A cruise is unlike any other vacation. This list is perfect for guests who will be sailing on a warm weather itinerary such as the Caribbean, Bahamian.
I have laid out your must-haves, added a few things that we think are totally worth bringing onboard any cruise, PLUS items that you will find a great addition to your Disney cruise such as pirate night apparel and stateroom magnets too! I have also created a handy free Disney Cruise Packing List Printable that you can download and print so you can refer to it as you pack.
Passports/ Birth Certificates– Technically if you are doing a closed-loop cruise (leaving and returning to the United States) you are allowed to board with a birth certificate. But I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you bring a passport. This will make it so much easier if any issues arise when you are in port. Make sure you check expiration dates. See Disney’s policies here
Cruise Documentation– Make sure to print and sign your online check-in forms and bring them with you.
DCL Issues Luggage Tags- Disney will mail you special Disney Cruise Line luggage tags. Attach these to your luggage on embarkation day they will allow the porters to deliver your luggage to your stateroom.
Medical Insurance Card- always good to have in case of emergency
Travel Insurance Info– I think you should always add insurance to a cruise. The cancellation policies are not as lenient as other types of travel and weather is poised to affect the majority of your vacation as opposed to just arrival and departure. Bring your policy with you!
Cash/ Credit Cards- for when in port
Cell Phones + charger- You will use Disney’s Navigator App to see what is going on around the ship and plan your vacation. It sucks up a ton of battery so bring chargers + a portable charger (which Showcase the World Travel provides with every booking)
iPads/ Tablets/ Kindles
Headphones (+headphone splitter)– for entertainment.
Camera + charger + extra batteries + extra memory card– you will be making memories on your vacation that will last longer with photographs. You will want to have slightly higher quality photos than what you can take with a cell phone.
Medications/ Prescriptions- It is always good to have a few over the counter medications like tylenol, benadryl and a cold medicine to avoid paying cruise line prices. Also make sure you pack motion sickness remedies. It is my belief if you have it you won’t need it.
When I travel I typically aim to pack 1.5 outfits per person per day, but cruising is a little different. You are constantly changing after a long day of activities for your casual dinner. So when I pack for a cruise I pack.
Shirts- enough for one clean shirt each day.
Shorts- we pack 2-3 for a 7-night cruise usually. I would pack more for my boys usually but they end up being in swim trunks most of the time.
Slacks/Jeans/Trousers- It is always good to have one pair as it can be cold at dinner, in the theaters, and outside on the decks at night.
Sundresses- I usually pack a few casual dresses to wear with flip flops for daytime and a few that I can dress up with some sandals for dinner. Just be sure to have some sort of shawl or cardigan to throw on at night.
Swimsuits/ Cover Ups- I HATE putting on a wet bathing suit so I always pack more than I need. I usually pack 3-4.
Underwear- enough for one clean pair of undies a day.
Pajamas- I usually pack enough pjs for half of the number of nights for the trip. Pack at least one cute pair if you plan to attend Goofy’s PJ party.
Light jacket or sweater- it gets cold in the dining rooms, theaters, and out on the decks in the evening so make sure to pack a lightweight jacket, scarves, shawls, and/or sweaters to keep you warm. A denim jacket always makes its way into my suitcase.
Shoes- You are going to want flip flops for the pool, sneakers for adventures in port, walking sandals, flats or dressy sandals for dinner. Always pack a few extra pairs for the kids in case they get wet. Water shoes are probably a good idea.
Lanyard– I saw this on all of the packing lists I read before my first cruise. I dismissed it because I hate lanyards and I regretted it every moment of my vacation. Hopefully DCL will switch over to magic bands soon but until then bring a lanyard.
Reusable Water Bottle – The cups provided at the beverage stations are tiny. Minimize your trips to the station by bringing a large reusable bottle.
Sunscreen – you will need lots and lots of sunscreen and you will NOT want to purchase it onboard unless you are independently wealthy.
Alcoholic Beverages – save some money by bringing your own adult beverages. Disney cruise line allows you to bring 2 unopened bottles of wine or 6 bottles of beer on board per cruise. If you get off the ship and load up on your Mom’s favorite Mexican cream tequila then they will hold it for you until disembarkation (not that I know that from experience)
Goggles/ SandToys- Not a necessity but could entertain your children and save you some money if they see them on board and need them
Magnetic Hooks – the stateroom walls are magnetic, bring some hooks to put by the door to hold your lanyards, bring magnetic clips for jewelry, the possibilities are endless.
I don’t think anything in this category really needs an explanation, but if you aren’t sure why you should pack deodorant let’s chat!
Toothbrush/Toothpaste – for some reason I ALWAYS forget toothpaste
Contacts/ Solution/ Backup Glasses
Princess Dresses (or other character costumes) – If your child is looking forward to meeting a character it is so fun to bring an outfit so they can dress like them. If your little girl is going to the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique you can save some money by bringing your own costume for her to wear to the princess brunch. Visiting during Star Wars or Marvel Day at Sea? Throw the jedi and superhero costumes in there too.
Pirate Attire – Another surprise I had onboard my first Disney cruise was just how in to Pirate Night people got. I obviously had heard about it, packed a t-shirt with Red from Pirates of the Caribbean on it and called it good. Even with my shirt I felt SO underdressed. So when it comes to Pirate Night… Go Big!!
Magnetic Door Decor – One of the things I love about a Disney cruise is that so many people get excited about decking out their stateroom door. You can get magnets of your favorite characters or your names to set your room apart. A great bonus is that it makes it easy to find.
Dry Erase Board- A Dry Erase board is a great way to communicate at sea. Put it outside the room to meet new friends or to let your family know you went to the spa for the afternoon.
Autograph Book – Just like the Disney parks your favorite characters are out and about willing to sign an autograph for you. Make sure you have a book, notebook or another way to capture it.
Pins for Trading – if you like pin trading in the parks you will love trading on the ship, bring pins
Movie Snacks – The only snacks that are not included in the price of your cruise is the individually packaged movie snacks outside the theatre. Save some money and bring your own twizzlers and goobers.
What not to pack is almost as important as what to pack. Disney is constantly updating their restrictions to what is allowed onboard.
Don’t Forget to Download your Printable Packing List
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Here are a few of my favorites.
Toys and Crafts to keep the kids entertained
*I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
With all the joy of Disney magic combined with an exciting new destination every day – there’s something for everyone on a Disney Cruise. Disney Cruise Staterooms are some of the biggest and best designed sailing the seas, and selecting yours should be next on your list after choosing your ship and itinerary. But with so many to choose from, how do you know which is right for your family? The ‘Disney Cruise Line, Guide to Choosing the Best Stateroom’ covers everything you need to know about each room – including budget, size, category and more – to ensure that you really do get the most out of your cruise!
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