My final post about our vacation to Alaska!
It was a trip-of-a-lifetime thanks to Disney Cruise Line.
We made wonderful memories.
If you are considering a cruise, here are some tips I picked up along the way. I hope you have a spectacular journey.
1. Go! Don’t wait until the perfect time, book your cruise today.
2. Choose a Disney Cruise. I wrote a whole post about things to consider when choosing a cruise line, but the bottom line is you can trust Disney for safety, quality, and the best customer service.
3. Pick up a Passporter guide to Disney Cruises. I got the “e-book” version and my mom had the paper one. We found so much helpful information, not only about Disney cruises and ships but also the ports and excursions. My Mom had hers bookmarked again, and again. Here are just a few of the many, many chapter headings: First-Time Cruisers; Can I Afford It?; What’s Included in a Disney Cruise?; Getting to Vancouver; Packing for Your Cruise; Budget Worksheet; Selecting Your Stateroom; Dressing for Dinner; Playing and Relaxing Onboard; Shore Excursions; Cruising with Kids; Seasickness and Staying Healthy; and Tipping and Feedback. I’ve used Passporters for Walt Disney World in the past and highly recommend them.
4. Bring your Disney pins. There is pin trading on cruises and special pins only sold on Disney Cruise Lines. Also a lanyard wallet is very convenient. You can easily carry your “Key to the World” card, identification, and a bit of cash with you.
5. There are tons of characters on a Disney cruise and you can bring an item to be autographed. In addition to an autograph book, pick up a t-shirt or pillowcase. My daughter brought a t-shirt for herself and also brought a t-shirt for her best friend. Put up to two items in a ziploc bag with sharpie pens; drop it off at guest services at the beginning of your cruise. It will be returned to you on the last day of the cruise with all the autographs you request. Be sure to watch for characters in places other than the scheduled ones. They will surprise you in unexpected places!
6. Decorate your door! The cabin doors are metal and guests often bring magnets, magnetic decorations, and white boards to decorate their doors. No tape or other adhesive. We saw some fun ones! It also makes it feel like home and easy to find your cabin.
7. Bring a carry-on with swim gear. Disney takes such good care of your luggage, making it easy to board the ship. We left ours in our hotel room and next time we saw it was on ship. But, it does take some time to get all that luggage loaded and you may not get until 5:00. Pack your swim gear and anything else you may think you need in your carry-on, it’s the perfect time (less crowded) to try the pool. Even though the air may be chilly, the pools are heated and there are also whirlpools.
9. Turn off calls and texts on your phone. Put your phone on airplane mode or remove SIM card so you can’t accidentally incur international or additional fees.
10. Bring a highlighter to mark favorites on the Navigator newsletter that you will receive every night with cruise activities for the next day. The Navigator has separate sections with activities listed by age, place, time, and interests. It’s very easy to read and filled with helpful information. We found ours on our bed every evening (with some chocolates!) and usually read it over to plan the next day before we went to sleep.
12. Pack and then take out half of your clothes. There are washers and dryers easily accessible on board. They were only $1 to use! While on the subject of packing… I am totally in love with American Tourister Spinners. My first experience with them was two years ago, when I received a gift of the carry-on for Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. American Tourister is the Official Luggage of the Walt and Disneyland Resorts. I am amazed, truly amazed at how easy it is to move their “Spinners”. My daughter can easily pull or push my heaviest bag. You barely touch them and they move. Whether leaning over or upright, they will move in every direction. And the price is very affordable. If you haven’t upgraded to Spinners, it will be money well spent. Another packing tip, use packing cubes. I’d heard about them for years and saw the thousands of enthusiastic reviews, but until I tried them I couldn’t imagine what the fuss was about. It makes packing and unpacking a breeze! You can find things in an instant (I used a Sharpie to label mine, but you can also see through the mesh) in your suitcase or when you arrive. To unpack, I just through them in drawers. If you are staying overnight, before or after your cruise, it’s even more handy because you will be repacking.
13. Be prepared. You might want to have your credit card handy. There is a discount offer for booking another cruise while you’re sailing on this one.
14. Bring warm clothes. Even if the temperature doesn’t seem that cold, you may be outside for longer than your used to on some days. Also, Alaska is very rainy, and the damp cold feels chillier! A great site for travel (and home) jackets and coats is ScotteVest. They sent me a Lola jacket for review and I loved it so much, I’ve bought two hoodies too! Once you’ve had pockets galore, it’s hard to go back to an ordinary jacket.
17. Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling with family members that may become ill, or there is a potential for an emergency that will keep you from taking your cruise. A cruise is a major expenditure and you may want to be protected in case you have to postpone your trip.
18. Reserve a cabin with a balcony, if you can swing the extra cost. It adds to the enjoyment to be able to look out on the amazing scenery any time of the day or night without leaving your room. I’ve already mentioned a few times how wonderful it was to sit in the cozy Disney Wonder bathrobe, drinking coffee from room service and watching the scenery.
19. Tell a Disney Crew Member if there is something you would like done differently. They truly want you to have a magical experience and will go above and beyond to make things right. For example, the first seating of dinner wasn’t available when we booked our cruise, but we asked to be put on a waiting list in case there was an opening, and there was! Of course they can’t perform miracles, but anything short of that – you will experience the best of customer service.
20. Have fun and make memories!
To learn more:
More posts about our Disney Cruise: