How to Make the Most of Your First Disney Cruise

Disney Ships
Photo By: Christian Lambert (Creative Commons)

Take the word Disney, and pair it with the word cruise – you can already imagine just how exciting that can be, right? If this would be your first time to cruise, and you’ll be having it on no less than the ‘happiest place at sea’, then you’d best go ready and raring for the experience of a lifetime! Traveling with family? You’re definitely in for a treat – days upon days of it!

Don’t feel overwhelmed, here are a few tips on how you can make the most of your first Disney cruise:

Review your pre-cruise booklet

Once you’re booked, Disney will send you an awesome reference booklet that gives you pretty much all the information you need about the cruise – what you should and cannot bring, what time the ship embarks and disembarks, the cruise itinerary, what onboard activities are available, and so much more.

Doing this review of your pre-cruise booklet will clue you in on what clothes are best to bring, how to plan your days onboard, which activities you and your family would want to sign up for and enjoy, what restaurants are a must-visit, and so many more.

Busy days lie ahead, and they’re best faced with careful planning. Don’t forget to write your plans down or save them on your mobile phone!

Take it easy on booking excursions

Yes, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and other Disney Cruise Line destinations offer an irresistible array of sights to see and things to do. Glass-bottom boating, snorkeling, and jungle zip-lining are just some of the choices – the list goes on and on.

On a Disney cruise however, it is best that you do not give in to each and every tempting excursion as the cruise line’s onboard facilities and activities are just as worthy of your time.

Let the others go the ‘tourist’ route when you arrive at your destination, while you enjoy a few well-chosen excursions. Then go back to your ship, and make the most of the Aquaduck, the Oceaneer Club, the spa facilities, onboard classes, live shows, and plenty more. This time, you can do so without worrying about an overwhelming crowd or queue!

Disney Ship

Photo By: Cruise News Weekly (Creative Commons)

Be ready to dress up!

A Disney cruise is not just your regular exotic beach ‘escape’, and it’s not your ordinary cruise either. Onboard activities include a colorful revelry of themed parties that will surely delight the child in you, and make your little ones’ fantasies come to life!

Be a living and breathing part of all the merriment by dressing up for the occasion. Make sure to pack your pirate, princess, or character costumes (props won’t hurt either!) and play your very own favorite Disney personality!

Check your booklet to find out the scheduled themed deck parties on your cruise as it can vary. Don’t forget to pencil in the character dance party to your schedule – it’s an absolute must!

And while the dress code onboard is fairly casual compared to other cruises, don’t hesitate to go all fancy for formal nights – remember, you’re on a DISNEY cruise!

Earlier show time, later dinner = less crowds!

There will always be ‘peak hours’ on cruise ships, especially when it comes to dinners and show times. On Disney cruises, the earlier dinners and later show times tend to be more crowded. If you’re traveling with family, just make sure to grab a bite or two before the show so you don’t find your tummies grumbling halfway through the amazing production by the Disney crew.

Try Palo

Disney buffets that are part of ‘rotational dining’ onboard are included in what you paid for, and you definitely would want to make the most of those. BUT, you must make sure to try Palo at least once.

Palo is one of the two adult-only restaurants onboard that you can ‘escape’ to (while the kids are also making the most of the onboard activities). Its calm ambiance is matched by its sophisticated interiors and muted colors. Palo also has a more intimate setting.

The food caters to the adult palate, with its rich and decadent flavors. They offer the finest of Northern Italian cuisine, and each dish is artfully prepared. Try the Lobster and Mascarpone Ravioli, the Penne Arrabbiata, and don’t miss out on the European wines too.

You’ll definitely find the Palo dining experience worth paying extra for!