If you love Disney, then taking a Disney Cruise is a bucket list item. However, once you’ve experienced Disney Cruise Line for the first time, you will probably be hooked. Whether you are set to take your first Disney Cruise or your 50th, there are seventeen things that you don’t want to miss when sailing.
Watch the Sunset at Sea
Watching the sunset when you’re on a Disney cruise is beautiful. It provides stunning photos and an even prettier view. The top deck is an excellent place to watch the sunset, but your stateroom verandah is also a great place to watch it too. Alternatively, go to deck 4, and enjoy the view from the ship side promenade on the Disney Wish or the walking and jogging track on the other Disney Cruise Line ships.
Up-to-date sunset information is detailed on your Stateroom TV and available on the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App. We recommend checking the time of sunset daily to avoid disappointment. You will also be able to find the weather forecast that will tell you if the sunset will be visible.
Experience the Atrium all to Yourself
The atrium is a key feature of any cruise ship. Therefore it may surprise you that you can be the only Guest in the atrium when taking a Disney cruise. Early mornings and late at night are excellent times to enjoy the atrium, empty. At these times, you can experience peace and tranquility while admiring the stunning details surrounding you.
Steer the Jolly Roger
Have you always envisioned yourself being the captain of a ship? Sailing with Disney Cruise Line allows you to do so. If you are sailing on the Disney Dream, make sure you visit the deck 5 atrium. Outside of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, you’ll find a large steering wheel. In front of it is an enchanted painting. Begin to turn the steering wheel, and you’ll notice the Jolly Roger in the picture begin to move. Can you collect treasure from the shore and move it to the treasure chest? You never know who may be around to join you in your mission. Disney characters wander the ship’s decks throughout the day, so you may be in for a magical moment!
See the Disney Fireworks
Disney Cruise Line is the only cruise company that features fireworks as part of their cruise itineraries. The fireworks generally feature one night per cruise, and in most cases, on Pirate Night. The fireworks follow a unique show on deck 11 and are accompanied by music, as you would expect from the Walt Disney Company. For the best view of the fireworks, we recommend standing on deck 12, with Funnel Vision to your left. Alternatively, join in the fun of the fireworks pre-show below on deck 11, and watch the fireworks from there.
There’s no need to worry about the environmental impact that the fireworks may have. Disney Cruise Line had to undergo many tests to ensure the fireworks were safe to use at sea. In particular, the fireworks casings are biodegradable, which fish can eat. This means they don’t cause any damage when they land in the ocean.
Attend the Open House at the Youth Activities Clubs
While you may not be young enough to enjoy all the fun to be had in the Youth Activities Clubs, there will be several Open House events throughout your cruise. Anyone can attend the Open House events. We recommend attending the Open House events to see the exquisite theming and fun in the Youth Activities Clubs. Check your Disney Cruise Line Navigator App for the Open House times throughout your sailing. Not only do you get to see what’s inside, but you experience some of the fun too!
Buy a Piece of Disney Cruise Line Merchandise
If you’re anything like us, you’re a sucker for Disney merchandise. On board a Disney ship, there is a piece of merchandise to suit everyone. Younger Guests can pick up toys, plush Disney characters, and apparel. For Guests who are young at heart, you can choose from jewelry, Dooney & Bourke bags, mugs, Sprit Jerseys, and more. Guests of all ages will enjoy the selection of keychains, Christmas ornaments, Disney pins, and stationery. Buying a piece of Disney merchandise is an excellent way to remember your Disney Cruise Line vacation.
The Disney merchandise locations on board are open when you are away from port. Whether you take a three-night or seven-night cruise, you will have plenty of time to browse Mickey’s Mainsail, White Caps, and Sea Treasures. Additionally, you won’t pay any tax on the merchandise you buy on board.
Win a Mickey Medallion
Do you love a Disney freebie? Then you need to set your sights on winning a Mickey Medallion. Plenty of Disney trivia, quizzes, family game shows, and more are available to participate in when taking a Disney cruise. If you win, you’ll take home a Disney Cruise Line Mickey Medallion. Wear it with pride around the ship to celebrate your achievements too! And if you don’t win, there’s always another trivia or quiz to take part in. If you know your Disney tunes, then you won’t want to miss the Disney Tunes Trivia.
Watch a Broadway-Style Show
The Walt Disney Theatre is the place to enjoy Broadway shows during your Disney cruise. You can enjoy live retellings of your favorite Disney movies. Additionally, you’ll get to see exclusive Disney Cruise Line shows that you won’t see anywhere else – not even in the Disney Parks. The shows available will depend on the ship you will be sailing on. The current productions with Disney Cruise Line are:
- Beauty and the Beast on the Disney Dream
- Disney Seas the Adventure on the Disney Wish
- The Little Mermaid on the Disney Wish
- Frozen, A Musical Spectacular on the Disney Wonder and Disney Fantasy
- Tangled: The Musical on the Disney Magic
- Disney Dreams – An Enchanted Classic on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder
- The Golden Mickeys on the Disney Dream and Disney Wonder
- Disney’s Believe in the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy
- Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Wish
- Twice Charmed: An Original Twist on the Cinderella Story on the Disney Magic
Shows that feature on your Disney cruise vacation may depend on your itinerary’s length. Generally, two shows occur during the evening that coincide with the dining times. An additional show may be shown in the afternoon during a sea day to allow more Guests to enjoy the Disney show that is featured in the Walt Disney Theatre.
Eat a Mickey Premium Bar
Yes, that’s right! Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars aren’t just available in the Disney theme parks. You can also enjoy one (or a few) when taking a Disney cruise. Mickey Premium Bars are available to order for dessert at any of the rotational dining restaurants. You can also order them from room service. If you plan on cruising with a Verandah, it’s a must to order a Mickey Premium Bar via room service and enjoy a view of the ocean. We can’t think of a better way to enjoy our favorite Disney ice cream!
Become a Castaway Club Member
Once you have sailed with Disney Cruise Line for the first time, you are officially a Castaway Club Member. This will likely be a bucket list item for any Disney fan. However, don’t be surprised if you get the Disney Cruise Line bug! If you’re anything like us, you’ll set your sights on becoming a Platinum or Pearl Castaway Club Member before you know it!
Order Multiple Courses at Dinner
You heard correctly! If there is more than one item per course on the dinner menu, you can order them. Place your order with your serving team, who will serve the dishes for you to sample. All that we recommend is you finish each dish that you order to save waste.
Visit the Cove Cafe
Cove Cafe is located in the adults-only area of the cruise ship. You can escape to a quiet yet sophisticated lounge serving coffee and drinks. During the day, you can enjoy specialty drinks, coffee, and tea. Enjoy a complimentary sweet treat from the fridge with your beverage. During the evening, unwind with a cocktail or wine. Light bites are available to enjoy from the refrigerator. Drinks ordered from Cove Cafe come with an additional fee that will be added to your onboard account.
Order the Cocktail of the Day
Are you partial to a cocktail or two? Us too! There is a cocktail of the day during each day of your Disney cruise. The Disney Cruise Line Navigator App will detail the ingredients of the day’s cocktail and where you can order your glass. Our favorite places to enjoy a cocktail of the day are on the pool deck or at one of the bars before dinner. Each day, there is also a non-alcoholic cocktail of the day that Guests of all ages can enjoy. Specialty drinks come with an additional charge that is added to your onboard account.
Meet the Captains
Did you know that there are five Disney captains? All of them are available aboard the Disney Cruise ships. But can you name them all? They are Captain Mickey, Captain Minnie, Captain Jack Sparrow, Captain Hook, and the Captain of your ship.
During your cruise with Disney Cruise Line, you’ll have the opportunity to meet the Disney captains, including the captain guiding the ship on your sailing. We love to meet the captains and have our photos taken with them. When meeting the captain of your ship, you may wish to purchase a statue in one of the Disney shops. Figures you can buy include a model of a Disney ship and the Disney character from the atrium. The captain will be able to sign your statue when you meet him. Alternatively, why not get the captain to sign a postcard to send to yourself when you stop at Disney’s Castaway Cay?
Become a Midship Detective
If sailing on the Disney Dream or Disney Fantasy, you can participate in the Midship Detective Agency. You can become a Midship Detective by visiting deck 2 outside the Enchanted Garden restaurant or on deck 5 near the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. The kiosk will provide everything you need to participate in the complimentary activity. Pick up a pencil, a map, and a Midship Detective Agency Badge card, then begin your adventure. There are three cases to choose from:
- The Case of the Plundered Paintings, featuring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy, who need to recover pilfered masterpieces.
- The Case of the Missing Puppies, where you assist Roger Ratcliffe and Pongo in locating 99 stolen puppies. Which Disney villain will be the culprit?
- The Case of the Stolen Show – can you help the Muppets find out who stops the show?
The Midship Detective Agency is an excellent way to explore the ship. We love to complete a case or two during a sea day. Doing so also allows you to interact with the artwork displayed around the ship.
Send a Letter to a Cast Member
Is there a Cast Member that has made your Disney vacation memorable and magical? Before you disembark, stop by Guest Services and ask to send a letter to a Cast Member. Guest Services can provide you with paper, an envelope, and a pen. Once you have written your letter, pass it back, and they will arrange delivery. Sending a letter is a special way of showing appreciation and saying thank you.
Watch the Sunrise
Similar to sunset, sunrise is a beautiful time of day when you’re at sea. While the thought of an early alarm may not please you, you should do it once during your Disney cruise. Sunrise is a peaceful time of day to explore the ship. It’s also beautiful to see a new day begin by watching the sun become visible over the horizon. Be sure to check the weather on the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App to avoid setting an early alarm only to be disappointed as it’s cloudy. Give yourself enough time to grab your morning coffee before watching the sunrise. Our favorite place to watch is at the front of the ship, from the comfort of a sun lounger.
How many of these things have you already ticked off your to-do list? Which ones are you planning on doing during your next Disney Cruise? Prepare for a magical Disney experience across the ocean!