If you are starting to think about what to pack for your trip vacation must be getting close!! Congrats, I am eagerly awaiting my next Disney Cruiseline journey. This list is intended to cover what is out of the realm of normal trip essentials. So you won’t see things on here like clothes, your prescriptions, diapers and the works that you probably already know you need to pack. Instead, we are focusing on everything you may need to pack for a Disney Cruise, specifically.
If you’re a repeat DCL cruiser (aka “Castaway Club” member) you will receive lanyards when you check into the terminal on embarkation day. If you have never cruised before, you are gonna want to buy one to keep your Key to the World cards while onboard (check out these Disney-themed lanyards!). One of my biggest regrets of my first Disney Cruise was not buying one of these ahead of our trip.
One of the best investments I ever made. This guy comes with me on every vacation I take. There are so many options out there on the market, this one is my personal favorite. If you have an iPhone you can get over three charges out of it this is more than enough for a day’s usage. The worst thing that can happen on vacation is losing access to your camera. Capturing those vacation moments are essential.
Magnetic Stateroom Decorations
Not only is this fun, but the hallways on the cruise ship are long, so dressing up your door makes it easier to spot your room without having to look at the room numbers. I was surprised to see just how many people decorated their doors on our first cruise. Make your own flair or order custom-made door magnets on Etsy, so you can add some flair to your cabin door too. Keep in mind though that Disney only allows magnets so you don’t damage the doors.
Old Gift Card
When I first learned about this one it surprised me. The lights in the room are activated by placing your room key in a slot by the door. If you have to run out for a quick second and want to leave the room cooling this is very handy.
In your shower, you will have a clothesline that you can hang up your wet towels and bathing suits on. If you want to fit more on the line versus just draping over the top we recommend tossing some clothespins in your bag.
If you are going on a longer cruise and feel like you may need to do laundry bring your own detergent.
Pop Up Laundry Hamper
This is actually something my husband and I take on all our trips now. You know how you always try to find a bag to toss in all your dirty clothes so they don’t mingle with the clean stuff? A small pop up hamper like this one will solve all those problems.
Protect those feet! No one wants a vacation ruined over a burn or animal sting. When you stop in ports the ocean has real live critters some of which aren’t too fond of you stepping on them. Water shoes can protect your feet from critter and the hot sand. For our cruises, I got these awesome water shoes from Amazon. They are small and flexible and can easily be tossed in a beach bag if I don’t want to wear off the ship.
If you are stopping at Castaway Cay and want to snorkel it’s cheaper to buy your own set vs. renting on the island. This entire snorkel set can be purchased for less than a rental! Then you have it for your next cruise.
It’s so important to protect yourself from the harmful sun rays while on your cruise. Even if you don’t normally burn remember if you are a Bahamian or Caribbean cruise you are much closer to the equator and going to burn! You can stock up on the sunscreen of your choice here!
You just never know what the weather is going to be when you are out at sea. Even if it doesn’t rain on your trip a rain jacket can help with the brisk evening breeze you get at sea. Columbia makes a great rain jacket that is lightweight and super affordable!
Extra hair ties and/or hats
Don’t forget about that wind! When you are out on deck gazing into the sunset out on the horizon and your hair is out of your face in a ponytail you are gonna be thanking me. Things can get pretty gusty out on the deck and a hat or hair tie sure does come in handy.
This isn’t a must but it sure is nice to have if you plan on doing any diving or snorkeling on your trip. We took along our Go Pro and were able to catch some fish. I think the best thing about taking along that camera was we didn’t have to worry about ruining it in the sand or water!
Wait you can pack alcohol?!?! YES! The rules are that each adult is allowed to bring 2 bottles of wine or champagne and 6 bottles of beer. One other important note, do make sure that liquor is in your carry-on bag as you go through the cruise terminal for inspection. If you check it in with your bags it will be confiscated and returned at the end of your trip.
Reusable Water Bottles
Disney Cruises come with free unlimited soft drinks, tea, and water with several filling stations on deck. Bringing your own container allows you to fill up more than the standard small cups they provide. I used to be a nut about Tervis cups (which they have Disney Cruise custom ones) but lately, I have been all about the vacuum insulated water bottles like this one!
I loved these on my first cruise. Sea-Band works by using acupressure. The bands can be put on your wrists before you start traveling, or at any time during your journey. Sea-Band takes between two and ﬁve minutes to become effective. You get a better result if the band is in place before you set sail.
First Aid Kit
A simple first aid kit like this one will do the trick. We recommend making sure you bring over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen, antidiarrheal and any stomach meds with you. Not only will this save you money but if you go to the ship doctor and they think that you may be sick, they will quarantine you.
I hate to leave my house without my nightlight. You know when you need to get up to the middle of the night because you have to use the bathroom but don’t want to turn on the light and blind yourself? Use a nightlight and you will never have an issue. I love taking this nightlight with me on trips because I can charge my phone too!
Keepsake for Character Autographs
There are so many fantastic options for collection character autographs. You will find everything from t-shirts to autograph books. If you are looking for some creative ideas we covered them all in Creative Ways to Collect Disney Character Autographs.
Some Reading Material
I use a cruise as a way to catch up on all the reading I get behind on. The Disney ships are a great way to relax and catch a breather. So bring those books, magazines, or Suduko puzzles you have been wanting to do.
Costume for your Party Night
For most Disney cruises you will have a Pirate night at some point. This celebration doesn’t require a costume but it certainly helps to join in on the fun and fireworks of the evening.
What You Can’t Take on a Disney Cruise
In order to maintain a safe and secure environment for the guests and crew, the following are examples of items that are not allowed on board. These and other similar items will be confiscated upon being found. For a look at the official rules out by Disney Cruiseline, read them here.
- Weapons and firearms (including ammunition, knives—including dive knives—swords, daggers or any other types of weapons) are not allowed onboard under any circumstances
- Realistic replicas of firearms and weapons
- Highly flammable liquids and combustible substances
- Illegal drugs inclusive of medically prescribed and synthetic marijuana
- Power tools and toolboxes (except those tools of the trade utilized by vendors providing services)
- Sporting equipment (i.e., baseball and cricket bats, hockey and lacrosse sticks, fishing gear)
- SCUBA equipment (i.e., tanks, spears guns /slings, dive knives, pry bar, and underwater scooter)
- Pool accessories: Kites, balloons, surfboards, wave boards, inflatable floats/pools (including pool noodles), and wagons
- Electrical appliances such as rice cookers, hot plates, coffee makers, electric irons, bottle sterilizer and bottle warmers, electric blankets, electric blenders, etc. Please note: A limited number of approved bottle warmers and bottle sterilizers are available upon request through Guest Services. Also, all ships offer laundry facilities with irons and ironing boards. Valet laundry service is also available for a nominal fee.
- Candles & Incense
- DVD, VCR, or Blu ray players or, Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo Wii gaming systems are not allowed because of compatibility issues with the stateroom TVs. The good news is your TV is packed with every Disney movie and the kids club has gaming systems!
- Musical instruments
- Large Ice Coolers (Please note: small, personal-sized coolers, no larger than 12″ x 12″ x 12″ brought onboard for the purpose of housing medications are permitted as carry-on luggage.)
- Homemade, pre-cooked or other perishable food items plus any open snack containers
- Personal fireworks or pyrotechnics
- Seasonal and celebratory lights
- Liquid oxygen
What do you normally pack for a Disney Cruise? Is there something I missed that you bring on every trip? Share your experiences in the comment section below!
I have been visiting the parks annually since my parents first brought me at just a year old. Recently I was able to fulfill my life long dream of being a Florida local and moved from the wintery Northeast to the sunshine and fun of central Florida. Now I am hoping to share my Disney knowledge with you so you can have the best vacation possible!