What You Should Pack For Your Disney Cruise

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Packing for a cruise is super exciting. That said, packing can also be stressful. This is especially true if you’ve never been on a cruise before. Anticipating everything you might need and remembering to pack each and every item means you have a lot to think about during the packing process.

If you’re packing for a Disney Cruise, this process is even more involved. This is because Disney Cruises include all kinds of activities and events you wouldn’t find on any other ship. Because of this, even the most seasoned cruiser may not know to pack a certain Disney-specific item when heading out on their first cruise with Disney Cruise Line (DCL).

In this article, we will talk about all those Disney-specific items so you can be sure you pack thoroughly for your upcoming cruise.

Character Costumes

If you’ve ever been to the Disney parks, you already know how much kids love to dress up as their favorite characters while spending time in the Disney vacation bubble. This is just as fun to do on a cruise ship and can lead to some extra special attention from Cast Members.

For this reason, we highly recommend packing a few different character costumes for the kids. These costumes will make meeting characters and seeing Disney shows even more exciting than it might have been otherwise.

Fish Extender and Gifts

One of the unique things about DCL is the Fish Extender gift exchange that happens during each cruise. The funny thing about these gift exchanges is that they aren’t actually organized by the cruise line, but instead by passengers just like yourself.

You can join in the fun by finding the group for your specific sailing on Facebook. There, you will learn a bit about the other people in your Fish Extender group so you can make gifts for them—and in return, they will make gifts for you and your family.

Once on the ship, you will hang a Fish Extender (pocketed wall hanging) from the fish or other message holder outside of your stateroom door. People in your group will deliver gifts by slipping them into your Fish Extender throughout the cruise, and you will do the same for them.

Obviously, joining a Fish Extender group is completely optional, but it's tons of fun. Just make sure you pack your Fish Extender and your gifts when packing your bags!

Gifts for the Staff

In addition to Fish Extender gifts, many cruisers like to leave small tokens of their appreciation for the cruise ship staff. Candy and other small gifts are appreciated by the nursery and kids club staff, as well as housekeepers and dining room staff. It should be noted however, that these items do not replace a monetary tip, so make sure you leave that as well.

Stateroom Door Decorations

Another fun thing that many Disney cruisers like to do is decorate their state room doors. These doors are magnetic, making it really easy to personalize them. Not only does this make walking the halls fun for others, it makes it easier to recognize your own door in a corridor full of identical ones.

Some fun decorations we’ve seen include Mickey ears placed on the “porthole” on the door, photos from past cruises, magnets of favorite characters, and homemade magnets. All are adorable and really help add a bit of charm to the ship.

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