I’ve dreamed about going on a Disney Cruise since I was a kid. But unfortunately my parents weren’t into cruising and the opportunity to go on one didn’t arise until recently when I was invited on the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration in February. As a Disney Cruise newbie I spent lots of time on googling to learn more about what they were like. This helped prepare me some, but there is even more that I wish I had known before going on our first Disney Cruise. That’s why I compiled this list of 5 things to know before you go on a Disney Cruise so you don’t find yourself in the same situation. Now I’m prepared and pumped to schedule our next Disney Cruise! So here are the things to know…
Fish Extenders – Also referred to as FE’s, this is something I was filled in on before our cruise and am so glad we participated in! Fish Extenders are basically hangings with little pockets for everyone in your family that go on the fish outside your stateroom door. I ordered ours from Etsy (see the exact listing here) but some people make their own! Before your cruise, you will want to join the appropriate Facebook group for your specific cruise (trust me it exists) and find posts where people organize fish extender groups. You then sign up for a group and give some information on your family. Before the cruise you need to get little gifts to give to leave in the fish extenders of everyone in your group. Then when on the cruise find a time (I liked how everyone spaced it out) to go and put the little gifts in the fish extenders for everyone in your group. Trust me – the kids LOVE this, and so do parents. It’s so exciting to come back to your room and have a little surprise to find! I made super easy little bags of goodies using Disney toys I found in the Target dollar spot for the kids and little bags of nice chocolate for the parents. Some of the favorite gifts we received were toys to play in the sand with, Disney World themed blocks, and little Mickey and Minnie books for the kids. I loved seeing how creative other parents were!
Alcohol – Yes Disney Cruises are family oriented, but parents may still want to drink and that’s totally fine. In fact, Disney Cruise Line allows each guest over the age of 21 to bring 2 bottles of unopened wine or champagne (750 ml or less) or 6 beers (12 ounces or less). I really wish I had known this before our cruise as it means we could have brought 4 bottles of wine or champagne with us.. But if you prefer not to bring your own or forget it’s totally okay because drinks on board Disney Cruise Line are surprisingly affordable – I was shocked by what a good deal and stuck with the drink of the day most days which cost me between $4-$5.
Castaway Cay 5K – This only applies if your Disney cruise is stopping at Castaway Cay, and if you are lucky enough to do so and enjoy being active make sure you bring some running gear and sign up for the Castaway Cay 5K! It is totally free to do, and starts early in the morning your day at Castaway Cay. It’s a fun way to start the beach day with something different (and healthy) and everyone who finishes gets a fun medal. At the end you can also buy fun Castaway Cay 5k t-shirts to commemorate the day!
Character Reservations – I just happened to read small print of the calendar when we boarded our boat and saw that to meet a lot of the characters, and pretty much every character our daughter was interested in, you actually need to make a reservation. And they go quick! So once you get on board head straight to the guest services if you want to meet any of the princesses. We made reservations for the Frozen princesses and the other Princess gathering (Rapunzel, Belle, Cinderella, and Ariel) so that our daughter could meet them and she loved it! The characters did an amazing job and really took their time with our daughter and it was very appreciated.
Door Magnets – Another thing Disney cruisers like to do is decorate their stateroom doors with fun magnets! We actually didn’t know this and didn’t bring any but appreciated seeing how decked out other cruisers doors were. People seemed to pick themes (Star Wars was one we saw a lot of) and go all out on their doors. Just a fun way to make the stateroom more ‘yours’ and brighten up the hallway some!
So there you have it! If you are going on a Disney Cruise soon be prepared for the most magical vacation of your life! Have you been on a Disney Cruise before? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments! And if you haven’t I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about them!