What are the things you really should not do on a Disney Cruise? The more you know before you sail on your Disney cruise, the better the experience you will have.
Here is our guide which shows you what you absolutely must not do on a Disney Cruise!
Choose the Wrong Disney Cruise Stateroom
Your choice of Disney cruise stateroom is important. That is why it is essential that you do a little research before you book a Disney cruise stateroom.
There is a wide range of different staterooms available on each Disney cruise. The choice starts at a Standard Inside stateroom and goes right up to a Walt Disney Suite.
Your budget is really going to determine which category of stateroom you choose on a Disney cruise. The least expensive staterooms are usually the Inside Staterooms.
However, if you stretch your budget just a little bit you may be able to upgrade to an Oceanview stateroom. This will give you a view of the outside world.
For some cruisers, the price difference is definitely worth it.
For others, they would prefer to save their dollars and are very happy with the Inside stateroom choice.
Is it worth the Disney cruise stateroom upgrade to a balcony? Many think that it is. Particularly on a Disney Alaskan Cruise.
Spending the extra money on a balcony stateroom could be a wise move if you think that you will spend a lot of time out there.
However, many guests find that there is so much to do on the Disney ships that it really doesn’t matter which stateroom you choose.
If you want to have a balcony stateroom on your Disney cruise, but don’t mind the location you should consider a white wall balcony.
Most of the verandahs on the Disney ships are clear. This means that you can see through them as they are plexiglass.
There are some staterooms with balconies that have a solid white wall.
These white wall verandahs are usually priced the lowest of all the balconies on the ship.
If you are prepared to compromise on the view this can be a great option.
The white wall means that you cannot see much of the ocean when you are seated. However, it is still a balcony stateroom and it will usually save you some money over the other categories of a balcony stateroom.
I have sailed many times in a Disney Cruise white wall balcony stateroom and have been very happy with my choice.
Don’t Be Too Late For Your Disney Cruise Ship
The last thing that you want to risk is missing the boat.
After all those months of planning and saving, you want to make sure that you get to your Disney ship on time.
It may seem like a good idea to book an early morning flight arrival on the day your Disney cruise leaves port.
You will probably make it to your Disney ship on time. However, there is a risk that you won’t.
Flight delays happen so it is always wise to leave as much time as you can.
The best solution is to arrive at the port or at least stay close by the night before. Many of the Disney cruises sail from Port Canaveral.
This is within easy reach of Walt Disney World so many guests visit the parks prior to their cruise.
This doesn’t just apply to when you first board your Disney cruise.
You will probably want to get off the ship during your cruise to go on an excursion or have a look around the port.
There will be many reminders when you are in the port of the all-aboard time.
This is the very latest that you can get back to the ship.
Take that time very seriously. Do not risk being late.
If you are late you risk being left behind in port. We have seen it happen.
Literally saw people waving from the port unable to board.
Don’t let that be you.
All cruise ships have to leave the port at a certain time. Whilst the captain is not going to want to have to leave you in the port he will have no choice.
This is why I always recommend booking Disney cruise excursions.
I know that you can save money by booking an independent excursion.
However, if you book through Disney you are assured that they will get you back to the ship on time.
For many people, the peace of mind that gives is worth the extra cost.
Don’t Forget Those Essential Items To Pack For Your Disney Cruise
There are some things that can really make a difference to your Disney cruise that you should not forget to pack!
Planning a cruise is a lot of fun. Packing not so much.
It really does make sense to be organized and make sure that you have the essential items with you.
Always think carefully about what you want to pack for your Disney cruise carry-on bag.
Remember that your checked bag may not arrive until the evening of your first day on your cruise.
Make sure you put all essential items in a carry-on bag. This includes your cruise documents and passport of course. Also if you have any essential medications they should always be in your carry-on.
You might also like to put your swimwear in your carry-on. The pools are at their quietest when you first board your Disney ship.
It can also be a great time to ride the AquaDuck if you are on the Disney Dream or Disney Fantasy.
Don’t Get Sick on a Cruise
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No one really wants to think about this, but sometimes sickness happens on a Disney cruise. A big mistake is not being aware or prepared for the fact that this may happen.
Of course, the recent past has taught us how easily germs can spread. And the consequences.
A bit of planning goes a long way in helping to prevent being sick on a cruise.
Disney has some of the healthiest ships at sea. However, there are still things that you can do to minimize your chances of being sick.
Hand washing is incredibly important. This is why there are sinks outside the buffet.
Make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly before eating and after using the restroom.
It amazes me how many people skip this.
Germs spread easily, but simple hand washing goes a long way to stop this.
At every rotational dining restaurant, you will see a Crew Member giving out hand wipes.
Make sure you use them!
In every Disney cruise bathroom, there is a disposable hand towel and trash can by the door.
Use a hand towel to open the door so that your hand is not touching the surface of the door.
Once you get into this habit it becomes something you do automatically. I always take some Hand Sanitizer with me on the ship.
I also like Dr. Bronner’s Organic Version.
You can use them to wipe over surfaces in your Disney cruise stateroom. Your Disney cruise steward takes great care of your stateroom, but I always like to take my own wipes as well.
Another concern is seasickness. Disney ships are extremely stable and most of the time you don’t feel any movement at all. However, sometimes seasickness happens.
The good news is that there are things you can do about it. A lot of people swear by Sea-band Wristband.
I always make sure I pack Dramamine Motion Sickness Relief just in case.
Hopefully, you will be having a lot of sunny weather on your Disney cruise.
Always make sure that you wear Sun Screenand keep reapplying it.
Don’t Be An Idiot
You really don’t want to be that person. The one who doesn’t think about how your behavior is affecting other people.
You know who you are!
Who am I talking about?
The people who put their belongings down on a sun lounger and then disappear for hours.
Or the ones who “reserve” lots of seats in the middle of the theatre for friends who arrive at the last moment.
And those parents who let their children run along the corridor screaming loudly in the early hours.
Let’s also talk about those people who skip the line at the buffet.
Of course, the buffet is designed so that there isn’t a traditional line.
However, don’t be one of those people who shove others out of the way or leans over them to get to the dish of the day.
Just don’t be that person.
Bad behavior on Disney cruises is rare.
In general, you will meet some fabulous people and can even meet lifelong friends.
Just always be considerate of other people and don’t be the sun lounger idiot!
Not Take Time To Understand the Beverage Policy on Your Disney Cruise
If you want to drink wine or beer on a Disney cruise you can save yourself a considerable amount of money if you understand their beverage policy.
Most cruise lines will not allow you to take any alcohol on board. Disney Cruise Lines is different.
Unlike many other cruise lines, Disney does not offer a Drinks Package.
I know many people like this as an option, but having sailed on other cruise lines and seeing just how much people can drink to excess I am so glad that Disney does not have this option.
I really hope this is never introduced on Disney cruises.
I don’t think it will be.
Drinks are very reasonably priced on Disney cruises and of course, there is free soda 24 hours a day.
Also, Disney Cruise Line has a very generous policy allowing guests to take up to two bottles of wine or a six-pack of beer on board per person.
Disney Cruise Line Guests 21 years and older may bring a maximum of 2 bottles of unopened wine or champagne or 6 beers on board at the beginning of the voyage and at each port-of-call.
The wine has to be no larger than 750ml and the beers no more than 12 ounces.
You can enjoy the wine or beer you bring on board in your stateroom.
If you want to drink it in one of the restaurants or any public there is a $25 corkage charge.
You must put any wine or beer that you bring in your carry-on luggage.
Do not put it in your checked baggage.
Not only is there the potential for a huge mess if the bottle breaks, but security will also find it and hold it until the end of the cruise.
You want your bottles to be safe in your carry-on. I use this 2-Bottle Neoprene Wine Bottle Tote.
Not Taking Advantage of Disney Cruise Dining
There are so many amazing dining experiences on a Disney cruise you really should take advantage of as much as you possibly can.
The Rotational Dining System is unique and definitely something to be enjoyed to the max.
On each of the Disney cruise ships, there are three main dining restaurants.
Each day you will dine in a different restaurant.
What is unique about the experience is that your servers will go with you.
Disney Rotational Dining means you get the best of everything.
You eat in different restaurants and also have the advantage that your servers get to know you and your family.
All Disney cruise restaurants are unique and brilliantly themed.
Enjoy an evening of music at Tiana’s Place, unique entertainment and decor at Animator’s Palate, and understated elegance at Enchanted Garden.
Remember that your servers want you to have the best experience.
If you want two entrees and can’t decide which dessert to have, just order more than one.
You can deal with the diet later!
Your Disney Cruise servers will cut up your child’s food, give them Mickey-shaped ketchup designs, and remember your name on your next cruise.
They are exceptional.
We always look forward to seeing our favorite servers.
Cabanas buffet is a great place to enjoy lots of different tastes.
However, always remember that one of the rotational dining restaurants will be open for breakfast and lunch.
Make sure that you try this at least once on your Disney cruise.
Many Disney cruise first-timers don’t realize that when they board the ship there is the option of a sit-down restaurant lunch as well as a buffet.
It can be a more relaxing start to your vacation than the rather crowded Cabanas buffet on the first day.
One of the best experiences onboard a Disney cruise is dining in one of the adult-only restaurants.
They do have an additional charge but for the standard of food and service, it is a great value.
The Disney Wish has Palo and the new Enchante Restaurant.
Remy is truly an exceptional dining experience.
Read more about these options at Disney Dream Dining.
The adult-only dining is something you have to experience at least once. And then you will want to do it again.
Don’t Skip The Entertainment
Disney cruise lines do many things very very well. One area where they go more than above and beyond is in their Broadway-style entertainment. Make sure you take the time to watch the shows.
There is a combination of Disney Broadway-type shows and Variety Acts.
Some of the variety acts can be a bit hit-and-miss, but make sure that you see the Disney cruise favorites.
If you are on the Disney Wonder you will not want to miss Frozen.
On Disney Fantasy and the Wish, you have to see Aladdin.
These are all shows that if you took your family to see in the theater it would cost you hundreds of dollars so don’t miss out!
Don’t forget the Buena Vista Theater which shows current and classic Disney movies.
Now Marvel is part of the Disney stable there are now even more amazing movies to watch for free.
We all know that going to the movies can be expensive if you take the family.
So enjoy this chance to see some great movies onboard for free!
If you are really lucky you will get to see a Disney movie premiere at midnight as soon as it is released
Character Greetings are also a huge part of the entertainment offered.
Every day you will get the chance to meet and greet lots of different Disney characters.
Yes, there are lines, but they are nothing compared to those in Disney parks.
If you want to get up close and personal with your favorite a Disney cruise really is the best place to do that.
If your favorite characters are Anna and Elsa be aware that they are so popular you need tickets to see them.
Make sure you book ahead of your cruise on your Disney Cruise Personalizer as even though the tickets are free they are limited.
Never Ignore Safety Warnings
Sailing on a cruise is one of the safest forms of travel. However, there are some essential safety rules that you have to follow.
The muster drill is now so much simpler than it used to be. Gone are the days when you all had to attend at a certain time and gather on the deck.
Now you simply report to your muster station and have a crew member scan your key to the world card. There are safety videos that you need to watch.
It doesn’t take up much of your time and it gives you vital safety information.
Never think that you can skip the muster drill.
Your Key To The World Card is scanned.
If you do not attend you will be contacted by a Crew Member.
One of the worst things of course, and yes I have seen it done, is to throw a cigarette over the side. This is a huge fire risk and extremely dangerous.
There are only certain areas where smoking is allowed on a Disney ship.
Stick to those areas and dispose of your cigarette ends in the receptacle provided.
Always act responsibly.
You may want to read our guide 7 Things Not To Do In Your Disney Stateroom.
Never Ignore Money Saving Strategies
A Disney cruise is worth every penny.
However, it is wise to educate yourself so that you can see the areas where you can save money.
This includes both before you book and whilst you are on the ship.
The biggest mistake that many Disney cruise first-timers make is not realizing how the Placeholder booking works.
To get the benefit of this future Disney Cruise discount deal you have to be on board.
How does the Placeholder work?
Unfortunately, the onboard credit is no longer offered. There are of course certain terms and conditions which apply to Disney Cruise Placeholder bookings.
You can’t use it for a Concierge stateroom to get a discount, but you can get onboard credit.
There are certain block-out dates and certain cruises are excluded from the Placeholder discount.
However, if you are sailing on a Disney cruise and want to book another, make sure you stop by the Future Cruise Desk to get complete details and make a Disney Placeholder reservation.
There are many other ways you can save money on a Disney cruise.
Here is our article packed full of ideas on How To Save Money.
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Alison Meacham is the founder of EverythingMouse Disney Blog. For over 15 years she has shared her love of Disney Parks, Disney Cruises and Universal Orlando. In over 30 years of Disney Travel she has spent countless months in Disney Parks and has sailed on over 45 cruises. A British native and now a United States resident she splits her time between California, Florida and the UK. And spends a serious amount of time sailing the seven seas. She helps over 200,000 people per month follow their Disney travel dreams.