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What Not to Take on a Disney Cruise

I spend a lot of time focusing on all the elements we need to make our Disney vacations magical, but have you ever thought about the things you don’t need?

I am a habitual over-packer. All the outfits must have all the shoes and all the accessories. I’ve gotten better since bringing children into the world because now I am packing for myself and two little people, and there just isn’t time or space in my brain to remember everything for the 3 of us.  I thank my kids for teaching me a lot of life lessons that I’ve forgotten over the years, but especially this one. The art of packing light is definitely an art.DIsney Cruise Line gangway

What NOT to Take on a Disney Cruise

To help those of you out there who are habitual over-packers like me, I’ve made a short, but sweet, list of things you definitely do not need to bring on a Disney Cruise Line vacation. There is even less room in a ship cabin than in a Disney Parks hotel room, so you really only need to bring the necessities. 

A Stroller

Before anyone brings up objections to this, hear me out. I know there are extenuating circumstances or children with disabilities who need this particular item, but from my experience? I saw way too many double jogging strollers clogging up the hallways on board. Yes, the ships are large, and yes, there is a lot of walking, but I bet your kids can manage better than you think they can.Red funnel on a Disney Cruise Line shipI would suggest if you really just have to have a stroller, a cheap little umbrella stroller is the perfect way to go. A little walking will be good for all, and there are plenty of places to stop and sit if you need too. Also, there is literally no room to store those huge jogging strollers in your cabin anyway, so just leave it in the car.

Outfits for Every Occassion

A typical Disney Cruise Line vacation makes stops in exotic locals, often times with a beach. There are at least 3 pools (1 kids only, 1 for everyone, 1 for adults) on board every ship. Most cruises typically go to tropical climates (unless your sailing to Canada, Alaska, or Europe during the winter months). Mickey and friends on Castaway CayWe were in our swimsuits for 75% of our trip. Even when not personally wearing a swimsuit, I was dressed very casually because I was by the pool with my kids. I packed 3 sundresses for dinner, and I don’t think I wore but 1 of them.Start the packing process by picking out an outfit for every day of the trip, but then I would go back and check out the itinerary.

Are you spending all of 1 day at Castaway Cay? You’ll want to change for dinner in the dining room, but otherwise that’s a swimsuit day. Are you spending a day at sea? Probably also another full day in your swimsuit with 1 change for dinner. Go through each day and remove the outfits you won’t wear. Pack smart.Hanging out with casual cruise attire Donald on Castaway Cay

Beach Towels

Completely, 100% unnecessary. At Castaway Cay, beach towels are provided for you. In fact, other than souvenirs, smoothies, and alcohol, everything on Disney’s private island is provided for you (yes, even lunch and dessert).Photo spot near the dock on Castaway Cay Freshly cleaned towels are at every turn by the pools and hot tubs. A beach towel will take up too much room in your luggage and is a big waste of space.

BONUS TIP: Toys and Money are also Unnecessary

Don’t be tempted to bring beach toys or other “entertainment” items for small kids. Don’t do it.

Extra, unnecessary luggage taking up precious space in the cabin.

As far as not needing money, you may want to bring a little cash to tip room service if you wish to utilize it, but for the rest of your trip, it is completely unnecessary. Set up an onboard account and provide a credit card number.Disney Dream cruise ship docked at Port CanaveralThe bill for all onboard purchases (and purchases at Castaway Cay) are itemized and totaled on the day of debarkation. No cash necessary. It’s exactly like providing a credit card for Magic Band purchases in the park. Save yourself the hassle of carrying around your wallet and set up an onboard account before you sail.

What other “things” have you brought on your Disney Cruise Line vacation that you ended up not needing? I’d love to hear your thoughts!