Layered clothing for variable climates, especially in places like Canada.
  • Winter essentials such as gloves, hats, and boots for colder regions.
  • Waterproof and windproof coat, sturdy footwear, and binoculars for exploring.

Remember, Disney Cruises also offers themed nights and character meet-and-greets, so packing a few Disney-themed outfits or accessories can make those moments extra special for the family.

What Not to Pack on Your Disney Cruise

No Marijuana Signage

  • Weapons of any kind, including firearms, knives, and even items like bullwhips.
  • Homemade or precooked perishable items.
  • Irons, bottle warmers, balloons, candles, and musical instruments.
  • All illegal drugs, inclusive of medically prescribed and synthetic marijuana.
  • Coolers, unless for medications, baby food, or dietary needs.

Disney Wear Recommendations

Kid in a princess costume

Engage fully with the Disney spirit and ensure your cruise experience is magical:

  • Character Attire: From classic Mickey and Minnie ears to Goofy hats, show off your Disney pride.
  • Themed Nights: For those themed evenings or special character breakfasts, have outfits ready for your little princesses or pirates.
  • Casual Wear: T-shirts, pajamas, or even socks featuring your favorite Disney characters can add an extra touch of fun to your voyage.

Dining Wear

Couple smiling at each other in a fine dining

Main Dining: Stick to cruise casual – no swimwear or tank tops. Dressing up is optional yet common.

Adult Exclusive Dining: Aim for polished, from formal to semi-formal wear. Avoid casual t-shirts, swimwear, and sportswear.

Themed Nights: Participate in themed or formal nights if your cruise is 7 nights or longer. The Disney Cruise Line Navigator App provides attire guidance for each evening.

Exchanging Currency On Board

When traveling with Disney Cruise Line in Europe, euros can be exchanged at Guest Services, typically located on Deck 3, midship. However, note that these euros are available in limited amounts. For domestic journeys, all transactions are in US dollars.

Foreign currencies on a table

The best part? Disney Cruise Line provides this currency exchange service free of charge. But remember, exchange rates can shift even while you’re sailing. It’s wise to monitor these rates as your cruise date nears to ensure you get the best deal.

Spas and Fitness Center

woman having a head massage

While cruising with Disney, don’t miss the Senses Spa & Salon, an oasis of luxury available on every ship. Dive into an array of spa treatments from massages to haircare. The Spa booking needs to be made in advance.

  • It’s an adults-only space, welcoming guests 18 and up.
  • Treatments are extra and not covered in your cruise fare.
  • To secure your pampering session, book online via the Planning Center or onboard after 1:00 PM on day one of your cruise. Enjoy the tranquility!

Best Time to Shop

Considering a magical journey with Disney Cruise? Aim to book during January, February, or March, commonly referred to as “wave season.” This is when dreamy deals are aplenty! Another golden opportunity is Black Friday or Cyber Monday. However, a heads-up: prices tend to soar for cruises around Christmas and New Year’s. Plan wisely and save!

Family of three shopping together


Embarking on a voyage with Disney Cruise Line promises a cascade of enchanting experiences, swirling in a symphony of magical moments. Integrating our carefully curated Disney Cruise tips ensures that every wave of the journey is sprinkled with delight, and every horizon is draped in wonder. From the whimsical charm of Disney Dream and the grandeur of Disney Fantasy to the innovative allure of Disney Wish, exploring the diverse fleet unlocks a treasure trove of distinctive pleasures.

So, embrace the magic, weave through the wonders of each Disney cruise ship, and let the waves of excitement guide you through a labyrinth of unforgettable adventures, unfolding a tapestry of memories that will linger in the heart’s gallery forever.


Which side of the Disney cruise ship is best?

The best side of a Disney cruise ship often hinges on the itinerary and personal preferences. However, for cruises stopping at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, the starboard side staterooms offer a better view of the guest-accessible parts of the island, making it a top choice for those keen on picturesque views. This positioning is especially beneficial for photography enthusiasts who want to capture stunning shots of the island’s attractions.

How much are tips per person on Disney cruise?

Typically, tips on a Disney Cruise are around $13.50 to $14.50 per person, per day, depending on the stateroom category. This daily rate is distributed among your dining team and stateroom host. Kids are also expected to pay the same rate, so keep this in mind when budgeting for your Disney cruise expenses.

How do I leave tips on Disney cruise?

To leave tips on a Disney cruise, you can pre-pay them before your sailing date, or they will be automatically added to your onboard account. However, you can adjust the amounts at Guest Services if needed. Additionally, tipping for exceptional service is always welcomed and can even be offered directly.

What do adults do on a Disney cruise?

For adults on a Disney cruise, there’s a wealth of activities, from enjoying exclusive adult-only dining at Palo or Remy to relaxing at the adult-exclusive Quiet Cove Pool. Adult guests can also indulge in the Senses Spa & Salon services and partake in themed entertainment and activities. Additionally, adults can explore lounges and nightclubs on board, each offering a unique ambiance, specialty cocktails, and entertainment, ensuring a good time.

What not to miss on a Disney cruise?

When on a Disney cruise, do not miss the themed deck parties like Pirate Night, the Broadway-style shows at Walt Disney Theatre, and the fireworks at sea. Exploring the Disney cruise ship’s unique offerings, enjoying the diverse dining options, and engaging in Castaway Cay activities are also must-do experiences.