We just returned from a magical Disney Cruise aboard the Disney Fantasy. Once you get on the ship, you can relax, but the planning before you go keeps you on your toes until the final minutes! While the ship has absolutely everything you need should something get left behind, it’s always ideal to get everything you need into your bag before you go! To make your life a little bit easier, here is a Disney Cruise packing list, plus what you need if you are celebrating Star Wars Day at sea!
Before you go
the Disney Fantasy stops at 3 ports, one of which is Disney’s Castaway Cay. You will also have 4 days at sea. You will want to consider your ports, any excursions you have planned or want to plan when you get there when packing. Also, it is worth noting that there is laundry on the ship, should you need to wash anything!
What to pack in
Since you will be going on a cruise, you already know that the space in the room will be limited. It’s important that you think about what you pack in and where it will all go once you get on the ship. What’s amazing about Disney cruises, is that they were built with families in mind. What does this mean?
Well, for starters, there is a bunk bed that comes out of the ceiling so that it is conveniently tucked away during the day allowing for more space when everyone is awake. In addition to that, the main bed is slightly higher off the ground to make room for your suitcase under the bed. This is a huge asset. So, you will want to make sure that your bag isn’t too cumbersome to fit underneath the bed. Smaller carryons and backpacks can also go beside the desk in the room, so you can make use of all the space! TIP: Use packing cubes to keep all of your stuff organized. This will keep your suitcase organized and then you can use them in the room as well to keep everything contained. They are a huge help…trust me!!
The essential packing list for a Disney Cruise
Lanyards for your room key – the only thing you really need to walk around with on the ship is your key car which they call your card to the world. This card lets you into your room, acts as money, has your dinner restaurants noted on it and is needed when you get on and off the ship. You always ned to have your key card to the world with you. If you have travelled on a Disney Cruise before, then when you check in, you will get a lanyard, but if you are a first timer, you will need to bring your own! With that said, you may want to buy one that speak to you since you will have it with you all the time!
Autograph book for the kids – The kids will see lots and lots of characters! What’s better than getting their autograph in an autograph book?! Then, when you get home, you can print out all of your pictures and add them to the book! This is a fun things for the kids to have!
Reusable water bottle – On a Disney Cruise, all non-alcoholic drink are included in your package. On many other ships, you need to buy a soda package, but not here! Having a water bottle for drinks is essential for days off the ship, but it’s also great for sitting by the pool so that you aren’t constantly going through paper cups.
Magnets for the door and for around the room – Did you see our post about how to make your own Disney Door Magnets? This is a must!! You can buy magnets to make your door unique, or make your own. The idea is to add magnets to your stateroom door that you know which room is yours and it’s so much fun! You can also bring smaller magnets to use around the room to hold up notes and your lanyards for example!
Dry erase boards and markers – This is a fun thing to have and make it easy to communicate with other people in your stateroom or friends on the ship. Leave them a little note like “at the pool” or “meet you at dinner”!
Waterproof phone holder – This is a nice thing to have….especially on the Aqua Duck, the huge slide on the ship! If you have a waterproof for your case, then you can use your phone underwater to take pictures!!
Towel clips – I would definitely recommend bringing these. They are plastic clips that you place on your towel on the top of the chair. These are great to hold your towels down when the top deck gets windy, and it helps you remember which chairs are yours!
GoPro (optional) – This is a great thing to have if you go snorkelling or to use when you go on the waterslide on the ship!
Camera – Many of us use our phone exclusively for taking pictures, but cameras are still a great thing to have! If you have one, bring one as you can’t begin to imagine how many pictures you will be taking!
Hand Sanitizer – This is a must have, especially with what is going on now. Keep hand sanitizer with you and use it! Especially when you are off the ship. On the ship, you will see that they have you wash your hands every single time you walk into the buffet to eat. Before every meal, they give you sanitizing wipes and they also have sanitizer for you when you get back on the ship after a day at a port.
Chargers for your cell phones, ipads etc.
Daytime clothing for the days at sea
Honestly, you don’t need too much! We wore bathing suits every day with a coverup on top or a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. I would have loved if I had a terry cloth cover up for the kids or even a bathrobe for them to wear to and from the room each day. All of us wore flip flops daily on the ship to and from the pool. You will definitely need sunglasses and hats as the sun will be beating down on you on the top deck.
Dress up attire for Theme Days
Every day is a Disney experience, so you will want to join in in the fun! Now is the time to bring out your inner Disney nerd and wear all of your favorite Disney attire. I brought more Mickey ears then there were days to wear them! Why not?! Bring all your favourite Disney T-shirts, hairbands, shoes and so on and live it up!
Pirate night is staple on every Disney Cruise, so come prepared!! Here is a list of some great items to bring. We also shared shoppable costume ideas here for Pirate night: Plastic swords, Bandanas, Eye patch, plastic gold earrings, high black boots & a parrot that ads to any pirate costume!
The Disney Fantasy had the newly released Star wars day at Sea and it was a B-L-A-S-T! If there is a Star Wars Day at Sea on your ship, make sure that you come prepared! Bring your favorite Star Wars costumes for you and the family. It can be as simple as a mask or as elaborate as a full costume! I also saw some amazing Star Wars t-shirts that people were wearing during the day before putting on their costumes for the evening event. Anything goes, but you will want to participate!!!
Once you get off the ship, it’s not likely that you will want to return until your day of exploration is complete. So, with that said, I recommend bringing a bag of some sort that you can pack everything in for the day. Make sure it is big enough to put towels in. You will be able to take towels from the ship if you are going to the beach during your port days. On Castaway Cay, they will give you towels once you get off the ship. Here is a list of things to include in your beach bag for the day:
Bathing suits – even when you get off the ship, you will want to be in the water. Whether it’s a snorkelling day trip or a trip to the beach, you will want to have a bathing suit with you in case!
Goggles – My kids love their goggles so always bring them for a swim and they are great for the ocean!
Sunscreen – It goes without saying that sunscreen is an absolute must!
Snack bags – Grab a few snacks in the morning before you get off the ship to have snacks for the kids during the day. Bringing reusable bags is a great way to transport the snacks.
Dry bag – Bringing a dry bag is a great idea so that if you do go to the beach, you won’t get the rest of your stuff wet. I love the ones linked here.
Water bottles – Trust me on this one…this is a must for days off the ship!
Hand sanitizer – As I mentioned earlier, keep yourself safe and your hands clean from germs!
Phone or Camera
You will be amazed as the diverse dining experiences offered on the ship. Some restaurants are more casual, while others are a more fine dining experience. For these restaurants, you will want to be sure to follow the dress code.
There are 3 dining restaurants on the ship that all cruisers will attend: The Royal Court, Enchanted Garden and Animators Palate. In these restaurants, the dining attire is cruise casual which means no swimwear or tank tops. With that said, many people like to dress up for dinner, but it is not necessary. There were many nights where I was dressed up and my kids were wearing leggings and a t-shirt.
Note: There are so many great evening events on the ship! Bring a long sleeve for the theatre so you can be warm and cozy when watching all of the incredible show aboard the ship!
The Disney Fantasy offers an adult exclusive dining experience at Palo and Remy. If you can, make a reservation and send the kids to the kids club! You will have a remarkable dining experience! The dress code at these restaurants should preserve the elegant ambiance, so pack your favorite dressy outfit and take advantage of a night out! Leave your jeans in the room for this exclusive dinner and class it up!!
Questions or comments?
If you have any other specific questions about your Disney packing list, share it below and I will be sure to answer! If you have anything else to add, please do!!! Have fun on your Disney Cruise!!