Cool Things to Do on Your Disney Cruise
I have now reviewed our cruise on the Disney Magic (2014 sailing) and our cruise on the Disney Dream (2015 sailing). They were truly fantastic trips – two of our very best vacations ever. In just 3 short nights on board (each trip), we picked up some really cool tips that I wanted to share. Remember – Disney (be it parks or cruise) is one of those trips that it really pays to do your research. The more you read up on tips/tricks, the more time you save, the better trip to you have.
Cool Things to Do on Your Disney Cruise
1. Surprise your kids with a character call before your cruise: After you book your cruise, log into your account on DCL’s website. Included in some of the pre-cruise activities that you can book is a character call informing the recipient of the upcoming trip. Choose from a couple different characters, schedule the time and date that work best for you and you’re set!
Mickey and Minnie called Lily to tell her about our cruise and she thought it was AWESOME!
Here are the kids getting their phone call at our hotel the day we board the ship.
2. Order Mickey Bars from Room Service (FOR FREE): When you board a Disney ship, you can order room service 24 hours a day. The menu in your stateroom will contain many tasty choices, but there is a well-known Disney treat that can be ordered from room service even though it is NOT on the menu. Premium Mickey Ice Cream Bars can be brought right to your room. All you have to do is ask!
3. Download and use the Disney Cruise Lines Navigator app: There is nothing that I love more than a free app that does something cool. If you do nothing else, MAKE SURE that you download the FREE DCL Navigator app before you board your ship (or as SOON as you board, before you sail away and lose network signal). This app is available for iOS and Android devices. Once on board, put your phone on “airplane mode” and then connect to DCL’s guest WiFi. The WiFi will power this app throughout the cruise.
We found this app to be invaluable! Character meet and greets, showtimes, dinner menus, deck plans of the ship and MORE – all in the palm of our hands, all just a click away. It not only saved us time, but it helped us get around the ship and participate in many activities!
4. Purchase a starter pack of pins to trade on Ebay: Pin trading – you might know that it’s all the rage at Disney Parks, but you can trade on DCL ships as well. Kids can trade with various cast members and be sure to check your daily Navigator for “Officer Pin Trading events.” Exactly as it sounds, kids can trade pins with ship officers.
Pins can be expensive! Save some money by purchasing a set of Disney pins before you leave for your vacation. As always, read seller feedback before purchasing to help ensure you get what you pay for. I bought Lily a starter set of pins on Ebay – 25 pins for $12.15 with free shipping. At 49 cents per pin, she’ll have a blast and I will enjoy knowing that I didn’t spend a fortune.
5. Enjoy the Pirate Night Deck Party (and bring supplies from home): Just about every Disney Cruise that sails in the Caribbean has a pirate-themed evening on one night of the trip. Ours was on the day we were docked in Nassau. This is also the night that you can watch a fireworks display right on the ship! The characters (Mickey, Minnie, etc) all put on their best pirate attire and guests are encouraged to join in the fun. As you might imagine, you can purchase pirate attire in the shops on board. You’ll save a lot of money, however, if you bring some pirate wear from home. I saw many kids wearing glow sticks as well. Pick up a pack at your local dollar store.
I bought a pirate costume, boots and tights for Lily before our trip from Zulily. For less than $25 for everything, she had a great little outfit to wear. Bonus – the dress will make a nice addition to our dress-up bin and she can wear the boots to riding lessons.
6. Character Meet and Greets: Just because you aren’t in the Disney Parks doesn’t mean you have to miss out on our favorite photo ops: character meet and greets! Disney Ships are just crawling with characters to interact with and take pictures with. While our Disney Dream cruise required tickets to the Princess and Frozen Meet and Greets, our Disney Magic cruise did not – you lined up and they cut the line off at some point.
Disney Cruises are awesome for meeting characters because sometimes you’ll find characters not commonly found in the parks… AND many times the characters are dressed in tropical/pirate/etc costumes that you won’t see anywhere but on a cruise!
7. Bring travel mugs from home: Drinks (including soft drinks) on your Disney Cruise (except for alcohol) are all included. You will find an abundance of plastic glasses and also paper disposable cups. One great way to keep drinks hotter (or colder) longer is to bring an insulated travel mug with you.
We always bring our tumblers on cruises. We fill them with hot coffee in the morning and add ice cubes to fresh coffee to make iced coffee in the afternoon!
8. Decorate your cabin door – they are magnetic! Cabin doors on DCL ships are magnetic (EXCEPT for Concierge level cabins). I could not believe how many doors on our cruise were decorated! Wreaths, pictures, dry erase boards and magnets of every shape and kind were plastered on doors up and down the hallway.
I made each kid a couple of Mickey Mouse shaped magnets – and used my Scotch thermal laminator to make them even sturdier.
Pssst…. I just wrote a FOLLOW UP post to this one!!! Check out 15 MORE Cool Things to do on Disney Cruises for even more fun things to do on Disney Ships!!
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news – but as of mid-August 2015, DCL is discontinuing their magical “Mickey Mail” service because it has become so popular the characters are having trouble keeping up with the demand. Understandable, but disappointing.
Bring items to be autographed and drop them off at Guest Services: I already wrote a really detailed post on how to get autographs without standing in a single line. But to sum it up, bring up to two items per cabin with you – new pillowcase, photo mat, tshirt, hat, you get the idea. Drop your item(s) off with Guest Services when you board the ship and they will be returned to you on the last night of the cruise – covered in autographs!
What cool off-the-beaten path things did YOU do on YOUR Disney Cruise? Share in the comments below!
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