Planning your first Disney Cruise? Find out the biggest Disney Cruise hacks to save your family time and money. Scroll for all the tips!
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There are subtle tricks and nuances to a Disney Cruise Line vacation to improve any trip. We have Disney Cruise hacks that can help make your cruise easier and much more fun.
You can maximize your cruise experience with easy Disney Cruise hacks. While you are out on the open sea, you’ll have the best time, knowing these simple secrets.
Our hacks will help you especially when it comes to navigating the ship and getting the most out of your dining experience, so read on!
5 Must Know Disney Cruise Hacks
Disney Cruise Hacks: Door Magnet
A cruise ship is like a big hotel, but there is so much going on that you need a way to easily identify where your stateroom is.
The whole rest of the ship is distinctive at every turn with unique points of reference. The long uniform hallways are a sharp contrast to the rest of the ship’s surroundings.
Your room number is not printed on your Shipboard ID and marking your door with your own decorations is a fun way to celebrate on the cruise while making your stateroom easy to identify.
Magnets are an easy solution to remembering your room number. If you are traveling with kids, this hack is important to making sure your room is easily identifiable to everybody.
Some parties are split into multiple staterooms. So, having identifiable doors with distinctive magnets or other decor is a time saving and anxiety reducing hack.
Disney Cruise Hacks: the Menu
You have a rotating restaurant itinerary so you can experience all of the restaurants on board the ship. The restaurants are different from the buffets. They appear just as any restaurant would, albeit with a healthy dose of Disney magic.
The menus are printed just like your usual restaurant menu with all of the courses and options. The hack here is that those are mere suggestions.
All of your meals on the cruise are pre-paid and all-you-care-to-enjoy, which means that the buffets are not the only place where you can have as many plates as you want.
Instead of just ordering one appetizer, one entree and one dessert, you can order as many of any course you want. You can even start with dessert!
It might feel weird because that isn’t how the menu is laid out, but you have the option of eating however you like.
This is a great hack because of the freedom it affords you to only eat what you truly enjoy. It also solves the dilemma of having to choose between two entrees you really want to try.
Disney Cruise Hacks: Last Minute Reservation
As we all know reservations are super important. On any Disney trip, you have to make advance reservations for the restaurants that are most important for you to experience. The advance window is different depending on what type of Disney vacation you are on.
At Disneyland it’s two months, or 60 days. Walt Disney World lets you book your dining reservations 180 days out and you really have to jump on them if you want one of the more popular restaurants and a particularly busy time. For example Cinderella’s Royal Table before Magic Kingdom opens is a specific plan altering meal that you really need to be on the ball.
Disney Cruise Line allows advance bookings for excursions and for Palo and Remy, the fine dining options on the Disney Cruise ships.
Unlike with other Disney vacations, your ability to reserve in advance is based on your level of cruise experience. For most, 75 days is typical. Repeat cruisers get an additional 15 days, passengers in the Concierge categories and certain packages have 105 days.
If you are unable to make your reservation there is a hack to get yourself a table at the last minute. Palo and Remy hold several tables for on board reservations. Your Navigator app will let you know when you can call, but it’s best to go up to Palo or Remy yourself to make the arrangements.
Disney Cruise Hacks: Patterned Carpet
This is an interesting hack that makes the Disney Cruise Line so distinct and sets it apart from your typical hotel.
Because of the unique construction and layout of a cruise ship, it can be dangerously easy to lose your way down the identical corridors. This is why in every section of the ship, on every deck there are specific identifiers that let you know where you are.
Some of these are very simple, it has to do with the artwork, or the surrounding amenities.
When you get into the less public areas though such as stateroom hallways, the unique identifiers apparently disappear. However that is only an illusion. There are many directional details all around you to help you find your way.
One of the easiest ways to know where you are is to look on the floor. The carpet is so distinctive because it is patterned to instantly tell you where you are.
It lets you know your deck, what section of the ship you are on (foreword, midship, aft), and even which direction you are facing.
For example the Little Mermaid themed Disney Wonder uses the carpet on each deck to illustrate different ocean depths as a way to tell what deck you are on. Other indications such as markers on the stateroom doors let you know which side is port and starboard.
Disney Cruise Hacks: PAT
Finally, we get to this arrival time hack. You want to get on board as early as possible. If you are an anxious traveler it will really help you relax. You should go so far as to fly in the day before to avoid scheduling conflicts caused by delayed flights.
You can schedule an early port arrival time and board the ship sooner. Once you’re onboard, many of the ships amenities are available to you, so your vacation can start before you even leave your port of call.
As with reservations and other bookings your window may give you more or less time to do this, but stay on top of your calendar and book an arrival time as early as you can so you can begin to get the most of your Disney Cruise Line experience.