Anchors Away! If you are prepping for a Disney Cruise this packing guide is for you! Get ready for the most magical cruise out there. After all, Disney does family vacations well so you can rest assured that if you are taking to the high seas for the first time, or the tenth time, you are in great hands on a Disney Cruise. You’ll enjoy all the attention to detail and magical theming of Walt Disney World Resort but with an ocean view and exciting trips to ports of call.
Maybe it’s your first cruise ever or just your first Disney Cruise. Regardless, you are probably wondering what to pack for a Disney Cruise vacation. The packing list varies quite a bit from the traditional Walt Disney World vacation packing list, so let’s dive in to discuss what you need to pack, what you can leave at home, and what little extras are worth it to make your Disney Cruise extra magical!
Packing for a Disney Cruise
If you are packing to board the Disney Dream, Disney Wish, Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, or Disney Fantasy, the same question is asked as Guests prep for the vacation of a lifetime. How much luggage can I bring on a Disney Cruise? Technically, Guests can bring two bags each. Each bag should be under 50 pounds. That said, there is no need to overpack and lug heavy bags through the airport and to the cruise port. By planning ahead and packing strategically, you can ensure you have all the items you need to enjoy your vacation without breaking a sweat lugging bags on and off-board your cruise ship.
Obviously, the cruise essentials will vary a bit based on your ports of call. Disney Alaskan Cruises that take you to glaciers and Bahamian Cruises that visit white sandy beaches and Castaway Cay will require a different wardrobe but this article will cover onboard essential items, packing tips, ways to keep items organized at embarkation and on board, and of course, the details of what items you actually need to pack.
Disney Cruise Packing Need-to-Knows
First things first, don’t save packing until the last minute. In fact, the earlier the better! Packing as far as two weeks early is really helpful for my family. Glancing at an open suitcase and reviewing the items packed at a leisurely pace helps you remember must-have items and take a more critical look at the number of items you are packing.
Do you really need that many outfits or pairs of Minnie Ears? Maybe so, maybe not, but packing well in advance of your vacation, especially if you are packing for multiple family members, will help make the experience feel fun and manageable instead of like a burden.
Check your bags weeks before your embarkation date to ensure they are large enough and still in good shape for your vacation. Similarly, try on clothes and shoes for comfort weeks before your vacation so you are sure everything you are packing fits. If you need a new swimsuit, suitcase, or formal wear, you’ll have plenty of time to shop for options without the need for rush shipping or a mad dash to the mall.
Wondering what not to pack on your Disney Cruise? Items that you likely are not surprised to hear are prohibited are alcohol (outside the specific allowances), agricultural items, weapons or toy weapons, scooters, metal detectors, or radios. Some items you might not expect but that are still prohibited on board are diffusers, pool noodles or rafts, and boogie boards. For a full list of items that are not allowed on board check the Disney Cruise Line website.
cabins are notoriously small, especially for families. The great news is, cabins are the largest of all lines to better serve families cruising. You can expect bigger bathrooms, ample storage, and more electrical outlets on a than on other cruises. Still, organization in your stateroom is the key to having a neat and easy-to-navigate stateroom.
Getting organized for your cubes are your friend. Snag cubes from stores like TJMAXX, Walmart, or Target or online from Amazon. Buy different colors for each family member and use different cubes for bottoms, tops, dresses, shoes, and swimwear/underwear. cubes are hugely helpful for space saving and make unpacking when you arrive onboard a snap! Better yet, kids’ clothing won’t get mixed. With a color-coded cube system, it’s easier to keep outfits organized during the planning process and on vacation. begins at home! As always when for a Disney trip —
In the spirit of lugging less cubes also comes in handy because multiple family members can easily pack in the same suitcase. Maybe a large suitcase and two tote bags are the best choices for a family of 3 on a 3-day . There is no need to roll three suitcases that are not filled to the brim. Use those color-coded cubes to incorporate all the belongings in one suitcase and board with less and plenty of organization!,
Did you know stateroom walls are magnetic? Yep! Amazon or Dollar Tree to hang hats, bags, and lanyards for easy access near your front door. No need to fumble around sorting through countertops looking for your lanyard that holds your room key or pack up your hat in the closet each time you enter the stateroom. Stash these on magnetic wall hooks and they will always be at your fingertips. are an organization lifesaver for my family, and I recommend them to my cruising friends. Snag from
A magnetic wall clamp has also proven to be helpful for my family on previous cruises. Clamps can again be purchased at stores like Dollar Tree or online. Wall clamps are perfect for posting the day’s schedule or activity timeline on the wall in your room. This will keep you from losing track of it in a tote bag and will ensure schedules and event times are posted and ready to be referenced in a flash.
Of course, the Navigator app is the go-to spot to see a dynamic schedule on the go in real-time, but magnetic wall clamps are great for paper schedules, to secure tags, or just to get any paper off the countertops, and secured in an easy to find location.
What Do You Actually Need?
Ok, but what do you really wear on a in a day? Great question! The answer is — probably less than you think! The dress for days on board the ship and in port is . Shorts, t-shirts, sandals, or tennis shoes all fit the bill. If you are like me, you will spend most of the day in a and coverup. Even if you are hopping between the pool, and activities like trivia, shopping, and movies, you may not want to spend the time returning to your room to change. For this reason, be sure to have at least two comfy coverups and at least two so you never have to wear a damp suit.
Ready to get dressed up like a Disney Princess? on board is the perfect excuse to ditch the swimsuit and sandals to get gussied up for photos, dinner, and evening entertainment. Guests vary in their level of formal, but seeing floor-length or cocktail dresses for women and girls and men in full suits or sport coats, neckties and khakis are normal. Feel free to get as glitzy as you would like but don’t go too casual. Dinner attire on other nights is what I call “Caribbean professional”. Polos for men and sundresses for women and girls are perfect for non-formal nights on board.
Embarkation and debarkation days are all about function and comfort. Wear shoes you can stand and walk in and avoid that are difficult to move in. I love sneakers, t-shirts, and bike shorts for these busier vacation days.
If you are asking what can I leave at home to avoid overpacking? The answer is toiletries. Unless you have strict brand-specific needs, skip , Dramamine, and other over-the-counter meds before your leave on vacation. If you don’t need them awesome, but if you do you’ll be ready. soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and aloe vera. These items are provided in your room. A hairdryer is also in the room so there is no need to take up that precious suitcase real estate one. Pack plenty of sunscreen, hair styling products, hair tools, makeup, over-the-counter medications, shaving kits, and other toiletries as needed. If you think there is a chance your family might get seasick better safe than sorry. Snag
Embarkation Day Packing
Your suitcases are packed and you are counting down the days till your Disney Cruise. But what about actually boarding the ship? This is how to pack for a Disney Cruise embarkation day. Check and recheck to ensure that travel documents for your family members are secure and in your possession. Don’t forget them in your rental car at port or at home. You can’t sail without them! Per the Disney Cruise line website — be sure to pack proof of citizenship, required documents, your method of payment, prescription medications (in original containers), and any valuable items with you in a carry-on bag.
I love a flat zippable waterproof bag that fits documents and passports to keep organized on embarkation day and ensure all family documents are in one spot. No worries about teens losing identification or paperwork getting lost in the shuffle of cruise port transit. Zip it all up in one place and you are good to go!
Alcohol must be carried on and not stowed in checked luggage. This makes for heavier bags but any alcohol in checked luggage will be confiscated and not returned, so be sure to pack beverages appropriately. Remember, test bag weight well in advance of your vacation and ensure you can actually carry your totes, backpacks, or carry-on luggage. If that extra bottle of wine is going to hurt your back and exhaust you during embarkation, it is not worth it.
Questioning what to pack versus carrying on the ship on embarkation day? This tip may help. Checked luggage will be sent to your room whereas carry-on luggage will remain with you for the first few hours after boarding. In short, if you don’t want to carry it around the decks as you board the ship and take it to lunch with you, consider packing it in your luggage instead of carrying it on.
Related: Your Disney World Survival Guide
There are a few important extras for your you may want to include. Swim mask and snorkel sets are fun extras for kids and parents when stopping at such beautiful Caribbean and Castaway Cay spots. Sure, you can buy these on board or rent them in some ports, but I prefer to bring my own set.
Know that little extras, like Disney accessories, Loungefly bags or lanyards, Minnie Ears, Disney bounding outfits, and more are worn on the ship. trading is still a thing on board, so feel free to bring your pin collection along. My point? Have fun with it! Pull out all the stops and feel free to pack your most fun, tropical and Disney-themed outfits and accessories for your ! I take every as an opportunity to pull out my fun tropical Lilly Pulitzer outfits and have fun dressing up in glitzy outfits I’ve been dying to wear for each night at dinner.
Autograph books for character meets and strollers for your little ones in port are important extras to remember. Bringing along boxed candy to snack on during Disney movies on deck is an option if your space allows for it. If you plan on relaxing on deck, bring a book, coloring books and crayons to unwind and unplug while staying active.
If your day at will be spent completing the 5k don’t forget workout , running shoes, a water bottle, a towel, and any other race staples you need to perform at your best.
If your favorite ride is Pirates of the Caribbean in Magic Kingdom, and you have an affinity for Captain Jack Sparrow (or just Johnny Depp lol) you have to bring an outfit and accessories for ! is a costume deck party/movie night/fireworks and evening entertainment combo that you will not want to miss. Nearly all Guests (even adults) dress up in pirate garb so order yours early!
Tips and Tricks
There are so many delicious cocktail spots on board a ship, but if you would like to cut costs by offsetting alcohol charges, you can bring some alcohol on board. As always, this hinges on the understanding that Guests follow the rules and only bring the types of alcohol allowed and packed in an appropriate way.
policy reads: Guests 21 years and older may bring a maximum of 2 bottles of unopened wine or champagne (no larger than 750 ml) or 6 beers (no larger than 12 ounces) on board at the beginning of the voyage and at each port of call. These beverages must be packed in carry-on (not checked) bags or . Remember not to uncork bottles in the dining room unless you are willing to pay the uncorking fee of around $26 per bottle!
Got spare ? Be sure to bring one along for the light slot in your stateroom. A room key must be inserted in a slot to operate the lights in your room. Bring empty to avoid the need to slide your actual room key in and out each time you leave. Speaking of room keys, bring a lanyard to store your stateroom key. Full disclosure, I used to chuckle at people wearing their room keys until I realized how convenient lanyards are for keeping up with keys.
Did you know Magnets, streamers, and cutouts affixed with Command Strips are all ways you could decorate your door. Enlist your family to plan your door decor and start decorating upon arrival decor is a thing on cruises? Yep, you’ll see magnets, streamers, tropical decor, Disney characters, and more adorning the doors of staterooms on board. Just browsing the doors is fun and lets you see Guests show off their creativity. Feel free to bring decor for your door.
We hope this Disney Cruisers and fun to read for even seasoned cruisers. Getting there really is half the fun, so go ahead and start planning. Good luck with the and bon voyage! guide was helpful for first-time