Before our recent Disney Cruise, I searched through multiple blogs and checklists to determine what to bring. Here’s my list of what to put and not put on your Disney cruise packing checklist. I’ve included links to samples online to help you see what I’m talking about – just in case! 🙂
Disney Cruise packing checklist – the Obvious & Not-so-Obvious stuff to bring
Disney Cruise packing checklist:
- Sunblock! One checklist item that may seem very obvious is sunblock. But many people ran out on the cruise – for a 4-night cruise in the Bahamas we went through 3 large aerosol cans of sunblock! It’s hot, and reapplication is a must. And of course it’s not cheap to buy more on board!
- Another Disney Cruise packing checklist item that is pretty obvious is bathing suits. But I definitely recommend bringing more than one per person (we brought 3 each). Don’t forget the goggles for the pool and ocean! (If you haven’t tried the full mask snorkel yet, it’s very cool!)
- Don’t bring just one pair of flip flops and/or Crocs – my son got a blister from the flip flops after just two days, and wearing sneakers around the pool isn’t the easiest. Now when we travel I bring the kids a pair of flip flops and Crocs, slip-on shoes or other water shoes.
- Another checklist item I was really glad I brought was polarized sunglasses, but in hindsight, I really should have had them for the kids, too. The glare off of the ocean and pools is pretty strong. So put sunglasses on the Disney Cruise packing checklist – for you and the kids.
- Keeping with the sun protection, hats are a must. Despite our efforts, my son did get a little too much sun on his face, so we insisted on sunblock and a hat from then on! We brought baseball style hats for the kids, big floppy ones for me, and a Tilley for my hubbie). If you can get your kids to wear the better coverage sun hats, go for those! Maybe make it fun with a cowgirl hat!
ADD these not-so-obvious items to your Disney Cruise packing checklist:
- 1. Lanyard with an enclosed area to hold your “key to the world” pass – the pass is like a hotel room key and is needed to purchase items (including alcohol) on the boat, enter your room, go off the ship, and pick up and drop off the kids at the kids care areas (Oceaneer Lab, Oceaneer Club, etc). I bought one on board for about $10 but I ended up putting a hair band around it to hold the cards in by the end of the trip because they kept falling out.
- Clothes pins – Disney Cruises have great state room space, and two clothes lines in the bathroom, but you can definitely fit more bathing suits on them if you bring the clothespins, and they’re pretty cheap and pack easily, so well worth it.
- Thermos or enclosed cup or reusable water bottle. Disney allows you to bring your own alcohol, and fill up your own drink bottles with soda, fruit juices, water, etc. We bought nips at the Orlando airport, and filled up our bottles with the yummy passion fruit juice on board. (The drinks on board are pretty weak, although the drink-of-the-day was very reasonably priced at about $5.) My husband was the only one to think to bring a reusable drink bottle, and it would have been great to each have one.
- Pirate stuff! If you’re on one of the Disney cruises that features a pirate party, there will be opportunities for the kids (you!) to buy light up swords, drinks with a light up Tinkerbell on them and more. Plan ahead to join the fun and not break the bank! We brought pirate attire for mom, dad, boy and girl and had great fun wearing them to dinner and to the early party. We also brought light up swords in the light stick package and tattoos, although we never ended up opening the tattoos. Most people wear some kind of pirate attire. It’s fun!
- Another great item to have on the Disney Cruise packing checklist is sneakers or other shoes. We wore our sneakers on the plane, and brought them when we went to Castaway Cay. When we rented bikes, it was great to have sneakers for riding (although not required). Flip flops were great, but I wish I had brought Crocs or something similar too.
- Alcohol. I did mention this above in C, but just so it has its own spot on the list, nips are a great addition to your Disney Cruise packing checklist if you want an extra drink or two on board with less cost. We purchased nips at the Orlando airport, which worked out great. We also brought a 6-pack of beer on board. We’re not big drinkers, but it was great to have a beer out on the veranda each night after the kids went to sleep, and a fruity drink or two during the day while the kids were in the pool.
- A big dirty laundry bag or something similar for dirty laundry, plus a large Ziploc bag for bathing suits that don’t dry all the way before the end of the trip. Or better yet, get one of the waterproof bags to use down by the pool and at the beach, and then use for your wet swim suits on the way home. We did end up using the laundry facilities on board (pretty cheap), but inevitably we still had some dirty laundry at the end of the trip. And wet bathing suits.
- A beach bag for Castaway Cay – great for carrying extra sunblock, etc. Ideally with a water-tight compartment or bag too for your phone if you’re using it as a camera.
- If you’re likely to catch a chill in the evenings, you may want to add a sweater or sweatshirt to your Disney Cruise packing checklist. The evenings can get a bit cool. We went on the Aquaduck waterside each night after the main seating (5:45) dining as there were virtually no lines.
- Magnets – the state room doors on the Disney Cruise are magnetic, so we brought these word magnets and the kids had fun putting together sentences while we were unpacking, and later we had them take them all down while we were repacking (great way for them to keep busy!). Some people get really into the Disney magnets, so if you’re into Disney or the kids are, it’s a great out-of-the-sun activity!
What not to put on your Disney Cruise packing checklist:
1. Day clothes for each day. We wore our bathing suits (me with a cover up) for breakfast, lunch and throughout the day. The only outfit you really need is something to wear for dinner. Some people do dress up, but the vast majority wear shorts and t-shirts. I wore a simple summer dress on the optional dress up night, and we all wore pirate costumes for pirate night (to dinner and after).
A lot of people dress up for pirate night, so we felt very comfortable having a bit of fun. We had a lot of clothes packed that we didn’t end up wearing! So if you have lots of outfits on your Disney Cruise packing checklist – cross off about 1/2 of them! P.S. This is a beautiful cover up if you want to splurge (& protect yourself from the sun!). Here’s the zipper cover up version.
2. Towels. Disney does an excellent job providing towels -both on the boat, at the pools (endless supply!), and one for each person for Castaway Cay. So no towels on the Disney Cruise packing checklist!
3. Shampoo, conditioner, soap or lotion. Unless you’re picky about your products and like to take a shower everyday no matter what, you likely won’t need these items. We were on board for 4 nights, and each only took a shower twice, and the Disney products were fine.
4. Food. There’s so much to choose from at the various eating establishments. Even trying not to go too crazy eating, we definitely were worried about the scale by the end of the trip! They feed you as soon as you get on the boat, have 24-hour room service, and feed you again right before you get off the boat! Also, as a side note, Disney is great about helping out with allergies and offering options that meet dietary needs.
5. Many books or magazines. I’m an avid reader, but there’s a huge movie screen by the pools playing a number of Disney movies, so I only read in the stateroom. I didn’t even try to read out by the pools.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy top 20 items packing list for what to bring on the Disney Cruise, you can find the list here.
We hope you found this Disney Cruise packing checklist cheatsheet helpful!
Did you see our article about the best sunblocks?
Links to buy recommended sunblock from Amazon: