Disney Cruise Line Hacks for a Magical Vacation

Cruising is a very different kind of vacation. Once you’re on board, all the planning and preparing will have been worth the extra time and effort. The next time you decide to head out on a cruise ship, make it an extra magical Disney Cruise with these Disney Cruise Line hacks and helpful tips.

Check in early and take advantage of all the ship has to offer!

Get there a Day Early

You will save yourself so much mental anguish and anxiety if you just get there early. Schedule your flight to arrive the day before your cruise and stay overnight in a nearby hotel. It adds a little bit more cost to your trip, but it’s well worth it to have a fresh early start without the hassle on your Embarkation Day.

Disney Dream is one of four Disney Cruise Line ships.

Early Arrival

Speaking of being early, another thing you want to do is book an early arrival. It’s way better to arrive early than to postpone your boarding time.

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When you book an early arrival, you can be among the first to board, which gives you more time to unwind and start your cruise. Bring swimwear and any other essentials in your carry-on luggage so you can access it right away.

Enjoying the pool is one of the perks of arriving early. Booking an early arrival also informs the next Disney Cruise Line hack.

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Last Minute Bookings

If you missed your chance to book reservations for Palo, Remy, or any port excursions you were interested in, it helps to arrive early. You still have an opportunity to seize a specialty reservation if you go to the restaurant directly.

Palo on the Disney Dream

Even if they stop taking advance reservations, they always leave some open tables for guests. If you go straight to Guest Services, they may be able to help you with last-minute bookings for your trip if you aren’t able to get them beforehand.

Eat Your Heart Out

Almost all food on a Disney Cruise is included. Exceptions to this rule are alcohol, treats from stores or specialty bars, and canned/bottled beverages. The most obvious free dining advantage is the buffet, but what you may not know is that everything is all-you-care-to-enjoy.

Eat all you want at dinner on at Disney Cruise vacation!

That means that even in the rotational restaurants where there is a specific menu and meal structure, you can still pick anything on the menu and order as many or as often as you want.

Animator's Palate on the Disney Dream

The menus include multiple courses and options for those courses, but you don’t have to choose between chicken and beef. You can order two entrees. You can fill up on dessert if you want to. Eat anything on the menu without restriction. You can even ask for off-menu items like a Mickey bar or an item from a previous night’s restaurant.

Navigational Tricks

A cruise ship can be a very confusing place to be. You can easily lose track of where you are and what direction you are facing. Luckily, there are directional hacks that can help you out.

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Depending on the ship’s theme, Disney adds details to the environment that not only support the theme, but they also give clues to your position on the boat.

Atrium of the Disney Dream

Pay close attention to the carpet which changes on each deck. It may resemble various layers of the ocean, from the ocean floor to the surface.

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There are also clues on the cabin doors to indicate port and starboard and more changes in the carpet to let you know where the center of the ship is.