Disney Cruise Tips for Experienced Cruisers

In a previous post I shared several tips for first time cruisers—also a good refresher if it has been a while between voyages. Today I would like to share some new ideas to try or things I thought I had figured out and yet somehow they still managed to surprise me. This post will emphasize Disney Cruise tips for experienced cruisers.

As a family we absolutely love All Things Disney, and Disney Cruise Line has been a favorite vacation option for years. We have been on five so far, with plans for a sixth in 2021. After spending a combined 36 nights on board three different ships, we still learn new things each time. 

View from cruise ship deck as it approaches port; city skyline buildings in the distance. Text reads: Disney Cruise tips for experienced cruisers.

Morning Views Are Amazing

As a committed morning person I can tell you activities are not designed with early risers in mind. Except for a few Disney Junior inspired events, most of the action does not get rolling until late morning. 

However, if getting up with the sun is your jam, you are in for a real treat. Go up to the top deck just before sunrise. {Grab a sweater; it will be chilly.} The views are amazing. Pick up a coffee or tea on your way and just stand at the railing and swoon. 

It is also a great time to wander the ship looking at artwork and/or taking photos with virtually no one out and about. 

{Side note: I personally have never run into Sleepwalking Goofy during this time, but I think that would be awesome!}

Trivia Contests Are Loads of Fun

I cannot believe it took us so long to finally attend one of these trivia sessions! They are hilarious and a nice activity to do with the whole family. 

We actually won our very first challenge {Pixar movie trivia}, so we were quite pleased with ourselves, ha. They offer several sessions throughout the cruise, usually in one of the lounges, so be sure to keep an eye out for them.

If getting up with the sun is your jam, you are in for a real treat. Go up to the top deck just before sunrise. The views are amazing. Pick up a coffee or tea on your way and just stand at the railing and swoon. Click To Tweet

You Can Request the Same Waitstaff

Did you know if you recently sailed on the same ship—and your servers from the main dining rooms are still on board—you can put in a request to be seated in their section again? We did this on our last cruise and it was great to reconnect. 

It helps, of course, if the server is a real people person who remembers names and faces. I mean, they see a lot of guest shuffling through. We took a photo we had taken with them on our previous cruise as a reminder. 

Also we discovered that our server on our very first cruise {different ship} eight years earlier was now a head server {managing several serving teams} on our current cruise. We pulled up a photo from our Facebook archives showing our much younger children with a much younger him. He was amused. 

You Might Still Get Seasick

This one completely shocked me. After five uneventful cruises {we went on one non-Disney cruise as well, a story for another day} I could not believe it when I started to feel woozy one night before dinner when the ship was moving a bit more than usual on our sixth sea venture. 

I simply passed on dinner went back to the room to rest, and by later that evening it had mostly dissipated. However, it was a good reminder to be prepared for all scenarios. And to make sure you are taking care of yourself and not overdoing—drink plenty of water, get enough rest, take breaks as needed {especially if you’re out in the sun a lot}. 

Blue ocean and nearly white sky. Text reads: Disney Cruise tips for experienced cruisers.

Vibe Is Super Cool To Visit

Our children have always loved the kids/tween clubs, but because they are not high school age we never thought to visit Vibe during open house. On a whim we decided to pop in and we all loved it!

They had old school arcade games set up, Guitar Hero, and tons of board game and art supplies. You can also get smoothies, although we did not. The space is bright and airy and exudes fun.

My oldest will be able to go to Vibe regularly on our next cruise {ages 14-17} but we will all be tagging along during at least a few open houses for sure.

Packing Doesn’t Get Easier

No matter how many travels I pack for, I always make mistakes and learn new things each time. I still follow a basic packing plan for all of our adventures, although cruising does present some new challenges.

{See Pack by Activity, Not by Day for more specific tips.}

What I have found, though, is that once I actually get there I care less about what clothes I packed. Honestly, on the last cruise I would have been happy just having 3-4 of the same dress in different colors to alternate. 


Ports Adventures Might Not Be a Bad Idea

On our very first cruise we had a planned port adventure for every stop. This was a ten-night cruise with six or seven port stops {I can’t even remember}. We had a 5-year-old, 3-year-old, and 8-month-old with us. I know what you are thinking and, yes, it was pretty much like that.

Our next few cruises we did not plan quite so much in the way of off-the-ship activities. Sometimes we would just head out on our own and it generally worked out fine. I know a lot of veteran cruisers who simply keep things open or plan their own excursions {and save money in the process}. However . . .

This last cruise we took I started to re-evaluate the benefits of going with an organized Disney group. 

We left the ship at one particular port and apparently I had totally blocked out what it is like to be constantly accosted by vendors and locals wanting you to buy their stuff, take their tour, try their wares. It totally took away from the experience and enjoyment of exploring a new place. 

So now I am re-thinking being a part of a group might not be such a bad idea. They typically either have separate transportation directly from the pier or—as far as I could tell—even if they are on foot they were generally seen as “off limits” to the pushy salespeople. To me this would make the extra cost of an official port adventure worth it.

Okay, cruising fans, what additional Disney cruise tips for experienced cruisers would you include? Leave any additional tips/comments below!

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Disney Cruise really are the best! They are so family friendly and just truly magical!

    1. Valerie

      Agreed. I love not having to worry about anything once you board. Transportation, meals, room, plans, everything is all done. Most other vacations I still feel like I have “work” to do, keeping everyone organized and fed and corralled. On a cruise I feel like I am truly 100% on vacation.

  2. Avatar

    I love a Disney Cruise. My kids have grown out of it, but I have not. These Are great tips. And I agree 100%, sometimes it’s less of a hassle if you spend money on a group tour rather than try to do it your self.

    1. Valerie

      Every time we leave one, we start planning the next one. I think I am definitely going to take my own advice and plan on one or two arranged group tours/activities for the next one. Thanks so much for stopping by, Jenny. ❤️

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