I am a self-proclaimed "Disney-nut." As a result, I began working with Traventours as an Authorized Disney Destination Specialist almost 3 years ago. I must confess that until last May, I had not had the opportunity to step foot on one of Disney's floating magical experiences.
At that time, I had the chance to spend the day on the Disney Fantasy prior to it's inaugural sailing out of Port Canaveral, Florida. After spending the day on the ship, I was blown away with the amenities, accommodations, activities and all around level of of awesomeness. Thus, it earned all A's in my book!
That very night, I told hubby that we had to find a way to take a Disney cruise. Fortunately, Disney offered a phenomenal deal and our family of 3 boarded for 7 days for what we now refer to as, the "best vacation ever." Afterwards, I made a note of some tips to help those traveling on DCL to have a more magical time!
- Disney Cruise Line offers youth programs for all ages including those sweet little babes and tots under the age of 3! There is a program for them as well in which they can be dropped off and cared for by very capable hands. The cost is $6 per hour and reservations can be made in advance. On the Wonder & Magic -- it's called Flounder's Reef Nursery and on the Dream & Fantasy -- it's called It's A Small World Nursery.
- On each Disney sailing, they have a Pirate Night!! Feel free to pack Pirate decorations and costumes for the entire family!! You can bring as little or as much as you like. Some families go all out!! (Check for after Halloween sales to get those pirate items at a serious discount!!)Plus, it saves you from paying the "on board" prices for pirate gear!
- Save on Cruise Terminal parking Tip: Many hotels around cruise terminals offer a park and ride deal that is much cheaper than the cruise terminal daily parking. It works like this: you contact the hotel and they will allow you to park in their lot for a fee and they offer a shuttle to and from the terminal. My family and I did this on our recent Disney cruise and it worked out very well!! The Residence Inn and The Courtyard in Port Canaveral are a few of the hotels in the area that participate.
- Disney cruises offer FREE soft drinks at the pool area, Cabanas (buffet stations) and in the dining rooms. If you want a soda in the bars/lounges/clubs etc, you will be charged for those. We brought a Tervis-type mug with lid on board for each of us and we filled those up to save us from many multiple trips to the fountaion, as they only offer 8 ounce cups at the stations. (no need to bring the mug to dinner or to lunch with you!!) It is nice to fill your cup to take with you to shows and around the ship thus not causing extra expense.
- The way to get the best deals on any type of Disney travel is FLEXIBILITY, FLEXIBILITY, FLEXIBILITY!! That way you can travel with the discounts verses being confined to a particular date like the rest of the population. (IE: Spring break). I know it's not possible for everyone but if that is something you can plan out in advance, you will save a lot!! There are rarely any discounts for the PEAK times! The cruise line is known for posting deals (especially for Florida residents) with sailing dates within sometimes, a 90 (possibly 60) day notice of sailing date. (This is the deal we took advantage of when my family sailed)
- When factoring in the cost of your cruise, don't forget to include the gratuities, souvenirs, photos, excursions, drinks, AND cruise terminal parking!! That will give you a better idea about how much you will be spending!!
- THIS IS A BIGGIE for some out there!! Disney Cruise Lines ALLOWS you to bring your own alcohol on the ship. (within reason- no cases or kegs --lol) NO need to hide it in your luggage like days of old or on other cruise lines!! Just follow these rules and you will be just fine!! Disney Cruise Line Alcohol Policy FAQ!
Let me know if I can help you with your next Disney cruise!