By David Platt, your Mouse Master specialist
I just returned from a magical five-night excursion aboard the Disney Wonder, and it got me thinking: if I could make a ‘top five’ list of Disney Cruise Line tips, what would they be? In no particular order, here they are:
#5: Take advantage of the activities for the kids Disney’s Oceaneer Club for kids 3-12. Edge for kids 11-14. Vibe for kids 14-17. What’s one thing they all have in common? They’re FREE. That’s right— drop your kids off as much as you want, be assured they’re going to have a great time, and enjoy some adults-only time. Have smaller fry? It’s a Small World Nursery is available for an additional fee.
#4: Don’t line up early for dinner
There are two seatings for dinner— Main (usually at 5:45 PM) and Second (usually at 8:15 PM). If you happen to walk by one of the three main restaurants 15-20 minutes before those times, you’ll be treated to massive lines of people waiting for it to open. I get it— it’s a natural inclination to want to be FIRST, and when you see a line of people, instinct tells you to queue up. Don’t. Your table is reserved; you’ll end up sitting in exactly the same spot no matter what time you arrive. Arrive right on time (or even better yet— five minutes late after the long line has been seated) and you’ll likely waltz right in and sit down.
#3: Splurge on adults-only dining
Depending on which ship you’re on, adults can take advantage of fine dining at either Remy or Palo for a small additional fee. It’s one of the only meals that you have to pay for onboard, but it’s totally worth it. Reservations can be hard to come by, so make your reservations as soon as your booking window opens up!
#2: Get on board early
After you’ve paid in full for your cruise and completed online check-in, you can select a port arrival time. Complete this step as soon as you can, and pick the earliest arrival time available. The sooner you get on board, the sooner you can take advantage of all that food that’s already paid for. Getting onboard early also increases your chances of getting any last-minute Palo or Remy reservations you might need. Want to get in some pool time when the pool is virtually empty? Wear your swimsuits underneath your clothes or carry them onboard with you in a daybag. Most people don’t think to carry swimsuits with them, so can’t hit the pool until after their luggage arrives at their stateroom later in the day.
#1: Book another cruise while you’re onboard
You’re almost certainly going to want to cruise with Disney Cruise Line again. If you book a future cruise while onboard, you get a 10% discount (in most cases— there are a few exceptions) and an onboard credit of at least $100. Not sure which cruise you want to take quite yet? You can put down a $250 ‘placeholder’ deposit that locks in those perks for up to two years. When you’re ready to book a cruise, call Disney Cruise Line or your travel agent and you’ll still get the discount and the onboard credit.
I'm David Platt, your Mouse Master Disney Destination specialist. I'm delighted to bring you the latest news on Disney Destinations.