10 Jul What Should I Pack?
Packing for your cruise can seem overwhelming, especially if you have never cruised before!
(these tips are geared toward warm weather cruises)
When you board your Disney Cruise ship it is unlikely that your stateroom will be ready. You will have left most of your luggage with a porter at the port before boarding. This checked luggage is then unavailable until late afternoon. Until your luggage is delivered you will need to have some essentials in an embarkation day bag.
It is important to keep all paperwork, passports, driver’s licenses, and prescription medications with you at all times. If you want to hit the pool or Aquaduck before your room is ready you will need to pack some swim gear in your day bag, too. Towels are provided on the pool deck so there is no need to pack them
Embarkation Day Bag Packing List
- Passports and Driver’s Licenses
- All essential medications
- Swimsuit (if you plan to swim and are not wearing it under your clothes)
- Dry clothing
- Ziplock bag to hold wet swimsuit
The Disney Cruise Packing List Essentials
- Passports/ Birth Certificates– make sure you bring a passport (check expiration dates) or if you are on a closed loop cruise you can also use a birth certificate. Closed loop means the cruise starts and ends in the United States. We at PPV Inc. strongly recommend you bring a passport.
- Drivers License– needed if driving to or from the cruise embarkation/ debarkation. May also be necessary for third party excursions/ purchases off the cruise ship.
- Cruise Documentation– Make sure to print and sign your online check-in forms and bring them with you.
- DCL Issues Luggage Tags- Disney will mail you special Disney Cruise Line luggage tags. Attach these to your luggage on embarkation day they will allow the porters to deliver your luggage to your stateroom. *Do NOT attach these prior to your flight if you are flying prior to your cruise.
- Flight Boarding Documents (if flying)- pretty obvious, but if you are flying home you will want to be prepared with these documents.
- Transportation/ Hotel Reservation Confirmations- While most confirmations can be pulled up electronically these days it never hurts to have them printed as well.
- Medical Insurance Card- always smart to do in case you need it.
- Travel Insurance Info- should you choose to buy travel insurance you will want to make sure you bring any documentation/ contact numbers you may need.
- Cash/ Credit Cards- you honestly won’t need them once onboard- which I love! But, you will need cash to tip the porters and you may need them for while in port as well.
- Cell Phones + charger- Make sure to download the Disney Cruise Navigator App before you arrive. This will allow you to communicate with other members of your party while your phones data plans are turned off. The app works similar to services like what’s app and telegram.
- Laptops + charger- internet plans are not cheap but we usually need to purchase a package to stay connected to our work while we are away.
- Portable USB Charger + cords- these are like gold when you travel and I would highly recommend packing a few portable chargers as you are able to communicate via cell phones/ iPads while at sea. The ships are big and it is difficult to find family and friends if you are not able to communicate via phones.
- iPads/ Tablets/kindle- great to help communicate and also entertainment in the room when needed.
- Headphones (+headphone splitter)– for entertainment.
- Lanyard– these are great for holding your key to the world card. And, making sure your kids don’t lose theirs! Why they haven’t switched the to magic bands like WDW I have no idea. *If you are a repeat DCL cruiser you will receive one complimentary upon check-in.
- Camera + charger + extra batteries + extra memory card– trust me on the extras, you will need them!!
- GoPro + charger + extra batteries- there are plenty of water shots you are going to want photos of between the pools, beaches, and snorkeling at Castaway Cay. If you don’t have a GoPro I would suggest getting a disposable water camera or purchasing water housing for your camera.
- Medications- We suggest having these in your carry-on/ day bag as your bags will not be in your rooms until the afternoon. Plus, you just don’t want to risk any needed meds getting lost in transit.
- Prescription Glasses/ Contacts– again you may want these in your carry-on/ day bag for the same reasons listed above.
- Sunscreen– you will need lots and lots of sunscreen and you will NOT want to purchase it onboard unless you enjoy paying an arm & a leg for it.
- Shirts- bring enough for one clean shirt each day.
- Shorts- we pack 2-3 for a 7-night cruise usually. I would pack more for my boys usually but they end up being in swim trunks most of the time.
- Kids Athletic Wear- Comfy for the kids whether playing basketball or activities in the clubs!
- Jeans- I suggest one pair and I usually end up wearing them bc it can be cold at dinner, in the theaters, and outside on the decks at night.
- Sundresses- We like to wear these to dinner and to the shows. Just be sure to have some sort of shawl or cardigan to throw on top bc it gets chilly.
- Swimsuits- you will most likely spend A LOT of time in your swim clothes so you will definitely want to pack at least two options.
- Swimsuit Cover-up- A cover-up for girls and having enough tee shirts for the boys to throw on with their trunks is a good idea.
- Underwear/ bras- enough for one clean pair of undies a day. Make sure to pack the correct bras needed for your outfits including any strapless ones.
- Pajamas- a few pairs of pj’s for each guest is important. *Make sure the kids have at least one pair that they feel comfortable walking around the ship in bc they will NOT want to miss Goofy’s PJ Party!!!
- Light jacket or sweater- it gets cold in the dining rooms, theaters, and out on the decks in the evening so make sure to pack a lightweight jacket, scarves, shawls, and/ or sweaters to keep you warm.
- Flip Flops or Sandals- for walking around the pool deck or on the beach you will definitely want some sandals/ flip-flops or maybe water shoes. You will also want a nice pair of sandals to wear with your sundresses.
- Tennis Shoes- depending on how active you are you may want to pack a pair of tennis shoes. *Some excursions do require close-toed shoes so make sure to check for that.
- Gym Clothes (*Castaway 5K)- there is a wonderful gym onboard the Disney Cruise that I highly recommend checking out. It helps me relax and not feel so guilty about all the treats I am devouring onboard. *You also need gym clothes if you plan to participate in the Castaway 5K race.
- Gym shoes- if you are planning on hitting the gym or running in the Castaway 5K you will want to pack the appropriate shoes.
- Socks- for your tennis & gym shoes
- Sun Hat- great for keeping the sun off your face.
- Sunglasses- you will want these. I always pack two pairs just in case.
- Main Dining Rooms- One thing that we LOVE about Disney Cruises is that formal nights are optional. Cruise casual attire is the only requirement in all three of the main dining rooms, with the exception of Pirate Night, but we will get to that! Cruise Casual is stated as no tank tops and no swimwear. Of course, should you prefer to dress up you are more than welcome to and there will be plenty of families that participate? Check your cruise itinerary to see the number of semi-formal and formal nights offered.
- Adult Exclusive Dining at Palo and Remy – Should you choose to make special dining reservations for Palo or Remy you will need to abide by the strict dress code. Men are to wear dress pants or slacks and a collared shirt, and women should wear a dress, skirt, or pants and a blouse. Jeans are not allowed at Remy however jeans in good condition (with no holes) are acceptable at Palo.
Many first timers are no prepared for how much guests love the pirate night. Families really do get all decked out for this super fun event. You will see guests of all ages in costumes, bandanas (complimentary on the ship), t-shirts and more!
Just For Fun- but TOTALLY worth it!!
- Magnetic Door Decor- Etsy is known for having tons of these available. Make sure to order them early as they typically take awhile to ship.
- Disney Family Tee Shirts- When you cruise with Disney you are most likely looking for a good time and matching shirts are always so much fun.
- Alcoholic beverages- Should it interest you, Disney Cruise Line has some of the only (the only?) ships on which you can bring your own alcohol, though the policy did become a bit more restrictive in 2015. Also, don’t forget a travel corkscrew if you’ll need one. Disney charges a hefty corking fee if you take a bottle of wine into the dining rooms.
- Reusable Water Bottle- Unlike other cruise lines Disney offers 24/7 unlimited soft drinks, tea, and coffee. We love to pack refillable water bottles so we don’t have to walk back and forth constantly as the soda machines are near the buffet and we like to take our drinks back to the room sometimes.
- Glow Sticks- The kids always get a kick out of playing with the glow sticks on a pirate night and they are cheap and easy to pack so we always bring them along.
- Autograph Book– There are plenty of opportunities for autographs onboard the Disney cruise. Of course, they sell autograph books on board but you will save money if you bring one with you.
- Pins for Trading- There will be opportunities for pin trading so if you are into that make sure to pack your pins.
For Babies & Toddlers
- Bottles/ Sippy Cups- make sure to bring several bc I always lose at least one when we travel.
- Pacifiers/ Pacifier Clip- again you will want to bring several of these bc you definitely don’t want to be without one. A fussy baby is no fun.
- Plastic Bowls/ Spoons- personally I always just used the bowls and spoons on the cruise but if you feel your child needs the kid-sized utensils and bowls then make sure to pack them.
- Bibs- you can either bring washable ones or disposable depending on how much room you have in your luggage and whether or not you are okay washing bibs in the sink or doing laundry while cruising.
- Baby Wipes/ Diaper Cream- again bring both and plenty of them. Although, if you needed there are some for purchase onboard.
- Diaper Bag- this is a no-brainer, but just in case.
- Changing Pad- because no one wants to put their baby on the changing table without one.
- Dish Soap & Scrubber- to clean bottles.
- Baby Formula/ Food/ Snacks- this is really important. While the main dining restaurants are able to puree some veggies upon request you will definitely want to have plenty of food for your infant. Things they are used to eating on a regular basis.
- Nightlight- the rooms can get pretty dark especially if you have an inside cabin so some families like to pack a nightlight.
- Sling/ Carrier- strollers can be cumbersome and difficult to maneuver with so many different decks/ elevators so slings/ carriers can be great options.
- Favorite stuffed toy/ lovey- bringing a lovey from home can be very helpful in helping your child feel comfortable and safe in a strange place.
- Children’s Medications/ Vitamins- there is a medical doctor onboard and there are some medications available however they are costly and options are limited. I always pack an infant fever reducer/ pain killer myself.
- Carseat- depends on your mode of transport to and from port.
- Stroller- strollers are available at no cost on Castaway and on the ship (limited quantities).
- Swim Diapers- infants in swim diapers are not allowed in the pools onboard the Disney Cruise, which is a bummer bc they are not even allowed in the kids’ pool. But, they can play in the splash area which they love.
- Beach Tote + Sand Toys- there is plenty of sand in port and your little ones will love playing in it. Just make sure to pack a beach bag and a few sand toys. A bucket and a shovel are totally enough.
- Goggles- save little eyes and pack goggles too.
- Sunscreen- as already discussed you will need tons of this and it’s expensive if you run out so bring A LOT!
- Hair Ties- to keep hair tied back on those windy decks.
- Seabands and/ or Dramamine- If you are worried about motion sickness or prone to it make sure to pack motion sickness relief. The two most common are Seabands and Dramamine.
- Over the Counter Meds- We recommend pain meds like Motrin/ Tylenol and dayquil just in case someone catches a cold during travels. Again, you can purchase some of these onboard and there is a doctor available but both of those options are pricey and inconvenient.
- Toothbrush/ Toothpaste/ Floss– make sure you pack the kids toothpaste too.
- Make-Up essentials
- Hairbrush/ Comb
- Styling Products (hairspray, gel, detangler)- make sure you have anti-humidity products. You can find some great ones on Amazon here.
- Curling Iron/ Straightener– they do have a hair dryer that is included in your stateroom which is fine for my straight hair.
- Contacts/ Solution/ Case– make sure you bring all of your necessary supplies.
- Daily Vitamins– We are big believers in quality vitamins and we always pack them when we travel. You are just exposed to so much you want your body to have all the nutrients, minerals, and vitamins it needs.
- Lip Balm– all that sun = chapped lips.
- Feminine Products
- Wrinkle Release Spray– Gets all the wrinkles out and you don’t need an iron- BOOM!