I am probably the worst person to ask about packing. I literally pack everything but the kitchen sink and the pets! One day I swear I am going to learn how to be a light packer, but for now…not happening! I can think of every possible scenario where I will say “well we might need this” or “what if it rains” or “what if one of us get the sniffles” (I pack about 20 different kinds of meds just in case one of us sneezes)!
Over the past few years, so many people have messaged me about what to pack so I put together a list! It’s LONG but I think I may have covered everything!
Formal night~ Formal night on a Disney cruise is totally optional. You will see people in gowns and a tux or just shorts and a t-shirt. We love to dress up and its our chance to get some family portraits done for the house. Typically on a 7-night sailing there is 1 formal night and 1 semi-formal night. We dress in gowns, suits (jacket, tie, etc) on formal night and on semi-formal the boys wear dress pants, shirt and tie. Us ladies wear a gown but we go down a scale from formal night. I always use a clutch to match my gown as well.
Casual night~ the remaining nights are cruise casual. This can be anything but a swimsuit. Shorts and tops, a sundress or capris for the ladies.
Pirate night~ Pirate night is awesome when you join in on the fun and dress up! Some cruises we dress in our best pirate attire and other sailings I make some homemade pirate t-shirts for the family. There are photo ops throughout the ship as well and character meet & greet with everyone including Mickey in a pirate costume. There will be pirate bandanas for everyone in your stateroom. Again, Pirate night dress-up is optional. Not everyone dresses up!
Swim gear~ I usually pack 5 or 6 swimsuits. We take advantage of the washing machine on board that you can use at your own leisure for $2.00 a load. I pack Tide pods and I throw some bounce sheets in a Ziploc. Cheaper than buying them on the ship.
Cover up~ On sea days, we normally dress in our swim gear, throw on a cover up and head to the buffet for breakfast. After breakfast, we head to the top deck to catch some sun.
Comfy shoes~ Even though we are on vacation, there is a lot of walking. We try to avoid using the elevator so we can have extra dessert for dinner!
Sweater~ We like to take in the shows every night and also a few movies. Both of these areas are sometimes freezing! Pack a light sweater or hoodie for nights like this. Also, some nights on deck can be a little chilly depending on the time of the year you are sailing.
Pants~ I always pack at least one pair of pants for each of us. You never know if you will want to watch a late night movie on top deck, sometimes it can be a little chilly. (Again, depends on the time of year).
Princess Dress~ Every little girl needs a Princess dress when she is meeting her favorite Princess. I mean, I would wear a princess dress if it fit!!
Other than your normal things that you pack for vacation, here are a few that I love to throw in:
Baby Powder~ this is a MUST for the beach. I take baby powder and a paint brush on every beach we hit. When it’s time to go and you are covered in sand, sprinkle some powder on and brush it off with the brush…trust me, this works and you will thank me when you are trying to get the sand off the kids.
Shampoo, conditioner and lotion~ Just an FYI that these items are provided in your stateroom and very well stocked. It’s Disney H20 series and we found it excellent.
Sunscreen~ I use SPF 60 for the kids and I always use lotion. The spray don’t cover like the lotion do and I have seen kids burn from using spray sunscreen. I also take aloe vera gel because I usually burn even while wearing my sunscreen.
Pop up hamper~ great way to keep all the dirty laundry together and just take the hamper to the laundry room when its full. I get these at the dollar store!
Downy wrinkle release~ this works amazing to get the wrinkles out of your pants, dresses etc. You can get a travel size bottle at Walmart. If you need an iron, there is one in the laundry room. You cannot have an iron or steamer in your room.
I always pack a first aid kit because you don’t want to visit a doctor on board…$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
-insect bite relief
-sea sick meds (guest services do provide these at no cost)
-sore throat lozenges
-Benadryl for the kids
You are probably thinking…ok she is nuts. Yes I am, but you will thank me on this one too.
Magnetic dry erase board & Markers~ This is fun to stick on your stateroom door for people to leave messages, say hello or friends that you have met may want to send you a note.
Highlighters~ You will get a Navigator every night in your room. Its like a news letter with the daily events. I use highlighters to mark the things we want to do. It just helps plan your day. You will understand when you see the schedule and ALL the things that happens in a day…don’t think you will see and do it all on your first vacation or your second lol!
Post it notes~ we have used these to stick a note on people’s door and also to leave little notes for our stateroom host.
Thank-you cards~ I use these to write a personal thank-you to my crew (stateroom host, servers, etc.)
Autograph books~ In your Navigator, there will be a list of character appearances, timings and locations throughout the day. Take your book and get some pics taken.
You can buy these books on board but I always make them for the kids, makes it more personal and the characters LOVE homemade books. Also, a bulky pen for our Disney friends with bigger hands 🙂
File Folder~ I get this at the dollarama, its vinyl and it has a little flap with a button to close it. I use it to keep all my Navigators in because I like to keep them to bring home. It’s just somewhere to keep all the paper items in one place instead of all over the desk.
Here is a list of paperwork you don’t want to leave at home
Copy of passport~ (I make copies of it JUST in case of an emergency that you misplace it).
Cruise documents~ print these off before you leave home from the Cruise website. I usually make a few copies just in case and put them in different places. Your Travel Agent will also send you a copy.
Hotel Confirmation~ for pre and post cruise
Medical insurance Info~ I would NEVER travel without medical insurance
Tour Confirmations~ I usually book excursions myself with other tour companies other than Disney (Much cheaper). Be sure to read reviews on Trip advisor.
Emergency phone numbers
Fish Extender Exchange List of names and cabin #’s
Car rental agreements
Cameras~ Also remember that when you are getting photo’s done with the characters, the cast member will take one with your camera as well…Just ASK!
Lanyards~ this is a MUST. You can buy these on the ship, or dollar store. You will receive a card called Key to the World. This card is your main tool on the cruise. You will use it to open your room, to buy things at the gift shops, to get on and off the ship during ports of call, to use spa services, to sign kids in and out of kids club. Literally anything on the ship, you need this card. Everyone will get their own, you get your photo taken at the port before boarding and it’s linked to your card only. We wear our lanyard with a card holder and then we know where it is at all times. If you misplace it, go to Guest Services and they will get you a new one. If you are a returning cruiser, you will be provided with lanyards at check-in.
Magnets~ This is so much fun. You can bring magnets and decorate your stateroom door. You can get personalized ones on Etsy or you can create your own. Be sure to use heavy duty magnets because the cheap ones keep flying off the door.
Waterproof camera~ we love ours for the beach days
Tips for room service~ There is complimentary room service on most items on the menu. You can get pizza, salads, warm chocolate chip cookies and milk for bedtime snack, Mickey ice cream bars (not on the menu, but just ask), fruit tray, cheese platter (great for when you are all getting ready for dinner), etc. When your server delivers it to your room, give them a tip…1, 2 or 3 bucks, depends on how much you ordered. I get a bunch of $1.00 bills (American of course) and keep it just for tips.
Clothes Pins~ There is a clothesline in your shower and it’s a perfect way to hang up wet swimming clothes. I take clothespins because you can get more on the line.
Watch~ I know you are on vacation and time isn’t suppose to matter, well it do. You don’t want to miss your favorite character meet and greet, be late for dinner or even miss the boat once you are out on an excursion. On the ship, clocks are very limited…wear a watch!!!
Water bottles~ We take our tervis cups or water bottles. There is a free drink/water station on the top deck.
Night Light or flash light~ when the lights go out..It’s DARK. Nice to have a nightlight for the kiddies.
Ziploc Bags & plastic bags~ this is probably my favorite thing to pack. I uses these when I’m packing to put toiletries in, snacks for the beach or wet bathing suits from the last night of your cruise and its time to pack! Love Ziploc bags!
Sewing kit~ travel size one from the dollar store
Scissors~ you would not believe how these come in handy
Backpack for excursions
There it is! I wasn’t kidding when I said I wasn’t a light packer! If you have any items to add, let me know!