Disney Cruising Tips for Families

We were fortunate enough to go on our very first Disney cruise this past Fall, and we had so much fun!  I did a lot of research before our trip, and I learned a lot of helpful tips along the way.  Here are all of the Disney cruising tips I found helpful.  Hopefully, these will help to make your cruise even more magical!

Disney Cruising Tips
TONS of Disney cruising tips to make your trip even more magical {Insider tips shared my cruisers themselves!}

These are insider tips I learned while talking with other Disney cruisers.  For a lot more helpful information check out this post from Mouse Savers.

Disney Cruising Tips

  • Disney cruise line has a pirate night for each sailing (except for Alaskan cruises).  This is a super fun pirate themed night.  Many cruisers dress up like pirates (We did!)  There are fireworks!  There is also an amazing deck party & show.
  • They have a pirate buffet after the fireworks on pirate night.  It is amazing and features pirate themed food like giant turkey legs!  Many cruisers don't know about it, so it's easy to miss.  It is located in Cabanas.
  • You can have up to two items per stateroom autographed by all of the Disney characters while on board.  All you have to do is place the item in a zip seal bag along with sharpies, and then drop it off at guest services.  The item will be returned to your stateroom the night before you disembark.  Some popular items to have autographed are white pillowcases, white tee-shirts, and photo mats.
  • You can carry alcohol, water, and soda onto the ship, but it has to be carried on!  Don't place the beverages in any luggage except carry on luggage.  Carrying on your own alcohol is a huge way to save money!
  • Disney cruise line does not allow alcohol or other beverages in checked bags because the bags are stacked and often handled roughly.  Please don't put drinks in there.  There is a good chance of soaking someones stuff if you do.
  • Download the Disney cruise app before you leave land.  It's free and works with your phone in airplane mode.  The app will have all of the daily activities, weather, port arrival times, etc- SO HELPFUL!
  • The pastries in the Cove Cafe are FREE.  You have to pay for the specialty coffees there but not the pastries!
  • Children can order off of the adult menu at dinner.  Does your little one want steak?  Do they want to try lobster for the first time?  Go for it!  Kids can order anything they want off of any menu!
  • If your cruise has a formal night REMEMBER drinks are free before dinner. In the atrium they have a cocktail party & free drinks are served.  If you see a server carrying a tray of drinks feel free to go up and grab one!
  • Room service is FREE!  Some of our favorite things to order from room service are:
                         - Cheese platters (to have with wine on our veranda before shows)
                         - Mickey Bars (ice creams shaped like Mickey Mouse)
                         - Fresh fruit for the kids
                         - Breakfast on lazy mornings
                         -Glassware for wine/cocktails
                         - Chocolate covered strawberries
                         - On long days we would have dinner delivered to our room as well

  • You can have warm cookies and milk delivered to your room every night before bed, too!  My kids loved this!  All you have to do is call room service.  While room service is FREE tipping is encouraged.  We usually give $2 for each room service order.
  • There is a cake of the day available through room service.  Just call and ask what the cake of the day is, and then have it delivered!
  • Room service delivers 24 hours!  If you are hungry at 3 AM call room service!
  • Note: Canned drinks and bagged snacks are not free from room service!
  • The theater stage shows are amazing!  I recommend seeing them all if possible!  There is a different show each night of your cruise.  It will be before or after dinner (depending on which dinner seating you choose)
  • You can watch the theater shows from your stateroom if you are too tired to go one evening or your children need to call it an early night.
  • You can order an extra entree at dinner to carry out and eat in your stateroom later.
  • If your kids are in the Oceaneer club or lab they will be served lunch and/or dinner if they are in there at the appropriate time.  This is especially nice if you and your spouse want to have dinner alone one night.
  • You can ask your stateroom host or room service and they will bring you wine glasses or other cocktail glasses for the alcohol you carried on.
  • If you carried on alcohol you can have your room steward drop glasses and an ice bucket to your room each day.  Just ask!
  • You can watch almost any Disney movie ever made on the television in your stateroom.  Just go to the on demand menu to access the movies.
  • The inside staterooms get REALLY dark at night.  I recommend bringing a night light.
  • Palo brunch is amazing!  I highly recommend it!  If you aren't able to make reservations online you can still get one once you are on board.  Just go up to Palo as soon as you board and ask to make a reservation.
  • Ice cream and soft drinks are free on deck.  Combine them to make a yummy soda float.  My kids love this!
  • Pack boxes of candy for the movie theater.  They charge for those, and they are really expensive.  I let me kids pick out a few boxes of candy from the dollar store just before the cruise.
  • If you book your next cruise while on board you get a 10% discount!  If you aren't sure where or when you want to cruise next you can book a place holder cruise.  Ask guest services for more details.
  • The stateroom doors are magnetic.  Lots of people bring fun magnets to decorate their doors.  We did, and my kids loved it!
  • During holiday cruises (in November and December) you can get free tickets to decorate gingerbread houses.  All you have to do is stop by guest services and ask- one ticket per family.
  • If you plan to buy specialty coffee drinks from the Cove Cafe make sure you get a coffee card.  They will punch the card each time you buy a drink, and the sixth one is FREE!  If you don't fill the card while on board keep it for your next cruise!
  • The bars around the ship automatically add gratuity when you order drinks, but there is an extra tip line.  Be careful!  You can tip more if you want to, but it is easy to double tip without knowing it.

I hope you find these tips helpful.  You are sure to have a magical time while on a Disney cruise!
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