If you are about to plan a Disney Cruise, there are some things you should do to make sure you have the best possible vacation on the Disney Cruise Line. Just like any other Disney vacation, a Disney Cruise requires a significant amount of planning beforehand. It’s not that you can’t have a good time with a last-minute trip. You totally can. It’s just that for the cost, if you want the best value, there are things you’ll want to do before your trip that will enhance your enjoyment while you are on the cruise. Before you take your first Disney Cruise, follow these helpful tips:
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Pick the Cruise that Best Suits Your Vacation Needs
Since Disney Cruise Line has multiple ships in it’s fleet and travels all over the world, you will want to narrow down the type of cruise you want. The Caribbean and Bahamas Cruises are the most popular and they involve the fleet’s two biggest ships. They tend to stop at least once at Castaway Cay, which is Disney’s private island in the Bahamas. It’s one of my favorite places. If you look closely at the different itineraries, you’ll see some include two stops at this island. Totally worth booking if one of those cruises fits your travel criteria. However, there are plenty of other destinations, including Hawaii, Europe, Panama, and Alaska. There is even a port in New Orleans and some exciting adventures to book there.
In addition to looking at destinations as a consideration, you should also look at time of year and the length of the cruise. Make sure all of these options suit you before you decide to book your itinerary. And if all this sounds like too much work to do on your own, reach out to a certified Disney travel agent. They’ll help make planning your vacation even easier. Did you know that using a travel agent to help with your vacation planning is completely free?
Budget Before You Book
Disney Cruises are premium cruises. While you certainly get a lot of value for the cost of the cruise, you will definitely want to watch your money and be aware of what you spend on the cruise. The memory of the trip will be better if you feel good about how much you spent. Figure out what your cruise budget is before you book. Let that guide your decisions as you make important choices when you plan a Disney cruise. Your budget could impact how long your cruise is, the destination, or where your cabin is located. As with any vacation, there are choices to help make your trip more affordable and fit within your budget. For example, as you select your cabin, there are several options that can bring up the price of your stay.
Learn About Your Ship
What ship is your cruise on? The Magic? The Wonder? Or did you book a cruise on the Dream or the Fantasy? All of these ships provide unique experiences. There are different things to do on each ship from entertainment options to restaurants and lounges. Even the popular restaurant the Animator’s Palate is different on every ship. If you’re sailing with kids you’ll also want to look into the different child care options and kid’s only areas and clubs for older kids.
Make Advance Reservations
Don’t delay in booking your port adventures or reservations for Palo. It can be a drag when you don’t have a solid plan in place on port days. You could wind up stuck on the ship without anything to do. (And if you think you’re going to stay on the ship at a port because everyone else is getting off, you’ll probably be very surprised by how many other people have the same idea so be sure to plan accordingly.) It’s important to have a well-planned itinerary and make sure you have those “must do” activities reserved ahead of time. You don’t have to schedule things down to the minute, but it helps to have a general idea of what you’re going to do when.
Planning doesn’t stop once you get on the ship. Each night a schedule of events is left in your room each night for the next day. Take a few minutes to look it over and get a general plan together for the following day so you’ll know what you’ll have time for based on any plans you’ve already made. And it’s ok if those plans are just checking the kids into the kid’s club and laying by the pool.
Make Time for These Unique Features
As you plan a Disney cruise, keep in mind unique features you can enjoy while onboard the ship. Enjoy the filtered and heated pools with attractions like the Aquaduck and the Aquadunk. Enjoy the free movie theater and Broadway-caliber shows. Get some physical activity on Goofy’s Sports Deck with high tech virtual sports and enjoy the specialty food services you can’t get anywhere else. Most things on your cruise are included in the price of your cruise so go ahead and order that room service or go catch a show. There are so many different activities available to you while on your Disney cruise:
- The Pools
- First Run Movies
- Live Disney Shows
- Goofy’s Sports Deck
- Animator’s Palate
- 24 hr. Complimentary Room Service
Disney cruises are great for the entire family
Lots of times when I talk to friends that want to plan a Disney Cruise, I hear that they’re just for families and overrun with kids. Yes you’re going to find a lot of families with kids on the ship with you. But you’re also going to find adults of all ages, both with and without kids. Because of the amenities offered, Disney Cruises appeal to travelers of any age. You can request adjoining rooms to add to the family time (and make your rooms a little bigger in a round about way). Or get rooms at opposite ends of the ship to have some space too and meet up for meals and activities. There are plenty of adult only areas and experiences on the ships if you’re planning to sail without the kids.
Don’t forget time to relax and unwind
While you want to make the most of your vacation budget, it’s important to remember that you’re taking a vacation to get away from the hustle and bustle of “real life” and slow down a bit. Disney Cruises are perfect for this because there are plenty of things to keep your entire family busy but there’s also a lot of ways to slow down and relax too and just enjoy floating on the ocean. Be sure to include some down time in when you plan a Disney Cruise for you (and maybe your family too…).
What tips do you have to plan a Disney Cruise?