We love Disney Cruise Line. It all started seven years ago – our youngest child was just over a year old and we’ve been cruising at least once a year with DCL. We think we’ve perfected the packing process – at least when it comes to Disney cruises.
If you’re heading on a Disney cruise in the near future, here’s a list of items you should make room for in your suitcase.
I am a bit obsessive about packing and create multiple lists for everyone in my family – beach gear, bed time, toiletries, clothes for cold weather/hot weather etc.
So after sailing on all 4 ships, I have a better idea of what to bring and what to leave at home.
1. Water Bottles
If you are traveling with young children, pack their water bottles.
There aren’t any lids at the beverage stations so to avoid accidents, use your children’s water bottles instead of the paper cups.
We love Contigo Autoseal Trekker Kids Water Bottle because of their spill-resistant design. They’re very easy to use and perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
We also love the Contigo AUTOSEAL Cortland Water Bottle. It’s light enough for kids to carry and it doesn’t have a straw so one less thing for parents to clean!
Our all time favorite travel mug is the Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug.
It’s great for keeping drinks hot and cold and it’s very easy to clean. It is a bit heavier since it’s made of stainless steel but we normally use this on the ship only. We don’t take it out with us while in port.
If the kids get thirsty at night, no problem! Their water bottle is in the room and you don’t have to trek to Deck 11 to get something to drink.
2. Items to Get Autographed
During your cruise, you’ll find your favorite Disney characters roaming the ship, holding meet and greets and character breakfasts. You’ll see some at Castaway Cay as well if you happen to be on a Bahamian or Caribbean cruise.
Guests looking to collect autographs (they’re an inexpensive souvenir) should consider packing a notepad, photo mat, t shirt, pillowcase or autograph book for their favorite characters’ signatures.
We did notice some characters (we won’t name them here!) kept losing our marker and pen caps so we started bringing Sharpie Retractable Permanent Markers on our Disney vacations – cruise and theme parks!
3. Night Light
4. At Least 2 Swimsuits Per Person
I would recommend bringing two per person because it takes more than one night for it to be completely dry if you are hanging it in your cabin. Unless of course you are OK with putting on a wet swimsuit.
Life jackets are available at no cost at the pools as well as at Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island in the Bahamas) for little ones so you don’t need to bring any from home.
5. Swimsuit Coverup
This is the one thing I wish I had brought for my daughter and I.
We didn’t own one prior to the cruise (now we do because I found them on sale so we’re ready for our next beach vacation!).
It’s so much easier to spend all day on the pool deck or disembarking on Castaway Cay with a swim suit and a cover-up instead of t-shirt, shorts and a swimsuit. Less things to deal with!
If you can swing it, 2 coverups per person would be my recommendation – you don’t have to wait for it to dry to use it again.
6. A Lightweight Easy to Clean Day Bag
You will want a light bag to use on board and while you’re off the ship in ports.
Something big enough to fit all of your family’s necessities and one that is easy to clean (if you are going to the beach or using it at the pool deck).
When our kids were still in diapers so we used a diaper bag with lots of different compartments that had space for bottles, a change pad, extra diapers, and a change of clothes for each child.
Now that our kids are older, they carry their own backpacks. We use the Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Daypack (we have four different colors – one color for each family member) because they’re light and small enough to carry around all day but large enough to hold our essentials – water bottle, snacks, and a change of clothes.
7. Trading Pins
If you collect trading pins (read more about Disney Pin Trading), make sure you bring them on your Disney Cruise. Pins are available for purchase on board and pin books available in all of the gift shops.
Most crew members have pins to trade and our kids always have a blast hunting down pins with their favorite characters on them.