Insider Tips for Your Next Disney Cruise

From unadvertised pin trading nights to Mickey ice cream bars delivered right to your room, we are bringing you the magic with top-secret tips for sailing on the Disney Cruise.

Disney Cruise Lines
Credit: Disney Cruise Lines / David Roark

Prior to the cruise, purchase a plush toy or pillowcase. Upon boarding, give your item to the concierge for the characters to sign. Your autographed item will be delivered to your suite the night before you cruise ends. Bonus, bring a gift bag filled with Disney goodies to have the concierge put the signed merchandise in. The “unexpected” surprise makes for a great departure gift.

Credit: Shutterstock

Check the Personal Navigator, the daily cruise newsletter, for the Officer Pin Trading. On one surprise night, every officer comes to the main lobby with a new lanyard and a collection of pins, some very rare, to trade with collectors.

Download the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App. Rather than using the provided portable phones for getting in touch with family members on the ship or buying the pricy wireless package, the Navigator app allows for free in-app texting and group chats with fellow passengers.

For an adult escape, head to the Meridian Bar. While it’s not public knowledge, the Meridian bar, intended for Palo & Remy guests, is open to the public. Anyone can enjoy craft cocktails and fine wine on the private deck of the bar, but proper attire is required.

Credit: Disney Cruise Line

Join a Fish Extender group online and be part of a gift exchange on the cruise. Purchase small items for everyone in your group prior to the cruise. On the cruise, place your gifts in the fish extender pockets hanging on cabin doors. Everyone in the group returns the gesture.

Disney allows each guest, 21 and older, to bring two bottles of unopened wine and six beers in their carry on. Don’t forget to bring a corkscrew. If you chose to drink your bottle at a restaurant, there is a $25 corkage fee.

The nightly buffet begins around 10:30 P.M. It’s a great place to grab chocolate covered strawberries, cheese and crackers, and other goodies to bring back to your cabin.

Credit: Disney Cruise Line

Each Disney cruise ship has secret suites with ocean views and in some cases verandas. These suites are available for the same price as a standard room. Book early and ask about your options.

Disney Cruise Line
Credit: Disney Cruise Line

Book the concierge room and score some great swag! Besides access to the concierge lounge with complimentary beer wine cocktails and snacks, as well a champagne send-off and private wine tastings, concierge suite guests receive a special gift.

Disney Cruise Line
Credit: Disney Cruise Line

Room service is available free of charge (gratuity isn’t included). There are secret items available that are not shown on the menu; Mickey ice cream bars, the cake of the day and Uncrustables.

Regardless of which restaurant you are dining in, if there is a menu item from another restaurant on the ship that you simply must have again, you can order it! Just ask your server.

Disney Cruise Line
Credit:Disney Cruise Line

Remy and Palo are worth the splurge, but if you can’t fit in a dinner opt for the champagne brunch at Remy. For only $50 per person, it’s an epicurean wonderland.

Disney Cruise Line
Credit: Disney Cruise Line

Suitcases must be left in the hall the night before departure. Be sure to pack a carry on with everything you need for the next day.

Bring small bottles of water on your carry on. The bottled water on board is pricy, and you’re going to want some in your ports.

The Best Family-Friendly Cruises to the Bahamas


If finding the perfect family vacation seems like an insurmountable task, we’ve got the perfect solution: a cruise to the Bahamas. Everyone from tots to teens, and even moms and dads, will enjoy the journey as much as the destination. From kids’ clubs to adult only dining, a cruise has a mystical way of appealing to every age. So, get on board with our top three family friendly cruises.

Norwegian Cruise: Norwegian Bliss

Norwegian Bliss; Norwegian Joy; AquaLoop; Aqua Loops; Waterslide; PoolDeck
Credit: Norwegian Cruises

Featuring the largest race track at sea, an Aqua Park with a tandem water slide, and the Bliss Theater showcasing the Tony Award®- winning musical Jersey Boys, Norwegian Bliss is one of the largest ships at sea, and one of the most incredible. With 180-degree panoramic views, the Observation Lounge lets you absorb the natural beauty of the sea and land while enjoying cocktails. In addition, foodies will delight in the variety of dining options from Cagney’s Steakhouse to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville at Sea. If you are looking to travel in sophistication, book The Haven. The posh accommodations on the top of the ship features a 24-hour butler service with private dining and a sundeck.

Best for: Blend of luxury and fun

Disney Cruise: Fantasy

Credit: Disney Cruises

The most magical place on earth, Disney’s Fantasy does what the brand does best: bring out the kid in all of us. With over the top on-board entertainment, guests enjoy Broadway style shows and deck parties filled with fireworks. Beginning in 2020, two popular experiences, Star Wars Day at Sea and Marvel Day at Sea, return for limited engagements. In addition to character appearances, these epic adventures will include themed activities, live shows, and special merchandise. Off the ship, swim with stingrays, shoot down water slides on the 2400 floating platform or sneak away for a relaxing cabana massage on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. Aside from the plethora of activities, there is plenty of space for families. Book one of the Concierge rooms and enjoy a large private veranda, separate bedrooms, and premium amenities.

Best for: Kids at Heart

Celebrity Cruises: Infinity

Skullmapping flame
Credit: Celebrity Cruises

If you’re looking to embark on a luxury cruise, look no further. Celebrity Infinity is the only premium cruise line to offer the Retreat Suite. Upon arrival guests are welcomed with a bottle of champagne, personal butler, and chocolates, but it doesn’t end there. Retreat guests also enjoy a private lounge with complimentary beverages and bites, as well as their own restaurant the Luminae. Besides exclusive dishes, Luminae’s Michelin Star Chef creates a dining experience like no other with Skull Mapping™, 3D table animation art which comes alive in a brilliantly choreographed menu. As luxurious is it may be, there is still plenty of on-board activities and excursions for the littles.

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