wondering what to pack for a disney cruise, here is everything you need to know
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What to Pack for a Disney Cruise

You’ve been eagerly waiting for your Disney vacation. You received your luggage tags and now it’s time to prepare for your Disney cruise! It can seem a little bit overwhelming. But don’t worry, we can help you figure out what should I bring for my Disney cruise

mickey statue in the main atrium of the disney magic cruise ship

what to pack for a disney cruise

It’s almost time for your Disney cruise, which means it is time to get packing! Whether you are flying to your cruise port or driving, let me help to make sure you remember everything you need without overpacking. Not to brag, but I’m proud to say I manage to pack for my family of 8 in just 2 suitcases. When we go on a short trip with just my “big kids”, we prefer to pack in backpacks to simplify air travel! Ready to start packing? Here is your hand packing list for a Disney cruise.

wondering what to pack for a disney cruise, here is everything you need to know

disney cruise what to pack

There are two separate things you need to pack – your carry-on / backpack and your suitcase. Let’s begin with what to pack in your backpack.

Cruise Carry-on

You don’t want to overpack, as you willl be carrying your backpack through the cruise terminal, onto the ship, and through the buffet line until your room is ready – usually around 2pm. Plus, most of you will use this bag as your carry-on for the plane as well. Here is your carry-on Disney cruise packing list:

  • Passport – This is a must-have for boarding the ship and clearing customs upon disembarkation. Without it, you won’t be allowed to board. Some closed-loop voyages may only require a birth certificate, depending on your specific itinerary. However, having a passport is always best. Make sure to check with the cruiseline if you are hoping to sail with just a birth certificate. PRO TIP – Keep all passports open to the photo page and arranged from oldest to youngest for smooth family travel!
  • Credit Cards – My spouse and I always carry different cards when we travel. This way, if one set of cards gets lost, stolen, damaged, or frozen due to a fraud alert, we can use the other cards. When traveling lonYou don’t want to overpack, as you willl be carrying your backpack through the cruise terminal, onto the ship, and through the buffet line until your room is ready – usually around 2pm. Plus, most of you will use this bag as your carry-on for the plane as well. Here is your carry-on Disney cruise packing list:g distances, we make sure to bring both a primary and a backup card with us. This is especially important because fraud alerts are common, especially when traveling overseas. (Ensure your credit cards are stored in an rfid sleeve or wallet to protect your information from skimmers)
  • Cash – We always carry several hundred dollars as a precaution. If your cards are marked as fraudulent or the credit card system is not working, having a backup payment option is important. This has happened to us several times at Disney World. It will help you avoid any issues and save the day. NOTE: You might need small bills for tipping porters, usually $2/bag is customary.
  • Itinerary / Confirmation – I maintain a comprehensive list of flights with times, flight numbers, confirmations, pre-booked excursions, hotels with confirmation, address, numbers, etc. I also email this list to myself so I can easily access our travel plans.
  • Port Arrival Form (This is crucial with Disney as it includes your boarding group number and estimated boarding time). This form will be scanned to check you in quickly and efficiently.
Disney cruise line port arrival form, envelop with luggage tags for vacation
  • Sunglasses – a must on a cruise vacation as the glare of the sun on the wate is blinding!
  • Over the counter medicine – tylenol, children’s tylenol, sudafed (a must if you get sick and are flying home to deal with cabin pressure), immodium (anti diarhea), antacid tablets, excedrine, bandaids / neosporin, anti chaffing stick (a must for beach days for our whole family), anything else you typically use from your medicine cabinet. There is a ship doctor on board, but the hours aren’t always convenient and there may be a fee involved.
  • motion patch (these are natural and work wonders for our entire family), less drowsy Dramamine, chewable Dramamine for kids, or bonine – if anyone is susceptible to motion sickness, I strongly advise being prepared. Disney’s ships are midsize and can feel a bit more unstable at times. We usually have at least one rocky day per trip.
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Power bank or pencil charger (your phone battery will deplete quickly from taking photos and using the cruise app to plan your day) The power bank recharges rapidly and comes with all necessary cables! I highly recommend a power bank! The pencil charger is lightweight and compact, I carry it in my purse daily, even when not on vacation.
  • I prefer to travel with a change of clothes in case my luggage gets lost or someone spills something, but this is entirely optional
  • Bring extra diapers, baby wipes, and diaper rash cream just in case. I usually pack double the amount I use in a day. I don’t bring bibs as the cloth napkins work perfectly.
  • A letter from your doctor if you’re pregnant, stating that you’re not more than 23 weeks pregnant and safe to travel
  • If you aren’t traveling with both parents, make sure to bring a letter of consent to travel without the other custodial parent especially if you are traveling alone with your kids internationally. This also applies if you’re traveling with your grandchildren or another child without their parents.
Disney Wish Oceanview stateroom with huge pothole

what to bring on a disney cruise

Cruise Suitcase Packing List

Disney cruises are a great opportunity to showcase your character tees, matching family outfits, princess dresses, and pirate costumes. This is especially true on pirate night. It’s a fun way to express your style and immerse yourself in the Disney experience. Don’t miss the chance to dress up and have a great time on board. It’s not obligatory, but it’s advisable to plan ahead.

  • Guests can trade Disney pins in onboard shops and on 7-night cruises, and there is often an officers pin trading event.
  • Autograph book – This is for collecting signatures from all the Disney characters you’ll encounter. Some passengers bring picture frames, pillowcases, or t-shirts for autographs. Don’t forget to bring a sharpie if you’re bringing something unconventional, and remember that not all characters sign.
  • Princess dresses – It’s more cost-effective and easier to find the right size if you bring princess outfits from home. You can find princess dresses at the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique, but they are more luxurious and come with a higher price.
  • Pirate costumes – Kids, adults, and families alike dress up in pirate attire on pirate night. Some wear t-shirts, custom-made outfits, or elaborate costumes. This is more common on week-long cruises. Each ship gives you a red Mickey pirate bandana in your room for the evening events. These events include a deck party, a themed menu, and fireworks at sea.
  • T-shirts – I usually pack one for each day on 7-day or shorter cruises. For longer trips like our transatlantic cruise, I pack a week’s worth of clothes and plan to do laundry. Disney typically offers a fill-a-bag service for around $29 on longer trips. This service allows guests to have a large amount of items washed easily. In addition, self-service machines are available for guests to use. Additionally, self-service machines are also available for guests to use.
  • NOTE: Passengers often go all out displaying their favorite Disney merchandise, so if you have any, bring it along. Check Walmart for affordable Disney shirts, etsy for custom Disney options, etsy pirate options, Kohl’s online, Disney store, and RSVLT
  • Shorts – We usually pack 2-3 pairs
disney wish sail away party with goofy, daisy, minnie, mickey, pluto, and donald
  • Extra swimsuit – If you have a larger or unusual size, consider packing an additional swimsuit in case of damage.
  • I wear flip flops on the ship for poolside movies, but I always pack comfortable walking shoes for port excursions or if the ship gets rocky.
  • Water shoes can be useful for beach visits as the sand can heat up and shells can cause cuts on feet. (optional)
  • Formal wear – Although Disney no longer requires formal attire for dinner, if you enjoy dressing up, pack a dress, khakis, polo shirt, and suitable shoes.
  • Elegant clothing for the optional “formal night” that occurs once on every seven-night or longer cruise. For formal nights on cruises lasting 7 nights or more, you have several clothing options. You can wear a dress, smart pants with a nice top, or a collared shirt with a tie. Suits and tuxedos are not commonly worn, but you can choose to wear them if you prefer. Mickey, Minnie, and the whole crew will be dressed up and it’s a great opportunity for family photos.
  • NOTE: If you’re planning to dine at the superb, adults-only Palo or Remy, there is a dress code. You can now wear dress shorts, but you cannot wear clothing like T-shirts, swimwear, and sports gear.
  • Sundresses if you enjoy relaxing in them, just pack fewer t-shirts.
  • If you’re going to Alaska, on a transatlantic cruise, or get cold easily, bring some jeans or pants.
Disney magic cruise line animators palatte restaurant where they sketch characters and then they gradually go into color and come alive
  • Exercise clothes for gym sessions, track runs, or joining the Castaway Cay 5K during your trip
  • Door adornments such as magnets and magnetic board / pen – refer to notes below
  • Nightwear – we usually pack a comfortable pair of shorts and a t-shirt for sleeping
  • Hoodie / Pullover / Windbreaker for potentially cool evenings on deck
  • A night lamp for young children or those who frequently wake up at night. Dinner clothes and formal shoes (see below)
  • Diapers – pack more than you anticipate needing, to avoid running out. Changes in your child’s diet and routine can impact their bowel movements. Disney can provide a Diaper Genie in your room to keep it smelling fresh!
  • Here is a list of prohibited items.
  • Guns and bullets, any type of knife, sword, dagger, bullwhip or other weapons.
  • Homemade, precooked or other perishable goods.
  • Irons, bottle warmers, sports gear, balloons, candles, musical instruments, illegal drugs including prescribed and synthetic marijuana.
  • Coolers, except those containing medications, baby food or items for dietary needs

    disney magic cruise pool area with yellow slide and kids pool with gyro place and aqua lab behind it

    what to take on a disney cruise

    If you are a repeat cruiser there will be a a complimentary lanyard waiting for you in your cabin. Thie color of you lanyard indicates your Castaway program level – silver, gold, platinum, or pearl. These are extremely useful!

    Disney is shifting their ships to use MagicBand+. I love these tech wonders in the parks, but I’m not a fan of them on the ship. The ship is only compatible with the MagicBand+. Because the MagicBand+ shakes or lights up when it is near a sensor, this model needs to be charged every single night or it will not work. For families with 4-5 members in a cabin, you will run out of charging ports for all the Magicbands. Plus, you have to remember to bring charging cable for each band. If the band stops working while your child is in the kids club, cast members will give you an old band that doesn’t require charging. You can then return it on the last day to refund the band’s fee.

    the disney wish kids club has a star wars area filled with immersive play including lots of buttons to push and a cargo hold full of unusual creatures that move and interact

    what can you bring on a disney cruise

    Enjoy complimentary self-serve coffee and soda on the pool deck and buffet area during your Disney Cruise! Instead of constantly getting small paper cups, bring a lidded coffee mug or container to fill up and carry with you. This will save you time and effort.

    Soda in cans and water in bottles cost extra. However, if you’re on the concierge level, they are free. They are stored in a special fridge on that level. Hence, bringing your own containers and refilling from the dispensers can help you save some money.

    disney cruise tips including best time to ride the disney wish aquamouse with only 5 minutes wait time!

    disney cruise embarkation day

    Want to enjoy the pool without the crowd? As soon as you board the ship, make a beeline for the pool deck for some early swimming and waterslide fun before the rest of the passengers arrive! The AquaDuck and AquaMouse tend to have long queues throughout the cruise, so this is an excellent opportunity to enjoy consecutive rides! Don’t hesitate to slip into your swimsuit immediately and dive in before the ship departs.

    By midday or early afternoon, the pool deck attractions should be fully operational for your pleasure. Don’t miss this chance to enjoy water activities without the lengthy wait times!

    This is a simple door decoration where guests attach custom mickey and minnie magnets to decorate their door and add a fish extender to exchange gifts with other guests

    disney cruise door decorations

    I should dedicate an entire post to door decorating on a Disney cruise. People go the extra mile to make their temporary home feel special! Many guests bring cute Disney magnets, some even with lights. You may also notice a “fish extender” where guests exchange small gifts, often coordinated on Facebook prior to the cruise.

    Almost every door will be decorated. It’s not only fun, but it also helps you locate your door more easily. So make sure you bring something to add your own style to your stateroom door.

    The simplest way to participate is by purchasing some magnets on Etsy. A wide variety of styles and options are available! Over time, our collection has expanded and now we choose what to bring with us.

    • Mickey as Darth Vader / Jedi Mickey (from Star Wars Cruise)
    • Mike’s door / Sulley’s door (From Pixar Cruise)
    • Disney characters dressed in Marvel outfits (from Marvel Cruise)
    • We have personalized Mickey and Minnie shaped magnets with our names. These magnets help us remember our room assignments. They also assist the stateroom attendant in learning our names.
    • A magnetic board & pen for leaving messages for your room attendant and family about your daily plans!

    Feeling adventurous? You can participate in a casual Facebook group where members exchange gifts during the cruise. Simply search for your ship name and departure date on Facebook to locate your group. To participate, you’ll need to bring a “fish extender,” a bag that hangs from the fish-shaped mail holder outside your cabin door.

    disney cruise line oceaners club bathrooms pixar pals

    disney cruise planning

    Don’t overpack! Don’t pack too much! Bring only the essentials for a fun trip. This includes a change of clothes, swimsuit, flip flops, sunscreen, and sunglasses.

    Don’t forget important documents such as your passport and credit card. Everything else is just a bonus.

    If you forget something, shops on board have items available, but be prepared to pay a bit more.

    If you choose to go on a last-minute cruise, just grab a backpack and pack a few essentials. You will be all set for a magical journey!

    There’s so much more to share about a Disney Cruise I’ll share more in another article so this doesn’t get to be a novel. For now, check out more Disney trip planning, and learn about the best family cruises. Here are some articles specifically about Disney Cruises:

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