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I recently sailed on my first Disney Cruise! Of course, it was amazing, but before sailing I did a ton of research regarding what to expect and what to pack. I wanted to be super prepared for all the fun, and unlike a land trip, you can’t just run to the store if you forget something during your cruise vacation. My family had the best time on the Disney Wonder and I am excited to share what to pack for a Disney Cruise!
What to Pack for a Disney Cruise: Seven Nights on the Disney Wonder
This recent Disney Cruise was my eighth cruise, but first with Disney Cruise Line. We sailed a seven night voyage from New Orleans, stopping at Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. We sailed on the Disney Wonder.
2022 UPDATE – I recently got to sail on the Disney Wish! What a beautiful ship! Definitely check out seven reasons to sail on the Disney Wish.
As a fairly seasoned cruiser, I actually have a really popular cruise packing list post, but a Disney Cruise is like no other, and there are definitely extra things you will need to bring that are unique to Disney Cruise Line.
On our recent cruise, we brought two large suitcases that each weighed over 50 lbs. (thankful the Delta lady didn’t charge us when we checked in). We had to fly from New York to New Orleans, so we also had two backpacks and a carry on for the kids.
When you arrive at the pier for your Disney Cruise, you will check your suitcases. At some point in the evening, the suitcases will magically appear outside your stateroom! If you are taking Disney Cruise Line transportation from the airport, you will check your luggage when you get on the shuttle and not see it again until it arrives at your cabin.
If you have the early dinner seating (5:45PM) there is a chance you won’t get your bags before dinner. If you plan to change or freshen up, pack what you need in your cruise carry on (More about that below). Although our luggage came before the 4:15 sail-a-wave party.
As a full-service Travel Agent, and Disney College of Knowledge graduate, I can help you plan your next Disney Cruise. I provide great service, all the insider knowledge to make your sailing a magical experience!
What to Pack for your Disney Cruise Cabin
Door Décor – As a Disney Cruise noobie, I “only” bought this one stateroom magnet. In my 20 years of cruising, I have never decorated a cruise cabin door before, but this is where Disney Line is no other line! Definitely go on amazon or Esty to pick up at least one magnet for your door. Or get a whole bunch, whatever you like!
Fish Extender – As a busy working mom – running this blog, tutoring (yes, I still do a little bit of math tutoring) and as a full-time travel agent I barely have time to get my own cruise gear together, so we did not participate in fish extender exchange. BUT many people do and what this means is you hang pouches from the fish or starfish located next to your stateroom door. Random other families give you gifts and you gift to other cabins. This is all arranged pre-cruise in the Facebook group for your sailing.
As a side note, if you don’t want to participate in the fish extender exchange, you can always hang a fish extender and fill it yourself! Hell, you can even just bring your own little Disney gifts for your kids and magically make them appear in your stateroom! Since we departed on Valentine’s Day, I bought my kids Mickey and Minnie hearts of chocolate, got them a Disney mad libs, and we brought all our Disney plushies on this cruise!
Clothes Hangers – There is never enough in a cruise stateroom, so throw some of those metal ones you get at the dry cleaner in your suitcase.
Nightlight – We always travel with a nightlight. Throw one in your toiletry bag or travel make up case so you never forget one.
Sound Machine – We always travel with this Homedics sound machine.
USB charger – Cruise cabins are notorious for having limited outlets and the Disney Cruise is no exception. This charger will take up one outlet, but allow you to charge multiple devices at once. DO NOT bring a strip with a surge protector – it will be confiscated.
European adaptor – This is one of my PRO CRUISE TIPS: Cruise cabins are outfitted with both American and European style outlets. If you bring your European Voltage adaptor, you will gain an extra outlet in your cabin. I always just throw ours in our cruise luggage, since I have a few from our Italy trip.
Dollar Bills – Having dollar bills is essential for tipping room service (which is complimentary on your Disney Cruise) and to use on the islands. I would recommend bringing at least $50 in small bills.
DISNEY CRUISE PRO-TIP: Order ice cream Mickey Bars from room service! Secret menu item! (Uncrustables peanut butter and jelly too)
Lysol Wipes – To wipe down things in the cabin. I’m not a big germaphobe but we sailed DCL in February 2020, at the height of flu season and in the middle of the corona virus nightmare.
LOVE TO CRUISE? Check out my Ultimate Review of the Norwegian Getaway
Food and Drinks to Bring on a Disney Cruise
Two Bottles of Wine or Champagne per person (or a six pack of beer) – Since Disney Cruise Line does NOT offer a drink package, its advantageous for those who like to drink to bring on your own wine, champagne or beer. Remember to pack a bottle or wine opener if needed. We brought twist off wines, our favorites of those being Butter Chardonnay and Meiomi Pinot Noir.
DISNEY CRUISE PRO TIP: You can also bring on two bottles of wine per person at each port of call! Just not spirits. If you purchase hard alcohol in the duty free shops, the cruise line will hold it for you until you disembark on the last day.
Insulated Wine Cups – When we did our family beach trip to Kure Beach, my friend Melanie and I made these personalized wine cups for that trip. These were perfect to bring on our Disney Cruise! Hubby and I could enjoy our wine all over the ship! I do wish we had done DCL personalized wine cups, because DISNEY! These ones are super cute too.
Water Cup– I always travel with a reusable water cup. Much better for the environment and more budget friendly to fill up at the water stations verses buying bottled water on board
Coffee Mug – I hate the small coffee cups on cruise ships, so I always bring a reusable coffee mug. This personalized yeti tumbler is perfect for you next 7-Night Disney Cruise.
Soda Cup – Unlike other cruise lines, soda on Disney Cruise is complimentary. BUT you have to self-serve from the machines on deck 9. You can also order complimentary soda in table service restaurants, but soda is not gratis if you order at a bar. Having a reusable cup is again more environmentally friendly but also more convenient if you want to drink a good amount of soda and walk around the ship with it.
Movie Snacks – The Buena Vista theater shows several Disney movies a day! This is a highlight of a Disney Cruise, and of course no movie is complete without movie snacks! Although most food and beverage is included in your cruise fare, snacks and drinks purchased outside the theater are not complimentary. Before our recent 7-night Disney Cruise, I went to the Dollar Tree to load up on movie snacks!
DISNEY CRUISE PRO-TIP: DO buy the refillable popcorn bucket – especially if you are on a seven night sailing. Then you can refill for like $2 at each movie and Broadway style show!
What to wear on Disney Cruise
First of all, we way over packed in terms of clothing for our seven night Disney Cruise. During the day we dressed very casually in a swimsuit, cover up and flip flops.
On a Disney Cruise, dinner attire runs the gamut – I saw people come to dinner in shorts and t-shirts and folks wearing ball gowns on formal night.
The only place that has a dress code is Palo – Dress pants, slacks and collared shirts are recommended for men and a dress, skirt or pants and a blouse are recommended for women. Jeans may also be worn if in good condition (no holes)
Evening Wear For a Seven Night Disney Cruise:
- Pirate Night Costumes – People do go all out for pirate night! Baby girl and I ordered full on costumes from Amazon, for hubby and my son I ordered just fun pirate shirts.
- One formal Night outfit – There will be one formal night on your 7-night Disney cruise. Some folks will go all out in tuxedos and ball gowns, others might be in jeans and t-shirts.
- A second dressy outfit for your dinner at Palo – If you make a dinner reservation at Palo the dress code is a little fancier than the main dining rotation. It’s also nice to dress up for a night without the kids
Nights 4 – 7. Four other cruise casual evening outfits – sundresses for women, nice pants and shirts for men or you could even wear capris or nice jeans.
Disney Character Shirts – As a family, we don’t have a lot of character merchandise, but I was in Southwest Florida about two weeks before my Disney Cruise and Target had a ton of Disney merch, so I picked up a cute Mickey shirt!
Swimsuits and Coverups – I brought five swimsuits and wore each one at least once. I brought three swim suits each for the kids.
Sweatshirt or light jacket for Pirate Night Fireworks and air conditioned restaurants
Sunglasses and a hat
Don’t forget shorts, shirts, and undergarments!
Documents to pack for your Disney Cruise
Keep these all in your airplane AND cruise carry on.
Passports for all travelers – As a full service travel agent who has heard all the horror stories, please only cruise with valid passports. This is highly recommended for many reasons.
Copies of your passports – I like to have one in my checked bag and one copy at home.
Cruise Luggage Tags – Disney Cruise Line will send these to you. Don’t put them on your luggage until you are headed to the pier. Be sure to have your regular identification tags on your luggage as well.
Cruise Check in Documents – After you check in online, you will be able to download and print your cruise boarding pass. Bring this with you to expedite check-in at the pier.
Other Things to Bring on your 7-Night Disney Cruise
Glow Sticks – for Pirate Night (avoid having to buy glow sticks on board because you know they will be out on the deck selling them)
Downy Wrinkle Release Spray – cruise staterooms DO NOT come with Irons (fire hazard and fires at sea are a real danger) so if you want to get the wrinkles out of your formal clothes pack a travel size of Wrinkle Release Spray.
Dramamine/first aid kit– I always cruise with a small first aid kit of aspirin, Dramamine, band aids, and anti-diarrhea medicine. PS Be sure to get the CHEWABLE Dramamine. On our flight to New Orleans to catch our Disney Cruise, I gave little man a dramamine and told him to chew it. He was making very odd faces, and then I realized I purchased the tablets – DOH!
Disney Cruise Line Autograph Book – This autograph/photo book is a cute way to record your meetings with the characters!
Portable Charger – I am a big fan of this ANKER charger. Perfect for a long day ashore, or when you are lounging by the pool watching funnel vision!
Beach Bag – Don’t forget to bring a small bag to cart your stuff up to the pool and out to the beach on excursions. This Disney bag is super cute!
Sunscreen – Bring more sunscreen than you think you will need. You don’t want to get stuck buying some on board!
What NOT to pack for your Disney Cruise
Bath products – Your stateroom is stocked with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion, so you really don’t need to bring your own.
Towels – The pools are well stocked with towels and you can take as many as you want ashore with you for excursions.
Beverages other than 2 bottles of wine per person – They will be confiscated, even out of your checked luggage.
High heels – Too much walking on board and no one is dressing that fancy on a Disney Cruise.
Hair dryers and clothing steamers – These WILL be confiscated when you check in and held until the end of your cruise. Your stateroom comes with a hairdryer.
Battery Operated Clock– I usually recommend bringing a battery operated clock on a mass market cruise, but the DCL cabin is the first cruise cabin I saw that had a clock!
What to Pack in your Disney Cruise Carry On
Like mentioned above, you will not carry your bags onto the ship, and they may take some time to arrive in your stateroom. It’s important to have in your cruise carry on the things you will want that first afternoon.
If you are flying in to your embarkation port the morning of your cruise (which I DO NOT recommend doing) you might want to reconfigure your carry on at the airport and/or change into warmer weather clothes before you get on your DCL transportation.
If you are doing a pre-cruise stay in your embarkation city you can reconfigure your bags before you head to the cruise port.
Your Disney Cruise Carry-on bag should include:
Valuables such as camera equipment, iPad, phones, jewelry
Your cruise lanyards
Swimsuit, if you want to head right to the pool
Evening wear if you have early dinner and want to change beforehand.
In the recent years I’ve become quite the over packer! But there are many things you will want to remember to bring on your 7-night Disney Cruise. I hope this packing list helped, and I cannot wait to set sail again on my next DCL!
What are your Disney Cruise must have items?