Disney Cruise Tips

We survived our first major family vacation as a family of 6! It was an incredible experience, and although we had some hiccups (I’ll discuss more about our experience in my next blog), I’ve already emailed our Travel Agent to book one for next year.

While the cruise is still fresh in my head, I wanted to share some tips.

Things we should have brought:

🚢STROLLER. Until Claire is at least 12 (only semi-kidding). Whether it was her running away from us due to sheer excitement, or refusing to walk because of sheer exhaustion, both Adam and I got very sore in our upper extremities on this trip. We debated bringing a stroller for a bit, but opted not to as Sam sometimes freaks out that he doesn’t get to ride in one too. We wanted to avoid that meltdown, so we didn’t bring one at all. That was the dumbest decision ever.

🚢Tide pods and dryer sheets. As a family of 6, we definitely needed to wash our clothes while on the trip. They have washing machines and dryers that work well, and they sell Tide and dryer sheets, but they are expensive.

🚢Autograph books or books with the princesses/characters in them. I like the book idea better than an autograph book personally. I only saw one young man doing this but it was such a great idea I’m stealing it for our next trip!

🚢 Gift for our stateroom attendant and waiters. This may seem weird, but if you’ve been on a Disney Cruise, you’ll understand how much you come to love and appreciate these individuals. All of ours came from different countries (Jamaica, Indonesia, Mexico, and more) and I would have loved to bring them something from home – for us, Chippers and maybe a postcard with NDSU/Fargo on it. Next time! (note to self: Have Spilling Beans make custom Thank You cards with our blog on the back.

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Other Notes:

🚢We didn’t have many pictures taken that we wanted to buy. We opted to buy the 10-picture digital package. Before we left I had read some people were taking 100+ pictures. I do not see how that is even possible. Some lines to meet characters were over 30 minutes. Maybe it’s the curmudgeon in me, but I’d rather be experiencing the cruise and the amenities than waiting in line to meet characters for 45 seconds. Our exceptions to this: Disney Princess Meet & Greet and Frozen Gathering. These are booked in advance and people are given a specific time to meet. Also, only Sam wanted to Meet Santa and he loved every second of it.

🚢Water stations are few and far between, which we knew beforehand. We each brought our Yetis, but also purchased a case of water once onboard. Was it ridiculously expensive? Yes. But worth it. We tried to refill every time we saw water, but we drink so much water that easy access was needed.

🚢Sam and Claire struggled a lot with over stimulation and were exhausted a good majority of the trip. We anticipated a lot of this, but it was still kind of a bummer every time we had to split up and stay in our room on a beautiful day. All this to say, don’t be disappointed if your kid(s) just don’t do well sometimes. We weren’t the only ones with kids losing their minds in the hallways, but it felt like every single eye was on us when it was our own kid. I am so thankful we had nothing planned on Day 4 (Grand Cayman). Between Sam and Claire we were in our stateroom a majority of the day. This was likely Sam’s worst day. Tons of stimming, screaming, crying, and begging to be left alone (not possible for a 9yo with autism). He did okay the rest of the trip but we resigned ourselves to the fact that he had some awesome moments on the trip that we will remember for a lifetime, and the rest of the time he just had to be in survival mode. For Sam, this meant tons of time in the Oceaneer Club/Lab and as much pizza as he wanted.

🚢Fish extenders, pin trading, etc.  Just… not for us. I don’t get it. Don’t want any part of it. Basically you’re assigned to a group via your cruise’s Facebook page, and you bring and get little gifts throughout the cruise. I absolutely despise tiny trinkets and small, useless gifts so this just wasn’t our thing. (Google it if you have heard of it and think you may be interested in doing it. Many people love this!)

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