6 Things I Wish I Knew Before My First Disney Cruise
My first Disney cruise experience was nothing short of magical. The crew announces your family like royalty when you first step on the ship, every little corner of the ship is beautifully themed and designed, the food is incredible, and the entertainment is unforgettable. And that’s just the beginning!
Take a look at these tips below so that you can be prepared for your cruise!
Before my first Disney cruise, I wish I had known…
6. The ship vocabulary
It’s important to know some key cruise lingo and pronunciations before stepping aboard. Here are a few good terms to know:
- Forward: the front of the ship
- Aft: the back of the ship
- Midship: the middle of the ship
- Stateroom: your room on the ship
- Port: the destinations you visit while on your cruise OR the left side of the ship
- Starboard: The right side of the ship
- Veranda: private balcony outside of a stateroom
- Embark: to board the ship
- Disembark: to leave the ship
- “Cay” is pronounced “key” (for example, “Castaway Cay” is pronounced “Castaway key”)!
5. Decorating your stateroom door is not only normal, but encouraged
The doors on Disney Cruise Line are magnetic, so many families bring fun magnets to decorate the outside of their door! This is a fun way to show some personality and also a practical way to help your little ones remember which stateroom is yours.
4. Pack a reusable water bottle or tumbler helps you stay hydrated and caffeinated
Non-alcoholic beverages are available 24 hours a day on each ship. This includes coffee, tea, water, various sodas and sometimes juice. While it’s very important that you use the clean, disposable cups while at the beverage station for sanitary reasons, you can pour those disposable cups into your own tumbler, water bottle, mug, etc. in order to have a larger amount of your drink of choice. I loved fueling up with my morning coffee before heading off the ship for each port and/or excursion. My own tumbler came in handy!
3. Almost no one dresses up for the Castaway Cay 5K
We learned this the hard way. But we don’t regret dressing up! While most runners dress up in costume for runDisney races, my husband and I found that very few dress up for the Castaway Cay 5K. However, other cruisers loved our Anna and Olaf outfits and we had so much fun just being silly! I would encourage you to dress up in costume for the run, but just be warned that you might be one of few. And make sure your costume isn’t too heavy or hot – the heat on this island is no joke!
2. Almost everyone dresses up for Pirate Night
Unlike the Castaway Cay 5K, almost everyone on board participates in Pirate Night! My husband and I packed simple costumes that didn’t take up much room, but there were much more elaborate (like full out Jack Sparrow) costumes on board. Pirate Night starts in the afternoon and continues through the evening with special kids club activities, character meet and greets, a themed dinner in the dining rooms, and a special pirate show on deck. It ends with an impressive fireworks display at sea! We really enjoyed pirate night and we were glad we at least attempted to dress up and join the fun!
1. Palo is totally worth it… maybe twice
Saying that we enjoyed dinner at Palo is an understatement. My husband and I LOVE Palo and talk about it often, wishing we were there again! Palo is an adult-only restaurant on all four Disney Cruise Line ships that offers dinner and brunch on most days of most sailings. Reservations must be made in advance and there is an additional charge for your dinner (whereas dining in the main dining rooms is included in your cruise fare). We were hesitant about spending the extra money at first, but we couldn’t have made a better decision! Do yourself a favor – and make sure you eat at Palo at least once on your Disney cruise!
Interested in learning more about Disney cruises! Contact me today for information and a free quote!