Top 10 Packing Tips for your Walt Disney Cruise


Pull out the suitcases! Squeal with delight! It’s time for a DISNEY CRUISE! Here are a few things to know as you pack all the stuff…

10. Clothes – You know how to pack clothes for you and your crew: check the weather, check the itinerary (how many formal nights?), do the laundry, lay out the outfits, add some layers for chilly nights, and don’t forget the undies. Voila! You’ve done the bulk of your packing. OK, now take out two outfits from everyone’s suitcase. I know it will be hard, but take a breath and just trust me. You DO NOT need as many clothes as you think you do. You WILL, however, want the extra space in your bags for souvenirs. Plus, there are laundry facilities available for use on your ship if you really get in a bind.

9. Shoes – I am a shoe girl. If I could pack a suitcase full of just shoes, I totally would. But that’s just not practical on a cruise, where storage space is limited. Try your very best to limit your shoes to one pair of tennis shoes (for walking and exercise), one pair of dress shoes (for dinners – this may mean re-planning your outfits, ladies), and one pair of flip flops (if you’re cruising in warm climates).

8. Baby Gear – If you have a baby, you know that their stuff tends to take over when it comes to packing for vacations. To lighten your load, DCL offers pack-n-play cribs for you to reserve. Also, there are shops on-board where you can buy formula and diapers, if needed. Leave your bottle warmer at home (you can request hot water from room service or reserve one of the limited number of bottle warmers) as well as your white noise machine (download the white noise app instead). Just a side note: infants must be at least 6 months old to cruise (12 months for some longer itineraries) and ONLY potty-trained kids can use the pools (no swim diapers and no exceptions)…some are unaware of these rules, and they obviously effect planning quite a bit.

7. Electronics – News flash: you will not have cell service at sea. However, DCL has these awesome things called Wave Phones that allow you to keep in touch with members of your party while on-board. Also, the Navigator App will work on your phone while you have it in “airplane mode”, so you won’t want to ditch it entirely. And don’t forget your chargers! Don’t bring small electronic appliances like irons or blenders. They aren’t allowed, and neither are DVD players or gaming systems. (It’s a limited-power-available-at-sea-and-lets-not-black-out-the-ship kinda thing.)

6. Fish Extender – What’s a Fish Extender? Only the best insider secret ever! Outside your cabin there will be a metal fish where your steward will clip pieces of information. Years ago a DCL enthusiast started this little group where you hang a pocket off of that metal fish called a “Fish Extender”. Other group members will do likewise, and then you all go around and put surprises in each others’ pockets. It is SO FUN! The groups are totally voluntary, and each will form their own rules democratically…search for a group on your cruise via social media, or start your own. My point here is – if you’re in a FE group, don’t forget to pack your Fish Extender or the surprises that you worked so hard on!

5. Other Fun Stuff – Lots of people on Disney Cruises like to decorate their cabin doors with magnets since the doors are made of metal. It can be a great way for kids to distinguish their room from others…plus magnets just look cute! Another fun DCL tradition is Pirate Night. Don’t forget to pack some swashbucklin’ gear for the party! (But if your suitcase space is getting tight, don’t worry…they hand out bandanas for everyone to get in on the pirate action!)

4. Crew Gifts – FYI, tipping is expected for your waiters and cabin stewards. DCL will allow you to charge your tips to a credit card, so you don’t have to worry about cash. Some like to take it up a notch for crew members that really made the voyage magical by giving additional small gifts or treats from their hometown. Not mandatory – just something to think about.

3. Excursion Gear – As you plan your excursions while in port, consider the extra gear that you’ll need or want. Special shoes or hats? Snorkel? Beach bag? Waterproof camera? Are long pants a requirement?

2. Toiletries – You know how to pack your toiletries, so I won’t say much about this. Except that the toiletries that they give you in your cabin are simply DIVINE! You’ve never smelled shampoo so luscious, or felt lotion so silky. OK, maybe I’m slightly exaggerating, but it’s legit for real and you won’t mind using it. So maybe don’t pack so much from home.

1. Don’t Pack – DCL will give you a full list of prohibited items when you register. Some notable no-no’s are: Christmas lights, scuba tanks, weapons (including dive knives), kites, surfboards, inflatable pool toys and pool noodles, ice chests, and homemade food.

So there’s a list to get you started packing for your magical trip at sea! Also check out “Comparing Vacation Options: Disney Cruise Line vs. Disney World.”

BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!

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