Disney Cruise Line Travel Tips

My first cruise with my kids was on a Royal Caribbean cruise to New England and Canada. My daughter was 19 months old at the time. Our next cruise as a family was in 2008. My kids were 4 and 2. Here are some of the things I learned cruising with my kids.

Order Room Service for Breakfast: My kids love to get up early, even on vacation, but we don't. I always order room service to come between 6:30 and 7:00. I order milk, chocolate milk, hot tea, muffins, and bagels. I grab it from room service when they knock and put it on the side until the kids get up. As soon as they get up I set them up with their milk and a bagel or some muffins and let them watch TV while my husband and I get a little bit more sleep. We all get ready and go up and have breakfast around 9 but at least the kids have something to hold them over. The room service is free so you should take advantage of it.

Bring a small umbrella stroller: There is not a lot of room on the ship and especially in your room. We always bring an umbrella stroller instead of a big stroller. It worked great to walk my younger one to sleep and then have him take his nap in the room or in a corner up on the pool deck. When my kids were 4 and 2 we brought 2 umbrella strollers. This was much easier than dealing with a double stroller.

Get the cheapest room: If you don't mind getting an inside cabin then book early and choose the cheapest room which is just a guaranteed room. You don't get to pick your room. They will assign you a room when you get your final packet. We did this and instead of a standard inside cabin we got a deluxe ocean view cabin. It is not guaranteed that you will get an upgrade like this but if you book early you make get lucky. Of course you have to be willing to take the standard inside cabin that you are paying for.

Bring something to Guest Services to be autographed: You can drop something off at Guest Services and they will have it autographed by the Disney characters. You can choose Mickey and friends, princesses, or everyone. I don't believe you need to bring your own sharpie but if you want a specific color or colors then you should bring your own. Drop it off the first night so that they can get it back to you before the cruise is over (especially if its a 3 night cruise). We did pillowcases for the kids but you can do anything you can think of. Some suggestions are tote bag/beach bag, post card, hat, t-shirt, or picture frame matting.

Pack a highlighter: When you get the schedule every day you will be amazed at how many activities there are. There are different things for the kids every half hour or so. I would look over the schedule at night and highlight the activities we might want to do. That way I could glance at it quickly during the day and the ones I wanted were easy to pick out. It didn't work out to do everything we wanted because of naps, eating, pool time, and just being flexible but it made it easier to digest all the info. You can even bring a few different colors if you have a big family to keep track of.

Bring baby monitors: If you are traveling with another family, especially grandparents, then bring your baby monitors. If you have neighboring or adjoining rooms you will find the monitors very helpful. We could put our kids down for a nap or bedtime and then hang out in my parents room and listen for the kids. Sometimes my mom or dad would hang out in their room during nap time so we could go do something and listen for the kids over the monitor. It was great to put them to bed at night and then play cards in my parents room.

What suggestions do you have? I know there are lots of well seasoned DCL moms out there that have learned some lessons from their travels with kids. Share some tips that help make your DCL vacation run smoother.

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Rose said...

These are great tips. We have been thinking about eventually taking a Disney Cruise, but have heard mixed reviews about it. After reading your tips I feel confident we can have a good time and we will now be well prepared! Thanks for Sharing!

Beth Doda ~ disneymom2jhe said...

My husband and I are really looking forward to taking a Disney Cruise one of these trips. We have decided we are going to give our youngest one more week long vacation at WDW and then the following vacation to Disney (we go every other year) we will take a cruise. I can't wait! By then, the kids will be 9, 7 and 6.

Disney Diva Tips said...

Beth 9,7, and 6 are great ages since there are activities all day for potty trained kids 3 and older. The kids will have so much fun. I was always torn between letting them go to their class and have a blast without me or spending our time together as a family. A little of both is a great balance.

Matt Getflix said...

The site looks Great!

Disney Diva Tips said...

Thanks Matt Getflix! I have learned a lot since I started.

mintradz said...

I heard that there is a lot of improvements done in Walt Disney this 2010. I am planning to be there as soon as I'm done with my paperwork and then look for a travel insurance for the whole family.

Anonymous said...

I love your tips. Our first Disney Cruise will be January 2011 with kids 7, 4 and almost 3. This site is nice to have as a reference. Thanks Disney Diva!

Meri Ben said...

I find many useful things herewithcruise tips

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