Disney Cruise Tips
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71+ Disney Cruise Tips For Families: Save $1000s and Sail Like A VIP!

So, you’re thinking about taking the kiddos on a Disney Cruise? Let me tell you, it’s as magical as it sounds – but it can also be as expensive as Cinderella’s castle if you’re not careful. Don’t worry, though! I’ve got your back with some insider tips that’ll help you save money and time while making your trip 100 times more fun.

Whether you’re a Disney pro or a first-time sailor, these tricks will help you navigate the waters of cruise planning like a seasoned captain. We’re talking sneaky ways to score discounts, free goodies you didn’t even know about, and hacks that’ll make you feel like you’ve got a fairy godmother on speed dial.

So grab a cup of coffee (or maybe a glass of wine – no judgment here!), and let’s dive into these 71 Disney Cruise tips that’ll have you saying, “Oh boy!” in your best Mickey voice.

Money Saving Tips and How To Get A Deal!

1. Timing is everything: Book your Disney Cruise for mid-September, Halloween week, just before Thanksgiving, or early December. The kids might miss a few days of school, but travel is educational, too, right? Plus, you could save hundreds!

2. Don’t rush to book directly through Disney. First, check out their “Special Offers” page. They often have sweet deals like “Children Sail Free” promos or free dining offers. It’s like finding hidden treasure, and who doesn’t love that?

3. Here’s a little secret: Use your Target RedCard to buy Disney gift cards. You’ll save 5% right off the bat! Then use those cards to pay for your cruise. It’s like free money, and every little bit helps when you’re trying to make magical memories.

4. If you’re a Costco or BJ’s member, listen up! You can save 2-4% by buying Disney gift cards there. It might not sound like much, but when you’re talking thousands for a cruise, it adds up. That’s extra souvenir money in your pocket!

5. Travel agents are your new best friends. They can hook you up with freebies like onboard credits or room upgrades. And get this – their services are usually free! It’s like having a fairy godmother for your vacation planning.

6. Early bird gets the worm, or in this case, the best deal! Book your cruise as soon as the itineraries are released, usually a year in advance. Prices tend to go up as the ship fills, so don’t snooze on this one.

7. Feeling spontaneous? Last-minute bookings can save you big bucks. We’re talking up to $1,000! Just be aware these deals are usually non-refundable, so make sure you’re 100% ready to set sail.

8. Florida residents, you lucky ducks! You can score up to 35% off cruises to the Bahamas—just email proof of residency to offerverification@disneycruise.com within 48 hours of booking. Easy peasy!

9. Don’t automatically buy Disney’s travel insurance. Shop around first! Check out third-party options like Roam Right. You might save some cash and get better coverage—a win-win!

10. If you don’t have a Disney Visa, now might be the time to get one. You could earn a $300 statement credit if you spend $1,000 in the first three months. That’s like getting paid to plan your vacation!

11. Military families, listen up! Disney offers some awesome discounts for you—up to 35% off select cruises. It’s their way of saying thanks for your service, so take advantage of it!

12. Download the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app ASAP. It’s like having a personal assistant in your pocket. You can check in, make reservations, and chat with other guests. It’s a total game-changer!

13. Here’s a money-saving tip: Don’t pack OTC meds. Disney provides them for free! Just ask Guest Services. They’ve got everything from pain relievers to seasickness meds. One less thing to worry about!

14. Want to enjoy a little adult beverage without breaking the bank? You can bring two bottles of wine or a six-pack of beer on board. Just keep them in your carry-on, not your checked luggage. Cheers to that!

15. Skip the pricey snorkel rentals and grab a set from Walmart before you go. You’ll save up to $19 per person, and the kids can practice in the tub before the trip. It’s a win-win!

16. Room service is your new BFF. Most items are included in your cruise price, so take advantage! Order breakfast the night before for a leisurely morning in your PJs. The kids will love the novelty!

17. Coffee addicts, listen up! If you order specialty coffees at Cove Cafe, ask for a punch card. Every sixth drink is free! It’s like a secret coffee club, and you’re in on it.

18. Wi-Fi on board is pricey, so consider unplugging for the trip. Use the free Wave Phones to stay in touch with your crew on the ship. It’s a great excuse to have a real vacation from social media!

19. Want a free souvenir? Check out the “Friendship Rocks” show on Disney Magic or Wonder ships. Kids can score a free t-shirt and dance with Mickey and Minnie. It’s a memory (and a freebie) they’ll treasure!

Choosing The Perfect Stateroom:

Alright, let’s continue our Disney Cruise adventure with some tips on choosing the perfect stateroom. Trust me, this can make or break your trip, so listen up!

20. Location, location, location! Think about where you want to be on the ship. Mid-ship staterooms are great if you’re worried about seasickness. They’re the most stable part of the ship. But if you want easy access to the pools and buffet, look at higher decks. Just remember, higher usually means pricier!

21. Size matters, especially when you’re traveling with kids. If you’ve got little ones, consider a Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom. These bad boys sleep up to five and have a bit more space. Plus, on the Dream and Fantasy, they come with a round bathtub – perfect for splashing toddlers!

22. Verandah or no verandah? That is the question! If you love the idea of sipping your morning coffee while watching the waves, splurge on a verandah room. But if you’re more of a “let’s explore the ship” type, save some cash with an inside stateroom.

23. Speaking of inside staterooms, don’t knock ’em till you try ’em! On the Dream and Fantasy, they have these cool “virtual portholes” that show real-time views of outside. It’s like magic! And they’re great for afternoon naps – so dark and cozy!

24. Got a light sleeper in the family? Avoid staterooms near elevators, laundry rooms, or under high-traffic areas like restaurants. Trust me, your sleep-deprived self will thank you later!

25. If you’re feeling fancy, check out the concierge rooms. They come with perks like priority boarding and a private sundeck. It’s a splurge, but hey, you’re worth it!

26. Traveling with friends or extended family? Look into connecting rooms. You can have your own space but still be close enough to coordinate plans easily.

27. Don’t forget to check the view! Some oceanview rooms have obstructed views. If you’re paying for a window, make sure you can see out of it!

28. If you’re prone to seasickness, lower decks are your friend. The higher up you go, the more you’ll feel the ship’s movement.

29. Finally, remember that no matter which stateroom you choose, you’re on a Disney Cruise! Every room comes with that special Disney magic. So relax, have fun, and get ready for an amazing adventure!

30. Concierge living, baby! All five Disney ships now have concierge rooms and lounges. It’s like having a fairy godmother for your vacation! But here’s the deal – these rooms disappear faster than Cinderella’s carriage at midnight. So if you want that VIP treatment, book early!

31. Fireworks fanatic? Listen up! On Pirate Night, Disney puts on a fireworks show to knock your socks off. Here’s a little insider tip: book a room on the starboard side (the right side for you landlubbers), and you can watch the show from your verandah! Now, Disney officially says “no balcony viewing,” but between you and me, lots of families do it anyway. Just keep it down-low, okay?

32. Secret mini-suite alert! Okay, this one’s a real treasure. There are these hidden gems on Deck 5 on the Dream and Fantasy. We’re discussing rooms 5018, 5020, 5022, 5518, 5520, and 5522. They’re technically ocean-view rooms but massive compared to the regular ones. The best part? They’re priced the same as standard ocean-view cabins! But remember, only three people can sleep in these rooms.

Tips Before You Board A Disney Cruise:

33. Check-in online as soon as you can. The earlier you do it, the earlier you can board the ship, which means more time to enjoy everything.

34. Pack a day bag for your first day. Your room might not be ready until the afternoon, so bring swimsuits and sunscreen so you can start having fun right away.

35. You can bring your own alcohol. Disney allows two bottles of wine or a six-pack of beer per adult. Just make sure to carry it on board, not in your luggage.

36. Some people like to decorate their cabin doors. It’s a fun way to make your room stand out and connect with other cruisers. If you make a “Fish Extender,” you might even get little gifts.

37. Book extra activities as soon as you can. Special dining, excursions, and spa treatments can fill up quickly.

38. If you have food allergies, let Disney know during online check-in. They’re really good at accommodating special diets.

39. Character meet-and-greets are free but popular. Try to book them in advance, especially for days at sea.

40. Consider the late dinner seating, even with kids. The kids’ club can pick them up during dinner, giving you some quiet time. Plus, you get to sleep in on the last day.

41. Look into booking shore excursions on your own. Sometimes it’s cheaper than going through Disney, but weigh the pros and cons first.

42. Don’t forget about Pirate Night. It’s fun to dress up, so pack some pirate gear if you can. The ship sells costumes too, but they’re pretty expensive.

Tips For While Onboard:

43. Bring a refillable water bottle. Water stations are all over the ship, so you can stay hydrated without buying bottled water. It’s a great way to save money and be eco-friendly. Plus, you’ll always have water handy for those hot days by the pool.

44. If you’re a Disney Vacation Club member, don’t miss the Member Celebration on the first day. They offer free drinks and sometimes give away cool stuff. Sure, they’re trying to sell you more points, but hey, free alcohol is free alcohol, right?

45. The Sail Away Party is a blast, but it gets crowded. Try to watch from the top deck if you can. You’ll get a better view of all the characters dancing, and you won’t have to worry about lifting kids onto your shoulders to see over the crowd.

46. Don’t stress about the safety drill. It’s mandatory, but it’s quick. On most ships, they’ll guide you to your station. On the Disney Wish, it’s even easier – you just check in online and visit your muster station briefly.

47. The buffets have lots of healthy options if that’s your thing. You can get egg white omelets, vegan stuff, all sorts of good choices. Don’t be afraid to ask the cooks to make something special for you.

48. The kids’ clubs are amazing. Let your kids explore during the open house on the first day. After that, they’ll probably be begging to go back. It’s a great way for them to have fun and for you to get some adult time.

49. If you want a good spot by the pool, you might need to get up early on sea days. But don’t worry if you’re not an early bird – the pool area is usually less crowded when the ship’s in port.

Castaway Cay Tips:

50. Run for fun (and a medal): There’s a 5K run on Castaway Cay that’s pretty cool. You get a medal at the end, even if you’re not the fastest. Just sign up before you go – either online or when you’re on the ship. There’s a safety meeting you need to attend too, but it’s worth it for that shiny medal.

51. Eat breakfast on the ship: Don’t wait to eat on the island – there’s no breakfast served there. The ship’s buffets close after breakfast, so fill up before you head out. Trust me, you’ll want the energy for all the fun activities ahead.

52. Send a postcard from paradise: Castaway Cay has its own post office with a special postmark. It’s a fun way to make your friends back home jealous. Buy stamps on the ship and send a postcard from the island. It’s a unique souvenir that doesn’t occupy your luggage.

53. Book a cabana early: If you want a private cabana on the island, book it as soon as possible. They’re super popular and usually get snatched up by concierge guests and platinum Castaway Club members first. They’re pricey but like having your own little paradise within paradise.

54. Meet Captain Jack: You can meet Jack Sparrow on Castaway Cay. Check your Navigator app for times and locations. It’s a great photo op, especially if you’re decked out in your pirate gear from Pirate Night.

55. Hit the waterslides early: The waterslides are right past the family beach and they’re a blast. But the lines can get long later in the day. So if you’re into sliding, head there first thing. You’ll get more rides in before the crowds show up.

56. Enjoy the free BBQ lunch: One of the best things about Castaway Cay is that food is included, just like on the ship. They serve a great BBQ lunch from 11:30 to 1:30. There’s chicken, ribs, burgers, fish, and veggie options. The side dishes are pretty tasty too.

57. Book the 3-in-1 package: Consider the 3-in-1 Castaway Cay Getaway Package if you’re looking for activities. It includes snorkel gear, an inner tube, and an hour-long bike rental. It’s a great way to explore the island. Pro tip: ride the bike early before it gets too hot.

58. Check out the adult-only beach: If you’re kid-free (or can convince someone to watch the kids), head to Serenity Bay. It’s the adults-only beach, and it’s super peaceful. They even have their own buffet, so you can spend the whole day there.

59. Kids club on the island: Don’t worry if you want to hit Serenity Bay but have kids with you. There’s a kids club on the island called Scuttle’s Cove. It’s run by the same great staff from the ship, so your kids will be in good hands while you relax.

60. Join the character dance party: In the afternoon, there’s usually a dance party with Mickey, Minnie, and the gang. It’s super fun for kids (and fun-loving adults). Nothing beats doing the conga with Mickey Mouse on a beautiful beach.

61. Cool off with some games: If you need a break from the sun, check out the “In Da Shade” area. They’ve got basketball, ping pong, and shuffleboard set up. It’s also a good hiding spot if you get caught in a quick rain shower.

Additional Tips:

62. Take advantage of the ship’s theater: Disney Cruise Line shows the latest Disney, Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars movies on board, often in 3D. It’s a great way to catch new releases without buying tickets.

63. Consider staying on board during port days: If you’re not interested in a particular port, staying on the ship can mean shorter lines for popular attractions like the AquaMouse water coaster on the Disney Wish.

64. Don’t miss the Broadway-style shows: Disney Cruise Line offers high-quality productions like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin”. These shows are included in your cruise fare and are great for the whole family.

65. Check out the Art of the Theme Show Tour. If you’re interested in Disney design, this adult-only walking tour will give you insight into the ship’s thoughtful design and decoration.

66. Look into spa packages: The ship’s spa often offers deals, especially if you book multiple treatments. Check out the spa open house before the ship sets sail for potential discounts or raffles.

67. Try the Castaway Cay 5K: If your cruise stops at Disney’s private island, consider joining this free race. It’s a fun way to explore the island, and you get a medal.

68. Remember the farewell show, “Til We Meet Again,” on the last night of the cruise. It’s a great opportunity to get photos of many Disney characters simultaneously.

69. Take advantage of character breakfasts: These special meals offer a more intimate setting to meet characters without long lines.

70. Attend the DVC (Disney Vacation Club) presentation: Even if you’re not interested in buying, they often give out gifts or onboard credits just for attending.

71. Bring magnetic hooks: The walls in your stateroom are magnetic, so these can be great for organizing clothes or hanging wet swimsuits.

72. Participate in the onboard scavenger hunts: These are fun for the whole family and a great way to explore the ship.

There you have it, fellow Disney Cruise adventurers! We’ve covered everything from scoring the best deals to maximizing your time on Castaway Cay. Remember, the most important tip is to relax and enjoy your vacation. Disney Cruises is about making magical memories with your family, so don’t stress about doing everything perfectly.

Whether you’re sipping a “Mickeyccino” on your verandah, watching fireworks from the deck, or building sandcastles on Castaway Cay, you’re in for an incredible experience. So pack your Mickey ears, your sense of adventure, and prepare for a vacation you’ll never forget. Bon voyage!

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