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  • Writer's pictureSarah Nantel


Disney recently sent us on our first Disney Very Merrytime Cruise and we had the most incredible experience! A Disney Cruise is a great choice for anyone, with children or without. There was so much to see and do, we found ourselves wishing we had a few more days to enjoy. I'm going to share some of the things we learned that will make your holiday that much more magical!

A family standing together on a Disney Cruise ship.

1. Make your reservations in advance and prep before you leave.

Doing a little bit of prep work will make your vacation that much smoother once you board. You can pre-check in to your cruise which makes checking in at the port quick and seamless. I suggest registering children for the youth clubs, booking your spa appointments, and selecting your dining time in advance. The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Salon books up fast so grab a spot to avoid any disappointment if your little ones are princess lovers!

2. Get ready to eat.

The amount of food available at no extra charge was incredible! We loved ordering the complimentary 24 hour room service when we wanted a snack or didn't feel like running to a restaurant. The Mickey waffles were a favorite of my daughters and I loved the crackers and cheese platter! Each night you are assigned dinner at a signature restaurant, but there are fantastic adult only options as well. I highly suggested you book a meal at one of these! We dined at Palo and raved about it for days! If you have any allergies or restrictions make sure to let the staff know. They are extremely accommodating. For those with a sweet tooth, Vanellope's Sweets and Treats was an incredible candy shop with a wide selection. My daughter loved the giant wall of candy!

Disney sweet treats.

A little girl holding a unicorn cupcake.

3. Visit the Youth Clubs.

The youth clubs are a safe and fun place for children to participate in games and other activities while parents attend an adult only dinner or enjoy a drink in one of the many lounges onboard. Make sure you fill out the forms required in advance so dropping your children off is as smooth as possible.

4. Get ready to have a blast and be entertained.

The Disney Cruise Line is known for it's spectacular shows and I agree, they really were incredible! My whole family loved Beauty and the Beast because it really was broadway quality! The Golden Mickeys was a close second. We also attended a Pirate Party on the ships deck at night where we watched a spectacular display of fireworks. Listening to music and dancing under the stars was so much fun! Current and classic films are shown in the movie theatres throughout the day where guests can relax with popcorn. There are also movies shown on the pool deck and in your staterooms. If you prefer to be active outdoors you may want to try a game of golf or take a dip in the pools. There's so much to do and see we found we couldn't get through it all!

A photo of the pool deck on a Disney Cruise.

A little girl playing mini golf outside on a Disney Cruise ship.

The Disney Cruise Line slide.

5. A Very Merrytime Cruise is a perfect way to celebrate the holiday season.

If you book a Very Merrytime Cruise with Disney Cruise Line you can expect to experience a little added magic! Garlands, wreaths, poinsettias and a giant gingerbread house can be seen throughout the ship. Mickey's Tree Lighting Magic Ceremony, a Deck the Deck Holiday Party, and building our own gingerbread houses were a few of the activities we loved! Disney characters are dressed in festive wear and Santa himself makes an appearance before taking to the skies! Mrs. Claus can even be found reading a story in her rocking chair near the Christmas tree.

A little girl decorating a gingerbread cookie.

A mother and daughter sitting together looking at a gingerbread cookie they decorated.

A mother, daughter and grandma standing in front of a giant Christmas tree.

A little girl in a red dress standing in front of a giant gingerbread house.

6. Door bling is a thing.

This was new to me and we didn't have time to prep, but guests decorate their doors with fun Disney magnets. You can order these off Etsy if you prepare in advance.

7. Explore at the ports and Castaway Cay Island.

Another highlight of our Cruise was exploring Castaway Cay, Disney's own private island in the Bahamas! We played in the crystal clear water, ate a delicious lunch and rode bikes around the tropical island. If you forget anything onboard or at home there are plenty of shops to visit. This was a truly unforgettable experience for us!

Photos of Disney's Castaway Cay island.

A little girl wearing a Minnie Mouse bathing suit standing with Minnie Mouse on the beach.

A wide angle shot of the beach at Castaway Cay Island in the Bahamas

A little girl wearing a Minnie Mouse bathing suit standing with Goofy on the beach.

A colourful sail boat in the sand.

8. Pack appropriately.

When you first board the ship you will not have access to your luggage so I suggest bringing a carry on bag with anything you may want or need. Swimsuits, coverups, shorts and t-shirts, etc are great for daytime by the pool and dinners range from casual to as formal as you want them to be. I found the air conditioning to be quite chilly so bring a couple of sweaters as well. If you get motion sickness, a sea band or tablets might be a good idea.

A family of three dressed up nicely on a cruise ship deck.

9. Download the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App before you leave home.

This handy app is complementary to use and offers a look at activities, menus, show times, and much more! You can even chat with fellow passengers. The app runs off the ships guest wifi so it is completely free for you to use. My family loved using the app to check the ships activities for the day and we found it helped to preplan the days events so we could squeeze as much fun in as possible!

10. A Disney Cruise is truly appropriate for every age.

Disney has done a great job at making sure there is something for everyone! We saw families, newly weds without children, bachelorette parties and seniors all enjoying the Disney Cruise Line experience. There is never a dull moment and just when you thought you had seen or done everything, you will discover another activity or adventure! We had the best holiday and I highly suggest a Disney Cruise for you next vacation!

Woman on a cruise drinking wine

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