Disney Cruise: Tips from a Newbie!

Jaime and I finally got to experience a Disney Cruise and it was magical! Neither one of us had gone on any kind of cruise but I kept saying when we do book our first one, it has to be a Disney Cruise.

We got our chance when they opened up cruises from San Diego to Mexico! Getting to Orlando is a bit costly for us from the West Coast. I was also scared that I would get sea sick and not enjoy my trip. So we jumped at the chance of booking the Disney Cruise Halloween on the High Seas adventure.

As I mentioned above, we knew nothing about cruises and what to prepare for. I booked the trip directly on the Disney Cruise website. Let me tell you, I learned a lot through trail and error. Just because you finish paying off your cruise doesn't mean it all ends there.

So I put together some tips that hopefully will help you out!

My Disney Cruise Tips!

1. Take advantage of the Disney payment plan - I didn't book through a travel agent but Disney Cruise offers a payment plan and it helped us out! Our trip was in Sept and we had to finish paying it off in July. So keep that in mind if you're going to do that.

2. Pre-book your excursions/events on your booking date - I made the mistake of not paying attention to my emails once I paid off my trip and didn't see the date of when I could log on to book things. Thankfully the dinner meals are included you just have to pick your sitting but some of the excursions were already filled. So pay attention to the emails Disney sends you!

Also, if you are child-less pick the later dinner sitting. It's not that late -8:15pm but it will be less rowdy and you'll get to enjoy the main shows early (there is a different show that played at 630 and than 8 something each day) and the water slide won't be as busy.

3. Download the Navigator app - It came in handy because they have a chat room for you to use. There is no reception when you get out to sea and their internet package is really expensive. Jaime and I both downloaded the app and we were able to use the chat to communicate with each other.

In reality we just sent each other Disney emojis.

4. Fill out the paper work online - Disney Cruise will send you a information packet which includes forms for you to fill out but do it online. Saves you so much trouble and worry! Checking in was a complete breeze because I did it all online!

5. Bring the essentials with you - When we got in they offered to take our suitcases or of course we could drag them in with us. I didn't want to so I handed them off to them. Also because I was told our rooms wouldn't be ready until after we sailed. So I handed off my rolling suitcase but I had my sunscreen, my bathing suit, my ID/passport. and some extra clothes so I can could get on the ship and get ready to relax.

When we checked in though not only did they let us board early (we picked 330pm just to be safe) our rooms were 100% ready. So giving them my suitcase was pointless but since I had my main items, I was able to change into my suit, grab some lunch, and hit the water slide before it got officially busy.

6. Bring a water bottle/ cup - Their drinking station was open 24/7. Sadly it was all the way on 9th and we were on deck 5. Also the cups are small. Thankfully this was one of the tips I read online! We brought our bottles and the large movie theater cups and didn't have to keep running to the drink station or wasting all those cups!

7. Bring some snacks - Most of the food is included and the restaurants/food stations are open good portion of the day but when you get the munchies after most of them have closed up, you'll be glad for that bag of pretzels. They have room service that runs all day/night and that is also included but who want to get up in the middle of their Star Wars Destiny match to get back down to deck 5 to order food?

8. You can order multiple things off the menu during dinner - You want to try all the things? Do it! I actually skipped some of the appetizers one night and got all the entrees. Another night, I asked for all the desserts.

9. Cash is your friend - You'll get the Keys to the World which is pretty much your stateroom and charge key but when your on port and want to shop, you're gonna need cash. I made the mistake of not bringing enough and used my CC to pay for something when we were in Ensenada. I got charge taxed and of course a foreign transaction fee. Thankfully I had enough cash to buy snack while were were walking around.

10. Bring sunscreen - Pack it or buy it when you land in your city of departure. The bottles on the ship are expensive and you will go through a bottle for sure! Jaime and I had the spray on kind and with the exception of not using it one day, we ran the bottle mostly empty by the end of our 5 day cruise!

11. If you pin trade, bring some - This is one tip I didn't find anywhere but they had a pin trading night with the cruise team. Thankfully I had some pinned to my purse that I was willing to part with and was able to trade for some Disney Cruise specific pins. So bring those pins!

12. There is an adult only lounge on the ship - On Disney Wonder there is a section where kids are not allowed to hang out. This came in wonderfully when I was tired of the screaming and yelling. I walked over, got in the pool, and the screams were far away. So don't worry if you're kid free and don't want to be around other children. There is section just for you. We didn't know about it until we got there.

13. Bring a card game - I will say, the adult events are seriously lacking on the ship. The few that happened were of course at night but fun. They just need more! Jaime and I had brought Star Wars Destiny and Battle Kittens with us. We would sit somewhere randomly inside or in the adults only section, have our drinks and play our game.

14. Bring an extra swimsuit or two - I didn't see this mentioned or maybe its a default but bring a few pairs! I don't know how to swim and I never going swimming but I'm glad I had three different pairs. It made life so much easier. Every day I was wearing a different one as the previous day was drying.

They do have washing machines and dryers but that can add up!

15. There are pirate parties on the ships and they are serious - A few folks talked about the pirate parties on the ship and dressing up their kids. Guys, it was serious business. I found out about them the last minute so I wasn't able to get anything together. It sounds like it's on every ship so yea, get that pirate gear!

16. Review your navigator print out every night - Your state room host leaves you a print out of the schedule of events for the next day the night before. Review it and make note of them. Also, the shows / events only happen once so before you attend. We almost passed on the Nightmare before Christmas Sing and Scream because it was at 1045pm the first night and we were tired from the bus ride. So glad we asked at guest services because it was only that one night.

17. If you're wanting to meet a character, arrive early - The character meet and greets were really short, like 15 mins short. I'm still all about getting character photos and course Disney is going to theme them up. They were in Halloween costumes, pirate gear, some of them had Hawaiian shirts, and yea, the lines get long and the characters rotate super fast. But they are out every day through out the day.

18. If you're unhappy about something, speak up - This is one thing that was never really mentioned and I believe it's because you're on a Disney Cruise but speak up if something isn't right. They will do everything they can to make it correct. Our excursion while at Ensenada was not what was advertise so by the time we hit up Cabo, we decided to just enjoy the boat. On the last day I mentioned it and they thanked us for the feedback. They said that they won't know if the tours are great without our feedback. So give that feedback!

19. STAY ON THE SHIP - I'm actually happy we decided to stay on the ship. There's nothing wrong with staying on the ship the entire time so if you want to go for it. We enjoyed it a lot. Even though we did it because we were unhappy we had the best time because it wasn't full or as loud. So stay on it if you want to. No one mentioned that as an option or tip!

Oh man, I really made a list!! Haha.. well I hope you got something out of my Disney Cruise tips may it be your first or tenth! We have plans to book the Disney Cruise Star Wars one but it will probably be a couple of years out just because that one is out east and flights are expensive.

If you're looking at taking a Disney Cruise and aren't sure, go for it!! If you don't have any kids, do it anyways. I will say Disney is lacking in the adult entertainment but overall we had a great time and really, Jaime and I found things to do!!

I'll be back soon with more photos of the cruise! Oh man I can't wait to go back.

Let me know your thoughts on Disney Cruises or any cruises you've been on!! I wouldn't mind looking at other companies now!

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