How to Plan and Pack for Your Disney Cruise

Disney Magic Cruise


1. Embarkation Day Bag

When you arrive at port, you’ll hand off your checked luggage to be delivered to your room. But, much like when traveling by plane, you’ll want to have a carry-on bag full of things you’ll need before seeing your suitcase again. In this bag, you’ll definitely want your identification and check-in paperwork handy. You should also keep your medication and possibly even some small toiletries with you. There’s always a little down time before boarding, so entertainment items such as a book or deck of cards are helpful to pass the time. A few small, pre-packaged snacks might be necessary too, especially if you’ve got kids in your group. If you have an early boarding time, it may take a while for you to get in to your cabin, so be sure to put your swimsuit, sunglasses, and sunscreen in your day bag as well, so that you can start enjoying the sun deck right away.

2. What You Need

Of course, you’ll need to pack clothes and shoes that are appropriate to the climate you’ll be visiting. You’ll also want a couple of layers for the cooler evenings. A separate backpack for excursions is helpful (you may be able to use your embarkation day bag). Don’t forget athletic shoes for sports, port adventures, and the Castaway Cay 5K. For families with small children, a stroller is recommended, and can usually be stored beneath your stateroom bed. And just like any vacation, you’ll want to make a list of your group’s individual necessities, such as diapers, medications, extra contact lenses, etc. 

3. What You Don’t Need

DCL has a “cruise casual” dress code for all dinners, which means you don’t need fancy clothes, unless you want to wear them. The pool has plenty of fresh, fluffy towels, so there’s no need to bring those with you either (and yes, you can take those on shore excursions too). Hair dryers are provided in each stateroom, as well as shampoo, conditioner, soap, and lotion. You’ll definitely want to leave behind prohibited items such as weaponry, coolers, and sporting equipment. Check the complete list of no-no’s for your specific cruise online. 

4. Extra Items

If you plan on participating in optional theme nights such as Pirate Night and Formal Night, you’ll want to bring those clothing items along. Many cruisers choose to decorate their cabin doors with personalized magnets, so you might want to think about that too. Also, if you’re participating in an FE group, don’t forget your gifts and hanger. Some people find organization items helpful, such as clothespins (for the clothesline in the shower), magnetic hooks, and over-the-door pockets, and you may find a lanyard with a key-card holder useful as well. 

A little planning and intentional packing goes a long way when you’re going on a Disney Cruise. Once those things are done, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy every bit of your cruise vacation! Have fun making magical memories at sea!

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