Disney cruise checklist: Five items we were glad we had (and five we didn’t need)

When you and your family feel safe cruising again, be ready!

On our voyage on the Disney Fantasy, we packed carry-on only for four people to Disney World and the Bahamas, which I felt was a feat in itself. Turns out, we still brought things we didn’t need (and others we were very glad we had). If you’re lucky enough to be packing for a Disney cruise, learn from our triumphs and mistakes using this Disney cruise checklist.

Read also: how to know if a Disney cruise is right for your family!

Disney Cruise Checklist! Five things we were glad we had:

1. Water bottles. Water bottles can be bulky, but with free soda and water refills all day, every day aboard the Disney Fantasy (and all Disney cruise ships), we put them to good use. With drink refill stations located only on the pool deck (and the cups provided not very portable), it’s easy to get dehydrated. Plus, trekking up to refill water after bedtime is a pain! If your kids like water by their beds at night, fill up their bottles before bedtime to ensure everyone has enough until morning.

Disney Fantasy drink station

Cash for tipping. Once onboard a Disney cruise ship, you virtually won’t need any method of pay except your Key to the World card (in fact, good luck even trying to use anything else). The only exception: the cash you’ll want on-hand to tip bell services and bus drivers pre- and post-cruise, and the tip you’ll give to your servers and stateroom staff on the final day of your cruise. While you can ask that these tips be automatically included as a stateroom charge, you’ll want cash-in-hand if you’d rather decide on the tip amount yourself.

Sweaters or sweatshirts. Don’t skip this on your Disney cruise checklist! While irritatingly bulky in our luggage, we were glad we had sweatshirts during our 4-day cruise to the Bahamas. While the temperature was comfortable most of the time, morning and evenings on deck can get windy. And of course, nice weather is never guaranteed (even by Disney).

Disney Fantasy Goofy

Autograph books. If you have children who will want to get autographs from Disney characters, they’ll be in heaven: characters abound on a Disney cruise, and long wait times are the exception rather than the norm. We were so glad we remembered to pack our seven-year-old’s autograph book (and carted it everywhere we went on the ship, as most our sightings were impromptu).

Sneakers for exercise and the sports deck. Even if you don’t anticipate working out on the ship, your kids will! Mine spent hours on the sports deck, playing basketball and miniature golf, and though I expected this, I didn’t anticipate their newly discovered love of shuffleboard and the running track. While we spent 90% of our time in sandals and flip-flops, we were glad we’d packed the sneakers.

Up next, five items we DIDN’T need! Click on the button below to continue!


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