7 Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before My First Disney Cruise | Magic in the Planning

7 Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before My First Disney Cruise

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There are definitely some things I wish I would have known before my first Disney Cruise…

My husband and I took our first cruise for our honeymoon nearly ten years ago, and we loved it. We really enjoyed the “all-inclusive” feel of knowing that lodging, entertainment, and food were already paid for in full. We also liked the laid-back feel of not being on a set schedule. The two of us could be as busy or as relaxed as we wanted to be. Not only that, but we were able to see so many places on just one vacation. It was amazing.

But honestly, we didn’t know how amazing cruising could be until we sailed on Disney Cruise Line. Everything is pristine and top-notch from the rooms to the entertainment. And even though we had cruised before on another cruise line, here are 7 things I wish I would have known before my first Disney Cruise.


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Planning to sail on Disney Cruise Line in the coming year? Be sure to check out our guide to all that Disney Cruise Line has to offer this year including exciting itineraries, new ports of call, themed events at sea, and more!


Book early

Stateroom on the Disney Dream | Magic in the PlanningRooms fill up fast… especially during popular cruise times. And contrary to conventional thinking, prices do not go down as it gets closer to the sail dates. Opening day prices are almost always the best price available for any given cruise.

Booking early also offers another huge perk – the ability to have your pick when it comes to room selection. If you’ve sailed on any cruise line in the past, you know that your room location can make or break your vacation. Do you want to be near the elevators? Food? Coffee? Perhaps you like a more quiet location away from the elevators and potential noise. And have you given thought to where you want to be in terms of forward, middle, or aft? What about deck choice? If you’re prone to seasickness or want to be near specific activities or dining, having options will definitely be in your best interest!


Check-in online ASAP

I will be honest. I have made the mistake of procrastinating check-in… more than once! There are HUGE advantages to checking in on the first day it’s available to you for your cruise. Not only is it fairly easy, but you will have the best selection when it comes to Port Arrival Times, be able to book Port Adventures before your favorite ones are fully booked, and have more choices when it comes to onboard fun like meeting your favorite characters or booking a wine tasting event.


Download the DCL Navigator app before your trip

The Disney Cruise Line Navigator App is amazing! While it won’t seem like much at home (it offers a countdown for your trip!), onboard it will be your main source of information. It also allows you to communicate for free with others on board who also have the app. So be sure to have your family members download the app as well!


Go all out and get into the fun!

Pirate Night on Disney Cruise Line | magicintheplanning.comPirate night? Star Wars Day at Sea? Formal night? Believe it or not, Disney Cruise Line vacationers go all out for these events. I definitely wish I would have known before my first Disney Cruise to pack fun items for the themed nights and events. I could not believe how dressed up people were on my first cruise! (This is especially true for longer cruises.) Hair, makeup, costumes… it was so much fun! So don’t be shy and be sure to bring some fun things to wear!

Also, I discovered on our first Disney Cruise the art of decorating your stateroom door. I cannot tell you how many people do this! Some even used a magnetic whiteboard to leave messages for friends and family members. Genius!


Be prepared for breezy weather

You may think to yourself, “It’s the Bahamas! It will be hot all day, every day!” While it will be warm, the boat can sometimes be a bit breezy in the mornings and evenings. It is moving on the water after all! I found myself needing a light jacket or sweatshirt early in the day. My husband didn’t bring anything warm and quickly regretted it! (When there is wind, even 70 can be a bit chilly!)


The nightly shows are amazing and are worth arriving early to get good seats!

It took some convincing on our first Disney Cruise to get my husband to see a show… it’s not usually his cup of tea! But he was truly impressed by the talent. In fact, we haven’t missed a show since!


If you think you might sail Disney again, be prepared to pre-book for your next cruise onboard

Young girl playing on the beach at Disney's Castaway Cay | magicintheplanning.comThis is something I wish I would have known before my first Disney Cruise, as I wasn’t prepared. We knew right away we wanted to sail again and bring our kids, and we would have saved quite a bit of money to pre-book it while still on board.

You make a refundable deposit on board to sail any time in the next two years. (Or you can pick a specific date if you know when you’d like to go again.) If you go during that time, you will save quite a bit and may possibly receive onboard credit as well. If not, it’s refundable. It really is a no-brainer if you think you’ll want to sail again in the near future!


**Looking to plan your Disney Cruise Line vacation? Be sure to visit my step-by-step guide to get started!

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