Know Before You Go: Ten Top Tips For First-Time Cruisers on Disney
Going on a Disney cruise for your next vacation is exciting, but it can also be somewhatoverwhelming for the first time cruiser. Luckily, travel planners like us here at As You Wish Vacations can help. Every cruiser has different goals and needs for their vacation, but these general tips will help get you started and on your way to making the most of your first Disney cruise. 1. Find a Facebook group for your cruise. One of the first things you should do after booking your Disney cruise is to find a Facebook group for your particular sailing. If there isn’t one, start it! You can gain tips and helpful information from your fellow cruisers. You may also find others who will share the cost of a private excursion with you. This is the perfect place to share your excitement for the upcoming cruise with people who feel exactly the same way as you do! 2. Consider joining a FE group. While you’re learning about all your fellow cruisers in your Facebook group, you may discover a Fish Extender, or FE Group. Outside your stateroom cabin door is a fish figurine that holds cards and flyers and other various messages. A tradition was started to create a group of people who would hang an organizer from this fish figurine and give daily gifts to one another. Gifts may range from a few pieces of candy to homemade bookmarks. If you are a creative person and like to get surprises from fellow cruisers, be sure to join this voluntary group and add something extra to your vacation. 3. Find out from your travel planner the exact day and time you can check in online. As a first time cruise passenger, this is usually 75 days prior to sailing. Checking in online allows you to complete the necessary paperwork needed for your cruise, and you can select a time for boarding. You can also make reservations for adult dining, choose port adventures (excursions), book spa and salon services, alcohol tastings, character visits and on select sailings, character breakfasts. 4. Pack your carryon bag carefully. Depending on what time you board the ship, your stateroom may not be ready. until after 2:00 pm. Bags you checked in at the port desk will be delivered automatically to your stateroom, but the bags may arrive as late as your dining time. Pack anything you think you will need before dinner in a carryon. One of the best suggestions is to pack swimsuits for you and the kids. The first day on board can be one of the best days to swim or try out a water slide with smaller lines because others have their suits packed away. 5. Pre-register the kids for Disney’s amazing youth clubs. At the port there is usually a wait to board after checking in for the cruise. Use this time to register the kids in your party under 12 years old for the clubs and avoid the check-in line on the ship. 6. Bring $1 bills for room service tipping. Disney offers free room service, but tipping $1- $2 per person is customary. When ordering room service, don’t be afraid to ask for something even if you don’t see it on the menu. Some examples of items available that are not listed are Mickey bars and Uncrustables sandwiches. 7. Familiarize yourself with Disney’s alcohol policies. If you would like to drink on your Disney cruise, you are not alone! However, Disney does not have a drinking package similar to what you may find on other cruise lines. There are a few ways to help you save money. Disney allows each adult passenger to bring either 2 bottles of wine or champagne on board or 6 beers. They must be in your carryon, and if you bring the wine or champagne to dinner, a corkage fee will be applied. Disney does offer both a classic and premium wine package for the duration of your cruise that can offer some savings as well. There is also a 21 ounce beer mug that can be purchased that allows you to get refills for the smaller 15 ounce price. 8. Get a rewards card from Cove Cafe . If you like to drink espresso, don’t miss this high end coffee bar for adults only. After purchasing six drinks from Cove Cafe, your next one is free. Visit daily for free daily rotating treats and the biscotti served with your coffee or tea is not to be missed. 9. Download the app before you go. On Apple and Android devices, you can download the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app. You can start a countdown clock to your cruise. Once onboard, you’ll know what his happening for each day of your cruise, preview dinner menus, and most importantly, be able to communicate with fellow cruisers through a texting feature in the app. 10. Have fun! Try not to stress out and remember, enjoy yourself. Just like your first trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World, there is more for you to experience than you will be able to do on your first Disney cruise. Take some time to relax and enjoy the time spent with family and friends. Contact your As Your Wish Vacations agent for even more tips and information. We will help you plan the most magical cruise at sea for your family.