Disney Cruise Line: Planning and Preparing for Your Disney Cruise #DisneyDream

Last week, my family experienced our very first Disney Cruise Line vacation. In fact, it was our very first cruise ever and our first time out of the country! There is so much to share that I will be breaking it up into a Disney Cruise Line series. Today’s post is on preparation for your cruise! I will be adding to this post as I receive tips from readers as well, so make sure you leave a comment after reading.

I want to start off by saying that this post was in no way sponsored by Disney Cruise Line. Disney Cruise Line did offer to cover our expenses one night at the Palo restaurant, as well as 100 minutes of internet and free access to the Rainforest Room, but we did not end up using any of these offers. We were grateful for Disney’s invitation to do so, but were simply too busy with other fun activities on the ship to take advantage of them. This post does include a couple of Amazon referral links.

disney dream

photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

WHICH DCL CRUISE WE SELECTED AND WHY

Since this was our very first family cruise, we wanted to play it safe by booking a four night cruise. In many ways, this was a trial run for us and we certainly didn’t want to commit to a full week if one of us were easily nauseated at sea or just plain bored. We also really wanted to experience the Disney Dream ship, as it is one of the newer ships that the DCL offers. (the Fantasy is now booking reservations!) Our Disney Dream tour included a day to Nassau (Bahamas), one day at sea and a day at Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island). The first day was spent boarding and then out at sea.

HOW TO BOOK A DISNEY CRUISE AND EXCURSIONS

I booked our cruise online at disneycruise.disney.go.com and was pleased with the ease of the reservation process. I also appreciated the planning lists and tips that Disney provided after booking. I was able to choose from several stateroom sizes and styles, and even a stateroom number.

Even though I booked our cruise two months before we sailed, there were only a few stateroom options available, all of which had verandas. At first, I was hesitant about spending the extra money on a room with a veranda and I was COMPLETELY FREAKED OUT about having a veranda with kids, but I have to say that I was so glad we ended up with one. Not only did it make our stateroom feel more open, but it was a great relaxing escape to sit on the veranda and see the ocean. Also, the veranda bars were covered with a hard plastic and the lock for the door is set very high (so out of little one’s reach), so I felt very safe having my kids there.

After booking our Disney cruise, we were able to reserve excursions online, like scuba diving, snorkeling and parasailing. We ended up choosing a day at the Atlantis beach, jet ski rental for my son and husband at Castaway Cay, a glass bottom boat tour at Castaway Cay and snorkeling rental at Castaway Cay. These excursions are VERY costly, so be careful deciding. After our experience, I would say that we overdid it on the excursions and would have been just as happy staying on the ship or just experiencing Nassau or Castaway Cay as is. Saying that, my son and husband did enjoy the jet ski rental quite a bit and would definitely do that again. You can also book excursions at the locations, but you do take the risk of it being overbooked.

We could also check-in to our cruise 75 days before departure and set our arrival time to board. (we chose 12:30 pm) A few weeks before departure, we received special luggage tags to place on our suitcases so that DCL could deliver them to our room once we checked in. You will also be given your dinner time (5:45 pm or 8:15 pm). When I booked I was only given the option of second dinner, which was at 8:30 pm each night. Honestly, 8:30 pm was too late for us and I wish I would have tried to change it. My 4 year-old fell asleep each time, sometimes before he even had his dinner. Next time I will make sure to get the 5:45 pm dinner.

PASSPORTS

Since this was our first time traveling outside of the country, we had to apply for passports. I was a total newb to the passport process, but with some help and advice from friends, I found the process not at all difficult.

We pre-filled and printed our application forms at http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html (but did not sign, you must sign when applying), gathered our family’s birth certificates, took passport photos at a nearby Walgreen’s, and then went to our local Passport Application Acceptance Facility to apply.

We received our passports in only 2 weeks! It can take up to 6 weeks to receive, so make sure you plan accordingly. Also keep in mind that each family member applying for a passport must be present when submitting their application. (in other words, kids must be present)

WHAT TO PACK

  • passports/proof of citizenship (I brought our passports AND birth certificates just in case)
  • swimsuits and coverups (ladies-you cannot walk into restaurants without a coverup, so get one!)
  • beach bag
  • casual clothing that includes pants or dresses for cruise dinners (see your specific cruise for any special dress codes and seasonal weather)
  • deck party clothing – each cruise includes a themed party night, so check with your cruise for more information (our cruise had a fun pirate party!)
  • comfortable shoes – swim shoes, sandals, sneakers and one nice pair for dinner (again, this may vary depending on the locations and time of year you are visiting)
  • medications
  • sunglasses and/or hats to shade from the sun
  • lots of sunscreen – you will want to apply sunscreen often as to avoid burns, so bring multiples bottles (we brought 3 and that was just enough)
  • aloe vera – just in case you missed a spot!
  • camera – I mostly used my cell phone for pics
  • quick snacks for impatient or grouchy kiddos – we brought peanut butter crackers and fruit snacks to store in my purse/backpack for flights and any in-between meals where we weren’t near the ship’s ice cream machines or Flo’s quick service restaurant
  • anti-nausea medications
  • 3-5 plastic grocery sacks for packing wet clothing or accidents
  • any toiletries you would normally travel with (see “what not to pack” below for more on toiletries you do not need to pack)
  • UPDATE! Disney Cruise Lines no longer allows over the door shoe organizers in staterooms as of late Spring 2013. Guests will be charged for any damage or scratches to doors for doing so.

Shoe Hanger for Cruise Stateroom Storage Disney Cruise momspark.net

NOTE: In most cases, you will not want, or will not be able to use your cell phone, so make sure you set your phone to “airplane mode” or “roaming off” once boarding the ship to avoid any outrageous roaming charges. You will receive two “wave phones” free of charge in your room that you can use while on the ship. (the Oceaneer’s Club will also contact you using these phones)

WHAT NOT TO PACK
  • towels – you will have plenty of towels available to you on and off the ship
  • shampoo, conditioner, lotion (unless you need prescription lotion or a particular brand for sensitive skin), body wash and soap – the H2O plus spa and bath line provided in each stateroom is more than enough and smells nice
  • hairdryer – a hairdryer is provided in the room
  • large amounts of cash – most of the transactions you make both on and off the ship will be done with credit/debit cards, so no need to carry around large amounts of cash

TRANSPORTATION TO PORT CANAVERAL

There are several options for transportation to Port Canaveral:

  • Disney Cruise Line motor coach from airport to Port Canaveral ($35/person one way, $70/round trip)
  • airport to resort, resort to Port Canaveral, Port Canaveral to airport ($70/person roundtrip)
  • renting a vehicle – we flew in the day before our cruise, so we rented a vehicle from Hertz and dropped it off in Cape Canaveral before our cruise (Hertz provided a free shuttle to the port)
  • town cars – see www.fltours.com/reservations.htm for pricing
NOTE: Parking a vehicle at Port Canaveral will cost the following:
  • 3-night cruise – $60
  • 4-night cruise – $75
  • 5-night cruise – $90
  • 7-night cruise – $120
See more information on transportation at www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/cruise-new/cr-transportation.htm. (great website for everything Disney!)

POTENTIAL NAUSEA

Nausea was a HUGE concern of mine, especially since my husband can become easily nauseated by motion. I did a ton of research in the DIS Boards and found that most people had success with Bonine, so it was one of the many things I packed before leaving. I also purchased Sea-Bands (they make Sea-Bands for children, too) and ginger gum. We ended up not using the Sea-Bands and occasionally chewed on ginger gum if we felt the least bit woozy. We took a Bonine each morning (they are chewable and do not make you drowsy) and were just fine throughout the entire cruise. 

You can certainly feel the boat move, most of all the first night out of Port Canaveral. Although it did not make us nauseous, it was a little strange getting used to. It didn’t take long for us to get our “sea legs” and after that it was hardly noticeable. Having a veranda in our room really helped with getting fresh air.

FUN IDEAS

Bellgardts Dream Cruise Walt Disney World Custom Magnet momspark.net

My friend Stacie Connerty introduced me to a few fun items that you can purchase before taking your family Disney cruise!

  • door magnets – the stateroom doors are made of metal, so many people decorate their doors with magnets. I purchased a personalized magnet from eBay. (seen above) so fun!
  • fish extenders – for those families who connect on the DIS boards, you can purchase a personalized “fish extender” on etsy to hang on your fish hook outside of your room. each family puts little surprises for other families (who coordinate via the DIS boards perviously) in the fish extenders! such a neat and fun idea, but we didn’t take part this time around.
  • matching t-shirts – okay, I would have TOTALLY done this with my family, but my oldest son and husband thought it was completely dorky. you can find fun matching Disney t-shirts on etsy as well.

SHARE YOUR TIPS AND QUESTIONS!

This series is a work in progress, so I want to hear from you! Do you have any additional tips for preparing for a Disney Cruise? Do you have a question? Leave a comment below!


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Amy Bellgardt

AMY BELLGARDT is a wife and mom of two boys, as well as founder and lead blogger at Mom Spark. Amy also manages Mom Spark Media, a social media marketing firm.

83 Responses to “Disney Cruise Line: Planning and Preparing for Your Disney Cruise #DisneyDream”

  1. #
    Zippy Sandler — March 30, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Amy – what a great post, not only for traveling on the Disney Dream, but for all sorts of traveling adventures.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — March 30th, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

      @Zippy Sandler, Thank you, Zippy! Many of the tips can be used for other cruise lines as well, especially for the over the door shoe hanger!

      [Reply]

  2. #
    Andrea B — March 30, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    This was amazing. I am dying to go on a disney cruise and just reading this post is making me very jealous. Now I will window shop the different cruises. One day…

    [Reply]

  3. #
    Patti P(Fluffs Enough) — March 30, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    I love the idea of the over the door organizer! I am an authorized Disney vacation planner so I will gladly share that tip!

    [Reply]

  4. #
    Alicia — March 30, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I love the over the door shoe organizer idea! You are so motivating me to book a cruise!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — March 30th, 2012 @ 4:23 pm

      @Alicia, Even with the deluxe room with veranda that we booked, there was still little room for our things. I mean, when you put 4 people into 400 square feet…

      [Reply]

  5. #
    Stephanie — March 30, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Thanks for the post! Our family is heading to Disney World and aboard the Disney Cruise in May. I’ve been busy reading various sites for tips on what to bring and not bring. I’ll be looking into Bonine and Ginger gum. Already picked up the shoe organizer that I saw mentioned on a few boards.

    Interested in your thoughts on Nassau with little ones? I’m tempted to just stay on board the ship with my 3.5 year old twins and let hubby go explore with the older kids if they want to …

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — March 30th, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

      @Stephanie, Honestly, Nassau was not as nice as I had hoped. We took the bus to Atlantis for the day. (we booked the “beach day”)

      Overall, it was a little too much for my 4 year-old. The resort is HUGE and the little ones are too small for the big slides. If your twins like the beach, they may enjoy the Atlantis beach. (which is very nice) My 4 year-old just isn’t that interested in beaches (don’t ask me why!). We came back to the ship completely exhausted, hot and wishing we had just stayed on the ship. :)

      If we were to go through Nassau again, I would either leave my kids in the Oceaneer’s Club and go with my husband or just stay on the ship. The advantages to staying on the ship is that it would less crowded that day!

      [Reply]

      • Lisa Weir replied: — November 17th, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

        My 23 year old daughter did the dolphin day with the trainer at Atlantis. It was expensive but worth it for her. My husband, son, and I did the lagoon beach excursion which was not worth the money. We cut it short and walked around Nasssau. I agree, it was not as nice as I had hoped either.

        Two families on a cruise my sister was on booked a room at the Atlantis. They took a taxi and just enjoyed the ammenities of the Atlantis.

        I thought the cabanas were pricey at Castaway Cay but we rented one. It was well worth the money! The beach wasn’t crowded at all since it is not open to everyone. It would also be good for naps for little ones. My husband enjoyed his nap in the hammock.

        • Mom Spark replied: — November 21st, 2012 @ 12:01 am

          I have heard that the cabanas are really nice on Castaway Cay. Would be nice having a private space for the day.

    • Cabin Fever replied: — January 5th, 2013 @ 8:15 pm

      My kiddos and I have made the 3 night disney cruise often. My kids are now 8,6,and 3. I travel alone with them and prefer to stay onboard in Nassau. (You will never run out of things to do!)
      Last cruise, we booked a 1 bdrm Conceirge Ste, and reaped the benefits of great service. The kids were given daily gifts like: a fully packed beach bag, free passes to the video arcade, and daily in room snacks that magically arrived before I’d bring in exhausted troopers.
      In Nassau, we had a semi-private (50ish people) sunset character time with appetizers and desserts. Drinks were made to order right on the spot, even virgin ones for the kids, and we all dared each other to eat the caviar. (mostly we stuck to the candy buffet). We ended the cruise with a complementary lithograph of Cinderella that hangs in my daughter’s room, and the sweetest part, our conceirge even fetched our ship pictures for us.
      Club level isn’t for everyone, but if you go alone or have little bitty ones, it rocks. We never went to dinner; each restaurant sent menus and delivered our dinners to the room— so worth it for mommy!!!

      [Reply]

      • Mom Spark replied: — January 6th, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

        Wow! I would love to experience that someday, so cool! I agree with Nassau, next time we do that cruise we’ll be staying on-board as well.

  6. #
    Rosey — March 30, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    I love the shoe holder idea too. We’re sort of considering a cruise, but it won’t be this year if we go. Disney what we are looking forward to though, if we do decide to go ahead with it, so I am looking forward to your future posts. Glad you didn’t get nauseated, yay!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — March 30th, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

      @Rosey, From what I hear, Disney really has the best service and ship of all of the cruise lines. Of course, I have only experienced Disney, so I can’t say for sure, but the Dream was very, very clean and the service was outstanding.

      [Reply]

  7. #
    Katie — March 30, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    It sounds like you took the same cruise as we did at the end of February. It was my first time cruising so I didn’t wan to be on board for longer, I was also very worried about getting motion sickness. We didn’t get off the boat at Nassau and just enjoyed all that the ship had to offer. It was the right choice for us, we still barely got to fit everything in. We also didn’t go on any excursions at Castaway Cay because our youngest was seven months and we just weren’t at a point to do any biking etc. My five year old loved playing in the sand, swimming, and the bone yard digging area that kept her quite busy.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — April 2nd, 2012 @ 9:10 am

      @Katie, I agree that you can have just as much fun not doing the excursions. Now that we have it out of our system, we probably won’t mess with them next time.

      [Reply]

  8. #
    Angie — March 31, 2012 at 10:17 am

    My family won a cruise on the Disney Dream last year, and we went in November. It, too, was our family’s first time out of the country and on a cruise. It was a GREAT time and I loved the ship! can’t wait to do it again!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — April 2nd, 2012 @ 9:10 am

      @Angie, Wow, what a prize to win! What was the weather like in November? Still mild and warm?

      [Reply]

      • Angie replied: — April 2nd, 2012 @ 11:27 am

        @Mom Spark, oh yes! it was about 78 in the Bahamas/Castaway Cay and the only “bad” day was when we first went out – it was in the 50s. but oh so worth it! and the ship was decorated for Christmas! It was GREAT!

  9. #
    Yolanda — April 1, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I’m going to use the shoe organizer tip and order a magnet for the door. We’re going for 3 nights first time on the magic coming August. I’m definitely going to change my dinner time, 8:30pm is really late to be eating dinner. Thanks again!

    [Reply]

  10. #
    Cookin' Canuck — April 2, 2012 at 9:12 am

    This is a great post. I love the shoe organizer tip! We went on a DCL to Alaska last summer and I wrote a post about it. Maybe it will give some helpful ideas to some of your readers. Here’s the link: http://www.cookincanuck.com/2011/08/a-travel-interlude-alaskan-disney-cruise/

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — April 2nd, 2012 @ 9:13 am

      @Cookin’ Canuck, Thank you for the link! I REALLY want to the Alaskan Disney Cruise next, so this is exactly what I was looking for.

      [Reply]

  11. #
    Orlando scooter rentals — April 6, 2012 at 12:50 am

    This are great tips most of the Disney Cruise ship tourist can follow. Those matching t shirts are fun and this will easily find your children when they get lost.

    [Reply]

  12. #
    Hotels in Torquay — April 6, 2012 at 1:08 am

    This are a memorable trip a family should try and all the important details are already there. All you have to do is follow the advice, take a lot of pictures and enjoy.

    [Reply]

  13. #
    Jenn @therebelchick — April 6, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    We just took a Carnival cruise and most of the tips you shared are ones that I would give as well! Great post!

    [Reply]

  14. #
    Tenille — April 28, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    We cruised on the Disney Wonder in December last year and your idea of a shoe rack on the back of the door is genius!! I could have so used something like that!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — April 30th, 2012 @ 10:40 am

      Next time you cruise you may buy one! It cost around $12.00 and was perfect!

      [Reply]

  15. #
    Kasandria Reasoner — May 4, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    I’m determined that this year we’re going on a cruise of some kind. Great tips!
    Kas

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

      @Kasandria Reasoner, Thanks! I am ready to take another cruise myself! I love having the option to take the kids to the kid’s club on board most. :)

      [Reply]

  16. #
    Whitney at It's Gravy, Baby! — May 21, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    I’ve been on several cruises, but never a Disney cruise. This post is loaded with tons of great information & I’ll definitely refer back to it when we plan our first Disney cruise. Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:41 am

      @Whitney at It’s Gravy, Baby!, My pleasure! I hope you can take a Disney cruise soon, they are seriously the best way to cruise!

      [Reply]

      • Elizabeth replied: — December 31st, 2012 @ 10:06 am

        @Whitney our 1st cruise was Disney and now we have a hard time trying any other cruise lines ;)

  17. #
    Lee Ann — October 1, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    We took the Disney Wonder to Alaska in late August and it was the best vacation ever!!

    It was our first cruise a family and I enjoyed seeing all the magnets on the door. Can you tell me which ebay site you got yours?

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — October 1st, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

      Hi Lee Ann! I ordered the magnet on eBay. Do a search on eBay for “custom Disney cruise magnet”.

      [Reply]

  18. #
    Vanessa — October 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Great tips! We are about to leave on our THIRD Disney Cruise. We are going to the Caribbean on the Dream. One tip I like to tell everyone going is to PRE-PAY YOUR GRATUITY! Especially if you are going on a longer cruise. We did the 3 night For our first cruise and paying the $150 gratuity at the end was not a big deal. But for our second cruise we had more children and it was 7 nights, the gratuity ended up being $500. I am a huge fan of tipping and all the serving staff and room staff totally deserved it, but I hadn’t thought to budget so much beforehand. So this time I pre-paid the minimum gratuity and feel so much more relaxed about money. I will bring extra cash on the boat for cast members who go above and beyond (which they almost all do!). Now I won’t have to feel so stingy at the end and all we’ll have to pay for are any port adventures we decide to do! Can’t wait! We are huge fans of DCL!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — October 17th, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

      That is a fabulous tip! I didn’t realize you could pre-pay gratuity, so this is great to know!

      [Reply]

      • Elizabeth replied: — December 31st, 2012 @ 10:04 am

        This IS great, I had no idea that you could pre pay your tips! This will so help with budgets for our cruise!

    • Lisa Weir replied: — November 17th, 2012 @ 12:23 pm

      We also did the prepay gratuity. The crew members really do go above and beyond. I read somewhere phone cards are a good gift for them. I also read that people sometimes leave gifts out of their fish extenders because they didn’t have room to take them home. After the cruise, I started thinking about when the crew has time to shop. Some work on the ship while we were in port at Nassau and Castaway Cay. Some get off the ship and work at Castaway Cay.

      Our server was telling us they don’t get a day off – they get a few hours off here and there. I know they have a store just for crew memebers but when someone said they left some things out of their fish extenders like lotion and candy, I thought that would be something different for the crew and a good idea.

      I usually don’t like gratuities added in because sometimes the service suffers but I actually told my husband to add to the suggested tip for our servers and stateroom host.

      [Reply]

      • Mom Spark replied: — November 21st, 2012 @ 12:00 am

        Thank you so much for the insight! I will definitely be preparing on our next cruise, which I really, really hope is soon. :)

  19. #
    Tank Tops — January 28, 2013 at 9:45 am

    My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was entirely right.
    This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — January 28th, 2013 @ 9:59 am

      That is wonderful to hear! Thanks so much!

      [Reply]

  20. #
    Zita — February 6, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Is it better to book our cruise a year in advance or closer to the sail date?

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — February 6th, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

      In advance, always. You will have more options regarding dinner times, reservations and excursions, as well as room rates.

      [Reply]

  21. #
    Ronda — April 22, 2013 at 6:54 am

    4/19/13: The following letter is from Disney Cruise Line and will be placed in guests’ staterooms in the next couple of weeks:

    Dear Guests,

    We are glad that you have joined us aboard the Disney (Choose Ship)!

    As you may be aware, it is important to us to keep our facilities looking their best for all our guests.  As part of our commitment to this area of focus, we ask that you do not affix anything to your stateroom door utilizing tape or any adhesive, including removable gel adhesives.  We have found that these adhesives damage the finish on our stateroom doors; therefore we ask that you limit door decoration to those of the magnetic variety.

    Concurrently, we ask that guests not use over-the-door hanging organizers as they have been found to scratch and/or disfigure stateroom doors and trim.

    Guests found with damaged doors are assessed a $100 damage fee per incident to cover the cost of repairs.

    Your attention to this matter will greatly assist us in keeping our shipboard environment looking ship-shape.  Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Guest Services, Deck 3 Mid-ship.

    If interested, magnetic door decorations are available for purchase in our merchandise area.  For your convenience, magnetic strips are also available at Guest Services. 

    We appreciate your cooperation and hope you have an enjoyable sailing.

    Sincerely,

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — April 22nd, 2013 @ 8:16 am

      Oh wow, that is good to know, thank you. Where did you find this letter?

      [Reply]

  22. #
    Lynn Friar — May 9, 2013 at 10:58 am

    We just got off of the DisneyFantasy last week and the last couple of Disney cruises which we have been on we go around to everyone that has the fish extenders and put all different trinkets in their extender..we also put our name and room number on the trinkets and everyday we also got different things ( pins, stickers, little toys, candys, lollypops, lip gloss, all little thing) also in our fish extenders.. It was just so much fun just finding every one that also had extenders for my 2 four year olds and they loved when they went back to their rooms to see that someone put cute suprises in the extender. We are going again in July and are all ready working on little things we can put in everyones extender.. Disney is the only way to go..We have been on 6 Disney cruise and going again in July and will now only go Disney..I’ve been on them all!!!!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — May 9th, 2013 @ 11:01 am

      Hi Lynn!

      I have seen the fish extenders and heard about the gift trading, but we’re never done it before. I think my 5yo would get a kick out of this and think the next cruise we’ll participate!

      Thanks so much for sharing your stories! Which cruise are you taking in July?

      [Reply]

  23. #
    Melani Morgan — May 31, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I am currently in the process of planning our first Disney cruise for next fall. We took the little ones on their first cruise this past October and they have not stopped talking about it. They are ages 2 (soon to be 3), 4, and 12. I wwastrying to read all tthe postings about DCL and the fish hooks caught my attention. Where do I get them? I have a BIG group of family going with us and this would be a great idea. Also, I wanted to know the amount of Disney character interactions on board because we have a lot of small ones between ages 1 and 12 that would love to see their favorite character.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — May 31st, 2013 @ 11:54 am

      Hi Melani!

      For the fish extenders, visit http://etsy.com and do a search for “disney cruise fish extenders” and I am sure you will find several shops that make them.

      As for the characters, they were several events each day to meet and greet characters. The times and locations will be included in your daily Navigator. (agenda/newsletter)

      Hope that helps!

      [Reply]

  24. #
    Sandi — June 27, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    I did not read through all of the comments so I apologize if this has already been mentioned…Disney has asked that people do not use the over the door shoe organizers anymore. They scratch up the doors and you will be charged for the damage.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — June 28th, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

      I have been made aware of that new rule and will update my post accordingly. Thank you for your comment!

      [Reply]

  25. #
    graphic t shirts — August 10, 2013 at 12:36 am

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    I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and
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  26. #
    Anna — August 14, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    My family and I are planning a disney fantasy trip in 2015. If my husband and I decide to book dinner at either palo or remy can my children eat at the rotational dining restraunt alone? When we are on the cruise they will be 17, 14, and 11.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — August 15th, 2013 @ 7:23 pm

      Hi Anna – I honestly do not know if the children can eat alone in the dining restaurants without supervision, even with the 17 year-old. I know that there is food available in the kid’s clubs and the quick service areas, but not sure about the dining restaurants. You have stumped me!

      [Reply]

      • Anna replied: — August 16th, 2013 @ 10:10 am

        Thank you so much for your reply. Regardless I have been on the disney cruise twice and am ecstatic to go again! All of your tips are wonderful!
        Thank you!

      • Anna replied: — August 16th, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

        Hello!
        I emailed the disney cruise information people…and this is what they said regarding my original question.
        “At meal times, parents or guardians who elect not to dine in the main
        dining rooms (i.e. dining at Palo) may decide whether or not their
        children should spend that time in the Youth Activities or if the
        children are of an appropriate age to dine in the main dining rooms as
        usual.”
        Hope this can benefit you and other families.

        • Mom Spark replied: — August 16th, 2013 @ 8:01 pm

          Thanks so much for taking the time to post this! So good to know, thank you!

  27. #
    Suzanne — August 18, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Hi Im planning on going on a Disney cruise in October 2014 to the Bahamas with my daughter travelling from Australia. I have been looking for sites to get as much advice as possible as I suffer really bad motion sickness. Knowing this I still want to have a Disney cruise experience with my daughter. It sounds magical. Can i ask was it easy booking dirctly with Disney cruises with selection of rooms and do they give you options. I have read that mid ship is the best place to stay for motion sickness and would like to stay in this area of the ship. I would really appreciate any advice.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — August 18th, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

      Hi Suzanne! I understand your concerns regarding motion sickness, and you are correct that midship is the best place to be to reduce motion. Yes, you can choose your deck and room when making your reservation, even online!

      Have an amazing cruise and please report back when you return. :)

      [Reply]

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    Jacqui — November 21, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    I found your Blog looking for internet prices on DCL. Great blog for a first time cruiser. We are preparing for DCL cruise #8 next week. I am so excited to be on board with the ship decorated for Christmas. One item I like to take when we cruise is a collapsible laundry hamper. Then all your dirty stuff is in one place and out of the way in the room.

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    • Amy replied: — November 21st, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

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  31. #
    Kerry — January 18, 2014 at 7:47 am

    Thank you for the info! We are taking our first cruise in early May, a 3 night on the Dream. My children are 13 and 15. Is that fishing hook deal better for younger kids?

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — January 18th, 2014 @ 2:44 pm

      Hi Kerry! It’s so exciting that you have booked your first cruise! I would say that 13 and 15 may be a little old for the fishing hook deal, but then again, it really depends on your children. My family has never participated, but I know there is a lot of info on http://disboards.com!

      [Reply]

  32. #
    Paula — March 3, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Hi, we are booked for our 4-night Bahamas cruise in just a few weeks. I wondered if anyone thinks purchasing snorkeling gear and taking it with us would be a good idea? I am asuming it would be less expensive than renting at the ports and not too bulky to pack. What does anyone think?

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — March 3rd, 2014 @ 12:06 pm

      Hi Paula-

      If you already have snorkeling gear and have the room to squeeze it into your luggage, I say go for it. It isn’t too expensive to rent gear at Castaway Cay (not sure about the other ports), but I’m all about saving money when possible!

      [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — March 3rd, 2014 @ 12:06 pm

      Also, which ship are you taking? I’ll be on the Magic in a few weeks!

      [Reply]

      • amber replied: — March 27th, 2014 @ 11:53 am

        Ill be on the magic may 2nd! Nervous since its an older ship and I was on the dream last sept! Im sure any disney cruise is magical! This is the first time I’ve heard of the fish hook organizer pocket thing! Cute idea. Im going to look into it.. my 6 yr old son would love that!

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